Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's Aint' Over Until the Shabby Old House Sings

I was innocently sitting watching HGTV one day and little did I know that my world was about to change in a very big way. There was a series that came on every day and the hostess was the most interesting lady. Her style, " Shabby Chic," captured what I knew was lurking in my soul, and yet until then I had never let myself express it in my own personal decorating style. Did I dare bring to my nest, roses and ruffles and lace and "WHITE," where baseball gloves and fishing lures and footballs reigned free.
So I became her student of Shabby Chic style, tuning in each day and coming away with ideas of what my beautiful home would one day look like. However, the problem was that we had just built a home and decorated it and I couldn't for all practical reasons change my decor without having my head lopped off by my most wonderful husband. But the Shabby Chic passion seemed to be an incurable one. What was I to do? I found myself finding little shops and antique booths that would scratch my itch for just a bit but it wasn't enough. The passion persisted. I soon rented space in an antique mall and started the hunt for wonderful old furniture that I could transform. I found such satisfaction in seeing the end result and soon I opened a shop which lead to buying trips in our RV which I of course turned into a rolling Shabby Chic haven. Then one day on a buying trip through a sweet old town in Alabama I found her, our sweet Shabby Old House. What if we bought her and made her a Bed and Breakfast. And so started the beginning of our retirement plan. As you can see from the previous post, The Shabby Old House has seen many changes over the course of time, and I owe it all to that fateful day watching a TV show on HGTV and a style called Shabby Chic and now, due to Ms. Ashwell's inspiration,
I will never own a bed without roses and down covering it.

Before my table would have all been surrounded with matchy matchy chairs and dishes had I not discovered the beauty of mismatched items.
And God forbid that my windows be covered with anything but lace having seen the beauty of morning's light through it's beautiful design.

I don't miss details like I use to.

Give me lots of lace and roses and put it all over the house even the throne room.

Find me a beautiful piece of old furniture and I will find a purpose or repurpose for it.

Old mirrors, old lamps and old joy.

Mirrors with age and chipped old washing bowls don't bother me now. There is such beauty in their imperfection.

Rose dishes are beautiful anywhere you want to place them.

And holidays aren't holidays unless they are dripping with lace.

And by all means thrill me lots of architectural details.

And who can have enough chandeliers dripping with sparkling crystals.

The old sofa awaits my paint brush of creamy white paint to bring out the details of the carved birds on the wood trim. I may have passed her up in her horrible kelly green cloth had Rachel not caused me to see beyond the ugly to the possibility.

And what can be said about beautiful hard wood floors except cover them with beautiful hooked rugs.

Pocket doors and old hardware.. In fact I look for old doors and hardware now to create things for the shop.

A room comes together and all from great flea market finds. Once my rooms were put together from the showroom floors and most likely my neighbor had the same look.

Old buffets and sideboards painted and distressed just so.

Slipper chairs now come dressed for dinner.

What discoveries I have found of other kindred spirits and their wonderful finds.
I have made so many new friends because of this passion.

I have never had a chandelier in the bathroom before or lace shower curtains.

I became a collector of rose dishes and drank more tea just because!

My holidays are not only filled with special memories and people but beauty!

Old green cabinets became PINK and distressed to see the green.

I began to cover my chairs with "White." ( ruffles are in the making)

Walls were painted to make the creamy white furniture pop.

The ceiling tins were painted with a slight bit of PINK.

And somehow I just don't mind this old kitchen now. She is shabby and old however fresh paint and roses make her blush with new found charm.

Again with the PINK!

Remember how the old bath was yellow and blue before?

Glass knobs and rose dishes...who knew how pretty this old green kitchen could be.

There is still much to do but I imagine there always will be.
But I look forward to finding just the right fabric and lace. The thrill of the hunt keeps me going.
I know it is out there. I found the valances in an antique mall so I must be patient,
for that is the secret to Shabby Chic living.
Beauty is out there.
We just have to go find it!
And it won't be over until the Shabby Old House Sings!


It's good to look back. It makes you appreciate where you have been.
The days were filled with passion and purpose even though they were hard days of blood, sweat and tears.

You learn to really appreciate the strengths of others who worked by your side.
You could see what was not yet there and what others would have walked away from

You remember now with laughter what was one of the worst messes you ever experienced.

You laughed and were disqusted at the same time.

The clean up seemed endless.

You legs ached from being on a ladder all day.

And thinking you had filled the last crack with plaster you discovered yet another one.

You put up with colors even matching them just so they would look a bit cleaner.

You could see pretty even when it was ugly.

And you started collecting lots of rose dishes for that someday that would one day arrive.

And you were wowed and continue to be wowed with the beautiful mantels.

You got excited over pocket doors that got pryed loose.

You couldn't wait for a shower to wash yet another days grime from your body.

You were amazed with your discoveries under the wallpaper.

And thrilled even more to find hardwood floors.

You turned closets into bathrooms.

Anticipated the thrill of what something would look like once painted and

Cleaned up.

Plans got foiled but you pressed on making the best of your contractor's neglect.

Knowing that one day you would look back on your diamond in the rough and


Seeing your labor of love turn into a home.