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Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

  • 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

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  • Vintage Shabby Chic

    For as long as I can remember, I have appreciated heirlooms, antiques and vintage treasures.  I was introduced to unique, soulful furnishings when I was a little girl. Some were valuable beauties, some were secondhand hand-me-downs (found at English jumble sales).


    Way back when my mum would bring home tattered ribbons and my dads dog eared books, I always liked to hear the history that was passed along.  Sometimes I doubted the stories, but I liked them anyway.  Some 40+ years later, I am still drawn to the uniqueness that comes along with timeworn treasures, and the process of the search.

    story telling in store

    Vintage Decor is now a huge component in the retail industry, whether by way of reclaimed woods, distressed fabrics or pieces in their original glory.


    For Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture stores, vintage is at the very core.  I experience as much excitement and anticipation today as ever when I begin a vintage shopping trip.

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    While I typically have a loose "shopping list" of needs, from vintage china, vintage rugs & vintage lighting, to vintage coffee tables, end tables, dressers, armors, beds, mirrors and vintage art...I am always open to being side tracked to something that is just beautiful and special.


    When hunting for wooden pieces,  I am usually  looking for authentic paint in the Shabby palette (white, ivory, pale pink & blue, grey teal or bleached raw wood) or pieces that can create a rustic vintage decor and on a rare occasion I will repaint.  I get great joy when I see pieces come through our "restoration for reloving"  process.  Each piece is cleaned, shored up if wonky, drawers and shelves lined with vintage wallpaper, new glass, marble or hardware applied...and when ready we proudly tack on our branded brass plaque.

    magic beauty

    With the world of retail blending into fewer sources, it causes many to look similar to each other.  I am proud that in the World of Shabby Chic, each one of our stores have a selection of one-of-a-kind, hand picked and restored treasures.  Ready to become heirlooms, all over again, when they are placed in their new homes.

    Texas Store

    Vintage Shabby Chic Furniture carries history by way of energy, or evidence of wear and tear.  A ding, a scratch, distressed paint or thread bare fabric.  Each unique in their beauty of imperfection, within the World of Shabby Chic.

    Vintage selection currently available At

    Vintage Furniture Collection


    1 - Be clear about what your looking for, aesthetically, functionally and financially.

    2 - Have good measurements (especially access of doorways and hallways).

    3 - Take tape measure with you.

    4 - Cash allows for bargaining.

    5 - No what you want to pay for something before you even ask how much.

    6 - Understand the scope of renovating.  While projects are satisfying I have a few too many that I have never gotten to.

    7 - I typically scope a market first quickly and then start to buy on my second round, (unless I see a great treasure).

    8 - Leave empty handed rather than with stuff, just to buy!!

    9 - Make notes of where you buy things if you're not taking with you straight away, including the phone # of the vendor, just in case.

    10 -  Patience, it may take a few visits to get your confidence up and your editing skills, but like with anything, practice makes perfect!

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  • Shabby Workshop: Part 2

    Over the course of the next 36 hours, we talked of business, creativity and of decorating. Sometimes the dialogue was very specific, sometimes metaphoric to life.  I was always such a poor student in school, so the notion that my words were worthy of notetaking, was humbling to me.

    13 ladies

    While the conduit to bringing this wonderful group of women together was the world of Shabby Chic and myself, the energy took on its own life once the workshop unfolded. It was powerful and real, and I thank every person who attended.


    Towards the end of Saturday, all had the option to hang with me and Sarah (my Shabby photographer) for more behind the scene moments or go into the local town to shop, mainly at the Junk Gypsy store and Lizzie Lou.

    Those that opted to stay for the photo shoot were put to work.  We were shooting a couple of collections from Simply Shabby Chic at Target.

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    Our day ended with amazing family style BBQ that was made with love for our Shabby group from The Back Porch BBQ Restaurant.

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    An amazing band from Australia showed up on the Prairie doorstep, The Heart Collectors, like fairies and magically entertained us……

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    This evening couldn’t have been more magical. I had such warmth for everyone around the table. The world of Shabby Chic was a special place to be...


    After dinner there was the option to watch a movie together, specifically "Saving Mr. Banks". This is a movie about the writer of Mary Poppins.  I specifically chose this, as to me it’s a perfect vehicle to demonstrate the passion of woman, wanting to tell her story, as she needed it to be told, and not to compromise, however wonky she was……..

    Some ladies felt the need to go outside into the fields and have their own little shabby sisters party (music by way of their iphones)


    ……only some blurry polaroids remain ……..

    The next morning, our last, we talked and talked and talked and talked and talked, and still we ran out of time.


    I had my emotional moment. This shabby journey is one that was never planned and one that gets it's fuel from all that love it.  I have a vision and passion to continue telling my story, but it’s the world of shabby chic, and all that live the shabby life that keep it going……

    And as with everything it takes a village...


    The workshop was magical because of the village that helped make it happen and all who attended……and all those who couldn’t make it but sent messages and connected to us all as we went along.  Lucky us that we have this community…….thank you all.

    Saying goodbye is always bittersweet...


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