What is Shabby Chic?

Shabby Chic is a distinctive style that embraces that worn, lived in look. It is considered attractive due to the visible wear and tear, or other signs of age. Shabby chic furniture can be a genuine antique or a brand new piece that has been deliberately distressed to create the look. Elaborate furniture appliques depicting flower swags and garlands, cherubs, and other motifs may be added. This style generally has a warm, homely feel. Items are usually heavily painted through the years and are finished in white, cream or grey. If you’re looking to update the furniture in your home, the neutral colours of this style makes it easy to integrate in to your current home décor.

Designers consider shabby chic a soft, relaxed, romantic style that looks comfortable and inviting, and is usually associated as feminine. Masculine shabby chic would be “rustic”, with deeper or richer colours.


What are the different types of Shabby Chic styles?

There are several variants of the shabby chic style; Cottage chic, Beach cottage chic, French country and Gustavian (Swedish).

Cottage Chic

Cottage Chic gets it look from coastal, country or lake cottages that were decorated with left over furnishings from the main house. The items were then refurbished by the owners, creating a distinctive yet casual style. In 1980, Rachel Ashwell identified this look and coined the term ‘shabby chic’. The Cottage chic style is characterised by simplicity. It has a soft, comfortable appeal. This style has an established colour pallet of pale greens, pale pinks, pale blues, soft greys, creams and white.

Beach Cottage

Beach Cottage Chic has a more modern and minimalist look. The muted colour pallet includes white wash finishes and dusty or grey tones blues and beige.

French Country

The French Country style of shabby chic furniture features high details and motifs or garlands that illustrate the Rococo French designs. Originally created in the late Baroque period in the 18th century, this style has been given a refurbish with modern items and colours. It is one of the most popular Shabby Chic styles that adds a country look to any home.


Gustavian is most associated with Sweden. It is the second oldest of the shabby chic styles and dates back to the 1770s when the future King Gustav III returned home from the French court of Versailles. Influenced by British and French styles, this décor was used in Swedish royal palaces. Items are usually finished in light colours that have been distressed. The legs on tables, chairs and sofas are usually carved with scallop detailing, often with a rosette at the top. The soft palette of chalky whites and pale greys give it a fresh look.

Where to buy Shabby Chic furniture?

If you’re looking to update your home with a vintage, shabby chic style, look no further than right here at The Home Furniture Store. Our Devon range of furniture beautifully captures the essence of shabby chic and brings it right to your home. This range is finished in a soft cream painted finish with a distress lime-washed top and floral accents. 

Shabby Chic is an ongoing trend that has been established as a popular choice for modern homes.



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