Reply by JayT

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Posted on What Defines Shabby Chic in Furniture?

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5679 posts in 2238 days

#1 posted 06-24-2013 03:42 PM

Shabby – showing signs of wear and tear
Chic – stylish

That is what shabby chic should be, a stylish piece that shows the wear and tear of years of use (not abuse). Those pieces that renners linked to seem to me to be in the right design vein, even if the “wear and tear” is faked.

Unfortunately the term has been terribly abused. Shabby chic is not inexpensive and boring crap that has been abused or beat on to “make a statement”. If it was never stylish in the first place, calling it shabby chic will not make it so. I realize that every person’s idea of stylish varies, but pulling a busted up crate out of a dumpster and calling it stylish doesn’t qualify.

My wife and I own several pieces I would consider shabby chic. For instance, we have a couple of antique dressers that were good quality pieces when they were made about 70 and 100 years ago. Still perfectly functional, they show the use they have gotten, but are not broken or intentionally dinged. Sure, there are spider webbing cracks in the varnish, but I don’t know how anyone could fully replicate the depth of the color that time has provided. These were not purchased for any reason other than they are beautiful, functional and nicely complement the rest of the bedroom decor, which is a blend of modern and antique (the wife has a great design eye, I just have to try and make the rooms match her vision)

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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