Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: August 2010

  • Book Signings And Saying Hello.

    Last october this book came out......over the course of the year I have traveled the globe. Some events were in conventional book stores, some at seminars and some in antique store venues.

    I have so enjoyed meeting everyone and sharing stories. Some conversations have stayed close the subject of home and design and some have veered off into other avenues.......


    Round Top Flea Market
    At the Junk Gypsy Tent
    By Zapp House
    Warrenton, TX 78961
    Date/Time: September 30th from 11am - 3pm
    Visit the Junk Gypsy Blog announcing Rachel's book signing

    The Remnants of the Past Flea Market
    (entrance fee $7.00)
    The Dana Powers House
    535 Mehlschau Road
    Nipomo, CA 93444
    Date/Time: October 2nd from 1pm - 4pm
    To preorder books www.remnantsofthepast.com
    Visit the Remnants of the Past Blog announcing Rachel's book signing

    Robb & Stucky Interiors
    351 S. State Road 434
    Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
    Date/Time: October 7th from 6pm - 8:30pm
    For further information contact (407)682-3700

    These last three events for the year are three very diverse locations. Texas, where my heart always feels just right, Florida that is always an adventure into the unknown to me, and back to California, my home of 30 years.


    I have embraced the beauty of imperfection for two decades. My intention with this book was to demonstrate the perfection in the imperfection. However, why I am most proud of this book is in the story telling and I do hope to continue down that path......

    Once these events are complete I will return back to my nooks of inspiration to continue my love and commitment to creating and communicating whimsical, comforting and meaningful goodies in life.





    I look forward to seeing all of you that can make any of these events....and those of you who cannot, there is more to come.

    Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Interiors can be purchased at any of my 3 store locations.


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  • It Takes A Village


    Searching for treasures at fleamarkets has been my inspiration to design and my source to supply magic to Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture stores, for many years.

    Rising before daybreak and shopping in sometimes fairly yucky weather is challenging but my eyes are now quite well trained to seek and edit so rarely do I leave empty handed. But once I have found the treasures, there is quite a process that takes place, before it arrives in one of my stores, in L.A., N.Y. or London.

    Beau has been traveling and shopping with me for several years. It takes a certain temperament to shop, track, load and deliver. I'm not known to be the life and soul of any party, but I think I do inspire much fun and laughter on our fleamarket adventures.


    And then of course the group effort begins.


    This is just part of the team......

    Each piece has to arrive safely back at our restoration hub....... and once restored while carefully embracing the imperfections, the process of getting to a store and in to the hands of my sales associates, where they relate the stories of the search to our customers.

    There is a romance that is unique to these products....they all have stories.

    When I opened my first store 21 years ago, fleamarket treasures were at the core of the aesthetic . this has held true all these years. While more scarce to find, and trends of reproduction and reclaimed woods has helped tell my story, the layer of the unique and authentic is unachievable any other way than to search for treasures in others junk.



    The lovely thing about the evolution of filling a container, is each piece has its reason for being chosen to come into the world of Shabby Chic. Sometimes its beauty is simply irresistible and will feed be soothing an inspiring eye candy, but the plainer more solid pieces have equal value and importance, already having served other homes, years of being counted on.


    Once the container is unloaded Beau creates some order in the chaos so all involved can do what they need to do. For my benefit, groupings into color allows me to distribute to stores with diversity.


    While pops of colors need to be carefully found and placed, when its the perfect pop, it becomes the WOW.




    The chic of shabby can often mean some bling, however to keep the shabby satisfied the bling has to be battered and tattered. The very nature of Florentine allows for the perfect balance.

    Over the years it has been harder to find specific items that are classic in my shops....... whenever I do find them, I snap them up.


    I often say less is more when finding the perfect elements for a room.......as long as the less is just right.....and that's worth searching and waiting for. No need to settle, as those treasures are out there.


    I have never been one for buying precious valuable art. I just buy the visual I love and usually a feeling comes along with it. Might be a landscape, might be a portrait or some lovely flowers, sometimes framed, sometimes the raw canvas. Brimfield fleamarket often is a treasure trove of east coast landscapes......

    Mix and matching table settings has always been a favourite decorative signature of mine..... I love how diverse colours and styles plates and bowls collected over years from numerous fleamarkets, in the end, all sit comfortably on a table...

    On this last buying trip I found some pieces of the typical palette, pink florals and sweet pieces.


    I seem to be drawn to grey's and teals in many areas of my design world. The smokey mellow palette is so very beautiful to me.



    I find I have the best success at editing through a fleamarket if I have some specific goals...... Colour is a good way to pull together discombobulated pieces. And after a while of gathering I find myself with beautiful stories.


    I don't find as much glassware as I wish. I have been known to borrow some treasures that have been purchased with the stores in mind, but once used for a dinner party, or a vase I find too hard to part with. They add such a special eclectic layer to my otherwise subtle palette.

    I embrace all original paint on furniture.....but sometimes little tweaks make such a big difference.



    So this is just a little viewing of my last fleamarket treasure hunt.

    Much of these beauties will land up in the shops, some will be used for inspiration for future designs in Target or other projects. A fifty foot container will keep us inspired, for a little, and then we will do it all over again.



    See these and other treasures at www.rachelashwellshabbychiccouture.com

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