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Decoding Interior Design Styles: Shabby Chic, Japandi, Glam

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

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Some of us are lucky enough to be gifted with a good decorating eye — no doubt a strength when working on an interior design project. For those of us who are less fortunate in the style department, having a basic understanding of various design styles can provide a strong foundation and framework to guide our personal taste and decisions.

As a part of our series, we will be decoding three interior design styles in this blog post: Shabby Chic, Japandi, and Glam. To read about other design styles, read our previous posts in this series here!

Shabby Chic

The Shabby Chic interior design style is all about a relaxed ambience and lived-in looks. It originated in Britain and was inspired by grand country houses. As such, its key characteristics are vintage elements and white linen.

It is essential to understand that Shabby Chic is not a singular style — it blends together old and new, contemporary and vintage.

The colour palette of the Shabby Chic style rests its base on neutral walls. Think off-white, grey, beige, and light stormy. This is especially important because the furniture and decor to follow will be characterful and full of personality, and neutral walls help keep the overall look balanced.

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Credit: Nimvo

The materials largely revolve around linen, muslin, and cotton in terms of fabrics. These may even be stained with tea to create a worn-out look. Floral and feminine patterns are also famous in the shabby chic design style.

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Credit: Decorilla

If you’re a fan of thrift store shopping, Shabby Chic is for you! The furniture of this design style is distressed and antique — something that largely contributes to the overall Shabby Chic feeling.

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As with other decor, Shabby Chic lighting features rustic elegance. In this design style, timeless chandeliers are splurged upon, creating a statement and preserving the vintage charm of the space.

To incorporate Shabby Chic style to your interior, complement a neutral base with antique furniture pieces. And be sure to display your favourite collectibles and accessories!


The Japandi interior design style brings together the best of Japan and Scandinavia in terms of design (Japandi — a blend of Japanese and Scandi). This design style focuses on aesthetics, minimalist styles, and functionality. It is a very intentional style, with each element having individual meaning and purpose.

The colour palette of Japandi is warm, calming, and rooted in neutrals, with beige, taupe, brown, white, and grey being prevalent in Japandi interiors. As such, a muted colour palette forms the basis of this design style.

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Japandi uses sustainable materials and appreciates natural fibres. Wood takes the prize, and is widely used in flooring and furniture. Additionally, rattan, cane, wicker, and bamboo are famous in Japandi style.

Furniture in this interior design style has a distinctly artisanal feel. Clean lines and minimalism should be its main features whilst also offering functionality.

Finally, Japandi lighting styles include pendants, floor lamps, sconces, and wall lamps. These double as accent decor in addition to illuminating the space.

To achieve Japandi style in your home, choose a tranquil colour palette, keep the decor minimal, and go big on sustainability. For example, repurpose old pieces and upcycle worn-out furniture. Also incorporate natural materials, such as terra cotta and plants.


With its luxury textiles and shimmery metallics, the Glam interior design style is glamorous, showy, and sensuous. The layouts are roomy and decor and accessories are minimal. This is because, amidst empty spaces and minimalism, ornate motifs and glittering textures are allowed to do the talking.

The colour palette of the Glam design style is minimal. You will often find neutrals topped with shimmery gold and silver. This is because the textures, patterns, and luxe elements are put under the limelight. From light colour schemes (including sandy brown and white) for an airy interior to darker options (such as grey and aubergine) for a moody interior, there’s plenty of diversity.

The materials involved are made to catch the eye. Mirrors, metallics, furs, and crystals — anything that is bound to turn heads are part of the Glam style.

Credit: Decorilla

Furniture in the Glam design style features luxury upholstery, sculptural lines, metal accents, and detailing. Velvet upholstery is particularly famous for the high-end look it creates, whilst lines are usually clean and minimalist.

The lighting is much of a splurge in the Glam style. Statement chandeliers and shimmery pendant lights take the prize, though all fixtures with high-end, glossy finishes would do the job.

Credit: Decorilla

To create a Glam interior, choose items with distinct textures and shimmery looks. Also think unique whilst designing — for example, tufted furniture and canopy beds. Finally, keep the colour palette minimal to allow your high-end selections to make their statement.

Final Words

And just like that, we have another three interior design styles down: Shabby Chic, Japandi, and Glam. Stay tuned to our blog for our next post on the series!

Need some help to define your style and translate it into your space? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on how to achieve an interior that you love.


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