01 June 2008

The New Shabby Chic

 

Just launched in the past week or so is Rachel Ashwell's fabulous revamped Shabby Chic web site.   If you left Shabby Chic behind years ago, you might want to take a peek at what the creator of the slipcover lifestyle has been up to lately.  Fresh from her successful partnership with Target, Ashwell has been quitely opening up Shabby Chic stores nationwide.  Fueled by the 20 year anniversary of her company, Rachel, the  quintessential English Rose, is setting her sights on a total of 80 new stores.  The main attraction, as always, is the slipcovered furniture and  nobody does slipcovers better than Rachel.  Her pieces are plump with down  feathers, cushy, soft,  and comfortable.  Usually, Rachel works with a strict pink, green and blue palette but lately gray has been popping up all over:   her new line of painted wood furniture is wonderful -  Gustavian in coloring, French in design.  The furniture prices are lower than what one is used to from her pricey slipcover line.  But even with the slipcovered pieces, the prices seem lower than what they were back in the days before Target and when Malibu was their headquarters.

Another staple available on the web site is her fabrics, the poplins and linens in the luscious, soft, muted colors that make up her bedding line.  The web site is a little hard to navigate and there's a lot that will be "coming soon" - but there is still some great eye candy here - lots of gorgeous Shabby Chic rooms with white linen and crystal chandeliers.  Be sure to take a glance at Rachel's Favorites and Our Heritage.   At the bottom of the page, the Gallery has even more pictures.   

On a personal note, I have a client who recently purchasd the gray desk (which is mysteriously missing from the revamped web site) and Devon, a French styled chest of drawers, both very well made AND incredibly affordable, especially when compared with other lines of similar gray painted furniture.   I'm just hoping that Rachel opens a branch here in Houston, right now Austin is the only  lucky city in Texas.

Enjoy!

 

Rachel's palette has moved from basic pink, green, and blue to include grays, khakis and whites.  Here, the ubiquitous crystal chandelier in an all white and khaki room.

 

Gustavian and Shabby Chic - the new combination. 

Tufting is something new for Rachel.  Here she mixes an antique dresser with chairs from her furniture collection.         

      

This charming, worn dining room table is $1250.  The Darcy chair, faithfully copied from an antique Rachel salvaged is available in a cream or gray finish, with slip skirt - $399.

       

A first for Rachel:  leather furniture!!!  She also is selling vintage rugs in the stores, along with new ones.   Here is Shabby Chic defined - overstuffed slipcovered sofa, touches of gold, touches of crystal and wispy, billowing curtains.  Rachel brings in her favorite pinks and green through the painted antique furniture.

My favorite piece:  Devon, a French styled chest in Gustavian gray.   Available in two sizes:  $925 or $1070.  This would be great for a pair of matching bedside tables.  Love, love, love this!!!!

Shabby Chic Official Store, SBCH-1162 Shelby Console, shabbychic.com

This console is just $900.  Pillows in Rachel's dreamy fabrics are sold in the stores  and online too.  The bottom shelf would be a perfect place to store things in baskets.

image

Another favorite of mine:  the slipcovered chaise lounge.  No one does it better than Rachel - no one!

Shabby Chic Official Store, SBCH-1022 Cot, shabbychic.com

One more favorite:   Army cots for $100 make perfect extra beds for sleepovers and beach houses.   Rachel has used this item for years and sells bedding made just for it.

Baby furniture and bedding is a huge seller for Rachel.  The Rosalee chest to the left is a mere $850.

I adore the trendy brass  crown  and the crown hooks, sold under Accessories.  The lighting section is "coming soon."

image

And finally - all of  Rachel's books and CDs are available online.  This one is a particular "Guilty Pleasure" for me.  A fascinating tale that takes the reader through the renovation and furnishing of her Malibu home.  Though she has since moved at least two more times - it is still  one of my favorite houses of hers.

40 comments:

  1. Ohhh,yeah, I am the first one to post. Of course you know that I love all your posts. I can't get enough of interior design. I've always loved it. Anyway, I pretty much finished my guest room and added a picture of the chandelier. Feel free to critique it. You have such great taste. (I am in a different budget class than you are though...just so you know.) Hugs and Kisses, Kim

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  2. Great info! Rachel opened one of her stores near me. She is also stocking a few Aidan Gray items. Fun stuff. Thanks for the post!

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  3. How lovely, I didn't know she was opening stores. I think Shabby Chic doesn't go away, it just takes different forms.

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  4. God bless you Joni! You know we all love (and have had) this look, because it's easy to achieve. But we got jaded and started calling it Shabby Shit. The store looks great, but I don't think tufting and using grey is a whole lot of growth and development for a designer. Signature looks are fine, and Rachel certainly has hers, but it still looks as it did years ago. So many folks have moved on, but I guess many more are loving it because she's opened more stores, and I'm sitting here typing LOL

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  5. I think that white or cream slipcovers are always stylish, regardless of whether they are shabby chic or english country house.

    i have that book (not telling where i got it!), and love it, too.

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  6. Just gorgeous...dreamy, peaceful and
    sheer bliss.
    I too love that French styled chest. Oh, and that Darcy chair...and to have that white chaise...ooh.
    I have that book too and love to look and re-look, read and re-read it, as I do all my decor books.
    Thank you for always offering us such inspiration and the pure pleasure of viewing such amazing spaces and places!

    Hugs,
    Sue

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  7. Joni, I have always loved anything 'Rachel'. In fact, I have a whole shabby file with tearsheets and then I also discovered the awesome Amy Neusinger Photography through Rachel. Love the new greys and palette. Have I told you lately that your writing is mag? (mag = magnificent in Liberty Speak)

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  8. Joni, I love that you appreciate so many different styles and are so generous to other designers. Rachell's look will anbd has stood the test of time because it is comfortable and easy to obtain. It has an affordable charm to it.

    BTW...can't wait until Wednesday's lunch!

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  9. I love this feeling of sunny space.
    White is so lovely when you add little touch of other pale colors like the baby pink.
    this Malibu home reminds me a little some St Barth villa spirit.

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  10. I have never understood the anti-Shabby Chicers.What is not to love about classic, comfortable design? I have ordered about $500 of the Belgian design books (betaplus)and was struck by how "Rachel" the rooms look, except for the color choices.Massive,slipcovered sofas and chairs, bare floors, minimal decoration-very Rachel! And, except for a difference in color palette, she and Kathryn Ireland are basically one and the same.That Shabby Chic website is beautiful and the furniture pieces look like careful reproductions at great prices-the headboard is gorgeous!Rachel is all about comfort and practicality, and in my book, that is the namre of the game!

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  11. Love Rachell Ashwell, her new site is fabulous. I love the direction she is going in addition to the same style we have always loved her for!

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  12. Ah, yes, she is a classic! Thanks for sharing this Joni!

    xoxo

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  14. Rachel Ashwell and Shabby Chic = LOVE!

    It was actually my discovery of the Shabby Chic brand 8 years ago that really kicked off my love affair with Interior design.

    It's quite funny cause my children growing up would often refer to me as the Shabby Chic girl lol. I think Shabby Chic was probably two of the first words my daughter learned to say as a toddler lol.

    I still have a room reserved for someday when I can completely and quintessentially decorate it Shabby Chic.

    Outstanding post Joni, I pray on my knee's that Rachel will someday open a store down under.

    Anna :)

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  15. Sooo glad to see you highlight Rachel Ashwell! I don't decorate in Shabby Chic, but her book Shabby Chic Home is also one of my all time favorites. I really believe what so many people relate to is her philosophy as much as the visual style....the idea of a simple, authentic interior...very liveable, very flexible...an interior for real life!

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  16. thanks for the post! i think Shabby Chic has gotten a bad rap in recent years because too many people have copied it & overdid the look.
    i love her revamped style, and i notice that the more subdued grays are a big thing. it looks more simple than before, less florals.
    great job!
    xo alison

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  17. Joni, what a treat to catch up with you, today! I love this post. So many gorgeous images.

    Thanks so much!

    Pat

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  18. I think what I'm liking is her use of a little more color. I love her signature white, however, my favorite photo is the dining room with the asian print on the wall. Now that's cool.
    In many places the Shabby Chic look is just catching on.
    Thanks for this post!

    Susan

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  19. I can't understand the gustavian explosion. Must of the product that I'm seeing (not all) simply doesn't hold up. In my experience of supposedly nice pieces, the hardware, pulls etc.. will ruin a nice sweater. I've seen and heard a number of customer complaints. Stick to the real thing.

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  20. I love shabby chic and it's great to see Rachel Ashwell has updated her site with lots of gorgeous new inspiration!
    XX
    Anna

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  21. Love this post! Thank you for sharing the lovely photos! Such calm beautiful rooms. And I'm crazy about those chair skirts!
    Becky

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  22. I will always love a white slipcover...and I like the grey too. Like Meg said...it can go alot of ways: English Country, shabby chic, California fresh, French "Axel". Again...I love a white slipcover!

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  23. I will always love Shabby Chic! And how fun that she is opening stores! Great post!

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  24. Great post Joni. I do like like Rachel Ashwell, even if her designs are not exactly my style. Some of the photos are really great!!

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  25. Fabulous post. I love Rachel's style, although I prefer just a touch here and there mixed with vintage finds. But the pics are great.

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  26. I like her post-coital look in that last picture. Too many decorators today are handsome/pretty but sexless. A lack that might also apply to their work.

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  27. I have that book! I always thought her sleepover cot idea was a fabulous one :-)

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  28. Love the pictures you have posted. you HAVE DONE AMAZING WORK them?They are fabulous!these are gorgeous illustrations!Very nice,Lovely pictures.

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  29. Its not the real Shabby Chic I got tired of, but the overuse of the name to sell endless wornout dishrags and chipped midwestern dishes on Ebay. The new furniture looks very versatile and will blend better than the floral stuff. And I'm thrilled that the website sells online now, since its 300 miles to the nearest store for me. I wish that she'd post more photos of the furniture from different angles, in addition to the styles photos. What does the back of that prairie console look like, could it be free standing? What does the cot look like stripped of accessories... Maybe they'll get there. Meanwhile I think a pillow or two might work. What about your other top ten?

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  30. Oh I am in heaven! I love love did I mention love her work. I was about to do a piece on her shortly on my blog of the inside of her beach home. THese pics are gorgeous, if you don't mind I might have to borrow some and then link you back to go with my post. xo daisy~

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  31. Mmm...I'll never get tired of her white sofas. Beautiful, fresh, comfy...love em.

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