The History of Shabby Chic Style - Shabby

Shabby - Shabby Chic History

What is Shabby Chic?


Shabby chic is a distinctive style adopted by many interior designers, usually based around pieces of furniture and accessories that are considered attractive due to visible wear and tear or other signs of age. Shabby chic furniture may include genuine period pieces, or brand new items deliberately distressed and made to look worn. These items generally share a certain style in addition to looking aged or weathered; most examples tend to have a soft, homely feel, being fairly ornate and decorative without looking too grand or imposing. Generally, the look is more vintage than antique, and lends itself more to quirky and creative combinations as opposed to a strict historical style based on a particular period.

The essence of today's designer shabby chic style, and the first that comes to many people’s minds, is vintage style furniture, perhaps decorated with many layers of white, beige or light pastel coloured paint, whether these are recent or original coats. Over time the layers tend to peel and start to look worn, or purposely sanding and distressing furnishings can create the same effect. With shabby chic décor you are more likely to come across unusual and fun pieces of furniture, perhaps with odd or interesting original functions, which have been repurposed to become practical in a modern home. 


Where can I find Shabby Chic furniture?

Here at Shabby, we specialise in luxury designer furniture that can really add a unique and impressive feel to your home or garden. We have an incredible range of shabby chic bathroom accessories, kitchen accessories and a wide variety of practical items, decorations and ornaments for the home. Because our store is based online, we are able to offer our customers the very best prices on the market, making us the first choice for designer shabby chic furniture! We have a fantastic range which is constantly being updated daily, so make sure you check back regularly for the latest picks featured on our home page.


French Style Furniture

A mixture of the romantic Rococo style along with the simple, classic interior beauty found in the chateaus of southern France, French shabby chic can even be traced back to the time of King Louis XIV and his famous preference for Baroque style. The Louvre and the Palace of Versailles were both built and decorated with a highly distinctive style, designed as a testament to the King’s strength since he ruled the country through difficult and violent times. Opulence and the celebration of wealth was a major focus in France at the time, so the prevalent style reflected this too.

Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour helped bring in a new era of Rococo, which was lighter and less imposing than the grand style of the previous monarch. Softer, more feminine touches along with sparkling golden detailing became increasingly prevalent in the design of aristocratic homes and furnishings. However, power remained the focus of these displays, and despite the softer edge there was still a large amount of emphasis on showing off one’s wealth. All this eventually contributed to luxury shabby chic design.


Designer Shabby Chic Style

The style as we know it today takes many cues from the Art Deco period. Modern, industrial influences were mixed with classy and glamorous imagery to create a truly original and distinctive style that has come back into fashion regularly ever since. Chrome, crystal and mirrored glass are trademark glamorous hallmarks of Art Deco and continue to be popular within Hollywood Glamour style interior schemes. Elements of this unique and striking style can easily be combined with shabby chic home décor such as mirrored tables, silver accents and striking furniture pieces.

Over the course of the 20th century, different designers with various influences have contributed to the styles you can see in our product range today, with most homes becoming increasingly unique and eclectic depending on individual tastes.Here at ShabbY, we stock reproductions of many iconic chairs, tables, light fittings and accessories from throughout the mid 20th century, as these are generally very popular and versatile. Most of these can fit in perfectly as part of a homely, relaxed cottage style with a simple but attractive finish.

Shabby offers a great contrast to high-maintenance ultra-modern interior design, which might go some way to explaining its current popularity. Many people love it because it embraces the imperfect, but can tie a room or a whole home together and make it look great.