The Shabby Chic Breakdown

It may be old. It may be worn out. It may even be discolored, cracked, and marred. But, trust us, it’s not junk, it’s Shabby Chic! Shabby Chic is a home design style that takes advantage of aged and dilapidated furniture by accentuating the individuality that imperfections reveal. Making its debut in the late 80’s, this décor trend spread like wildfire, first in Great Britain and then America. Many interior designers, both novice and professional, gravitate toward this design form for its versatility, lack of strict rules, and relatively frugal realization. Over time, as Shabby Chic grew in popularity three distinct styles of this décor emerged.

French Style Shabby Chic

Old world elegance can be transported hundreds of years into the present when you embrace French style. Vintage furnishings with detailed woodwork take center stage along with painted elements that are heavily distressed to expose the wood beneath. Unlike the other two subcategories of Shabby Chic, accessories are robust and focused in only a few areas of the décor acting as a frame for the bold furniture. These rooms can be taken to a whole new level with antique urns, vases, and metallic accents. French style is sure to add an air of class to your home.

Beach Style Shabby Chic

As the name suggests, beach style encourages you to design your own coastal comfort zone using décor inspired by your dreams of the ocean. Sometimes referred to as coastal or nautical, this modern variant of the style is easily identified by the presence of rattan or overstuffed chairs along with well-balanced blue or gray color schemes. Instead of wood items being the main attraction as they are in the French style, wood pieces with natural finishes are used as accents to give off a deliberately casual vibe. If your preference leans toward a more comfortable and “lived-in” look then this beach style is definitely the right fit for you.

Cottage Style Shabby Chic

If Snow White had an interior design fetish, her “go-to” would, without a doubt, be cottage style. Featuring faded pastels combined with soft whites, this style of shabby chic is often accented with frilly adornments and floral elements. As the most traditionally feminine of the three substyles, some might assume the decor would seem superficial and lacking in potency….WRONG WRONG WRONG! Tea-stained fabrics, cracked porcelain accessories, and rusted vessels give rooms executed in this style an unexpected depth of character.

Keep in mind that the subcategories above are the most popular adaptations of the style but there is no reason why you can’t create your own unique look. The best part about Shabby Chic is that it is open to interpretation with lots of room for self-expression and creativity. So go wild and don’t forget to send us photos of your space masterpieces!


*All photos were puled from Pinterest.

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