Monday, January 14, 2008

I have shabby things because I'm poor.

Hubs and I went to dinner with another newly-married couple last week, and the discussion turned to 'decor' (through no fault of my own, I swear to god). The wife asked me what I thought of 'shabby chic'. And, even though I thought I had very strong opinions on the matter (strongly against), I found it hard to come up with a concrete answer. I think this is because several of the things in my apartment could definitely be classified as 'shabby' and a few of them might be considered 'chic', but none of them in that Rachel Ashwell way. And I can totally be smitten with a distressed table *or* chairs, though not usually used together. Basically, I often like pieces that convey some sort of history, whether they be proper antiques or just well-used-and-showing-it. But I *hate* new things meant to look shabby, crackle glaze, and 'richly worn patina' in a can.

So then I went and got this table off of Craigslist for $30:

Totally Shabby. Not So Chic.

But I loved the lines, and I'm a sucker for a turqoise used as a trim, even though I have no idea why the light turqoise looks so cobalt blue in that pic. But when we went to get it, it was a LOT more beat up than it looks in the pic. And there were stains of unknown provenance all over it. I knew immediately that it would be added to my long list of projects. But, since it will sit in our landing/entryway, I didn't want it to wait too long for attention. I got that sucker home, covered the kitchen/back porch with plastic cover, and got to spray painting. Note to self: next time, just use a can and a roller, will ya?

So, I just painted the cream-ish area white, and left the (organically) distressed turqoise as it was. I barely let it dry before putting it in the entryway. Project (hastily) done, with mixed results, but better than before, and now we have a place to hide our shoes:

The turqoise color is most accurate in the first of those two pics. And the table's many imperfections (and my severe impatience) necessitated the use of this edge-to-edge dupioni silk runner:

I love that footed bowl so much that I move it around to all of my tables, just trying to figure out where it would be best used. And that is the ONLY movie poster allowed in our apartment (much to the chagrin of my screenwriter/entertainment whipboy husband), and even it is only allowed because it's in Italian and black and white.


Crockpot Lady said...

bwahahahaha on the ultimate domestication! that cracks me up.

meeting and befriending married couples is hard. once you have kids, it's even harder. It seems that someone just doesn't ever click, and then later on, it's horrible if you can't stand the way they parent.

FWIW, we've been married 8yrs, together for 15 and JUST this past year found the most perfect couple/family to hang with. then they moved to Australia. for reals.

*love* the dresser. love craigslist!

Kids Got Hitched said...

Crockpot Lady -- your crockpotting is amazing. Love the quinoa thing that tasted like 'dirt'. You're bringing a lost art back, honey.

Yes, unless you're lucky enough to have two friends who hook up and get married (which we have a few, actually), it's really hard to make married friends. One of them always has some annoying habit or treats waiters like crap. said...

love, love, love, ove & love the post. LOVE antiques and even just wrecked old vintage American industrial stuff but hate new stuff made to look old with crackle finishes and the whatnot. Just makes my stomach turn.

And craigslist. It's the best.

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

yeah, I'm sorry Zeus Watson and I failed you on that whole "friends hook up and get married" front. You'll have to be satisfied with "friends who hook up and subsequently endure awkwardly casual conversations."

Also, I love this table. I love that you got it for $30. Just this week I actually SOLD my "shabby chic" (I actually used that phrase in my craigslist posting, to great effect) antique vanity table with gently abused creamy painted finish because, while I love it, it's super duper girly, and thus more representative of my taste as a 16-year-old poem-writer with Victorian leanings and three feet of hair than my current incarnation. Even more damning was the fact that it's not especially functional except as a dumping zone for small items of wardrobe detritus, and NYC apartment life isn't forgiving of "maybe I'll use it in the guest room someday" type of pieces.

That being said, I'm still not getting rid of my great-grandfather's drafting table. I haven't used it since presentation III, but it's staying. Right now it's attempting to make itself useful by propping up all the clothes I have to mend or get altered. That'll do.

The Nerdy Fashionista said...

one more thing: I LOVE the movie poster with it. The stark, graphic quality of the black & white is perfect against the prettiness of the table.