Interview with Designer RACHEL ASHWELL {2011}

Such an honor to interview
Rachel Ashwell and ask about
her current inspirations.


Rachel’s blog

What three things
are inspiring you at the moment?

My life has always been my biggest inspiration.
From toddlers with sticky fingers, to empty nests.


Rachel’s blog


My latest life inspiration is
a B and B I recently bought,
refurbished and reopened under the name
The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell
just outside of Austin Texas.


46 acres of open space with six lovely

vintage structures, each having their own

character and giving me an opportunity

to express a different view of my aesthetic.


Additionally, the nature of country living,

many new designs for Rachel Ashwell

Shabby Chic Couture, from prints to products

inspired by the timelessness
of Praire living.


Also inspired by my own need to
avoid anything mediocre
in my design world.


I am my own judge of perfectly imperfect,

and the only criteria of introducing a new product

into my stores, is if it is magical.

‘Nothing’ is so much better than blah.



On a more parallel line of inspiration

I am very inspired by the world of
M a r i e  A n t o i n e t t e

from an aesthetic sense.


I am blending the palette, the decadence

and abundance of the fabrics and finishes and

layering into a more humble execution

(like our oppulent Petticoat bedding and
tablecloth collection–a direct inspiration for the

abundance of cascading frills–but
toned down with smokey colors and
somewhat rumpled fabrics).

So thankful Rachel shared with us so graciously.
Feeling beyond inspired by the way
she weaves meaning and depth
through so many chic projects and designs.
(And since I AM a stream of consciousness girl,
I will admit here and now the brain is swimming,
the heart racing with thoughts of petticoats and the prairie, CAKE,
vintage prom dresses, seeing the words ‘couture’ and ‘saviour’
sandwiched, tutus leaping from canvas, and this idea:

let’s make our dreams come true.

Are you in?

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. November 2, 2011 / 4:46 am

    Delightful post, I love Rachel's work so much. Thank you Michelle, you did a fabulous job on the interview.

  2. November 2, 2011 / 11:01 am

    I ordered her latest book and can't wait to receive it since I have her thers too.

  3. November 2, 2011 / 12:33 pm

    Dropping by to wish you a beautiful day. Off to take a nap… gosh… I'm so tired today! 🙂


    Luciane at

  4. November 2, 2011 / 1:50 pm

    I'm sooo in…

    From now on, nothing comes in my house that isn't crazy good or magical, even if it is just a rock…


  5. November 2, 2011 / 1:53 pm

    A brilliant and creative lady. If you like her work or not she has left an impact on decor and design. Great interview.

  6. November 2, 2011 / 4:09 pm

    wow Michele – FABULOUS interview! really great job. I so <3 Rachel. And I'm really with you on looking for ways to bring more softness into my surroundings. I can't deal with clutter, but I do truly adore the romance of a layer of ruffles. Thanks for sharing this very inspiring interview!!

  7. November 2, 2011 / 9:17 pm

    Michelle this is a wonderful interview into the mind of Rachel Ashwell. I love to read how other designer process. She is one of a kind and has set the mark high for those with her same design aesthetics. Great interview, thank you so much for sharing,

  8. November 3, 2011 / 12:11 am

    I so want to be Rachel Ashwell when I grow up. I am loving all this and what a sweet thing to take time out to share all of this with you and then with us. 🙂
    Thank you lovely ladies.

  9. November 3, 2011 / 12:13 am

    I bet you have an amazing gift for interviewing as well – couple that with your amazing writing and you have got something really special! I love this post! Rachel is a true inspiration and I'm off to get her new book – thanks to you!


  10. November 3, 2011 / 11:09 am

    I am in

    I agree that mediocrity is a contagious disease

    I agree that nothing is better than blah

    And I agree that writing a post is hard work ;P

    Oh and I'm a thorough catcher in the rye type stream of consciousness girl. Hell yeah, so where was I?

  11. November 3, 2011 / 1:50 pm

    Oh my goodness, what prettiness 🙂

  12. November 3, 2011 / 8:23 pm

    i BELIEVE nothing is better than BLAH too, but it's still hard to live up to that, yes?

  13. November 4, 2011 / 3:39 am

    What can I say? She is a genius. I really took my time to go through her images/rooms – and she gets it! Simple but heartfelt, authentic and edible (?). I don't know how to describe her rooms – you just want them to be part of you. So, maybe soulful? Now that is art!

    That holiday room is Splendid!

    Warm hugs to you!


  14. November 4, 2011 / 4:29 pm

    Having always drooled over Rachels lovely shabby goodies I thoroughly enjoyed your post full of delicious images and snippets of "now" from Rachel. Thank you!

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