Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture

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Rachel's Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2016

  • Shabby Summer Treasures

    My values of Beauty, Comfort and Function hold true with garden living as well as inside the home.

    I am drawn to a little bit of an island aesthetic mixed with a quirky English garden.
    No one does English quirky better than Odd Limited ( a wonderful English company specializing in garden furniture). 
    Helen Bonham Carter said so eloquently about a rocker she purchased from them,
     "I sat in bliss on My Old Rocker and my bottom went to Heaven".
    odd limited
     
    My fav summer purchase so far this year is what i am calling my creamy boho brolly. The fringe gives it a little bit of whimsy I think.  
    POTTERY BARN BROLLY_sized
    The movement of rocking and swinging is heaven to me. I have a bed size swing on my balcony outside my bedroom, lined with mushy decorative pillows.  If I could remember being in a cradle it might have felt something like this.
    HAYNEEDLE SWINGING BED
     
    A hammock is always a must, and typically quite affordable. Such a simple concept. If trees accommodate the support, great.  If not, I bought this teak stand when I worked on Pamela Anderson's house, which is a great solution if needed.
     
    TEAK STAND
    HAMMOCK LIFE_sized
    Fabrics designed for outdoor use, are the most practical way to go (sunbrella),  I often cheat and use fabric that i love even though they may need replacing more frequently.  I made some red and white chaise covers, which over time faded to pink, and made oversized shame covers from pale blue powder terry cloth.
    Chairs_sized
    TERRY CLOTH SHAMS
    In the end, at least for the summer months, all these bits and bobs come together for a yummy outdoor experience. 
    OASIS_sized
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  • My Love Of Lace

    My love of lace goes way back.  Partly from those early days when I would quietly rummage thru my Mama's drawers, baskets and boxes studying scraps of old lace, embroidery and ribbons,  asking her "why, why this piece?"  While they were jumbled, there was order to her chaos and she had a great appreciation of the smallest leftovers, which I inherited into my world.
    I would spend hours and hours studying the handwork of the labor of love from days gone by.  I would imagine the conversations that may have transpired in lace making gatherings in the victorian days, or maybe the meditative silence that would come along with the need to concentrate.
    From then on, lace would catch my eye in all sorts of ways , but more in un-precious  ways.
    CHARMING INSPIRATION_small
    For my wedding day, I used a scrap of lace as a scruffy bow in my hair, my version of a Vale perhaps.
    WEDDING VALE_small
    During my set styling days, I became quite known for creating room sets with a feminine touch, while avoiding becoming overly fru-fru. Tattered elegance.
    SHABBY LACEY SET DESIGN_small
    Over the years I have combined my mamas tat that she left to me along with my own found treasures and they have become core inspiration in my design work, either in a small discrete way, or sometimes as the star of the show.
    A "work in progress" of something special coming soon...
    TAT MADE INTO TREASURE_small
    My "less is more" philosophy runs true when layering lace into a home.  It's typically so beautiful, not much is needed and it can sit in a modern setting as comfortably as in traditional.
    CLUNY CURTAIN_small
    LACE DUSTFUFFLE_small
    CROTCHET DETAIL ON NIGHTIE_small
    LACE LAMPSHAES OUT TO DRY_small
    LACE CLUNY COLLECTION_small

    White lacey bed sheet set

    While the lace I use for my design work is no longer made by hand, my process of designing lace is based on scraps of days gone by.  My hope is that the beauty and soul are captured creating future heirlooms from the world of shabby chic.

    LACE DODLES_small
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