I was looking for some of the bone-handled cutlery I collect on eBay-UK and just about every other listing referred to what they were selling as Shabby Chic. Honestly, I just hate that term. It’s applied to every old, chipped, banged and dented piece that is really only shabby and completely lacking the chic.
Rachel Ashwell was the one who coined the term shabby chic, and this is how Wikipedia defines it:
Shabby chic is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear, or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique. At the same time, a soft, opulent, yet cottage-style decor, often with an affected feel, is emphasized to differentiate it from genuine period decor.
At the time Rachel Ashwell started Shabby Chic, it was fun and new. She created the look out of economic necessity and frugality. But when it migrated to Target and other mass-market venues, it was D.O.N.E. She is now marketing Shabby Chic Couture, just to take it one step further!
As I search Pinterest, I find things like this horror: There’s nothing chic about it, it just looks shabby, especially with clothing hanging from the drawer, which doesn’t even look like it will close properly.
And then there’s the whole genre of things like this:It is a chair with no legs, hanging from the wall being used as a shelf. I just don’t get it. And it’s been pinned almost 3,000 times, including by someone called “Kountry Kupboards”. Bad spelling seems to go hand-in-hand with shabby chic.
When I was on Nate Berkus the first time, the woman on before my segment was big into shabby chic. Her husband hated it because the whole house looked like these images, with a massive dose of Paris- and Eiffel Tower-themed items thrown in.
Each and every holiday and occasion seems to have its own shabby chic idea, and weddings seem to come in for the bulk of those. I’d be a little unhappy if anything about my wedding was described as shabby. Painting glass items and sanding them off appears to be a central motif.
Clearly, the trend has jumped the shark when you see a microwave that’s been transformed into a shabby chic accessory.Yes, I know I am being mean and bitchy. Yes, I know a lot of people love this look, but when every other item in the antiques section of eBay is referred to as shabby chic, I just want to tear my hair out! Most of what I see is hardly shabby, and it’s certainly not chic.