Pin It
Favorite

Book Review - Shabby Chic Home 

8y Sheri Boggs


Born and raised in England but now a resident of Southern California, Rachel Ashwell coined the term "Shabby Chic" in the 1980s. As a designer, she was drawn to the fabrics and patterns of a bygone era -- think delicate rose patterns in a poplin slipcover -- as well as the battered, once-glamorous home furnishings she found in thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales. She opened her first Shabby Chic store in Santa Monica and began designing her own fabrics, furniture and accessories. But far from being cluttered, Ashwell's visual aesthetic, as seen in her previous books Shabby Chic and Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting and Decorating Guide, features rooms with a few key pieces, minimal clutter, white walls and furnishings and feminine fabrics -- simplicity with a lived-in feel.


In The Shabby Chic Home, Ashwell takes on the challenge of her new house, a dark, "witchy" 1920s cabin with an overgrown yard and turquoise trim on brown siding. Before and after photos show Ashwell whipping the place into pale, airy shape, and a sampling of her room sketches give the reader a sense of how to work old and built-in furnishings into an evolving, simpler style. One example of this is shown in her bathroom plumbing, where new faucet bases are paired with wonderful old porcelain taps. In other rooms, she places a turquoise crystal chandelier in a simple white room with white linen slip-covered furniture. She experiments with worn, truly shabby carpets on waxed wooden floors. It's often a nice combination of "fancy" and "comfortable."


Ashwell is very fond of girlie stuff. There is a lot in the way of pink, china and floral in her schemes -- she writes that flowers influence almost everything she does. The cool thing about Shabby Chic is that it's a look you can modify for your own taste. You can replace the girlie elements with something a little more eclectic and still get a nice, spare feel in your rooms. It's also nice that although her fabrics are seen in a lot of the layouts, this isn't about buying the entire Shabby Chic line. All in all, it's a refreshing attitude, promoting simplicity.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Running Dry
  • Running Dry

    How Wild Waters slid from the top water park in the Inland Northwest to an abandoned ruin
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year

    WSU president leaves behind a strong vision for the school's future
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • You Got Frenched!
  • You Got Frenched!

    Al French scuttles Todd Mielke's bid for county CEO; plus, a shoplifting death in Coeur d'Alene
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget

Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget @ Spokane Valley Library

Wed., July 1, 5-8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Sheri Boggs

  • Beer and Branding in PDX

    • Sep 15, 2005
  • Nightlife- Jukeboxes of Note

    The Baby Bar 827 W. 1st Ave. * 471-1234 I love the Baby Bar for so many reasons -- the intimacy, the bartenders, the d & eacute;cor... But most of all, I love it for its jukebox. This is no hellhole of Sting/Celine Dion adult contemporary; it's a well
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Rural Revolution

    All the farms I remember from growing up in North Idaho and Eastern Washington were not what you'd call stylish. In fact, what I do remember are blocky sofas covered in that ubiquitous mauve upholstery, copper Jell-O molds lining the kitche
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation