What is distressed furniture?

What is distressed furniture?

Posted by Sophia Peters On 16th Dec 2019 In shabby chic, distressed furniture, vintage style, interior design

Everyone likes their home to be cosy. Little touches of nostalgia here and there make the home more welcoming and a place where people want to stay. Distressed furniture is a popular way to achieve this feel, lending a weathered look to items which might actually be brand new. Think of vintage photo frames and rustic wooden picture frames, worn dressers and bureaus, and chairs which look like they’ve seen some real history. These are the type of “ shabby chic” items that fall under the category of distressed furniture.

shabby chic interior design

How to get the distressed look

There are a number of different methods interior designers use to get that distressed look. It really depends on what type of furniture is being distressed and what each piece is made of.

Wooden furniture which is painted is often given an extra coat of paint, which is then rubbed with sandpaper to create a worn and used feeling. Some items might be worn just a little, others might be heavily distressed if being slotted into an existing rustic or vintage setting.

Other methods include using steel wool to create lines and marks which resonate with age. A brand new dining table with carved legs can become an “antique” piece which looks like it’s moved home with you for generations. Tiny details like a little wear on outer curves, or a weathered look around where elbows have been rested, make a table look like an heirloom rather than a piece straight out of the showroom.

Simple ways to achieve a vintage style

Vintage and distressed style isn’t just about those big pieces of furniture. It also doesn’t have to be an expensive look. Tiny touches around the home such as shabby chic photo frames can lend accents of nostalgia.

Begin by assessing your living space. What’s your overall style goal? Do you want vintage photo frames and antique style ornaments as a contrast to an ultra-modern home? Or do you want to make your entire home as retro as possible?

If it’s the former option, a few key pieces can create the clever accents you need. Rustic wooden picture frames with a warm, weathered look can hold your favourite art, a family photo, or even one of the kids’ pictures. An unusual contrast is to put a really modern piece of art in a distressed photo frame, for an eye-catching juxtaposition of styles.

Working vintage photo frames into a fully rustic style is, of course, fairly easy. You’re simply complementing your existing style with accessories that fit right in. A charming, country style kitchen will suit distressed photo frames, perhaps holding a family recipe that’s been handed down for generations. Sit distressed photo frames on the corner of dressers or shelves to hold family photos and make your home your own.

The best distressed photo frames

If you’re not crafty, don’t worry. Distressed photo frames don’t need to be painstakingly made in your own home. There are plenty of great options available to buy to make getting that vintage look even easier.

Wooden distressed photo frames are always popular, like the Oslo Spoon Distressed Walnut Frame. The wood in this frame is quite wide, and thoroughly worn to the point of being white in places. It looks like a real antique and is perfect for pieces of art, nostalgic pictures or even collages of memories. Why not fill one with pictures of a friend’s birthday or wedding and give it as a gift?

Another popular look in the shabby chic photo frames category is the distressed paint look. This is where paint is deliberately worn away to reveal the surface (usually wood) beneath. The Oslo Spoon Rustic Distressed White Photo Frame is a great example of this. This looks like the type of frame you would have found in an old chest in an attic somewhere, with something surprising held within it. This type of frame is perfect for complementing a modern white bathroom. It adds a touch of whimsy and breaks up the stark whiteness with the little fleck of wood peeking through the distressed surface.

When it comes to shabby chic photo frames, sometimes it’s about letting the natural qualities of the materials shine through. The Shabby Chic Rustic Scoop Grey Wood Grain Photo Frame lets the grain of the wood speak for itself. Available in a variety of sizes, this type of frame stands out against smooth, sleek surfaces by reminding the viewer of rougher, more tactile textures. It also fits in perfectly with more rustic stylings, making it a completely versatile choice.

What colour should my vintage photo frames be?

That’s really up to you and your own sense of personal style. As we’ve already hinted at, white frames can both complement and contrast, depending on where you use them. Try a distressed white frame in a white room, and notice how the rough and intriguing texture actually enhances the smoothness of the rest of the room.

Alternatively, try that same frame in a room filled with dark rich woods or sumptuous, heavy curtains, and you might find that it brings a touch of light whilst accentuating how intimate the surroundings are.

White is generally the colour of purity and cleanliness. Grey indicates an ordered mind, and black is forever stylish. Take a look at colour psychology in relation to interior design to figure out what your vintage photo frames are going to say about your home.