Design in Indonesia is currently experiencing a Shabby Chic trend frenzy. However, this design style is not actually something new. In the early 2000s, before the term Shabby Chic became widely known as it is today, many cafes and hangout spots in cities like Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Ubud embraced this style. Shabby Chic design was often used to decorate their interiors. But it seems that only now has Shabby Chic gained widespread recognition and a place in the Indonesian market.
Shabby Chic is primarily associated with interior design, although it is not limited to that. Shabby Chic style is easily recognizable, characterized by its distinctive features. It often showcases vintage and antique elements, whether in the form of furniture or decorative items. Shabby Chic has a weathered appearance, which is a defining characteristic of this design style. This weathered look is often achieved through layers of peeling paint and a distressed, aged effect. Additionally, Shabby Chic tends to feature soft colors, such as faded pastels or earthy tones. It is also known for the use of beautiful floral patterns and motifs.
Apart from appearance, color, and patterns, Shabby Chic style can be identified by the materials used in its products. Wood is commonly used as the primary material for furniture and decorative items, while textiles are typically made from cotton and linen. To achieve the signature vintage and antique look of Shabby Chic, these materials are often treated in a specific way.
As a design style, Shabby Chic is influenced by various other styles, including Faux Painting, Rococo, Mediterranean, and French countryside themes. Aside from offering a unique aesthetic, Shabby Chic also evokes certain impressions and moods for its users.
This style conveys a sense of tranquility and romance reminiscent of rural settings. Shabby Chic is often associated with a feminine feel, but it can also exude masculine vibes. The masculine interpretation of Shabby Chic incorporates rough and textured materials such as untreated wood, denim, burlap, sailcloth, and homespun fabrics. Additionally, a choice of richer and bolder colors can enhance the masculine appeal of Shabby Chic.
Furthermore, different color combinations within Shabby Chic can lead to various substyles. For example, a combination of white, pink, and peach creates a Cottage Chic atmosphere. White, sky blue, turquoise, or teal combinations provide a bright and spacious ambiance, known as Beach Cottage Chic Style. Earthy or neutral color combinations evoke warmth and intimacy, often referred to as French Country Style. On the other hand, white, cream, and light brown combinations lead to the Gustavian Style, offering a sense of calm, coolness, and classic elegance.
Looking at its historical context, the emergence of Shabby Chic can be traced back to a new wave of decoration styles in Britain in the late 1970s that explored paint effects on various materials and their resulting aesthetics. This new style also emphasized the unique characteristics of recycling and repurposing old items. In some views, this new decorating style was seen as a rejection of the expensive and luxurious Victorian decoration style that was prevalent at the time.
The term “Shabby Chic” itself originated from an English designer in an interview with the American magazine “The World of Interiors” around the early 1980s. A few years later, Rachel Ashwell reintroduced the term “Shabby Chic” to describe her style. Since then, Shabby Chic has gained widespread recognition in America, especially on the West Coast, and it has become Rachel Ashwell’s trademark ever since.