Design Styles Through the Years: Shabby Chic

Design Styles Through the Years: Shabby Chic

Hannah Ross on Oct 26th 2021

Shabby Chic design is aged or distressed pieces mixed with the refinement of soft neutral pastels like sky blue, soft pink and beige. Fabrics tend to be linens and cottons. Shabby Chic has an air of elevated elegance. Pieces are often painted heavily, with layers of old paint peeking through. “Flaked” paint is also a common feature, to give new pieces a distressed feel. Shabby Chic is soft and romantic, calling to the grandeur of the past with a relaxed and rustic look.

The term Shabby Chic became popular in 1980’s describing both design and fashion. Shabby refers to the distressed and aged look. Each piece should look like it has seen history and wears its travels with chipped paint and rustic wood. Chic refers to the baroque glamour each piece holds with its ornate accents. Shabby Chic blends rustic beauty with refined elegance.

Styling your home in this light and refreshing design style can feel overwhelming. Start with a neutral color palette, accenting with soft pastels. This creates openness and charm without anything being abrasive. Aim for shiny aspects or ornate details to bring the glamour into your space. Weathered woods and distressed textures are the pinnacle of Shabby Chic. Add in other natural elements to complete the vibe. Shabby Chic is traditionally seen as more boho feminine with its soft and relaxing energy. For a more masculine vibe, collect richer woods and use materials like denim or burlap.