Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting and Decorating Guide

 
9780060392086: Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting and Decorating Guide

Shabby Chic—the rich, inviting, practical, time-worn style created by one of America's top designers, Rachel Ashwell, is a style of living that reflects the grace and simplicity of another time.

Now you can do more than just dream of living in a Shabby Chic home. You can create one yourself. With invaluable treasure hunting advice and tips for essential materials, furniture, objects, and decorations, you can live a life of simple, but rich, beauty.

With her practiced eye Rachel takes you on a tour of flea markets, antique malls, and a variety of secondhand sales— estate, tag, yard, church, garage—to demonstrate how, with a little taste, imagination, work, and ingenuity, you can turn trinkets from the past into treasures for today.

As Rachel sifts through the discarded, the crumbling, the shabby, she takes you step by step through her personal process, sharing how you, too, can spot a fabulous buy, repair and alter it, and by following her guideline words—comfort, function, and beauty—develop your own distinctive, original look that is down-to-earth yet truly exquisite.

Following her sensible advice you can exchange the anonymity of mass-produced furniture and home accessories for unique, inviting surroundings for a fraction of the price and decorate comfortable, livable rooms in which family heirlooms blend with flea-market finds and the new combines gracefully with the well worn. Lavishly illustrated with lovely and informative photographs and drawings, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting & Decorating Guide shows you how to have the home you've always dreamed of, a place where children's dinners are served on mix-and-match antique plates at a table covered with lace from a renovated curtain set with unironed linen napkins. A space where fresh flowers stand in antique jugs, complementing comfortable furniture covered in crisp white denim that is enhanced with each laundering.

For Rachel, Shabby Chic is not just a style. It is a way of living. With her trademark warmth and charm she reveals how she sleeps on embroidered antique linen and dresses in cashmeres and bias-cut silk dresses discovered in vintage clothing shops and flea markets. Throughout, she teaches you how to recognize and appreciate beauty in unlikely and often overlooked places, as well as how to define and refine your individual taste.

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Review:

By now most readers even marginally interested in home decorating are familiar with the democratic principles of decorating elaborated in Rachel Ashwell's first book, Shabby Chic: namely, that well-made vintage furniture and home accessories can add a cozy grandeur to your home, even if the paint's a little thin or the fabric a bit faded. In her second book, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting & Decorating Guide, Ashwell shares her processes, from a stall-by-stall description of a flea market trip to pictures of her design boards scattered with photos, fabric swatches, and paint chips. Ashwell doesn't skimp on details: she tells how to decide on a fair bargaining price at flea markets, how to clean old items without harming them, and (step by step) how one ugly glass-fronted cabinet topped with old linoleum and mismatched shelf paper became an attractive, roomy storage piece that houses her daughter's books, dolls, and bedding. This is a friendly, intimate book in which Ashwell shares pictures of her own home and those of her friends--some of whom live in roomy beach houses and some of whom live in 450-square-foot cottages, and all of whom use the main Shabby Chic concepts of comfort, function, and beauty in deciding which objects to share their space with. Fans of the original Shabby Chic will find this follow-up every bit as useful, attractive, and accessible.

About 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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