It would be impossible to engage in any discussion of shabby chic decorating without extensive discussion of its lovely queen and creative genius…Rachel Ashwell, whose beautiful new book MY FLORAL AFFAIR is a dreamy look at her creative work with florals and whimsical spaces. (If you use this link, you’ll see your copy will be autographed by Rachel!). It has been my pleasure to interview Rachel several times and discover her depth and soulfulness.
Rachel Ashwell’s story is maybe a simple story of rags to slipcovers to riches to mega-riches and back to riches. But’s it’s also about a winning formula that serves her well through life’s seasons: cozy + comfortable + vintage + pretty.
Ashwell worked as a stylist in Hollywood and then found herself a single mom who favored slipcovers to protect and enhance the furniture in her home. Here’s what she told Inc. about the slipcovers: “I had these simple slipcovers made for my couch, because I wanted something that my kids could climb on with sticky fingers and dirty feet and that I could put in the washing machine. My friends constantly asked, “Where did you get those?” And they asked about the flea-market furniture I scavenged at the Rose Bowl in L.A. I started thinking, Oh, maybe there is a need here.”
When folks around town noticed and wanted a similar, undone, unfussy white look for their homes, a shabby chic business was born. When famous folks wanted the shabby chic look for their homes, an empire bloomed. Along the way, Oprah endorsed her soft sheets and the planet followed (cha-ching!) and store openings popped up across North America. When the housing market crashed, so did the business, and store closings in January 2009 brought dark days. But Rachel Ashwell emerged from the ashes with new perspective and vision and even ventured into the B&B arena with The Prairie. She continues to evolve and win new admirers of a style to which she remains loyal, and I’m so grateful she keeps subtly refreshing and tenderly refining her signature lovely with those of us who see beauty in imperfection.
What follow are gorgeous photos of pretty shabby chic interior design moments and a sprinkling of home decor and furniture suggestions I hope you’ll enjoy exploring, pinning, and savoring. Affiliate links follow and when used for purchases, may earn me a small commission.
Images via Shabby Chic
2. Rustic Stools/Tables.
3. Soft Headboards.
4. Frenchy Chandeliers.
5. Painted Dining Tables.
6. Vintage & Vintage Style Fabrics.
Wouldn’t this aqua toned fabric be amazing on dining chairs with the above table!?!
Damask Fabric 14 Inspiring Decorating Ideas for a Shabby Chic Dream Room
7. Crackly Paint.
8. Romantic Mirrors.
Before we continue on with our shabby chic blissful journey, treat yourself to this peaceful gorgeous video showcasing some of Rachel Ashwell’s Simply Shabby Chic creations and a gorgeous uplifting song by Kakou:
9. White Everything.
10. Slipcovered Chairs.
11. Farmhouse Tables.
Reclaimed Pine Farmhouse Table 14 Inspiring Decorating Ideas for a Shabby Chic Dream Room
12. Cloth Napkins.
13. Pretty Pastels.
Were you aware Shabby Chic has a line of chalk and clay paints?
14. Fresh Flowers.
Don’t forget about Rachel Ashwell’s new book MY FLORAL AFFAIR with photography by Amy Neunsinger…you can snag an autographed copy!
I would love to hear your opinions about shabby chic style…are you influenced by Rachel’s: books, way with white, fleamarket style, and approach to timeless design as I am?
Peace to you right where you are.