Summertime at the cottage.
Barefoot walks to the beach nearby.
The soft scent of perennial blooms in the morning air.
Old-fashioned sheer curtains billowing in the night breeze.
And a nostalgic vintage chenille bedspread beckoning you to relax.
Once prolific in American home décor for decades, vintage chenille bedspreads slipped into relative obscurity as consumers favored other linens to adorn their beds.
Many reading this right now may not really even be able to remember true chenille in all its glory during the late 1930s to 1960s era.
Yet, a niche market still exists for all things vintage chenille, from cozy bedspreads to snuggly robes & shabby chic pillows.
3 Reasons Cottage Chic & Chenille Are a Perfect Match
If you love cottage chic decor, here’s a summary of our top 3 reasons to integrate this tufted, texturized textile into your treasured space:
1- Vintage chenille lends its characteristic cottage charm to any room. Few textiles bring instant, effortless cottage chic goodness like chenille. Its very presence seems to invoke a welcoming warmth and a coziness that’s hard to match. Given that many people describe chenille as feeling like a “big bear hug,” it’s unsurprising that it so easily sprinkles its vintage charm wherever its placed.
2- Chenille fabric is surprisingly versatile. One of the biggest myths to dispel about vintage chenille bedspreads is that that they’re outdated, kitschy, over-the-top, or too colorful to fit into any modern decor. Indeed, some fit that description, but many chenille spreads are available in solid colors and more classic patterns – think Bates, or traditional wedding ring patterns.
3- (Most) chenille is easy to care for, provided you’re ok with some fluffy tufts floating around. Many people don’t realize how simple caring for a chenille bedspread can be. True, there are some vintage artifacts that are best used as display pieces only. Your average chenille bedcover will do well in a standard washing machine. It typically loves the dryer (don’t be alarmed by all that lint – chenille can be a big shedder).
When durability is important, we typically recommend Fieldcrest bedspreads – over the years, we’ve found their well-known hobnail cabbage rose patterns to be virtually indestructible, provided you care for them properly.
Textile Tip: Avoid leaving chenille out in a humid, wet environment – it can compromise the fabric over time and lead to destructive dry rot and fabric weakening.
5 simple ways to incorporate vintage chenille into your cottage chic decor:
1- For a vintage-meets-modern look, pair a vintage chenille bedspread featuring a simple design with smooth cotton accent pillows in country calicos or bold geometrics, depending on your design visions.
2- Stock up on a few summer weight chenille coverlets and stack them in an open linen cupboard or on a vintage wicker shelf to add color & texture to any space.
3- Layer, layer, layer! Why have just one chenille bedspread on your bed, when you could have 2 or 3? Layering isn’t just for on-trend outfits – choose a few of your favorite spreads for an effortlessly chic impression in your bedroom. Plus, if you enjoy switching things up a bit, its easy to swap out one bedspread for another so you can enjoy a fresh look.
4- Amp up the cozy factor with curtains made from a vintage chenille bedspread. The possibilities are endless – go with silky satin tufted with chenille for a little Hollywood Glam fun. Or use chenille quilt squares to make your own patchwork curtains for a quaint country atmosphere.
5- Try a chenille accent pillow (or two or three). There’s no doubt that it’s become more challenging to source chenille now – even at local estate sales and auctions, the once plentiful supply has dwindled. So if it’s been hard to find your perfect spread, opt for a few pretty cottage chic pillows to add gentle charm.
As you consider your own cozy cottage décor, have fun and get creative – even small changes can transform a space. In the words of Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Home is the nicest word there is.”