Interior Styles: Shabby Chic


Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Over here in London, I think we’ve turned a corner and have headed into Spring. We had lovely blue skies and not a drop of rain in sight. It was glorious and uplifting to say the least.

Before I go any further, I just wanted to say a big Thank You to everyone that commented on my last post. I was overwhelmed by the support and belief in my abilities and I will definitely keep you up to date on the progress of the bathroom re-design. I feel so blessed that I have found and become apart of this wonderful blogging community.

So, on Monday’s we have a weekly column where we investigate different Interior Styles. I really enjoy writing this column because it helps me to understand what the key elements are for each style and assess whether it’s something I like or not. I am however starting to surprise myself as I may have previously hated a particular style based on some pre-conception but have ended up liking it by the end of the post. I think the reason for this is that I’m starting to realise that any style can look great in an interior as long as it’s designed well. It may sound obvious but this is a lightbulb moment for me. It’s not the style that matters, it’s the design.

This is certainly the case with today’s style – Shabby Chic. I must admit that I have a pet hate for the name of this style alone so the prejudice started at the beginning. I don’t know about you, but to me “Shabby” reminds me of something that has been unloved and left to the side of the road – dilapidated and “Chic” is just a fancy word for style and elegance. So to me, the combination just reminds me of something a little well… “tacky”. But when I looked further into the style, I actually found something wonderful.


Shabby Chic is a cross between cottage style and vintage with a modern romantic twist. It embodies the idea of re-using old worn or distressed furniture and giving it new life. The style is relaxed, lived in and comfortable.


  • This style is a mixture of Romantic cottage, Vintage and Modern Glamour.
  • Furniture is aged, worn and used – scratches are loved, peeling and worn paint is a must and faded upholstery all add to the look.
  • It is common for slip covers to be placed over sofa’s and chairs in a light fabric.
  • Walls are painted and wallpapered with light colours and/or pastels creating a soft and calm atmosphere.
  • Decor is vintage and is usually found in flea markets and antique shops, think coloured glasses and vases.
  • Floors can either be painted floor boards or carpet. It’s usually in a neutral colour and often white.
  • Lighting is glamorous or industrial but almost always aged.






As I admitted earlier, I did have a bit of a prejudice against this style. But I have to admit that now I really like it. I can imagine using this style in a cottage by the beach or a small bolthole in the country. For some reason, I cannot imagine this style working in a large expansive space as it needs to feel cosy and comfortable. What do you think? Do you like this style? If so, why?

Have a lovely Monday. Till tomorrow. xD

Image Source – Title and Last Image – Unknown, Gardener & Marks, Dreamy Whites, HousetoHome, HomeEdit, Meg Morton


13 responses to “Interior Styles: Shabby Chic

  • Bonnie Rasmussen

    I love it, as long as it isn’t trying too hard. When shabby chick turns into simply distressing new furniture and giving them the “look” it can feel a bit artificial, but items that show authentic wear and tear and history can be extremely charming and cosy.

  • owlshouseblog

    doris, i’m with you on the whole shabby chic name and style, and agree that it can also be fabulous when done well, in certain environments where it feels natural rather than contrived. a lovely post! x

  • sue

    hiya doris… this is a cool series… i did something similar (off the blog) recently to use in client surveys… it was a great exercise to not only clarify in my own mind what the attributes of certain popular styles are, but also to help clients determine the look they’re after… you’ll have a valuable resource tool indeed once you’ve worked your way through these! love the quotes you pull too!

    • interiornovice

      Hi Sue, you are so right! I could use this for potential clients. What a good idea, I’ve only be doing this for myself really, but I could use it to help figure out what clients might like. Thanks for the idea! xD

  • Eclectic Trends (@GudyHerder)

    I used to be a fan of vintage and kind of shabby chic style and feel now I need a bit more of contemporary design in my life. Still, there are some complements I will have and they just give that certain touch. I believe shabby chic is one of those styles that need the right environment or outside.

    • interiornovice

      Hi Gudy, yes you are right, shabby chic looks fabulous outside on a deck, by the beach or in the garden. It is a very environment specific style. Nice to hear from you and hope you are well. xD

  • myeyesonthings

    Dear Doris,
    I was never a fan of the shabby chic style to be honest, especially if it is fake shabby and new furniture is distressed on purpose. However, I do love the occasional surprise effect in a room. An old chair that had been sitting outside for decades or some old fleamarket find that never got restored. Too matchy matchy is never interesting.
    Keep up the great work with our posts!

  • secretgardenhome

    Hi, I agree with most comments above. If it’s about upcycling and reusing old furniture, that’s great but turning a new piece into an old looking one and charging hundreds of £ for it, that’s madness.

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