Updated: Dec 8, 2021
So we all have things that were really cool at one point but very much trendy and are probably still sitting in your home, or that you are still even buying. I am a firm believer that a home should be a reflection of you, and so I do think there are times where rules are meant to be broken. BUT...... there are some things that just arent aging well that I still see in homes today. So here are the top changes that you need to make in your shabby chic home.
1. Windows as decor
If you know me I am the repurposing queen. I love to find vintage and second hand items for decor. So i understand wanting to take something old and figure out a way to use in a new space, but here is the kicker....it has to make sense. Using and old window frame looks like you found an old frame on the side of the road and just threw it up there because you didnt have any actual art to put up. It isnt a piece of art, and it doesn't actually serve its functional purpose.
This became popular when shabby chic really made its debut, but its moment has come and passed. There are better ways of implementing this look without using an old window frame. Try using actual vintage frames like the ones below.
2. Live, Laugh, Love Signs
Ok, so I feel like we have all had the dreaded word signs at some point, if not you probably wanted one, I know I did! This seemed to be another popular item that came with the whole Joanna Gaine's era. This is actually a continuous pet peeve among designers that these seem to still be popular. I am still seeing these everywhere at Hobby Lobby, on craft sites, etc. Realistically, any sign with words dates your space terribly. It screams early 2010's!!! So take down all of those Metal Bakery signs and Inspirational Word signs.
If you are dead set on having word art, opt for something like a piece of historical pop art or a vintage poster.
3. Huge rolled arm chairs and couches
Sofa's have many aspects that make up their style and comfort. Arm Style, Leg Style, Back & Seat construction (tight back, bench, loose cushions, etc), & fabric. The styles above each have these huge rolled arms with a more relaxed slipcovered upholstery. While this definitely lends more traditional and was a mainstream go to for the Shabby Chic look, this tends to give more of a big bulky look to the piece. There are so many great traditional sofas that still give that comfy look, but arent over sized and bulk in the arm.
Instead try getting an english rolled arm sofa, to give a more updated and sleek look with still staying in the traditional realm of design. You can change the look of this sofa dramatically by what type of seat cushion you put on or if you want to opt for a soft velvet to give it a more luxurious feel, or go for a great family friendly performance fabric for the more casual look.
4. Shiplap EVERYWHERE!!!!!!
Ok....dont come for me yet! I'm not saying Shiplap is completely out of style. BUT.... I am saying the overuse of it is. I still like shiplap in certain design elements, and when used properly, but when your entire house is done in shiplap....it becomes too overwhelming.
Things I love about shiplap is the worn vintage element it brings to the space and It offers a great texture to a feature wall. So here are some ways to mix it up and modernize your shiplap.
Install it Vertically. This still has that same great shiplap look we love, just in a different way
Try painting your Shiplap something other than white....
And last but not least....less is more. Just do a feature wall,
a half wall, a focal point in shiplap, or just keep it to one room.
5. Front Porch Signs
Ok so we need to stop putting these hand paints vertical front porch signs up. It goes along with the Live, Laugh, Love signs. Just throw them all out together!
These signs tend to look like you found an extra board from your last project and slapped some stain and paint on it. There are much more appropriate front porch decor that can be put out that doesn't looks like a complete afterthought.
So what should you put on your front porch. Some great options are laying your front porch entry rugs, Planters with flowers or small shrubs, hanging plants, & wreaths.
6. Giant Wall clocks
Do you know what time it issssss???????? (in my best Fight Night announcer voice)
yes, its time to throw that Ginormous clock away. There is no need for a clock of that size, we should all be able to tell the time from a reasonably sized clock.
7. Over Decorating
Over decorating is something that I tend to see A LOT of. You dont need to fill every nook and cranny of your home with some decor piece. For example, the top left photo has a bucket of rolling pins with a throw pillow, plants, a towel, a sign, and a wreath, all on a ladder. What is the point of having a bucket of rolling pins, not even in the kitchen and also paired with a pillow. It makes no sense!!!!! The photo on the right at least has items that are appropriate for the space but... there is just too much. It starts to look like a junk pile instead of decor. This doesn't work because your brain has no idea what is an actual focal point and what is not. Is it the jars on the floor? Is it the giant hanging window? Is it the basket on the wall? What about the fireplace? (Did you even see that there was a fireplace?) You need to leave some areas open, and some walls blank so that your eye has time to rest as it scans the room and can actually take in and process all of the beautiful pieces that you have placed throughout your home.
8. Mixing Whites & Chippy finishes
One of the biggest things I see when people try to attempt farmhouse, is incorporating too much white chippy pieces. There is a big difference between modern farmhouse and shabby chic. If you are still wanting to go for the shabby chic look, you cant over do it. Whites can be hard to mix and there is a lot that goes into mixing whites. So when you have 90% of your furniture in all different chippy whites it tends to make some pieces look really yellow or blue or green, because the that white wont be the same as the white it is right next to. Also when you have everything in a chippy finish, its looks like most of your furniture is falling apart. My rule to incorporating primitive items is a 10% rule. Only 10% of the room can be in chippy white paint, the rest can be in other primitive textures but not chippy white.
If you want to move into more of a modern farmhouse look rather than shabby chic, then opt for light wood finishes like a bleached oak instead of painted finishes.
The final Wrap Up
So by the end of this I bet you are thinking I am an anti farmhouse, Joanna Gaines hating crazy lady. That is definitely not true, but I do think that her earlier work that really made this style popular had its moment and its gone. We just need to accept that. I still think she is an incredibly talented designer that has had and is still having a huge impact on the design community. Lets take a look at some of her more recent work to get a better feel of how to get that look we love some much but in a more on trend way.
So let's explore some of the more recent ways to have this beautiful look and why it is different that what we saw 10 years ago.
1. Sleeker sofas and upholstery items.
2. Incorporating texture by using natural elements such as rock, stone, tile, leathers.
3. Using neutrals but not going all white
4. Adding black to use as a way to guide your eye throughout the room
5. Using Wallpaper to add color, texture, and that vintage feel.
Let me know what you think. Are you ready to let go of some of those old favorites?