When I was in LA this past July on my book tour, I had the honor of meeting Rachel Ashwell who attended my signing and mood board event at Anthropologie. It was surreal to meet her for a second time, the first was in 2005 when I went to one of her warehouse sales and shyly asked for an autographed copy of one of her books. It was amazing to have the table turned and I felt a huge shift inside when she was at my signing… so much HAS happened in my life since 2005 that even I can’t believe it sometimes.
Rachel, who most of you know as the founder of Shabby Chic and who created the Shabby Chic decorating style in the first place, has had a very full career as a designer, author, television personality and so much more. Currently, she’s celebrating the launch of her latest book, Rachel Ashwell: Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces (which is lovely) and hosting book signings in these locations. In this post, I’ve snapped photos from my visit in her home and shop, including her inspiration journal that I kept peeking at while she spoke over tea and sweets. I am forever inspired by handmade books packed with collected images and things – loosely curated but always a theme when those doing the collecting have a good sense of personal style. Below are more photos from her home in LA…. This one is from the tabletop where I sat with Rachel discussing her new book, my book, blogging, social networking, her roots, business in general… It was a very full and memorable discussion that I’ll never forget.
In addition to products, Rachel is also enjoying these girly gorgeous retreats that she sets up for creative ladies in her ranch in Texas called The Prairie, decorated in her signature style, of course. Her successful Simply Shabby Chic line at Target is still going strong and she has an online shop and four boutiques called Shabby Chic Couture located in London, New York, Los Angeles and on her property at The Prairie B&B in Texas. Despite the peeks and lows of being such a massive brand with a huge cult following for over 20 years, Rachel has found her comfortable landing spot after lots of change in her own company and is completely at ease being smaller but better than ever. My kind of lady.
I’m sure you are wondering how I was able to get into the private home of Rachel Ashwell. I wondered that through most of my visit, in fact! Well, it was quite easy – she openly invited me and my friend, Leslie Shewring. She’s been following my blog and knows of my book because she contributed to Decorate. We also share a connection — one of her best friends, Amy Neunsinger, is someone I know as well – we shot her home for Decorate and if you have the book, you’ll see it throughout.
A glimpse into Rachel’s home office and mood board
A fireplace mantel with leaning art work and an old, battered wooden cabinet from Texas in soft blue in the living room.
Even her office was loaded with feminine details like this boho style pillow lazily lounging on her office chair and a big basket of ribbons on her file cabinet.
I love how she displayed vintage ceramics on the ledge above her kitchen sink just at the window. It was beautiful to look at them but also to see the garden view outside. I also appreciate details like beads and ribbons adorning cabinet handles. I do this too, so there was a sense of familiarity when I came across them throughout her home.
Her kitchen is a little old and new. I personally love hardwood floors in a kitchen combined with stainless appliances so I think this looks a bit country but also smart.
This corner in her dining area was so pretty, I loved how the light streamed in…
I found mirrors throughout her home, in every room it seemed… I love how they add a sense of space. In this one, you can see the reflection of her guest bathroom. Isn’t the wallpaper lovely?
Rachel had a rack of vintage clothing randomly placed in her living room – rather unexpected, but very Rachel. I couldn’t stop looking through them, each piece was unique and had some sweet detail from smocking to decorative buttons…
A view of her living room… the ethnic touches on the sofa make it very global, which I like.
More details from adorned handles to rustic finishes and embroidered vintage art work.
Rachel is a very spiritual person, evident throughout her home. All of the saints were represented and even a Buddha. Her en suite bathroom had gorgeous tile on the floor and felt very serene in gray, pale blue and white.
Her bedroom was paired down, simple, pretty…
Another bathroom in her home had some vintage details I had to capture, though I didn’t have my DSLR on me and my amazing lens so I had to make due with my old point and shoot. After taking the photo on the left, I grabbed the flower and a necklace from an adjacent room and placed it on a table in front of a window – the lighting was so perfect, I had to capture it somehow.
The artwork in her dining room was particularly pretty and varied. I also liked this golden headboard in a spare room upstairs.
After visiting Rachel at home, we left feeling elated and energized. We grabbed a snack at Le Pain Quotidien and then hit Shabby Chic Couture in Santa Monica. Here are a few snaps of some things in the store that caught my eye…
What a special treat to spend hours chatting with such an inspirational lady in the world of design. I mean, seriously, imagine creating a decorating style that is known around the world? That’s quite a contribution and something that will always be associated with the one and only Rachel Ashwell. Thank you Rachel for inviting me into your home.
(images: holly becker, taken with a basic point and shoot)
Hello everyone! I have a few pretty things to share with you this morning. After I spoke about blogging for business at 100% Design in London recently, I had about an hour to cruise the show to see what was new in the world of design in the UK. That’s when I bumped into my friend Margarita Lorenzo from Chocolate Creative who had the prettiest little booth with all of her products on display.
I’m a fan of Margarita’s products – especially her cushions and totes, but oh boy when my eyes caught site of the new knobs/hooks (below) that she designed (her boyfriend makes the wooden part and she applies the design), I simply knew I had to share them on decor8. Great, right???
Here are a few more things from Chocolate Creative that I’m certain you’ll love today… I must have those knobs though – you can put them on a dresser or cabinet OR use them as hooks on the wall. Brilliant!
But yes, I realllly love those knobs, don’t the totes look so pretty hanging from them in the above photo that I shot with my iPhone? They would really fit a store like Anthropologie or Liberty and well, I’d love to see Margarita’s work in the best stores – she has a great eye. Beautiful job presenting at 100% Design, Margarita, bravo!
(images: chocolate creative/instagram pics by holly becker)
Hello and happy Friday! I hope that you have some fun weekend plans coming up (I’ll be packing and writing!) but first, it’s time to get inspired to decorate! Oh do I love nicely pulled together rooms! Take these below, for example, from designers Ali Vanderpool and Ariana Villalta from The Elegant Abode.W hat a perfect way to kick off a weekend with a little “real” interiors inspiration!
(Above: Sink = perfection. I love farmhouse sinks and old wooden floors in the kitchen)
Ariana Villalta studied fashion and interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Her background includes furniture and hospitality design, along with high end residential project management. She currently resides in Long Island City.
Ali Vanderpool graduated from the New York School of Interior Design where she developed an enriched understanding and appreciation of all styles and periods of design. She previously worked in two different Manhattan based high-end, residential firms. She currently lives in the West Village (NYC).
(Above: lovely desk area – such a nice idea to carve out a pretty corner in your home for work.)
(Above: I’m a big fan of sisal throw rugs, they bring texture and warmth into any room – AND they are usually quite durable and affordable.)
(Above: Gorgeous brick exposure!)
(Above: Great coffee table and art arrangement on the wall.)
(Above: Really cute bar display idea for the wall, perhaps in a living room or dining room space installed above a table or dresser.)
Together, these ladies run the The Elegant Abode where they design and decorate homes in the NY area and they write the Elegant Abode blog where they share their ideas and inspirations. In this post you can see a sampling of some of their work – so approachable and pretty!
Thank you ladies for contacting me to share your work, it’s always a pleasure to shine a spotlight on such talented designers!
(images: the elegant abode)
When I was in Los Angeles, I had the honor of meeting American interior designer Betsy Burnham of Burnham Design who joined me for the Decorate Mood Board and Signing Event at Anthropologie. I was SO impressed by her – what a genuine, talented and approachable person – I expected to be completely intimidated but I wasn’t at all, she is warm and very, very sweet. Her clients must love working with her.
Betsy is a rock star in the world of designers, right up there with Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler, so I was honored to have her stand next to me speaking about her passion with all those who came out to The Grove to hear us speak. What a fun event! She spoke along with Leslie Shewring and I about how to use a mood board as a guide to tap into your own personal style. Betsy also briefly mentioned her online “e-decorating” service called Instant Space that she launched several years ago that is still strong and successful. She is the pioneer of e-decorating services and as she walked us through a recent client project that was done virtually and through snail mail with her Texas-based client, you couldn’t help but think that Instant Space is one heck of a value and service in that you get access to Betsy’s mind, finds for your home, and a completely new floor plan in one affordable package. Love it!
It was also a pleasure to meet her project manager, Max Humphrey, whom Betsy predicts is the next big thing, “a rising star in the design world”, so we’ll have to wait and see because anyone Betsy endorses has my attention! He was very sweet when we met and I was honored when he approached my table with a stack of books for me to sign. It’s nice to have that nod of approval from so many talented people in the design world, especially from Burnham Design. Thank you Betsy and Max for being at my event in LA and for sharing your time, talent and energy with all of us!
(images: burnham design)
Today begins the Spotlight On series, which will run a few times daily until I’m back from vacation. Let’s visit English designer Catherine Hammerton and her fabulous line, including the new “Flight” series, to debut at the Vintage show in London this weekend. This is a fitting name for the season since many of us will be up in the sky flying to our vacation destinations.
You may recall seeing Catherine’s lovely apartment in the April 2010 issue of Elle Decoration, you can visit this page to read and enlarge it.
In London? Don’t miss “Vintage”, a special pop up show over at the Southbank Centre from July 29-31, 2011. Catherine will be showing her new Flight collection so for more information click here.
(images: catherine hammerton)