26 November 2007

Names Can Be Deceiving: Shabby Slips

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Veranda's September 2007 cover story features Houston designer Renea Abbott and her work - a large, Provencal-inspired home built in California. The finished product is the culmination of years of toil: construction alone lasted over three years. This project catapults Abbott into the upper echelons of the design business, something she truly deserves. The "farmhouse," as it is referred to, is a study in timeless design - aged materials were used throughout and careful attention was given to the most minute details in order to ensure authenticity. The result of all this labor is a home truly deserving of recognition for its designer. Rather than doing interiors that are faithful to its farmhouse style, Abbott's choices are instead sometimes surprising and yet, always fresh. The front cover with the Cy Twombly over an 18th century mantel epitomizes Abbott's eclectic "look" - the modern mixed with the antique. Both ends of that spectrum are represented by sophisticated pieces. This type of design mix is familiar to Houstonians long aware of Renea Abbott.

Best known as the proprietress of the store Shabby Slips, Abbott has garnered much local press, mostly showcasing her own frequently changed dwellings. The store started out with a simple premise - slipcovers handmade to cover the plush, down-filled sofas and chairs that filled her shop. Everything was white back then, but things at Shabby Slips are different now. The walls are a deep, dark shade. Wonderful, period antiques have taken over floor space formerly reserved for the masses of cushy upholstery. In fact, slipcovers are no longer even offered to the public. The direction of the store, but not it's name, has changed completely and this is probably somewhat confusing to the uninitiated. Regardless of the misleading name, the changes at Shabby Slips could not be more gorgeous. Large, gilt chandeliers glitter over the gilded finishes of the antiques. Mid century lacquered pieces vie for attention with rustic oddities. Exotic lamps are fashioned from rock and crystal. The atmosphere in the store has taken on the air of an exquisite jeweled box. Elegance, certainly not shabby, is the key word here. Always in motion, Abbott has branched out with additional Shabby Slips in Austin and New Orleans. And in Santa Fe, her mother Barbara Carlton runs a store there with a decidedly different, more western feel. If visiting Houston, Shabby Slips should be a must stop on the antique shopper's agenda.


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Sparse, yet elegant hallway in the Californian farmhouse.



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The dining room.


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The master bathroom with the double shower placed behind the tub.


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Beautiful Californian garden with limestone table and Rose Tarlow chairs.


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Shabby Slips: gilt antique furniture, contemporary fabrics.



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More antiques with a surprising Global Views table.


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Crystal obelisks on lacquered trays.



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More gilt, more modern.



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A lamp with a modern rock crystal base.



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Another interesting lamp base.



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Finally, a sofa meant for slip covers!



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An unusual zebra upholstered chair.



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A typically untypical Abbott tablescape.


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The mix that Abbott is known for: slipcovered furniture, antique crystal chandeliers, rustic coffeetable.



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The old mixed with the new.



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Out back, behind a gate, through a back yard - Shabby Slips recently expanded into a neighborhood house.




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In the house annex, things are definitely more casual.



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Someone could move right into the shop's annex.



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Notice the rug from Creative Flooring. This is my favorite 'skin' pattern.



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Wonderful card table with a mix of chairs.


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I love how the curtains are tied back in this room.


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And lastly, Abbott's attempt at being hip: two pink, Palm Beach inspired chairs.



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Shabby Slips in Santa Fe - more rustic than the Houston locale. Religious santos and crosses are popular here.



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Antlers and horns are sold in Santa Fe with it's more western ambience.



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Slipcovers are still emphasized in Santa Fe, unlike in Houston. Two Shappy Slips staples: club chairs with linen slips and down cushions -the best combination ever!!!

24 comments:

  1. Joni, I am a "someone" who could easily move into the shop's annex. It's absolutely beautiful.

    This post is absolutely beautiful!

    Thank you again!

    Pat

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  2. One of my absolute favorite magazine covers of all time. You just can't beat a French chair, upholstered in white, in front of a contemporary piece of art. Thanks for sharing more on this designer. I am truly inspired.

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  3. Fabulous spread! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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  4. Joni
    Well you have done it again. A wonderful post. There is something in this store for everyone. I particularly like the crystal obelisks and the dark walls which set off the white furniture perfectly.

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  5. Love the Santa Fe shop. The dark floor and the dark colonial furniture really makes all that white pop. It also has a more grown up feel.
    The amount of space they have is amazing.

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  6. Love the look of the Sante Fe shop, especially those 2 chairs in the last photo.

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  7. I thought the Shabby shop in Santa Fe was closed? I know Barbara Carlton( Renea's mother) has moved to La. to a farm ....Did they sell it to someone new?

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  8. Thanks everyone - wow - it seems like people like the Santa Fe store better! Brilliant A: I agree - that is one of my favorite Veranda covers of all time - that color.

    To Anon - I hadn't heard that the SF store closed, it's possible, I'll find out. But Barbara had a big spread in Western Interiors a few months ago and the web site is still on the magaaine's sources page. You may be right though.

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  9. I have loved Renea Abbott's work for so long! I've saved all of her Paper City spreads; her most recent house (close to you in Southampton?) is my favorite. I keep trying to convince my husband that I want to paint our walls a dark grey, but he insists that it's "trendy" and I'll get tired of it. He's wrong, isn't he? (And, anyway, it's just paint!)

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  10. Joni - The client, whose home I posted on Monday, has a home in Santa Fe and is a great fan of Shabby Slips. She has picked up some amazing pieces there. Thanks for the peak at the other locations as well.

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  11. I love, love, love Shabby Slips. Their showroom is fantastic. I try to travel to Santa Fe, as often as I
    can, I will look for their showroom there.

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  12. Lovely post, as always. Such inspiring photos, thank you! I could move in to that shop.
    xo

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  13. Think they'll open a store in Atlanta???!!!!

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  14. Thanks Joni! What a great post. I like the Santa Fe shop too! And the Annex. These spaces are so livable. My Mom lived in Santa Fe (well..really Galesteo outside of Santa Fe) for over 15 years, so I loved to visit her there and SHOP!.

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  15. We need a Shabby Slips in Atlanta! I think it would do SO well here.

    Great post! I love the style. Where is Shabby Slips in Houston? Did they recently move?

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  16. Thanks Joni for all your hard work in bringing us the beautiful photos and updates.
    I'm lovin the look.

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  17. Lovely interiors. I'm glad that I popped by!

    KJ
    California

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  18. Joni, where in Houston is her shop?

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  19. I love the sofas and the darkwood floors mixed with lighter upholstery. Beautiful post :-)

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  20. What a fantastic shop, I found 5 things I have to have right now! Another great post Joni!!! I must visit this shop on my next TX trip in the area.

    ~Kate

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  21. Gorgeous medley of coveted items, but I do hope that zebra chair is faux (let's not kill wild animals for the sake of a shabby piece of furniture, hmmm?! Bad karma) The club chairs are so inviting.

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