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Country Cottage Chic

If you’re not a fan of today’s slick minimalist styles and neutral monochrome colour schemes then you may just be a fan of Country Cottage Chic (also known as Shabby Chic or French Antique style). Since it’s been around for at least two decades now you’ll no doubt have encountered the interiors look at some point – women’s boutique retail stores and quaint seaside tea rooms tend to favour it (certainly, it terms of catering establishments, it fits in beautifully with the cupcake and pastel crockery vibe).

How to get the shabby chic look

The look involves mixing vintage accessories (think antique silver mirrors and candle sticks) with fabrics such as cotton and lace and on, for example, tablecloths, throws and cushions.54eb61fc1c2eb_-_03-a-cottage-revival-dining-room-0314-dgqfmg-s2

Colour-wise you’re looking at unobtrusive pastel shades such as mint green, buttermilk yellow, duck egg blue and champagne pink. The light green cupboard and blue dining table in this kitchen in Arkansas in the States, is a perfect example of this style’s colours. The fact the table has been ‘distressed’ to look worn is all part of the country cottage charm too.  Here are some country decorating ideas.


Continuing with the distressed theme, this bedroom has taken country style (with its philosophy of keeping everything natural and simple) to a whole new level with these repurposed doors – which now form an unusual and quirky headboard.  Keep it fresh with these simple designs.

Mixing and matching old and newL_16874_Felix_WEB

The great appeal when it comes to this design style is that it’s not expensive if you’re prepared to put in some time and have a creative bent. It is ideal though to have some significant and impressive pieces to help tie the look in (and baffle guests as to whether that junk job find is truly second hand or an expensive accessory you’ve saved months for). This Felix Wing Chair for instance, certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a country cottage/shabby chic style sitting room or bedroom.  You can find it among our occasional chair range.

Keep the backdrop neutral

A neutral, calming backdrop of cool-tone neutrals such as soft whites and cream works well with metallics and wood (both prevalent materials in the look). It also means there’s not too much of a clash with the blue and red gingham or the pretty faded florals that this style also demands. And on that note, it’s worth pointing out that country cottage/shabby chic is unashamedly feminine. These beautiful Country Hedgerow Linen Pillows would add colour to a lovely white cotton covered sofa or look fab propped up against a headboard.


Complementary items include a wood-burning stove and a wrought iron bedstead (whether antique or reproduction) with vintage-fashion blankets and quilt covers. Fresh wild flowers in old-fashioned metal water jugs are a must, so too is a large metallic or white wooden framed dressing mirror placed casually against a wall and draped with a silk scarf or three.

Need more country cottage chic inspiration? Contact our experts for advice on 01252 325525

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