Photo from Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic (tm) site.
I have been busy today working on my Style Quiz for Robyn Crops. I guess I had the idea that it would be pretty quick and easy. (Ha,ha). The whole point of it is A: something fun, but also B: a seriously useful tool for me to get to know what kind of scrapbook layouts and design style appeal to potential clients. So the answers have to be serious.
I realized that the first thing I should do is not think up crazy questions, but define the answers or the results to which the answers point. You know what I mean, the part where they say "if you answered mostly C you are an optimist with a disconcerting habit of climbing trees at every opportunity".
So I thought I would start by developing Aesthetic Preference Profiles (six times fast, please). I'm confirming for myself that style is a continuum and people who might love a particular style (eg Retro) will still slide back and forth into the neighboring or transitional styles too. I'll be bringing it back to scrapbooking though, and what might be overwhelming covering the largest room of your house, could be perfectly fine within a memory album, or in one small shadow box.
Today I've been researching Shabby Chic/Cottage Style - to quote Rachel Ashwell's site seeing "the beauty of imperfections...the allure of the timeworn...dilapidated elegance...faded velvet". The style has a lot of white and pastels, mismatched and mostly floral motifs, natural materials (wood, stone, brick, marble, linen and cotton), as well as the concept of "honorable repairs adding additional character". There's lace and embroidery. At the cottage end of the continuum live Liberty Prints, but the clusters of blooms, rather than the Art Nouveau style, Laura Ashley and tea sets. Furniture is often traditional, Queen Ann's, Victorian but then whitewashed and sanded. The most practical aspect? Slipcover - white or cream but washable.
At the other end of this sliding scale is the Arts and Crafts Movement, Stickley, Mission furniture and William Morris. For William Morris to be Shabby Chic it has to go through some bleach first.
You might be a Shabby Chic enthusiast if your favorite detective is Miss Marple, one of your favorite movies is Picnic at Hanging Rock, and your favorite color is tea dyed.
Nether Wallop which doubles as St. Mary Mead,
home of Jane Marple. Still thatched even today.
So scrapbooking with layers, lace, a whiter shade of pale, florals and silk flowers, worn text, aging and gentle distressing and natural elements. I'll rustle up a page or two in this style and post it over at Iggy Jingles soon.
Watch this space for more Aesthetic Preference Profiles. I should trademark that phrase....