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Shabby Chic Books by Rachel Ashwell Personal Review

Updated on April 1, 2013

Shabby Chic home decor

Signature Shabby Chic - Armoires to hold clothes  and decorate the outside with a vintage item.
Signature Shabby Chic - Armoires to hold clothes and decorate the outside with a vintage item. | Source

Shabby Chic The Gift of Giving

My favorite book is "The Gift of Giving" by Rachel Ashwell and photographs by Amy Neunsinger. vintage shopping and gifts may not be for all of your friends, but i like the ideas behind it. Even if you just take the fresh flowers idea and gift it in an elegant floral vase found in the antique store; your mom or friend will love it!

One of my favorite parts of this book is the Color coordinating ideas for white, turquoise and pink. It creates and inspires party theme ideas for weddings and baby showers.

What is great is the green concepts from vintage items re-gifted to recycling packaging materials into gifting materials and gathering sets of items together to make a whole set of dishes or girl boxes. I like her concept of placing china in the dishwasher, as it gets worn, it has more of that antiqued look. Use them, don't leave them in a cabinet for only a few times a year.

(Now I can tell you honestly, I already have the china set from my mom and I would't dream of placing a single piece in the dishwasher. I would if I pick up items from antique stores and commit to using those daily)

There are endless ideas for flower arranging in unique and colorful vases.

The last page contains the meaning of certain herbs ask you can incorporate them into party favors or gifts to friends or just to keep and use in your kitchen window seal.

There are Shabby Chic stores in: New York, Los Angeles, Texas and London. Products and furniture are available through some authorized online retailers and Target Stores carry some of the bedding and pillows.

Shabby Chic The Gift of Giving

Sumptuous Settings & Other Lovely Things

My top favorite in this book is on the baby shower ideas and decor. The adorable antique shadow box keepsake, truly is a treasure. This particular book has guided me towards designing some baby shower decorations around the vintage pieces. I can't wait to try it out for my Etsy store. I think it will be a lot of fun and I can add a matching handcrafted set of invitations.

Yes Pamela Anderson is in this book too as they create a blue theme for a boys 6th birthday party together in Malibu. Rachel Ashwell shares the tip for dying carnations any color you want.

You will find tables with bling. Tea parties worthy of royalty and perfect for scrapbooking clubs, church or girl gatherings.There are many girly party ideas and themes in here to set the stage for a sweet gathering. You can incorporate the parasols or floral hats of old, like a Kentucky Derby theme.

Lot's of little girls would squeal over a vintage ballerina theme with dancing dolls in jewelry boxes and cakes displaying ballerina shoes.

The peacock theme has been a wedding trend this year, there is a section focused on feathers and flowers in the decor

Do you need a sample of a simple floral wedding? Check out the bouquets you can make yourself.

Frilly cakes and table top love are the things this book is made of!

Shabby Chic Show Room Part 1

Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces

This is a larger book and the most recent to my collection. This one is based on the design of her Texas home. Prairie style living with lace against hardwoods. Chandeliers capturing light from outside and within. IT feels like Texas!

Elegant china adorns the country wooden table and vintage wooden chairs. Nearly every page breathes of flowers in life or on paper or fabric to add a delicate chic style to the rustic appearance of the rooms.

Mirrors give rise to plain walls with exploding tall flowers in buckets in front. A perfect place to sit and read by the window and smell the scents.

For those that wanted Shabby Chic in brighter colors, this is the book that incorporates a few brights with the usual pales.

The adorable white cottage in here just makes you want a small space to duplicate this design inside and out. It looks like your only need and purpose in life is to read a few good books, sleep in great comfort and maybe garden to keep fresh flowers inside.

Again the last pages, my favorite and I think a necessary step for all artists and designers: Creating a mood board. I have found I create my best work when I have a mood board to work from. It's because you are pulling from different things and images that inspired the work.

Shabby Chic Furniture

Shabby Chic Rachel Ashwell

The original book on the shabby chic style. If you want a true sense of a vintage french armoire, this is it. It is the most amazing piece of shabby chic furniture that demands the attention in the room. I would love to have one, although I would need a bigger room because I wouldn't want to give up my antique vanity I bought from Brass Armadillo back when Rachel Ashwell first inspired me personally. I also followed the advise of aadding angel statute that must sit on that vanity. It now holds many of my fashion necklesses so I have easy access to grab the one I want and be able to look at the collection daily.

There is more about fixtures, furniture, storage, shelves and useful items for the home. It covers many areas and the storage ideas are ideal for crafting rooms and bathrooms.

The Shabby Chic Home

This one feels like the beginning of her passions, dreams and visions. Rachel lays out the foundation for shabby chic style. Everything that inspired her Shabby Chic stores and how they will incorporate the style throughout your home. Share in the fluffy comforts and soothing soft colors of fabrics.

There are some great garden side ideas for comfort in the shade on soft cushions. Check out the incredible lightened up makeover she gives the the dull brown pool side. It looks like a secluded paradise!

Her dishwasher is like looking inside of a china cabinet, stuffed full of floral plates and cups.

I love the seashell decor and candle that sit in front of the stack of magazines. She is quite the beach comber, so you will see shells in many of her books and styles.

Treasure Hunting :& Decorating Guide

This book is full of useful tips for fixing and caring for antique items. There is fabric care, removing stains, "tips for transforming treasures", It is a must for anyone that vintage shops.

The glass cabinets are spectacular and put into full use. I can see my craft room looking like this with a big wooden glassed over table to create beautiful party favors on.

The book covers furniture, wall art, items found and reused for other uses and decorative purposes.China, vases and lamps. vintage holiday decor and ornaments. Adorable embellishments for gifts and packages.

Vintage clothing: Old Levi's, sweet sweaters, aprons and embroidered touches.

Secrets to Flea Market Shopping for Antiques


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