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Decorative style: Shabby Chic

Performed in the 1980s, the Shabby chic interior design style is unsurpassed when it comes to making an interior cozy and intimate.

We will teach you a little more about its key elements, its origins and the tips for reproducing this decoration in your interior.

What is shabby chic?

Décor of shabby chic inspiration English cottage, combines elegance and comfort in the worn side and worn furniture. The use of pastel colors and wash, lace and floral patterns also brings a touch of romance to the décor and creates a warm atmosphere.

In English, the term shabby means worn or shabby. Therefore, shabby chic can literally be translated as “worn chic”.

Here are some of the key elements of this style.

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The furniture

To recreate the shabby chic style, antique wooden furniture that has a worn look is preferred. The effects of time must be visible to them: peeling paint, damaged edges, scratches. This patina can be authentic or recreated using various painting and sanding techniques.

Ornate furniture with raised legs and flowers is also popular, with furniture being preferred in light or faded colors.

Shabby chic also allows older and more modern furniture to blend together to create an imperfect arrangement. This eclecticism adds to the charm and originality of the style.


The dominant color in a decoration is white, characterized by touches of pastel and delicate colors. Think sky blue, purple or pink.

Bright or vibrant colors should be avoided.

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The accessories

Accessories are also essential for recreating shabby chic metal candlesticks and candles, old bird cages where you can place candles or flowers, English dinners with floral motifs, silver bowls … As many accessories as you can find at second-hand markets and markets. Antique chandeliers and lampshades are also a must.

To give a feminine and cozy character to the room, we must not forget the textiles, which are available in different forms: lace, tulle, jute, pillows, curtains, bedding, etc.

Flowers are another staple in style, whether it is floral print on various fabrics and covered cushions, patterned on wallpaper or at a high tea party. Flower bouquets in porcelain, glass or metal vases also look good.

The origin of the Shabby chic style

The Shabby chic style is inspired by the decoration of English country houses with an old-fashioned look. The term was invented by the British magazine The World of Interiors in the 1980s.

It was later popularized by Rachel Ashwell, a British-born interior designer living in California, author of several books on the subject and founder of the store chain.

Shabby chic style variations

The shabby chic style is sometimes called Cottage chic, Beach cottage chic or French country.

Shabby chic can also be compared to the Gustavian style, created in the 18th century in Sweden by King Gustav III. It stands out for its pale-colored furniture with a weathered look that looks a little more undressed than the Rococo Louix XV furniture found in France at the same time.

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