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Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Inspirations Hardcover – September 30, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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  • Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Inspirations
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rachel Ashwell founded the iconic brand known as Shabby Chic in 1989. Her vision and love of vintage style and flea-market finds have hit a chord with her customers who have found her comfortable, relaxed approach to design both reassuring and achievable. She has educated and inspired people through a series of books, including Rachel Ashwell: Shabby Chic Interiors, and through her television series, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic On Style.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: CICO Books (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907563598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907563591
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.9 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Yes, it's still Rachel Ashwell and it's still Shabby Chic. I actually read most of the reviews here before going to preview the book. I've delayed my purchase but I will purchase the book eventually. Here is what I think has most hard-core Shabby Chic fans up in arms:

1. Amy Neunsinger, the photographer that illustrated all of Rachel's previous books, has only a small entry in this book and it's of Rachel's London Shabby Chic Couture store. Do not underestimate the power of her touch because it's her interpretation of those beautiful linen white walls and slipcovered furniture that made Rachel's books so delicious. Actually there were a number of photographers who contributed to each chapter of the book and the result is a curious sense of disconnect not only from previous books but also within this book itself. I also noted a new publisher as well.

2. The chapters are really short which gave me the impression this book was culled together a little too quickly. It's not the unfolding of a single vision as with Shabby Chic Home but jets from here to there, place to place. Rachel mentions her 'discombobulated life' which is is mirrored in this book and I wonder if it was intentional. Even if it was it makes for a read that isn't quite as luscious as previous works.

3. The first chapter of the book introduces The Prairie, her B&B in Texas, and this is probably what got those hard-core Shabby Chic folks upset. Some of the photos reminded me of the Texas Tumbleweed houses, a little too gritty Victorian for my taste. Walls here are not linen white or pale pastel but scrubbed and faded colors like turquoise, tan and gray. There is also a lot of stained wood instead of painted white. It's still Shabby Chic but it's definitely more shabby than chic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Rachel Ashwell and her shabby chic look for years. I own every book she has authored. This book is a huge disappointment in that she has veered even further away from her original look. Her new look is very confusing as if she wants to accomodate every other look out there, wrap it all up together and present it to us with a "tah-dah"!
A more appropriate title for her new look could be labeled "Bohemian Gypsy meets Wandering Peasant". I am so sorry. I wanted to love this book. I eagerly looked forward to its release. I love the front cover, but unfortunately the cover is much prettier than what's inside, with a few exceptions.
I did truly drool over the pictures of Sharon Osbourne's home. Maybe Sharon should put out the next decorating book instead? Sorry, Rachel. I still love you!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OMG, the Salvation Army would not accept the ripped down to the wood frame chairs, cushions with the stuffing coming out, and broken UNATTRACTIVE 'designs'? I cannot even call this decorating. From the run down porch at the Praire B&B to the mattress on the floor and the corrogated tin roof...it's APPALLING. You are probably wondering why I gave it four stars and I will explain. Reading a Rachel Ashwell book for me is like a visit from a beloved old friend...you may not see things the way your 'friend' does and you may even think she's gone off her broken rocker but it is still fun to 'visit'! I have a confession to make..lol...my dog destroyed a chair and it looks exactly like some chairs in the book and I've decided to keep it just the way it is!!!! It's like dumpster diving gone wild. This book is truly beyond words! It will definitely leave an impression!:)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always LOVED Rachel Ashwell, her show when it was on the Style network, and the Shabby Chic book series. But unfortunately, her style has been moving away from the original aesthetic of pretty painted vintage furniture, white and pale colors, flowery and gently shabby decorating. Rachel seems to feel obligated to embrace something strangely different to keep growing as a designer. Rather than build on her signature look with fresh ideas that are appealing, she's slowly abandoning it and digressing into a rather dismal and dated vision. Lovely patina has been replaced with dirty and trashy. Pale and pretty is now dark and dreary: black walls and stairway, torn and ripped furniture more suited for the dump, ugly mismatched furnishings, deteriorating and messy rooms is hardly stepping "outside the box". It's neither artistic nor an expression of someone with a sharp eye, as one reviewer stated. Rather, much of it is overly pretentious: buckets of flowers with petals strewn about the floor, badly-staged rooms of hodgepodge junk trying to pass as pretty and tasteful. An example is the Prairie House, a small B&B she purchased in Texas. With the exception of one bedroom which embraces her original aesthetic, it was more rundown rustic than shabby chic inspiring. A fabulous chandelier, cushy white sofas, floral bedding, posies and some vintage furniture doesn't transform a dumpy farmhouse into charmingly sweet lodgings for guests. The depressing walls of old dark teal wallpaper, mounted deer head, mattress laying on a cement floor, and rusty cheap tin lathe ceilings isn't very romantic, cheery or hospitable either. Even less is the horrid adjoining bathroom and mismatched paint-scarred plank walls throughout. This is taking the shabby aesthetic too far.Read more ›
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