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Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

  • 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.

    blog image

    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.

    hard work

    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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