15 Apr 2013

Shabby chic - the Course Syllabus

Somethng ROSY*
This passion is almost as deep as the one that bound Frost with Nixon.
I am about to make a serious personal disclosure:
I know - it's women's porn - but it is irresistible.
Especially when the radio propaganda and the grimy grayness outside is trying to convince us that  world is in shambles and we head for the poorhouse because of what Greece and now Cyprus is doing to the world of international finance.

For about a year I visit those gorgeous, fun, nostalgic, entertaining blogs devoted to staging, photography, home decorating, vintage and antique decorating, textiles, patterns, silly but sometimes seriously marketable stuff.

It is a Colour Therapy of sort in white, rosy, and rustic.
The blogs are mostly edited by women, many sell their products at Etsy, some own Antique dealership operations, some are professional photographers and others just enthusiasts of Fine Living in a certain vintage/rustic style.
There's got to be a fair load of nostalgia. In reality the danger of kitsch that nostalgia tends to evoke or demand is there. That very danger and the balance make styling sooo much fun...

While scouting over German, Polish, UK and above all - the Scandinavian blogs, I did some detective work to sort out what gets on IN. There are certain characteristic of the style, including:
  • combing and mixing vintage or rustic looking objects with art in modern or older architecture
  • using textiles that suggest artfulness or craft
  • creating atmospheric scenarios within populated space
  • promoting found objects, originality, art and style
Here are the "obligatory" accessories that are must-have among blog-loving hive.
See if you have it, if you really speak the lingo, if you belong.

Judging by my research some of the essential props of the Shabby Chic, Rustic, Vintage etc are:
Tureen - une soupière, a soup vase, preferably white.
I don't know why, this is an absolute pre-requisite,
y ALL have it and broadcast it very adamantly;
During my times it was used only during great occasions and it was always present at organized vacations - in resort, when several people dined at the same time.


Mannequin - this too, you do not belong if you don't have one, I was a bit nervous because the item did not strike me as a common item, but probably, like a secret masonic sign - you either have it, or you just don't make it. 
 like here  

 Other MUST-Haves follow:

Vårt gamla skåp i matsalen
Old Armoires

Old books with gilded spines

Rustic wood

White dinnerware

Cafe au lait bowl

Reclaimed chandelier

Angels, folk art

Old cupboards with white dinnerware
Strategically positioned B&W photography

Oh, in Swedish interior decor lore, there is one more item that is distinctly and firmly required:
Antique, painted Portrait of the Ancestor, 
an important proof of noble protoplast tissue...

Portrait of an Ancestor
(could be unframed but definitely better in some
gilded frame)


Hmmm, when you look closely it almost appears that the two portraits below are of a same man, he just turned the other way for the second sitting...

That's the beauty of a trend, a fashion - it makes us look so much alike...

Butterfly collections

This lady, who posted just a drawn facsimile of the "mandatory butterfly collection" must be congratulated for her sense of good taste.

Oh no, I almost forgot, most IMPORTANTLY:
  • CATS - the more you have, the more seasoned your position...
  • lots of things with French writing...
  • Something French, like Eiffel Tower
  • and something rosy...

* Note: The amount of rosiness in your styling is a variant that will determine whether you are an American stylist of Norther European. The Scandinavians dispense with the rosy, but the English don't. The Americans love it...

I have tried to see if I "measure up, my realization was powerful - I think that with age, before I knew it I have started to speak the lingo and I even do own a white Tureen!
I speak PROSE!

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