I have always loved “natural, time-worn antique surfaces.” Basically, it’s the natural wear on an antique that comes from use and love over a long period of time and turns a piece from drab to fabulous. I’ve always admired the grannies that painted, repainted and painted furniture again to give it a fresh look. Time, elements and natural wear transformed many of their furniture items into one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

When Rachel Ashwell released her book “Shabby Chic” in 1996, it stirred up an appreciation for time-worn decor and real antiques that had some loss (chipped, missing or slightly damaged but completely functional). Kirk Albert, a friend in Seattle who coined the phrase “perfect imperfections,” has an amazing curated shop which has a personality all its own, and contains unique, rare and sought after antiques and vintage objects.

Do-it-yourselfers like Martha Stewart, have helped teach millions to try and get “the look” of natural worn antiques by using paint, sand paper, steel wool and power sanders on random pieces of furniture. The results of such efforts is similar to the “knock-off Gucci purses” bought on the streets. Some folks are happy with the outcome, but the value of these pieces is not lasting and the savvy will always recognize that they are not real. There are plenty of foreign manufacturers that reproduce “the look”. Savvy collectors and designers recognize reproduction and steer clear.

It all comes down to taste. At Splurge, we search high and low to find the best of the best in antique and real, time-worn furnishings. If you are seeking authentic, make sure it’s original.