For some time, the phrase Shabby Chic was a buzzword in interiors. Cath Kidston, Kirstie Allsop et al encouraging us all to mix twee with retro with floral and come up with studied shabbiness. And I do love it to a degree but at home my husband (rightly) refuses any attempts of mine to girly up our home. And my two boys laugh in the face of a chintzy print. So in France, I indulge my girly side. I have wallpaper, I have quilts, I will attempt to smuggle in as many cushions as possible and I may even aim for some fringed lampshades at some point.
The house is so big that Mr White is sort of fine with some of it having a girly feel. And it rather suits the rambling, run down feel of it all. It would be odd to throw a state of the art, Italian marble kitchen into rural France (and we can’t afford it anyway!) so shabby chic it is. Thank god there’s a term for it, otherwise it would just be shabby! We had a shabby Christmas….
A shabby bedroom with laura Ashley josette wallpaper (just the words Laura and Ashley would send Mr White into a decline if I tried them in London)
We use outdoor furniture as a dining table (see above) but not for long readers! Dining room makeover coming soon…
And we use Cath Kidston Cowboy print A. LOT. I’ve always loved this print but have thus far only persuaded my male family to go with it in the form of an oilcloth tablecloth. For some reason in France they think its ok.
And we have lots of French Toile quilts which may be girly but they are perfect for snuggling under in the winter when watching Bullit on Peters 16mm projecter. Which I would argue is a boy version of shabby chic – old, slightly broken and not really as good as just buying Apple TV in terms of viewing pleasure but SO much more romantic. So you see, there’s a shabby chic for everyone.