Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

  • Pots Of Paint

    Paint to me is part of story telling, whether brush strokes on canvas, transforming walls or giving a new lease on life to a vintage beauty.  My mum was an artist, as well as our “in house” home painter, for both walls and hodge podge found furniture.  Brushes soaking in the sink were a common sight.


    I have always loved an artist’s studio.  The visual process of storytelling creates a comfort for me. The paints, brushes, vessels of water, all with remnants of past projects by way of drips and drops.

    barn painting studio

    Shabby Chic & I are of course known for a hundred shades of white, & to this day a large mass of white is my biggest AHHHH moment. Always angelic and heavenly, never seemingly cold.

    heavenly white wall

    But where my full palette sits best is nestled within the world of vintage furniture.

    Texas flea markets has for years now been where I am most successful at finding my beloved palette, shades of white, blue, pink, greys and taupes.

    vintage furntirue

    I love the history that layers of paint portrays, especially within molding and cracks of vintage furniture, & and how overtime even though the most recently applied layer of paint has the intention of erasing a past life, eventually the past will find its way of revealing itself. And that is often when the real magic unfolds. I love nothing more than finding a piece of vintage furniture with layers of my shabby palette peaking its way in.

    handles copy

    blog post 2

    As I journey through life, I appreciate coming across inspiration for painting ideas.

    vintage furniture 2

    For many years I have been pretty stubborn about only selling authentic painted pieces in  my world. However with the scarcity of my palette out in the flea market world I am thrilled to have developed a curated line of paints that can support my aesthetic with the process of painting wood furniture.


    The Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell Chalk & Clay paint has a dry hand due to the clay and chalk ingredients. I chose the palette based on my dream vintage finds over the years of all of the colours I wish I could find a never ending supply of.  The paints can be used on their own or they are also designed to layer so the magic of mulit colours can be created through the process of painting furniture. There is of course an art to the process, which may take a little time and practice but is totally achievable.

    Shabby Chic Paint Beauty_1

    Newly painted pieces can never replace the soul of authentic vintage history, for with that comes love and life. But never the less this special little paint collection is the start to a new history, in a Shabby Chic way.

    The Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell Chalk & Clay paint can be purchased on our website or if you are a retailer and would like to carry the collection please visit:


    paint strip 1

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  • Holiday 2015

    Post 1

    One of the challenges of being a designer is having to be ahead of the calendar, designing winter in the summer and summer in the winter.  Many brands follow trends so to be “in fashion” when the season roles around.

    However in my shabby world, I remain true to my palette, regardless of what is going on in the rest of the world, and for Christmas and the holidays, that translates to pink, white & pale blue.

    Post 2

    Over the years we have become a destination for a faded red Christmas…meaning pink...

    Winter is my most favorite season, largely for the excuse of cozy blankets and soft mushy pillows. Our pastel velvet throws and creamy luxury (fake) fur pillows ( & throws), are lovely staples to start the holiday season, but the palette & yummy touch allows them to flow nearly year round.

    Post 3

    Months in advance myself and my design team clear our decks for santas workshop to begin ideas and make magic

    Post 4

    As a designer, Inspiration comes from a multitude of sources, sometimes specific and sometimes only small elements are used.

    A favorite pink and white clown costume of mine was the inspiration for one of our tree decorations.

    Post 5

    Ballet , dance, theatre has been a common thread for much of Shabby Chic story telling. A couple of years ago one of my key designers came up the idea of a miniature prom dress Christmas decoration. It has now become a signature piece for Shabby, using scraps from reworked vintage prom dresses.

    Post 6

    In my forever to keep drawer, I have a tattered paper advent calendar, so I was hugely inspired when somewhere on my travels I came across a handmade (forever to keep) advent calendar.  A family member of our shabby family painstakingly makes each and every 26 treasures that are placed in the wall hanging.  A pure labor of love and future heirloom.  A true beauty.

    Post 7

    I search high and low at the trade gift shows for treasures for my stores, as it would be impossible for me to make every product category I want to carry.  But still, I only buy magical moments.  Often this process of searching happens in January, which is the last thing you want to think about with the hoidays just over.

    Staying within my palette, these were my favorite finds this year.

    Post 8

    All year round monogramming is a service Shabby Chic offers. I love the timeless tradition of making something unique and special...  And at holiday time, this is a meaningful way add value to a gift (we offer several fonts and colors… even red!).

    Post 9

    …… till next year.

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  • Meet Designer: Megan Griswold

    Meet Megan Griswold, a long time shabby lover and curator of Little Moving Spaces. Megan has built her career by traveling and finding beauty in tiny spaces. From her love of the rolling mountains and vast plains of Wyoming to the concrete jungle of New York City. These polar opposite elements have brought forth a dichotomy of design infuences. As an interior designer, author and connoisseur of all things “cool” Megan has inspired us here at Shabby Chic for mixing traditional Shabby with an unconventional approach.

    We first met Megan while doing a housecall for her 100sq ft tiny West Village apartment. Megan was looking to maximize her tiny space by using one of our folk beds as a day time sofa and a night time bed all in one. Although the folk bed took up much of her space, she managed to make it feel cozy and quaint. Our silver twist baskets lined the top shelf as extra storage and our armed Renee Chair doubled as a desk chair and extra seating for guests. We slipped the folk bed in a white whisper linen and used our large body pillow and euros to fill out the back.

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    Megan came back to us within the year after she bought a yurt that came with an old school bus in Jackson Wyoming. She decided to turn the bus into a guest house and fill it with our petticoat linen bedding in blush. We are in continuous awe of Megan and her use of Shabby treasures in small unassuming spaces. Megan currently lives between her yurt in Wyoming and her beach cottage in Venice Ca. To see more of Megan’s interior design projects and to get inspired visit her website Littlemovingspaces.com

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