Monday, 30 April 2012

Absolutely Fabulous Inspiration...

What do you see when you look at this picture? Edina dressed in another 'imaginative' outfit? Patsy flouting the non-smoking law on TV whilst her hair defies gravity? Bubbles being her usual outrageously 'air-headed' self? Perhaps you just see one of those silly British 'comedy' shows, that you never bothered to watch and didn't understand what all the fuss was about anyway? Well - let me tell you what I see. I see a beautiful painted French armoire in the background, with open shelving and fabulously co-ordinated crockery at the end of a scrubbed French style refectory table.
Seriously. That's what I see. I don't see any eccentric TV characters. I have complete tunnel vision when it comes to spotting a bit of inspiration - no matter from how unlikely a source the inspiration may have come. Now personally, I thought that Ab Fab was fairly amusing in my youth, but not so much now. However, I found myself staring transfixed at the Christmas Special for one reason and one reason alone. That divine, painted, open shelved armoire in the kitchen. You see, I have a long, thin wooden French refectory table in my family room which leads on to my kitchen (see one end of family room below - not long after we moved in - there is a LOT more stuff around now, but still decorating to be done!)
I also have a lot of casual but pretty breakfast crockery that I'd like to display. I was all set to go the traditional route and buy a nice old fashion welsh dresser - especially since I already have an armoire with chicken wire doors in my formal dining room - but then my head was turned again by Ab Fab. So now I'm confused. Admittedly, it's a delicious confusion - any dilemma which involves the 'need' to stare at French armoires versus traditional dressers cannot feasibly be called stress (It's true - my husband told me this...) Here are some examples;
Doors on this armoire and on the less ornate one below, but I would probably remove the doors and have less formal, open shelving...
...pardon the pun, but they both look pretty Ab Fab in their respective ways...
I love this next one - so I'll give you two views...
LOVE, love, love open shelving!
I'm still not sure which way I'll end up going...
This one seems to be a combination of French chairs and table and English style dresser...I'm all for the mix!
Armoire or Kitchen Dresser???
Images courtesy of; 1 and 2) BBC TV Absolutely fabulous 3)My Family room/breakfast table 4)City Sage 5) Skeppsholmen 6) Foster House on www, 7 and 8) The Shoot factory 9 and 10) 1st option 11) The Shoot factory


  1. Armoire + chicken wire.....I'm excited!!!!

    I love all the images above - I don't think I can choose! Open shelves look great in the photos above - but it would drive my husband mad so probably wouldn't be worth it!!

    I do like a Welsh dresser though and it's nice to be able to see favourite china....the image above that you really love is really beautiful....I dream of a room that size!!

    I imagine going from London living to the kind of space you have now does involve a different mindset and a change of plan sometimes - a nice problem to have though ;)

    I've been no help whatsoever have I....I love them all!!

    Happy Monday!!

  2. Mmm, open shelves? Just think of all that extra dusting!
    Rose H

    1. Very true Rose - I hadn't thought of that - lol!

  3. Yes, I would also avoid the open shelving because of the dust ;-) I do however love the less ornate armoire xx

  4. I have to admit that the Swedish cupboard (in picture 5) would be my choice, but then, I am a tiny bit biased. Then, perhaps an antique plate rack could display your most decorative pieces.


  5. Open shelving looks great in a kitchen, but it depends on how much you like dusting! I've always been distracted by the kitchen in Ab Fab. DId that gorgeous armoire arrive after Patsy set fire to the kitchen?!

  6. I love the second one. I would keep the doors though because I would never be able to keep it tidy enough to be presentable.

  7. I love open shelving too! I can't wait to see what you end up doing!

  8. Now that is a dilema I love both. I do the same loving the interiors of a house on TV rather than what is actually going on.
    Have a lovely week.

  9. I love them all. You could choose to keep the doors and leave them open. I have a very casual cabinet that the doors swing back against the sides. I am sure I have described it properly. I am a very eclectic person, so I like the eclectic look. I like the English dresser. Enjoy your search, that is half the fun..... Bonnie

  10. Oh so sorry, I meant to say, I am sure I have not described it properly. Bonnie

  11. Oh my GOSH I loved that show...I am not sure I should admit this but I watched it all the time. The daughter was more thike the parent and the interaction of the actors were like none other, I also loved it when they would pan over the room when they would go up and down the stairs because i loved the funiture, I would nudge a friend and say don't you love there furniture when we watcg a program, show or at the theatre'.

    I love all the looks and I have a thing for open cabinets, a little dust now and then does not bother me. It depends on where the armoire is placed and the mix of what is in the room in how I want a piece to look or how I even paint it.
    Really I am passionate for open doors. I would then take the doors and hang them on a wall over a bed as a head board or a room that would allow the look, maybe even in a dinning area. There is no limits to creating a casual grand feel to the armoire with to cham of no doors.

    Thank you my friend for visiting my French kitchen, I so wish I had that armoire with no doors in my kitchen filled with table lines, stoneware pottery, baskets, and my bird china, I could so see it here.
    I could also find a place for the doors :)
    Also thanking you for your beautiful kind words you left encouraging what I love about collecting, creating, and hand-me-downs!

    See you soon.

    PS, I don't miss the Benny Hill show :)

  12. Hello Mrs Sutton!
    Apologies for my tardiness in visiting I've been quite slow getting around these days..

    Well I love Ab Fab and I think the english humour is an acquired taste.. but being an aussie it was very much part of my childhood,.

    I love these armoires and dressers and my decision problems usually involve whether I want white or colour or black.. i change my mind regularly..

    Thanks so much for popping in my way.. ciao xxx julie

  13. This was an Ab Fab post! Love that show but haven't seen it for years - missed the Christmas special. Always admired that French style kitchen. Yes, dresser or armoire? it is a dilemma! I suppose it depends on what else is in the room and what feel you want in the overall space. Open shelves can look both rustic and modern whereas the armoire minus the doors will still give you your open shelving but add a little French ooh la la which I know you love! Yes, I think the armoire minus doors is your best bet! I actually have an armoire that's similar to the first one but instead of mirrored doors I have chicken wire. Mine is in white but after seeing this one I am tempted to paint it French Grey. I also LOVE your French refectory table - I cannot wait to see what you do. No pressure, but keep the photos of your beautiful home coming!! Fab post!!


  14. Love the second to last picture, the black cupboard, it's beautiful. Seems to me like you reallly like the opening shelving so why not save a few pennies and buy a piece without doors. I know which ever one you choose it'll be gorgeous and I can't wait to see.


  15. Love the armoire idea, but it is really the images from AbFab that makes me smile. I am an avid fan and find myself quoting lines to myself during the course of a day which sets me to laughing. I was buying trees for a client last week and it made me think of Edina's line about bonsai trees from Japan..."The land where they haven't even got time to let the trees grow tall, dahling."

  16. I loved Ab Fab, but I too always wanted to see more of the house.
    All images of the armoires/dressers look wonderful to me, must admit though I quite like a closed door(to hide a multiple of sins!)
    Am sure whichever you choose will look fab in your lovely home.

  17. I'll be watching the re-runs of Ab FAB just to check out that kitchen cupboard :-)

    Hmmmm, I'd choose the English / Welsh dresser with open racks on top. Just cuz I'd probably have armoires (in my hypothetical country home:-) scattered around the other rooms of the house.

    Cheers, Loi

  18. I'm so with you on the open shelf look. So warm and lived in. I too spend most of my time looking at the tv sets, the backgrounds. Especially period dramas, I get a lot of clues as to what I should be looking for to sell in my shop. My particular favourite being Poirot. I love the art deco era.
    Great post.

  19. Hi Paula, I love your blog, fabulous pictures and yes I definitely watch the background on the tv sets and often miss the story line because I am too busy drooling over the period detail. Downton Abbey is one of my favourites xx

  20. LOVELY PICS:) I really like your you have twitter or FB to follow you by??

    If you want some swedish decor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at

  21. anything inspired by Ab Fab is ok in my book!! love your ideas!


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