Winter doesn’t have to mean a dull garden!

Imagining our lives without a hint of sunshine just isn’t plausible – just one unexpected sunny day out of season can bring a smile to your face and make the whole world seem a little brighter!  When you open up the door to the garden on a lovely day, there’s just nothing quite like it…just make sure that your garden decoration doesn’t let you down.  Whether is it your brightly painted shed, glam greenhouse or stunning outdoor furniture which makes your garden worth admiring, make sure that every aspect of your garden decoration is as good as it can be all year round – perfect for when an Indian Summer decides to strike!

Everything seem so much more stylish now than it did years ago – and prices can be very affordable if you shop around.  From your local garden centre for cheap plants through to online stores which sell off end-of-season patio sets, there are some bargains to be had if you look hard enough.  So it is worth spending a bit more time to kit out your garden space – no matter what size it is.  Spending that little bit of extra time making sure your garden decoration is bang up to date means that you will benefit on those long summer days and balmy summer nights we all hope for each year!

High Street Shabby

Shabby chic now appears to not only apply to our homes as it is now very evident on the High Street with shabby chic inspired clothing.  Catwalks all over the world have some key shabby chic pieces flowing through their collections.

There’s a fantastic website called The Boho Bride which celebrates all things with a vintage and shabby chic bridal twist.  It as one of many new websites popping up to celebrate all things with a shabby twist.  And it’s not just the wedding dress benefiting from the shabby treatment, many brides-to-be are economising by making their very own bespoke bouquets, stationery and table arrangements – all in this gorgeous style genre and money-saving to boot!  It’s one of those trends which needn’t be saved for a special day but can be displayed throughout the year in your home and reflected in gifts and homeware.  Be unique by owning a piece of unique shabby chic art – you can even get away with telling people it’s designer as nobody will have anything quite like it.  If you’re not very create, have a look at craft magazines or search online to browse shabby chic websites to get some ideas.

If  you really aren’t up for creating anything yourself then there are many lovely shabby chic stores to purchase everything from small home accessories through to large pieces of furniture.  Have a browse online now and see what you can find.

Go a Little French

There are some stunning pieces of French Shabby Chic Furniture around at the moment and the stores have many different pieces on offer – both online and on your local high street..

Long gone are the days of MDF coffee tables and mass-produced wardrobes and now we are embracing the style of romantic-inspired chaise, luxurious dressers and old-fashioned sleigh beds.  Traditional French shabby chic furniture is made from beautiful craftsmanship, using several types of wood and many different fabrics.  It can be difficult to choose a statement piece of French furniture when there are so many choices available.  You could choose a large coffee table full of rustic charm or an oversized chest of drawers to dominate your bedroom.  Whatever piece you choose, a piece of French shabby chic furniture will transform your home and transport you to the Paris of yesteryear – even if you live in Folkestone rather than France!

You can always choose a replica piece of furniture with a much lower price tag if price is an issue.  Replica French shabby chic furniture is now available at many online stores so your next home purchase could be just a website away.

Reproduction French Furniture

Key features to look out for in finding your latest piece.

Any items featuring gold-leaf detailing is a bonus if you can find it.  Usually something using this style of detailing and type of material will be slightly higher in price but it does give a great finish.

Aged or distressed finishes are a must-have.  This will give the piece of reproduction French furniture its character and ensure it looks homely and loved.

Any hand-finished detailing of beads and fabrics and embellishments is worth having.  It means that the piece has had time and effort put into it and will almost certainly be a one-off as no two pieces will turn out exactly the same when it is hand finished.

Metallic handles or miss-matched handles can make a piece stand out.  There are many different handles available so you need to make sure that the overall look that it creates flows, rather than just picking some random handles and sticking them on!

Any painted items should be in either: antique white, burnished gold, matt black or a mahogany finish.  Don’t worry about looking for anything which is too perfect.  Also remember that laminate and light woods are a no-no.

If you can find any silk fabrics, these are very luxurious – a real find if you come across a piece which has some in its detailing.  More commonly used as a detailing tool on things such as dressers and stools, an accent of silk can really set off a piece and make it stand out in your room.

Hand-carvings and intricate detailing should be obvious on a piece of reproduction French furniture.  This is especially true of the detail added to dining tables and oversized mirrors.

A Warm Welcome to Shabby Chic

Welcome to the world of shabby chic design – with its crisp and chic wallpaper shades thrown together with a marriage of patterns, stripes and spots!

In the world of shabby chic it’s a bonus to be a little mis-matched and unorthodox; yet staying true to the principle of surrounding yourself with all things pretty.  There’s no need to stick to ultra-clean lines and glossy chrome accessories as the shabby chic look is all about the slightly flawed and well-loved look.

In furniture, this design idea follows right through with worn looking sets of drawers and vintage tables and dressers.  Think along the lines of something having a somewhat sentimental look to it – as if it’s been in the family for generations when, in fact, you acquired it recently.  Style ideas to think about include items of furniture with faded painted corners or anything which has a vintage feel to it.

There are various ways to source shabby chic furniture and you can often pick something up at a local market or boot sale.  Auction houses can be a great source too and you may be able to pick up a bargain there.  Don’t be put off by any pieces which may be missing a handle or wheel because things like that can be easily replaced at a later date.  You don’t have to worry about finding exactly the right matching replacement either as the shabby chic look is all about bespoke detailing so different coloured handles will only add to the look.

Make sure that your new piece of shabby chic furniture reflects your personality – don’t buy something unless you absolutely love it to bits.  Start trawling those charity shops and markets today and see what you can pick up!