Shabby Chic Furniture

The consumer practice of throw-away buying and not caring about the origin of a product has drastically changed in the last few years. We’ve grown increasingly interested in learning about where our food is from, is it ethically sourced, is it organic, is it healthy, were the animals properly cared for? Our habits of recycling are also improving – we don’t want to waste, we want to buy responsibly and we want to buy items that will last. It’s these traits, this new mentality for intelligent purchasing that is spreading to all aspects of our life and affecting our buying habits; especially when buying interior products. There is one particular interiors trend that follows the ethical ethos.. shabby chic.

The trend for all things shabby chic has been around for a while now, and is showing no signs of leaving. With the recent revival for choosing up-cycled over reproduction furniture, it’s clear that consumer buying habits are changing. We are going back to vintage roots by thrifting and creating, with a make-do-and-mend attitude. I think the reason shabby chic furniture has been so successful is down to its transferrable nature – blending in to most interiors seamlessly.  This is due to the variety of shapes, styles, colours and differing degrees of furniture painting techniques used. Every item of shabby chic furniture looks different and any style of furniture can be up-cycled.  Many of the high street chains cottoned on to the trend over the years and have decreated mass produced reproduction shabby chic furniture which I am not a fan of; it all looks the same, devoid of any character.  The paint is flat, the wood is cheap MDF and the style is unimaginative.  I believe that shabby chic furniture should be up-cycled from antiques or pre-used furniture – you can see the grain of the wood, it distresses authentically and more often than not the furniture is imperfect. It is these imperfections that make great shabby chic furniture – the dents, scratches and uneven surfaces, they all add to the character and individual nature of the piece.  For these reasons, I buy from independent suppliers who up-cycle the furniture in-store and by hand.  Below is a selection of the best shabby chic up-cyclers!

Shaby chic, ruby rhinoRuby Rhino

Shaby chic, phoenix
Phoenix on Goldborne

Shaby chic, 37 Old London Road

37 Old London Road

Ruby & Betty’s Attic

The following antiques dealers also offer a great selection of beautifully painted, French shabby chic furniture: The French HouseA & L AntiquesMaison Artefacts, Belle Epoque, Jensen and Ballantine and for the occasional piece MADE.


Meet Pippa

Pippa Jameson is an author, tv designer and interiors expert. The previous interior editor on several leading UK titles, Pippa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her 25-year career, Pippa’s unique and creative approach has won her commissions for large retail brands and celebrities to deliver exciting and engaging projects. 

She’s written the curriculum for the British College of Interior Design, produced and styled shoots for well-known brands including John Lewis, H&M & Team GB/DFS, worked as an International Stylist for leading paint brands in Asia, consulted on the launch and creative direction of major retail names including George Home and Wren, and most recently, published her first book, The Sensory Home. Pippa possesses expertise unmatched in the interior industry.