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Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Books Round-Up

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Happy Thursday, My Lovelies!  Spring has sprung in Central Alabama.  Yesterday, we took the Westies for a long walk and enjoyed the sunshine and 80 degree weather.  It was like heaven in February, and I loved it!

As I promised in yesterday's post, today I have a round-up post of my favorite Rachel Ashwell books.  Below each photo I'll give a brief synopsis of why I love the book.

Published in 1996, it's easy to understand why Rachel's style in Shabby Chic has stood the test of time.  Chapter One covers diverse styles: casual beach, contemporary, traditional, and eclectic.  The featured rooms are so pretty, and there's nothing in any of these rooms I wouldn't have in our home today.  My favorite chapter in this book is Chapter Four: Fabrics. Several of Rachel's early printed linen fabrics are featured, and I would be so happy if she'd look in the archives and bring back some of them!  The last chapter, Chapter 7: Flowers, has the prettiest selection of roses I've ever seen, and I'd like to plant a few of the varieties shared in this chapter.

Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic: Treasure Hunting & Decorating Guide was first published in 1998.  This is more like a resource book to me on all things flea markets and estate sales. Rachel not only shares her best shopping tips; she also explains what to do with treasures once you've found them.  There are countless tips on cleaning, restoring, and decorating your home with your found things.  Some of her best tips are on how to clean and treat vintage fabrics.  This is a keeper because I love old linens, and I'm not as worried about buying something stained since I have this handy book.  

Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces was published in 2011.  Of all the books, this one has the most diverse selection of homes and rooms.  Among some of the features of this book are Rachel's Texas Prairie property and Notting Hill apartment; Sharon and Ozzy Osborne's stunningly gorgeous dining room and foyer; and probably the most pinned tiny shabby chic cottage in the world, Sandy Foster's Catskill cottage.  

Published in 2013, Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures is all about Rachel's property near Round Top, Texas.  Each building on the property is featured along with the store and outbuildings.  Because The Prairie is an event venue, there's also a chapter entitled "Making magical moments."  There's also a chapter on flea market finds, and a handy reference guide for all things Round Top.  This book will be my go-to guide if I ever get to visit the Round Top Antiques Fair.

The World of Shabby Chic was published in 2015.
Mine is a little faded because it was sitting in the sun in my family room.

This is the book without the dust jacket.  Isn't it beautiful!

The World of Shabby Chic has three sections:  The Shabby Chic Story, At the Heart of Shabby Chic, and The Looks of Shabby Chic.  This book details the history and evolution of the brand, and I found it a very interesting read.  One thing that stands out in this book are the unique vignettes featuring flowers in unusual yet beautiful containers.

This is Rachel's new book, and in case you missed it, you can read my post about My Floral Affair HERE.

I love Rachel's style, and her influence can be seen in our home.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I love shabby chic! I always want to do it, but it ends up a little more shabby, lol

  2. I have been enamored with Rachel's style since the early 1990's when I discovered it. I used to follow it religiously. It is my first love to decorate by and it always draws me in. However, with my hubby and son they are not fans and I have had to do away with a little bit of it. But, my office is certainly filled with it, lol....

  3. I have some of these books, too. I actually visited the main store in Santa Monica (which is closed sadly) when I visited my son who lived there at the time. We had a "branch" or "knock-off" over in Homewood for a while, (Dwell?) but they are gone, too. I absolutely loved your interpretation in your own home -- just gorgeous!

  4. I am all about shabby chic nowadays. I’ve been repainting and distressing my furniture for about 6 months and I just love the effect. I owe a debt to Rachel Ashwell without a doubt.

  5. Great roundup and review of all her books! I am waiting for the floral one to come. xoox Su

  6. I would love to peruse all her books. Pinned for inspiration.

  7. Such a pretty post.

  8. what a great round-up, RJ. I don't have any of her books but I have a feeling some of these might be on my bucket list. It would be hard to choose. I do love her style. It's cozy and comfy, I think. And I love cozy and comfy! Happy weekend!

  9. Rachael is definitely your soul mate Ricki Jill, her style has you written all over it! Lovely lovely books, I have put several on my wish list! Enjoy another glorious Spring day!

  10. I have checked many of her books out at the library. I am waiting on My Floral Affair.
    Your Spring Day sounds WONDERFUL!!!

  11. What a great write up of Rachel's books. Have loved her since the beginning. Love your site as well...


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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