In the Spotlight: Shabby Chic

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Shabby chic, also known as vintage or country chic, is one of the more interesting design styles around grabbing your eye through its use of mixing a lived in worn look with elegance, charm and beauty. It may seem like a bit of a juxtaposition, fusing elegant and beautiful with worn in and stripped back, however, this is exactly why it does work. Throw in some soft colours with feminine accents amid a mixture of new and vintage decor and your shabby chic picture begins to materialise. 

Shabby chic interior design is a fairly modern design style and has only been around since the 1980’s, during this period opulence and decadence were the trends that were taking centre stage. Wherever you looked you would never be too far from marble filled lobbies, lavish penthouse suites and extravagant furnishings as far as the eye could see. Following this era of vulgarity, it made sense that something polar opposite would emerge and people started looking back in history to find pieces of furniture that were perhaps a bit chipped or worn down. From modern and opulent, to worn in, steeped in history and character, shabby chic was born. 

While we have touched on some of the elements that make up a gorgeous vintage chic space, there are many other elements that bring an area together in this style. Worn furnishings are a must as this creates the antique look that we have been speaking about. History and character are everything, so whether you choose a newer piece of furniture and distress it yourself or find an antique that is already worn down with under layers revealed, this is a great starting point for any shabby chic space. Distressing yourself, however, isn’t the easiest of tasks and requires sanding down furniture to give it that aged look, and then sourcing special glazes that give the piece that sense of history that you are craving. 

Accompanying your distressed, antique furnishings should be comfy and cosy fabrics with a feminine edge. Floral patterns are often utilised as they tend to showcase the vintage fabrics acting as a glorious accent to the centrepiece. If floral patterns aren’t necessarily up your street then slipcovers work equally as well and are a key trait of the shabby chic style, bringing that sense of aged beauty.  

Moving from the furniture to the palate required to nail a country chic interior, it seems quite self-evident, when you look at the furnishings, that soft hues and fresh colours reign supreme. As a starting point bright whites, beige and creams are ever-popular, however, pastels are equally as at home with many designers opting for shades of pink, lavender and light blue as well as some soft yellow‘s. On the other side of the coin, vivid tones like turquoise and navy can also be found especially when painted on furniture. 

Don’t forget accessories, when you think of a room, perhaps furnishings and colour scheme are the main points that come to mind, nonetheless, with shabby chic, accessories play a huge part in bringing the whole space together with a sense of character and charm. Whether you opt for something vintage or true antique like a chandelier or a china set, or perhaps you prefer something more modern like some cut glass decanters, finishing off your space with some eye-catching accessories gives it an overall effect of charming yet accessible and welcoming. 

Shabby chic is possibly one the most popular trends ever and is still going strong some 30 years after the term was first coined. If you’re feeling the eclectic style that mixes antique and distressed furniture with fresh whites, pastels and feminine florals then check out the rest of our amazing portfolio here. Whether it’s for a shoot or purely some home renovation inspiration we have everything you could wish for with some of the most incredible shabby or vintage chic properties in England.