Are you a Shabby Chic chick?

Shabby chic bookcoverIt’ sad, so sad, but this week I’m gonna have to return the book Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell to the library! I’ve re-loaned it three times (which is the limit) and read it through and looked at the pictures with yearning many times.

(But if I blog about it, I might be able to “keep it”/remember it anyway. That is my philosophy about many things. If you write about people, moments and knitting projects you’ll keep them for ever. You yourself can read about them later and they’ll still be “yours” even when they are almost forgotten, lost or finished. That is one reason I keep a diary, do my bloging and now also keep a art journal. It saves the moment.)

But back to the Shabby chic book.

I don’t know if my obsession with roses started before or after I borrowed this book, but I know I got my rose bowl (now in the window in front of me) about that time. The Shabby chic decoration style of Ashwell is not as pink as I thought it had to be after reading about Melissa, but still very romantic and soft. But some of the rooms in Ashwell’s book is blue or light green. So you know. And I adore them all. Specially the white rooms with pink throw pillows and rose paintings on the wall.

Did you know it was Rachel Ashwell who named this decoration style? She has a store who sells “old new stuff” and you can check her stuff out at the Shabby chic gallery!

Imagine having her job? I can easily imagine me being her… Going to flea markets where you buy anything with a potential to become great. Restore, paint, sew, play, put together in different ways – place it in your big beautiful store and make people happy! Write a book about it and make even more people happy.

Are you a Shabby Chic Gal?

Test yourself:
Are you obsessed with decorative pictures of roses (and on fabric!), furniture with worn paint, the romantic style, lace, light or plain white walls, flea market bargains, crystal chandeliers, candles, anything vintage, mirrors… then this interior decoration style is for you! I’m almost certain.

Here are some of my favourites from the book:

bedside tableA bedside table in milk white with ornamental wooden cuts of roses and leafs. Who wouldn’t love this? Oh, right, minimalists and modernists perhaps? :-)

I can’t find anything this beautiful at flea markets in Sweden, and this is the reason that I still just have an unpainted wooden stool for bedside table. I want something like this!

sideboardAshwell has put ugly rusty things like this to great use:

She has made tables for bedrooms, balcony and bathrooms. I would love to find one and try it out. But where do you find things like this? Not where I’ve been looking anyway.


One great idea from the book
And this is one great idea from the book (check it out on amazon: Shabby Chic) that I really like. If I had a craft room I would try it out!

18 Responses

  1. oh i looove rachel ashwell. i have watched all of her show based on her shabby chic style. i totally understand why you adore her creations. i do as well. i have all of her books i have been able to find.

  2. I like Shabby Chic stuff too. As “froggy” mentioned, there used to be TV show which was cool. She was always putting together beautiful parties by picking up fabrics from India, or inexpensive items in Chiatown. I loved that. If you can find it, you’d probably like “Found Style” by David and Amy Butler.

  3. I am a Shabby Chic fanatic, and I’m so happy to have found a blog for Shabby Chic. We are on a very limited budget, but I am crazy about Rachel Ashwell’s fabrics. Does anyone have suggestions on where I could fine designs similar to hers but more affordable? I especially like her ultra-faded florals.

    I could talk about Shabby Chic for hours and hours if I could find someone else with the same fervor……….

  4. i enjoyed your site…
    i love collect and sell all things shabby…. from rose pictures to big old doors made into tables… saving old junk and turning it into something beautiful and useful is so rewarding… if you ever get to indiana come see me…. i have little sahbby rose scraps from the 1890s…. pretty cheap too… and i sell to a lot of shabby artists who get windows and old relics from me for their projects…

  5. Hi, this shabby chic thing was something a distant relative to my husband did in the 1940’s but she was a (very) rich person and could do just what she liked. So its not a new style its just something rediscovered. It’s a mix of french southamerican british chinese style that was popular at the time among wealthy persons. Its soOO beautiful and I love those soft-pink-yellow-cream coloured roses.

  6. Posy, I too love the look of shabby chic but quite expensive for the majority of people. I have found a couple of websites that are more reasonable than others that deal in her fabric and as for furniture I do alot of looking for that diamond in the rough…slipcovers are a great option too in that you can purchase plain white twill and accent with a couple of the shabby chic pillows. Happy treasure hunting:)

  7. In case any of you are interested, you can purchase used copies of Rachel Ashwell’s books from for a fraction of the cost of the new ones. I don’t know if the overseas shipping costs might be prohibitive though.

    Wherever you live, look for used copies of her books. They’re too good to check out from the library, and then have to return them!

  8. I had the greatest find on the weekend, very happy with myself, a little shop full of shabby chic treats at a cost of only a fraction over the purchase of an ebay DIY job. As Im usually one to invest the effort in my own creations due to the expense of most shabby chic shops I was most impressed … Im also assuming that due to the lower price tags this shop might have a large turn over in stock, all one off pieces… I’ll keep everyone posted, all the same, for those interested in checking it out its called “Favourite things” on pittwater rd in dee why… pretty cool little place so i thought i’d give it a plug, great to see a shop open up in the lower end of the $ market, well done guys!

  9. Hello :)

    I too LOVE shabby chic, and anything with roses. I am an artist, and I paint and distress old furniture and unique pieces for OOAK furniture art.
    I love pink, but many of my custom jobs ask for white. What do you think? And thank you so much for having such a cool blog about shabby chic! :)

  10. oh Im in love with your blog. I adore shabby chic and have done for some time. Ive only just started getting into creating shabby chick clothing and handstitched toys for younger children…I just find the colors are so soft and beautiful for babes and toddlers.

    The color palattes for shabby chic literally make me drool ….Im a hopeless fabricaholic :)

    Look forward to reading more on your blog!


  11. I too love the shabby cottage look. The best thing about it is that when the furniture gets a little beaten up from the kids jumping from couch to chair, it actually improves the look!

    Seriously though, you can get some of that roughed up look from older pieces of furniture, by painting them in a darker color and then lightly sanding the edges.

    By the way, I hadn’t seen Rachel Ashwell’s book, but now I am going to make a run to the library myself!

    Thanks for a great article.

  12. Great Blog with very good posts .Can you please tell me that how much time you take to create this wonderful blog,although i am new on internet but your work is very good and i appreciate your work.

  13. I seen this site for the frist time. Sometimes I think Im the only shabbychic woman ha. love shabbychic love it. been working on my place for 2 years. ha it takes a while. email me if you want any shabbychic fans. waiting to meet you all . I have look i love her new book it is me shabbychic girls.glenda.

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