The web is full of DIY blogs with lots of furniture makeovers and while many of them are very good, some are not. Of the ones that are good, there are not that many that are focused on the shabby chic style.  It can be a little bit like looking for a needle in a haystack trying to find the best and most helpful furniture makeovers.  Here are a few of our favorites:

This dining room table is is spectacular and she uses a homemade chalk paint to do it. The DIY Mommy shows you how.

Chalk-Painted-Shabby-Chic-Kitchen-Table

Need a new furniture piece not only painted shabby chic, but upholstered with the perfect floral fabric as well? Jen at Girl in the Garage shows you how it’s done.

vintage-shabby-chic-chair

Interested in using wax to shabby chic your style? Lori at Vintage Charm Restored gives you the details.

waxed furniture

 

We are always on the look out for great sources of shabby chic furniture.  Etsy is one of our favorite places for inspiration and for purchasing pieces.  Furniture cannot always be shipped, so make sure and check out the location of the seller and policies around delivery.

Here are some of our favorite shops:

KK Furniture – Really nice furniture pieces, although not all of it is shabby chic style. This sideboard is great!

Red Bard Estates – All shabby, all the time. This vanity blows my mind. I must have it.

Provincial but French – Love using bright colors with the vintage style.

First Finds – Excellent pieces to accent your furniture, shabby or not.

Stay tuned for updates… we will post more shops with amazing shabby chic furniture as we find them!

Armoire Styles

If you have ever looked for an armoire for you home, you know that there are many varied types and styles.  It can be overwhelming trying to determine which would be best for your needs.  Here is a handy guide to the different type, styles and designs:

Standard or Sliding Door:  From the perspective of opening the doors of your armoire, they come in two different types.  Standard has doors that open out, similar to French doors.  Sliding has doors that slide back into the main body of the piece, keeping them out of the space surrounding the piece.

Bedroom Armoire: This style of armoire is somewhat like a stylish freestanding closet. It has numerous shelves and drawers to store clothing, linens and other bedroom items.

standard armoireWardrobe Armoire: While the functionality of the wardrobe armoire is basically the same as the bedroom armoire – storage – it is made with the upper portion of the piece open for hanging clothes as opposed to shelving. These are typically taller than bedroom and electronics styles.

Electronics Armoire:  Made with special spaces and features to fit different types of electronics, these styles of armoires can be a great way to keep your electronics hidden when not in use. A computer armoire or desk armoire usually has more shelves and spaces to store the different parts of a pc and includes a slide out keyboard holder.  A TV armoire will have a large upper opening for a TV along with spaces for items such as DVRs and video game consoles. These are the most likely to come with casters so that the piece can be moved around easily.

Jewelry Armoire: Much smaller than the other pieces and most often modeled after a wardrobe armoire with the addition of tall legs, these pieces are specialized to hold, well… jewelry. While not quite as fancy as the room beneath Buckingham Palace where the Queen’s jewels are kept, jewelry armoires can add a bit of elegance to your bedroom or bathroom. The upper section of these pieces typically have hooks and bars for hanging necklaces and earrings. The drawers are usually segregated into smaller spaces to make organizing your jewels easy.

Wardrobe and jewelry armoires are likely to come with mirrors to assist with putting on clothing and jewelry. A mirrored jewelry armoire or mirrored wardrobe armoire is more likely to have standard doors as the mirrors are often on the inside of the doors, so that when you open the doors the mirrors are readily available.

All four styles of armoire (bedroom, wardrobe, electronics, and jewelry armoire) can come with either standard or sliding doors, giving you a number of options depending on your needs and the space you have available.

shabby chic armoireEach of the possible combinations of type and style come in designs that range from antique and Victorian to modern and sleek and in every color you can imagine. Current manufactures produce more basic modern styles with clean lines and basic colors, but more ornate pieces are available as well. Basic wood colors such as maple, cherry and pine are the most common, however here are a number of shabby chic style armoires including white armoires.  And, as we have often mentioned, it doesn’t take much to paint and distress a piece of furniture to achieve the shabby chic furniture style.

Fun fact: “armoire” is originally a French word meaning arms cabinet – they originated as gun storage!

 

What is a sideboard?

If you have ever heard the term sideboard or seen it used when describing interior décor and furniture and not been sure what they were actually talking about, you are not alone. The term sideboard is used interchangeably with buffet, credenza, or server and there really is not much difference between the pieces.

This type of furniture piece became popular because many homes that were built in the 18th and 19th century did not include much space for storage. Many people found this to be quite a problem, especially those with large collections. Because of this, people turned to furniture makers to find a solution to their storage problems and one of these solutions came in the form of the multi-functional sideboard.

It was originally designed to stage the food before meal time. The hostess would serve each item of the menu one by one from the sideboard. The dining table, on the other hand, would only hold the plates, cups, and other eating utensils along with the centerpiece. As the end of the meal came, the sideboard would become a staging area for desserts and cordials.

sideboardAfter dinner, the sideboard buffet would be used as storage for the dinnerware and flatware. The structure of the piece was generally five to six feet in length by eighteen inches deep by thirty-eight to forty-one inches tall. It was built with cabinets in the main trunk of the piece with one or two drawers. The top was made to be completely flat without any interruption of its surface since this was the main staging area for serving and storage.

 

Now that I know what it is, what do I do with it?

No matter what you call it, the sideboard-buffet-credenza is still a great multi-functional piece of furniture to have in your home.  It can be used as a decorative furniture piece that doubles as storage in living rooms, foyers, bedrooms and more.  It can be used in place of TV stands for something more stylish than your typical entertainment center. Some people feature them in their office, using them as storage and space to display photos and plaques.

In short, you can do whatever you want with it. Some people, craftier than those of us at Live Shabby Chic, refinished and repurposed antique pieces to bring new life to them.  My favorites are those that have be repurposed for an in-home bar, like this one or this one, which is also a great example of the shabby chic furniture style.

It can be fairly difficult to find an antique sideboard in good condition at a reasonable price.  They are very sought after and although many were made with great craftsmanship and quality, such as oak sideboards, prices can be quite high.  Many furniture makers are specializing in reproductions of vintage and antique style pieces and can provide you with style choices from different eras, including early American, Victorian and even European.

When it comes to styling this new addition to your furniture family, assuming you are not using it for a bar or to host your television, you have a lot of options.  This post shows five great options – with lots of pictures.

Classy Clutter has an amazing sideboard makeover. Just look at this pic!

Shabby Chic Sideboard

Shabby Chic Sideboard

Now that you know what it is and what to do with it – go get your own!

Rattan Furniture Shabby Chic Style

Looking to add some shabby chic furniture and style to your home without spending a lot of money on new, or antique but new to you, furniture pieces? Wicker and rattan garden furniture are perfect items for a shabby chic revival.  If you have old wicker items that could use a lift, why not give them the shabby chic treatment?  Rattan furniture is perfect for this type of makeover as it is made out of plant fibers woven together, and easily “distressable”. To begin the makeover from outdoor garden furniture to indoor décor, you’ll need steel wool, spray primer, wax, and spray paint in a white, off white, or other light pastel color of your choice.

This chaise lounge would make a great piece for this type of project.

Wicker Chaise Lounge

Before you begin any furniture restoration you will want to clean the piece thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner, soap, and water.  Wicker can store a lot of dust and dirt which should be vacuumed out, so be prepared for a lot of dust from your piece if it has been kept outside for any length of time.  Once you are sure that that your furniture is clean and dust free, you can move onto the next step.

Take some of your wax and rub it lightly in spots all over the piece.  Later once the item is painted this can be rubbed off to give a distressed look to the piece.  Next, lay down a dust cloth or painting plastic, and quickly prime the item with spray primer.  Once this primer is dry you can begin your next coat of spray paint to get the perfect white furniture look that will be the basis for your shabby chic revival. After the piece is painted and dried, you can now dress itwith floral patterns from vintage shops or even the shabby chic collection at Target.

rattan furniture

Rattan Furniture

For those who would like to have this type of shabby chic piece but do not have any rattan patio furniture of your own to use, you can look for good deals on rattan garden furniture on Craigslist or check out garage sales and estate sales in your area. Some stores sell new pieces of wicker and rattan furniture that does not need to be made over, it comes with the shabby look already, such as this chair from Amazon.

Painted furniture is the foundation for the shabby chic look and rattan or wicker can give you a great base to start with.