Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

A few months ago, a newer friend who was
visiting our prior home for the first time
stepped inside and exclaimed:
“Oh my God, Rachel Ashwell lives here!”

Music to my ears.
She has long been an influence as I
strive to create a vibe at home that feeds
the soul, mind, and creative process.

 Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Sumptuous pink bedroom! Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

I have interviewed Rachel over the years,
and she stays ever true to her roots and convictions.
Admirable since she has managed to eschew
trends and 5-minute fashion so gracefully.

Rachel Ashwell grew up in London, the child of an antique book dealer and a doll maker. She fell in love with fleamarkets at an early age and from her parents, learned the art of buying and selling. Still a teenager, she moved to Hollywood as a stylist for television where she met her husband. When the couple parted ways, she found herself a single mom with two children who she preferred to keep with her on the job. When her simple slipcovers (which were custom made for simplicity sake) were coveted by her friends, she realized there was a void in the market. Shabby chic was born, and she filled her first Santa Monica shop with fleamarket furniture with slipcovers in August of 1989. More stores followed, and her business boomed. For a season. Bankruptcy and store closings were a sad chapter in her career, but Rachel was able to pivot and keeps the brand alive and evolving in her own signature, simple, beautiful way.

While she doesn’t blog too often,
what soulcandy transpires when she does…

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Humble, cushy, comfy and perfect for Malibu

Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture Union Jack Prairie Pillow $175.00

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix


rachel ashwell, cocodot, amy neunsinger, shabby chic, couture

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

If you are a part of the Shabby Chic®
brethren, you know Rachel’s mantra:
and function.

Other meaningful terms for her?
(“Keep away from mediocrity,” she reminds)

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Photographer Amy Neunsinger’s kitchen. I interviewed Amy here.

Shabby chic has come to encompass all sorts of things,
but it is Rachel’s interpretation I have long admired.

Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic® chalk and clay paint

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Rachel Ashwell | Shabby chic

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

When I spoke with Rachel about timelessness:

She spoke with passion about
“continuation, rather than reinvention”
and how she joyfully anticipates a whole new generation of Shabby Chic® admirers who will embrace and interpret
for themselves the non-fussy style of Shabby Chic®

In terms of the hallmarks of the brand,
she says “25 years ago or tomorrow, they all fit seamlessly…in my heart, I walk my talk.”

I want to twirl in this room! "Remnants of the Day" (From Rachel Ashwell)

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

She recognizes how objects become art simply with the passage of time and from being well-used.

#ClippedOnIssuu from

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Oh the peaceful tranquility speaks to me!

Whispers really.

Soothing and inviting.

Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture - Green Work Table by DaisyCombridge

Shabby Chic Decor Inspiration: Our Rachel Ashwell Fix

Peace to you right where you are.





  1. August 18, 2015 / 2:34 pm

    Yes, real-life photos are the best 🙂 Her bedroom and furniture always looks so comfortable and I just want to curl up in those linens! The soft colors and textures are some feminine and fresh. I need to visit her blog to see what she's been up to. I don't think she lives in Malibu anymore. When I visited last, her store was gone.

    • August 19, 2015 / 2:04 am

      hi beautiful. i hope when the cottage is ready for its closeups, i can implement that realness rachel so naturally delivers. yes, i love how rachel's shabby chic feels fresh and not 'dusty grandma-ish.'

  2. August 18, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    Oh YES! I hear you girl on that pink table….. So so very pale as if pink cotton candy is in the room. Love that table, yet perhaps the palest of Greys would suit my home better.
    The white pianos yes, yes, and R/A relaxed in her tossed bed doesn't get any more stagingly relaxed in her signature style jeans. I love her view in her Malibu home, I love the Malibu beach area and have found some great treasure hunting in yard and estate sales there….like my iron vintage lantern only $23.00 and it would sell for at best a $1,000 at Bountiful in Venice CA. Out of Santa Monica, serious pieces there that have serious price tags as well, I bought a small French floral can that cost me $35.00 I had to have it.

    As for R/A shop on Montana st in Santa Monica Ca. It's quaintness is divine and feels exactly like her home. I often shop it for little gifts of sorts, those one of a kind pieces and so much more then shopping her Target line.

    She is the sweetest person and really throws it all together so effortlessly.
    I often want to add the sweetness she creates back I to my home, then again I lean towards the aged woods of French language, timeless and effortlessly worn and weathered.

    So many great styles to drive us crazy with….thank you for driving me crazy today 🙂


    • August 19, 2015 / 2:08 am

      i totally totally understand every word! she creates this sweetness that doesn't cross that sugary line of fufu-precious, and it takes a big heart, a great eye, and a keen understanding of art to achieve that. i love your minimal style and courageous restraint–it aint easy to curate like that. thanks for the inside scoop and your shopping habits, dore! always a treat to hear from you, my friend.

  3. August 19, 2015 / 1:17 am

    Such a nice post on Rachel and her inspiring styles and designs. I only wish I could have stopped at her Santa Monica shop…but we were late and stuck in traffic headed for the airport. Next time I will make time to see it. In the meantime your home is lovely.

    • August 19, 2015 / 2:09 am

      i'll never forget winning those lil scraps of rachel lovely from your blog many moons ago, amy! i still have them of course. hugs to you.

  4. August 19, 2015 / 1:33 am

    Beautiful! I love all the WHITENESS and freshness on RA style décor. Although I'd be very nervous when my grandgirls will come over, lol!
    Lovely imakes all of them. I so love the dining room that looked like yours.

    • August 19, 2015 / 2:12 am

      hi lovely fabby. yep. that dining room table at top is exactly like mine from our last home. i sold it, and seeing that photo makes me long for it a little, but i cherish my more rustic harvest table more. i never have been one to get nervous about living with white. i just never allowed the family to eat outside the kitchen/dining, and i was just quick to wipe up spills on white upholstered chairs. peace.

  5. August 19, 2015 / 3:45 am

    love her style! She's an icon and has inspired so many… as do you! Your posts always fill my cup! much love to you!


    • August 23, 2015 / 2:51 am

      i'm so glad, des! i saw your home in FRENCH COUNTRY last night in line at Lowe's! gorgeous feature!

  6. August 19, 2015 / 2:15 pm

    I love love love Rachel Ashwell and everything she does!!! Last year we went to NY and I was able to visit her Soho store…I was trembling with excitement to the point I had to have my husband take pics because my hands were so shaky:) If I ever win the lottery, which is doubtful since I never play, she would be dream interior designer!

    • August 23, 2015 / 2:53 am

      haha! i can totally relate to the trembling. i wish rachel would do another TV show and maybe surprise fans with a house makeover…let's talk to her people…

  7. August 19, 2015 / 3:47 pm

    Agreed: Rachel's interpretations are so chic and so peaceful. Perfect!! xo Leslie

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