The Different Faces Of Shabby

Shabby Chic was first born way back in 1989 with a store in Santa Monica, CA.  I actually consider myself more of a storyteller and stylist than I do a designer of product.

But with two small kids and years of sticky fingers ahead of me, the story I wanted to tell was one of beauty, comfort and function. Where sticky fingers could live among other imperfectly beautiful things, and I needed a product to tell my story of Shabby Chic.

As any brand who has survived 26 years, fashion changes, competition pops-up and shopping habits change. And so, as the director of the creative vision, I have worked hard to stay true to the core values of what got my brand famous, while evolving and staying current. It’s not always easy, especially when you standby quality, details and a high level of customer service. But that is so very important to me, even if it comes at a cost.

Imperfect, comfort, quality, timelessness, authenticity, and beauty are all words of value in the Shabby Chic aesthetic. And so over the years, as my own personal needs and tastes evolve, I have flowed different versions of Shabby Chic into the original aesthetic. You may not always think of Shabby Chic as a minimal aesthetic or our petticoat bedding complimenting a modern setting, but as I design from my authentic needs and tastes, I have found there are many Shabby Chic stories to be told, from ruffles to minimal.


My kids’ sticky fingers no longer are a daily consideration, but life with friends, dogs, art projects, gardening, the beach and just living is.  So even when working with simple clean lines in my design work and more of a modern aesthetic, mushy cushions, washable covers, and flakey furniture all still welcome true living without the intimidation of perfection.

All those years ago when I began, my only other competition in slipcovers were the plastic ones to keep upholstery clean.  Now, there are many options with different prices and qualities.  My priority is still to produce product that inspires friends and families to snuggle, and will ultimately become future heirlooms, with soul made possible by the quality of the product. It brings me such joy to see Shabby Chic furniture in a variety of homes (especially on Instagram, I get to see them all), sometimes in a way that shabby is famous for, but also in a minimal or boho setting.  As that shows me, the true value and core of my original story, can sit comfortably any place, and in any space, no matter what is in style.

 Simple Sofa, forever ago… as good today, as it was then…


Lark Murry

Rachel Ashwell is just way-beyond amazing. OMG…


I purchased one of your couch’s from two guys moving out of Chicago in 2003 after building my forever home. It graces our living room and I take many naps there, its the best couch ever! Its covered in White denim so easy to care for!! and so comfortable. It looks brand new. Thank you for making such a lovely product, quality is fantastic. You fill a white space in the industry. Liking Lily’s apparel too. xx

Gail Ross

Some beautiful things on your blog, very inspirational. Keep up the good work.

alice gamble

It is a great accomplishment that your blog reminds us to make the most of our homes by using the fabric and vintage theme of yesterday. Just the comments about how you first designed slipcovers is inspiring. I have rescued a Mitchell Gold and a Baker classic sofa from a thrift shop, less than 50 for both. Someone didn’t have vision, or had so many resources they didn’t feel the bones of the furniture were worth saving. But, with slipcovers, these quality pieces are saved and those “bones” are as good as new. Thank you for inspiration and courage to go against the grain in our throw away society and make beautiful high quality items for our homes. From a Texas farmhouse soul making the most of your ideas….I thank you. Alice Gamble

Debra A Weber

I live in the East Bay and can’t wait yo see your store.

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