Shabby chic kitchen ideas that are packed with character

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Shabby chic kitchens are a wonderful combination of rustic edginess and understated glamour. This style of kitchen decor has its roots in country kitchen style but emphasis is on the practical rather than the pretty. It differs from classic country kitchens by featuring modern industrial – as well as rustic – influences that can bring a real sense of eclectic style to the very heart of your home.

Whites and neutrals are favourite decorating colour palettes in the shabby-chic kitchen. Use them on ceilings, walls and floor too (if you dare) and they will create a bright and vibrant stage for essential fixtures and fittings in your cooking area. Many shabby-chic kitchens will extend white tones on to cabinetry, appliances, lighting and storage for a cool and ultra-chic feel.

But shabby chic kitchens don’t have to be white. Shades of gentle grey or green have a classic feel that will bring a naturally warmer atmosphere to a shabby chic scheme and work particularly well on kitchen cabinetry.

Essential ingredients in a shabby chic kitchen include worn, well-loved furniture in distressed finishes, low-slung metal pendant shades or glamorous sparkling chandeliers. Scrubbed farmhouse-style tables, open shelving and white painted French-style furniture with scrolling carved wood details are also ideal for playful layering.

Group or make a feature of different styles to set apart distinct spaces for different kitchen tasks. For instance, highlight food prep surfaces, rustic butcher’s blocks and utility sinks with practical pendant lighting; the dining area can showcase a scrubbed rustic table, refectory-style benches and smart upholstered chairs; a breakfasting space can be set apart with modern bar stools and glorious hi-gloss marble surfaces. Yes, it’s eclectic, but that laid-back mix-and-match style is the aim here.

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