Lifestyle ~ Shabby Chic
The term Shabby Chic was coined in the 80s, when the British middle classes wanted to recreate the chintz and opulence of a country house with the air of faded grandeur that only comes with decades, if not centuries of love with a hint of abandonment.
Thanks to Linda Barker and Changing Rooms, Shabby Chic came to the masses; who hasn’t tried to distress a piece of furniture, only to end up feeling pretty distressed when you’ve ruined a perfectly good piece of pine?!
But this isn’t a trend the French actively try to achieve; it’s as innate and authentic as the Gallic Shrug…. Who hasn’t been at the receiving end of one of those?
You won’t find department stores selling pre-distressed furniture, or Brocante
markets with mass produced Vintage Champagne crates here.
It’s impossible not to wander around a village or town in France and see evidence of slightly dishevelled shutters, flowers growing through pavements, and a vague appearance of neglect. The whole ethos of Shabby Chic is symbiotic of the French way of life, laid-back and facile, harking back to a time when….
No matter how hard I try, I can’t pull off the look, I appear more Shabby than Chic; perhaps instead of trying to replicate a style, I should do as the French do, and shrug it off, and allow nature to take its course, to flake away the paint, and let the flowers grow with reckless abandon…. Failing that, maybe find a new style to try and replicate, I’m thinking New England Hamptons house elegance?!