Shabby Chic Home

Shabby Chic Home

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by Rachel Ashwell, Deborah Greenfield, Amy Neunsinger

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Shabby Chic Home

Wonderful wide-plank floors, paned sash windows, an old brick fireplace, the charm of living with a home's small imperfections and making them a virtue. These are just some examples of what makes up a Shabby Chic home.

When she first saw what would be her future home, Rachel Ashwell, founder of the Shabby Chic line, was put off by


Shabby Chic Home

Wonderful wide-plank floors, paned sash windows, an old brick fireplace, the charm of living with a home's small imperfections and making them a virtue. These are just some examples of what makes up a Shabby Chic home.

When she first saw what would be her future home, Rachel Ashwell, founder of the Shabby Chic line, was put off by its dark, witchy exterior, gloomy interior, and overgrown garden. But for weeks afterward, she couldn't get the house out of her mind. She went back, took a closer look, and started to see the charm that lay hidden beneath the surface. Excited by the challenge, she bought the house and went to work on it.

Inspired by the original design of the 1920s house, Rachel was able to transform it into her bright, cozy dream home, one that had the hallmarks of a Shabby Chic home: a practical amount of space, a relaxed atmosphere, and a comfortable beauty. Through simple instructions and detailed before-and-after photographs, Rachel reveals her decorating and entertaining secrets. Even the most apprehensive novices will learn how to incorporate Shabby Chic style into their everyday life and home.

Using her home as an example, Rachel shows you how to assess what needs to be replaced (in her home it was the dark tile in the pool and the bathroom doorknobs), make small structural changes (she exchanged a glass window for a glass door), and keep costs down while adding personal Shabby Chic touches. The gray marble countertop in the guest bathroom and the somewhat noisy glass-front refrigerator were fixtures she would have never chosen, but she left them alone and was pleasantly surprised by the character they added.

In her previous books, Rachel showed you how to recognize beauty in overlooked places. Now, in The Shabby Chic Home, she teaches you how to find it in the nooks and crannies of your own home and then apply it to everyday life. She reveals how work, love, a lot of white paint, and Shabby Chic details can turn any new house into a comfortable, functional, beautifully designed home.

Editorial Reviews
The Queen of Shabby Chic invites us into the renovation of her home. Ashwell's initial assessment of the house was "dark, spooky, witchy," and she passed on it. Unable to get the house out of her mind, she returned for another look. What she saw was its great "bones," its wide-planked floors, and all its potential, so rather than gutting the place, she went to work on it. The result is an airy and open home, a testament to her Shabby Chic style.
Library Journal
Ashwell (Shabby Chic and Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting & Decorating Guide) shows how she transformed her own Malibu home, a 1920s natural-wood dwelling built by a Swedish boatbuilder, into a reflection of the "Shabby Chic" style that she has popularized with her home furnishings and fabric lines. Taking a house with "good bones," she dramatically changed the look of the house with simple adjustments, such as using lots of white paint. (To those who protested her painting the natural wood, she replied, "Oh, well.") Given the continuing tendency to gut or tear down older homes, her recommendations are refreshing. A good purchase for public libraries. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.99(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Living Room & Dining Area

Every window in my house has a view, and one wall of my living room is entirely glass--windows, a French door, and the entrance door. The glass wall brings the colors of the pool and the garden into the house. The turquoise drops on the chandelier are the same color as the pool; before installing it, once I would have unpicked every turquoise drop and replaced it with clear glass, and I probably would have tried to do something about the gold paint as well. Now I leave it all as is, thanks to the colorful inspirations that surround me. The rest of the room is lit by sconces, lamps, and candles.

The living room is sparsely decorated: just a few paintings and some family photographs on the walls and propped around; the room depends on the outdoors for its decor. As the seasons change the flowers in the garden, I change my slipcovers in the living room. It is the best room in the world for a rainy day. And, of course, there are no curtains.

Meet the Author

Rachel Ashwell is the creator of the Shabby Chic style. In 1989, she founded the Shabby Chic home furnishing stores and then later, the Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture stores. She is the author of Shabby Chic, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting and Decorating Guide, The Shabby Chic Home, and Shabby Chic: The Gift of Giving.

Amy NeuNsinger is a photographer whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and advertising campaigns ranging from beauty to travel.

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Shabby Chic Home 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have purchased each of the Shabby Chic books as they have been released, and after receiving this one in the mail yesterday and opening the cover, I was thrilled. The pictures are gorgeous, and the book also includes some sketches of the rooms as she invisioned them before they were completed. It provides tons of inspiration. This book is great for anyone who likes the Shabby Chic look, or collects decorating books such as the ones published by Victoria Magazine. My favorite of Ashwell's three.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the honor of meeting Rachel Ashwell (in an airport in CT). She treated my children and myself like we were old friends who hadn't seen each other in years. She was friendly, kind and inviting to say the least. She especially bragged about her daughter and son! I have Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting and Decorating Guide which I enjoy very much. The night I came home from the airport, I rushed out to get her newest book Shabby Chic Home. This book reminded me of how she was so warm and open at the airport. She welcomes us into her private home and helps us with style and technique at the same time. I ESPECIALLY LOVE WATCHING HER ON E! AND STYLE. I have picked up wonderful ideas and knowledge from Rachel Ashwell. By the way, I found the perfect place for Shabby Chic Home along with a picture of my children that she wrote a note to and autographed right next to her picture! Thank you Ms. Ashwell. I am still bragging about you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago