Book Review: The World of Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell


I just received a press copy of Rachel Ashwell’s new book The World of Shabby Chic published by Rizzoli. The book is, of course, filled with beautiful images of the soft and romantic Shabby Chic  style that propelled a huge movement in the interiors world. In the book, Ms. Ashwell talks of her childhood in England and California and of her parents – Dad an antique books dealer and Mom an antique doll restorer.  The book also gets into the meteoric rise of her brand and the terrible loss and bankruptcy that ended the business in 2008/9. The book also covers her rebirth as a hotelier (The Prairie), the stores she was allowed to re-open under her own name and more. Ultimately, it’s a great story of the chances one takes in business and Ms. Ashwell’s entrepreneurial spirit.

If you’re a lover of pale hues, white bedding, crystal chandeliers and chippy painted furniture – this is a book you’ll want to have on your coffee table. My own personal style incorporates many of these elements, though I prefer a more eclectic mix with cleaner lines. But I do love white bedding and chandeliers – which is at the heart of the Shabby Chic style.

My only quibble with the book is that the print is very small and often difficult to read. In an attempt to capture the soft essence of the style, I do think the publishers went too far. Maybe it’s just me and my tired old eyes…

xoxo Linda

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