If there’s one interior design trend with serious staying power, it’s shabby chic. Elegant yet lived in, this style is all about embracing imperfection and creating spaces that are comfortable and welcoming, with just the right amount of vintage charm.
There’s something intrinsically romantic about shabby chic bedroom furniture, making it especially suitable for couples. Finishes are often distressed, hence the “shabby” terminology, which offers an old-world appeal without the tired feel that can come with bulky antiques.
“Shabby chic is a style that is all about lived-in comfort and age-old charm,” says designer Amy Leferink. “It creates an instant feeling of homey-ness and warmth, and can cosy up a space without working too hard.” So, where is the trend going next?
A modern twist on shabby chic
The beauty of shabby chic is that it can be embraced in both classic and contemporary spaces. British interior designer Rachel Ashwell spearheaded the trend back in the 1980s when she launched a homewares company that quickly won the attention of the New York Times and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
While the trend has been used extensively in the bedroom, putting a modern spin on shabby chic is a great way to embrace the look without creating a space that feels too old-fashioned. Incorporating modern touches into your shabby chic bedroom is also a great way to sidestep the feminine stigma that can be associated with shabby chic. With the right approach, there’s no reason why your shabby chic bedroom can’t be up-to-the-minute and suitable for any gender.
Ready to bring a contemporary edge to the much-loved shabby chic trend? Read on to learn more about how to style a modern shabby chic bedroom, with a treasure trove of tips and tricks. Plus, we’ll pass on some top advice from professional interior designers and of course, our in-house furniture gurus. Let’s get to it!
The staying power of shabby chic
In the design world, styles come and go. What really gives a trend staying power is its roots. When a trend is classic by definition, it’s far more likely to maintain its relevance and avoid falling out of favour with designers. For example, while design movements like Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern are no longer in their heyday, their historic roots have given them 21st-century stamina.
In comparison, fastmoving trends like ‘millennial pink’ don’t enjoy the same resilience. The trend had a big moment back in the mid-2010s when the soft, muted shade started to gain traction with interior designers. Soon, it dominated everything from sofas and throw cushions to smartphone covers and makeup packaging.
In a matter of years, millennial pink became the official colour of an entire generation. More than just a colour, experts say millennial pink reflected a cultural shift that echoed not only the wellness craze of the 2010s but also a lean towards gender-neutral design.
“Millennial pink was one of those important colours that captured the zeitgeist,” says Jenny Clark from trend forecasting company, WGSN. “It pushed the boundaries to become a colour which was gender-neutral and it felt empowering, youthful, playful, and, most importantly, wearable.”
Fast-forward 10 years and millennial pink is no longer considered in vogue. Like many trends, its time came and passed, with less than 5% of designers predicting it will maintain its popularity in 2022. In comparison, shabby chic has managed to maintain its appeal for decades and counting. The trend first shot to fame in the 1980s and hasn’t missed a beat since. This is largely thanks to its vintage roots and the idea that high-quality, heirloom-quality furniture never goes out of fashion.
The timeless appeal of shabby chic
Shabby chic isn’t a new design trend, but it has enjoyed something of a renaissance over the past few years. Expert Carrie Leskowitz attributes the resurgence to a sharp increase in time spent at home since the pandemic, alongside a craving for comfort and cosiness.
“People were searching for familiarity, warmth and comfort from their home as the pandemic took hold,” explains Leskowitz. “The deep understanding that our home is more than an address became especially prevalent.” With this in mind, it’s easy to see how trends like “cottagecore” and “grandmillenial” also gained momentum over the past few years.
Putting the “chic” in shabby chic bedrooms
When designing your modern shabby chic bedroom, it’s important not to forget the “chic” element. This is ultimately what will take your space from slightly scruffy to shabby chic. High quality, craftsman-designed pieces like this shabby chic chest of drawers from our Juliette range are a great way to create a polished look. Pair your shabby chic bedroom furniture with luxe textiles, like a French linen duvet cover and plush faux fur throw, to continue the refined aesthetic.
Light fixtures can be another way to get creative with shabby chic bedroom ideas and elevate your space. Think modern crystal chandeliers or sleek, metallic bedside table lamps.
Remember, shabby chic may have roots in French antiques, but it doesn’t conform to a specific decade, century or design movement. Instead, it’s all about breathing new life into old trends and encouraging you to embrace an eclectic mix of styles.
Introducing Shabby Chic: 2.0
If you’re a fan of Bridgerton, you’ll love the new era of shabby chic that’s captivating interior designers in 2022. While soft tones like cream and champagne are still absolutely on-trend, many designers are reimagining shabby chic style with brighter, bolder colours too.
Think shades like Very Peri, the Pantone Colour of the Year 2022. Courageous and optimistic, this attention-grabbing shade of purple is the perfect way to inject a contemporary edge into your shabby chic bedroom.
“The Pantone Colour of the Year reflects what is taking place in our global culture, expressing what people are looking for that colour can hope to answer,” says Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute, Laurie Pressman. “Creating a new colour for the first time in the history of our Pantone Colour of the Year educational colour program reflects the global innovation and transformation taking place. As society continues to recognise colour as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions and engage and connect, the complexity of this new red-violet infused blue hue highlights the expansive possibilities that lay before us”.
Orchid Flower, a rich purple hue voted Colour of the Year by trend forecaster WGSN, is another shade to consider when researching how to create a shabby chic bedroom.
Using bright, statement colours like these is a fantastic way to give your shabby chic bedroom furniture a modern makeover. Why? When the shabby chic trend first emerged, it was synonymous with creamy whites and pastels, natural textures and soft floral prints. This understated approach to shabby chic will never go out of style, but it does mean that bright colours like Veri Peri and Orchid Flower will give your shabby chic bedroom an immediate update.
Choosing shabby chic pieces
While shabby chic furniture is defined by signs of age and wear, your pieces don’t have to be second-hand. In fact, many furniture companies have embraced the shabby chic trend and manufactured brand new pieces with an antique-inspired finish to achieve the same look. This means you can enjoy all the charm of shabby chic bedroom furniture, without compromising on quality or functionality.
Our shabby chic double bed is proof that a vintage-inspired aesthetic doesn’t have to mean second-hand. Instead, you can enjoy the elegant contours and intricate hand-carved details of the Juliette range. We use a subtle distressing technique to add character to the solid wood frame and echo the charisma of French antiques.
This version adds to the classic Juliette bed with a luxurious, upholstered headboard in a dreamy biscuit-coloured hue. Not only is the frame built to last, but we incorporate a sturdy central support bar and wooden slats to maximise comfort and support while you sleep. This is the kind of comfort you simply can’t enjoy when you buy pre-loved antiques.
Tips for styling a modern shabby chic bedroom
Styling shabby chic spaces call for a strategic approach. You don’t want to go too scruffy but at the same time, you want to capture the vintage charm the style is known for. Similarly, you may want to avoid the overly feminine feel that some shabby chic spaces can imply.
Whatever your goal, here are a few tips to help you style a shabby chic bedroom:
Splurge on investment pieces
When styling a modern shabby chic bedroom, it’s worth investing in high-quality furniture. Yes, you want the shabby look but not at the expense of quality, comfort or functionality. So, rather than pick up pre-loved pieces at your local second-hand store, we’d recommend investing in heirloom-quality furniture.
Our beautiful Juliette shabby chic bedroom furniture range fits the bill perfectly, with every piece boasting solid wood construction and incredible attention to detail. Think curved wood panels, elegantly tapered legs, intricate scroll applique details and sweetheart friezes inspired by the French palaces of Louis XV. The aesthetic is vintage, but functionality is second to none.
You’ll see the same attention to detail in our Juliette shabby chic chest of drawers. Modern features like smooth runners and premium hardware ensure you don’t have to compromise on practicality when designing your modern shabby chic bedroom.
Add contemporary touches
When experimenting with how to decorate a shabby chic bedroom, you’ll want to play around with different eras to create a contemporary look. Interior designer Mimi Meacham suggests trying to “mix and match furniture pieces and styles that maybe are not the most obvious pair.” She says, “this sort of intentional haphazard look will bring a lot of character into the space and make it feel cosy and homey.”
For example, while an antique-style lamp set atop a white shabby chic bedside table may look a little dated, swapping out the antique-style lamp for a more contemporary alternative like the Perugia glass table lamp will help balance things out.
Incorporate different styles and trends
While a head-to-toe shabby chic bedroom can ooze charm, for some people it can feel like a little much. Incorporating different styles and trends into your space is a great way to give your bedroom a more neutral feel, without losing the shabby chic appeal.
For example, a galvanized metal side table or hanging Edison bulb lighting can give your shabby chic bedroom an industrial and more masculine edge. Similarly, a brightly-coloured abstract painting will instantly shift your shabby chic bedroom away from “fussy” territory.
Get creative with colour
As we explored above, getting creative with colour is one of the best ways to give your shabby chic bedroom a contemporary feel. Colours like Very Peri and Orchid Flower will make your furniture pop and our custom paint service makes it easier than ever to achieve the look. If you prefer the timeless appeal of hues like cream, white and champagne when it comes to furniture, try accessorising with colourful throw pillows, bed linen, artwork and rugs instead.
Now you know more about how to create a shabby chic bedroom, why wait any longer to bring your vision to life? Whether you’re looking for an elegant shabby chic dressing table in a timeless shade of white or you want to customise a shabby chic wardrobe in a trending colour, we’re here to help.
Get in touch with the team today to discuss your modern shabby chic bedroom ideas and let us help you bring them to life.