Tarnished Perfect, Shabby Chic

Tarnished Perfection

Why do we love antiques? So many reasons. The stories they tell, the repurposing, the “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to”. Rachel Ashwell (of Shabby Chic) laid this all out for us in the late ‘80s. She made the tarnished component look, well, perfect! She created a vibe that induced comfortable alongside stylish. Gone were the days of “please don’t sit on that!” or “that looks like it needs to be polished!” or even “straighten that bedspread”. This style works for some of us. Others, it may not be a total slam dunk. However, whether you go all out or you choose to only sprinkle the tarnished and comfortable throughout your home, we are sharing how to get this look across without coming off decayed or stale. This style is delicate and balances between country décor and the elegance of vintage-inspired elements.

Tarnished Perfection, Shabby Chic

Tarnished metal, chipped paint and imperfection tells stories. Finding a way to have these elements co-exist with other tones, finishes and contrasting textures may open your eyes to the shabby chic aesthetic. A new “perfect” may be created for a well-rounded home. We love the look of tarnished. Our home is overflowing with perfectly imperfect love. Take for example our back-staircase. The walls are bead board and they were here waiting for us. Originally, we thought we’d want to clean slate this area by removing the bead board and adding drywall, but we are so happy we chose against this thought. When we started renovating, we had horrible luck with our first painter, right off the bat. Every day he worked with us was a struggle and far after he left we find more imperfections in his work. We were so inundated that we didn’t have the time to call on a new painter, so we muddled through with this tough guy. In most spots, he did not properly sand the walls before applying a new coat of paint. At first (especially in our back-staircase area) we were very upset, but as time has gone by we realize how the imperfect-ness of this bead board actually works! It is almost as if it is expected to look the way it does. Family and friends romanticize over this bead board. They always ask us “was this here originally in 1890?”. Plus, as our family grew we realized all the love and stories WE would be adding to this bead board. Hence, it now makes us happy to look at its imperfections. We shared about this same love of the tarnished when we talked about our farm table, too.

Tarnished Perfection on Walls

To get on the track of Shabby Chic won’t take much (design, time and money will be kept at bay, believe it or not)….

  • There are lots of DIY shabby chic for furniture. Take this into consideration. You may already have a piece (like a dresser or nightstand) that you love so consider researching DIY shabby chic on a piece of furniture!
  • Add florals into your fabric/wall covering/linen scheme. This language of subtle florals speaks to Shabby Chic very well. Accent these florals with some subtle stripes or polka dots and you’re well on your way.
  • Don’t get kooky about chips in the wall paint, the cracks and chips from human touch on a dresser or dining room chair. Remember, these tarnished perfections tell a story. They share a tale that give that piece of furniture a “fully been loved and still being loved” look. Like the bead board walls in our back-staircase space, the dings in the paint are years of stories being passed down.
  • A touch of nature helps. Shabby Chic designs is partly inspired by a country living style, so why not bring the outdoors in. Freshly cut bouquets and dried floral accents are a part of the Shabby Chic staples. We love this one because you can switch it up throughout your home, based on season, feeling & mood or outside inspiration.
  • White, soft walls. Subtle floral wallpapers. Easy enough. Think pastels, calming.
Tarnished Perfection, Shabby Chic
Tarnished Perfection on Furniture

Shabby Chic is a wonderful vibe that marries comfort, elegance, calm and charm to any dwelling. The fact that it touches on country is why we think this is such a great design match for a farmhouse. Consider making this interior design a part of your home!

Tarnished Perfection, Shabby Chic

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