While being a fan of Shabby Chic style, I prefer a little more chic then shabby (not modern, mind you, but just a little more taken care of).
I have never been a fan for an over-the-top aged, tattered or shabby/chippy look either.
I like things cleaner and fresher. Seeing something too aged or chippy makes me want to take a bath or inspect it for spiders...
In the 90's I had a hand painted furniture business for several years ("a Gilded Vine") where I specialized in Swedish Gustavian. Its a clean look with a bit of history to it. (Love the pale colors too.)
I have always believed in "upcycling" furniture and that's what I have been doing for almost 20 years now. Most of my own furniture is rescued and painted to suit my look.
That's why this beach cottage caught my eye.
(courtesy of Cottage Style Spring/Summer 2012)
This is a cottage done right.
The freshness of the pale lemon yellow and the periwinkle blue against a warm white will not grow old within a year. Its a timeless look with nice woodwork, well taken care of.
There is enough prettiness to keep it soft and enough practicality to make it easy to live with and clean (shutters on windows).
And nary an overly faux-aged piece of chippy furniture in sight!
I think a person could live a very long time here and be very happy.I know I could!!