Elements of shabby chic design in the new millennium

The use of shabby chic as a term to describe a specific design style was introduced way back in the 1980′s by Rachel Ashwell.  It introduced the idea that old, worn and yes, shabby, home decor was not tacky but in fact, very chic.   It is a combination of country, cottage and farmhouse all rolled into one that results in a warm, comfortable and relaxing way to decorate your home.  Common elements include the use of antiques and used and found items left in their original condition OR covered with a coat of white paint and distressed even further.  This worn and white finish compliments all the feminine touches that include floral fabrics, sparkly chandeliers and pretty accessories.  While it continues to be chic to be shabby, the look has joined the new millennium and grown up a bit to include warm wood tones and more gender neutral fabrics and accessories and coordinates nicely with those country and cottage pieces you already own.


Collections are a big part of shabby chic decorating and what better way to display them than on the shelves of our cottage hutch?

painted furniture barn cottage hutch in soft pink

Dressed in a soft pink as shown here it ties right into the soft hues and feminine details so often associated with shabby chic design.  But it can work just as well in a natural finish  or another paint color to add some weight to the lighter finishes and colors so popular in cottage, country or shabby chic décor.

Reclaim, reuse and repurpose

The use of reclaimed elements is not only environmentally responsible but has been a popular design option for many years.  Shabby chic decorating utilizes found items such as old shutters used as closet doors or cast off pieces of iron to act as a table base or decorative element or even your grandma’s spoon shelf to add a sense of history and a feeling of warmth to your home.  If your grandma is still enjoying her wall shelf or you prefer something customized to your home’s decor we offer several wall display shelves that will be right at home in any shabby chic home.

Wall shelf from Cody Road Workshops via Painted Furniture Barn

Wall shelf from Cody Road Workshops via Painted Furniture Barn

Design Details

It really is the small details that identify a particular design style.  Shabby chic design celebrates craftsman detailing that often includes crown molding, cutouts, scallops, beadboard paneling, louvered doors and glass knobs and drawer pulls.  Imperfections are desirable so don’t worry about scratches and dents,  slightly misaligned drawers or tarnished hardware.  These design details simply add to the appeal of the overall comfortable look you are seeking as someone who enjoys shabby chic decor.

Roses, roses and more roses

Roses and other floral patterns play an important role in shabby chic decorating.  The romantic rose can be found on fabrics, dishware, molded into the frame of an old metal chandelier or just the real thing displayed in a crackled vase or simple metal tin.  Our writing desk features a hand-painted rose design that can reside happily alongside other pieces to create an interior that has joined the new millennium yet maintains the original ideas behind shabby chic design.

hand-painted desk from Painted Furniture Barn

hand-painted desk from Painted Furniture Barn

How does shabby chic fit into your decorating plans?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

5,106 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>