Shabby Chic

This isn't my cupboard. Mine has long been consigned to that great rubbish tip in the sky!

Shabby chic may be very trendy but the better half is not impressed! He's a properly trained and qualified cabinetmaker and the sight of distressed furniture distresses him beyond measure. 

In fact, a few years ago he was asked to “distress” a bespoke item and I swear I saw tears in his eyes as he carefully gouged out small chips and sanded paint away from corners to make it look like it had been created by a Victorian carpenter and had  been shunted from pillar to post for 150 years or so.

Personally, I don't mind a touch of shabby chic. To my eyes, if not to his, it can look characterful and comforting. Who wants to live in a house that looks straight out of Ideal Homes? A bit of shabby chic can make a house feel like a home.

In fact a while back I had a go at customising a small bedroom cupboard. I found an article on the internet about distressing furniture. Out came the sandpaper, a chisel, a sponge and two colours of paint. Half a day later and I had certainly achieved my aim of turning a perfectly good piece of furniture into something that looked old and battered.

The better half came home from work and went to the bedroom to fetch a book. There came a yell. “What the hell have you done to that cupboard?” I huffed and puffed. “You know NOTHING!” I yelled back. “It’s been distressed. It’s all the rage now.” 

He shouted back, ‘Distressed? It’s bloody mortified!’ 

[If some of my regular readers are getting a slight feeling of déjà vu with some of my recent posts, it's because I have started going through this website and deleting some hideously out of date posts and updating others.]

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  1. I have mixed feelings about the shabby chic look. I don't mind them if years have actually aged a piece of furniture to layers of paint but to take a perfectly good piece and distress it distresses me.

    We once spent several hundred dollars getting a dresser stripped and refinished and the wood was something really rare and beautiful. Since it had been in my husband's family for years rather than sell it, we asked a niece if she's like it. She was thrilled and we were shocked the next time we saw it because she'd painted and distressed it. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

  2. I like shabby chic. I bet Toffee would be willing to help you give a piece the distressed look. :) XO

  3. I don't like "artificial" shabby chic, people often distress the pieces in places where distressing would not normally happen. Like in that photo above, the "wear" is in places that would not normally wear away AND it is rubbed back too far. I once saw "distressed" furniture in a shop where it was obvious much of the distressing had been done by pressing red hot screws into the wood. A really bad look. Furniture that has become naturally worn over many years is much nicer.

  4. Lived in is good. But there gets to be a point when something is too on trend. I think the shabby chic look is beginning to fade a bit now.

  5. Ugh... Do what you want, I say.