Is Shabby Chic Again?

June 2, 2012

Remember Shabby Chic?  I came across this image a few days ago and wondered what ever became of Rachel Ashwell and the look she made famous.  Creating a brand synonymous with her aesthetic and lifestyle, designer Rachel Ashwell founded Shabby Chic in 1989 on the philosophy of beauty, comfort, and function. Her first store, located in Santa Monica, CA, sold Rachel’s washable furniture slip covers and fabulous flea market finds.Comfort, the beauty of imperfections, the allure of time-worn objects, and the appeal of simple practical living: these are the cornerstones of the Shabby Chic brand. And I gotta say I’m good with that.  I love the idea of casual, easy and relaxed.  Maybe you’re too young to really recall the heyday of Shabby Chic, in the late 80’s I’m sure many a fine antique lost its value to a can of white paint.  Today real vintage pieces with honest patina and the charm of showing age are finding their way back into american homes.Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture flagship stores are located in Santa Monica, California, SoHo, New York and London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, with ever-expanding lines of bedding, furniture, accessories and vintage items…. So I guess Shabby Chic is alive and well.  There is a Simply Shabby Chic line of bedding and home accessories, created in 2004 through an exclusive partnership with Target stores, continues to bring the brand’s blend of English elegance and California casual to Target customers nationwide.What I’d like to close with is that while the Shabby Chic look isn’t for everyone, I believe Rachel Ashwell had a major influence in the mainstream embracing “not so perfect” vintage items into their homes, and maybe crystal chandeliers and cabbage roses aren’t for everyone, we all have some version of this in our homes.  Todays version of Shabby Chic is a bit more modern – neutrals and stripes, no flowers – and a bit more organic -tree stumps as coffee tables, etc – but it’s very much in style.



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