Style Rachel Ashwell The Shabby Chic Home

ISBN 13: 9780060393199

The Shabby Chic Home

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9780060393199: The Shabby Chic Home

Shabby Chic designer Rachel Ashwell shows readers how to turn any house or apartment into a comfortable, functional, beautiful, and stylish home, in this bestselling guide to getting the most out of flea-market finds and vintage treasures.

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Review:

Most people are familiar with the hallmarks of Rachel Ashwell's shabby chic style: fabrics in pastel florals and stripes, chintz sofa covers, antique-store and yard-sale finds turned into home furnishings and accessories. At the heart of this breezy style is a very practical idea: don't buy new--use what you have or can find at thrift stores and secondhand shops and enjoy the old-fashioned charm that only aged pieces acquire. The same idea goes for houses. The Shabby Chic Home shows how an older home can take on a shabby chic appeal by being brought up to date without sacrificing any of its charm.

In The Shabby Chic Home, Ashwell walks readers through the renovation of her own 1920s home, from the purchase of the originally dark and gloomy house through the repainting (using layers and layers of white paint) of the home and the rebirth of the garden, yard, and pool, to the final decorating of the home for herself and her two kids. Along the way, readers receive advice on how to choose from among the thousands of paint colors, how to decide whether to live with the old or buy new, and why remodeling an older home might not be such a good idea. The latter part of the book explains how to add touches of shabby chic style to every room of a home--old or new--for a finished look. The result, shown in dramatic before-and-after pictures, is a home that's comfortable enough for a family to relax in, but still elegant and beautiful.

Don't let the floral patterns and chenille bedspreads fool you: Ashwell's advice throughout is common-sense and economical. For instance, she recommends not wasting your time looking through every decorating option--if you like the first idea, color, or plan well enough, save yourself the time and stress and go with it. She also suggests resisting the immediate desire to throw out the old and bring in the new; try living with things as they are for a while, and you may find yourself surprised at how well you've come to like the funky tile in the bathroom or the noisy glass-door refrigerator. Here lies the appeal of a shabby chic home: sometimes old has a charm and lived-in look that can't be purchased from a home improvement store. --Kris Law

From the Back Cover:

Wonderful wide–plank floors, paned sash windows, an old brick fireplace, the charm of living with a home's small imperfections and making them a virtue. These are just some examples of what makes up a Shabby Chic home.

When she first saw what would be her future home, Rachel Ashwell, founder of the Shabby Chic line, was put off by its dark, witchy exterior, gloomy interior, and overgrown garden. But for weeks afterward, she couldn't get the house out of her mind. She went back, took a closer look, and started to see the charm that lay hidden beneath the surface. Excited by the challenge, she bought the house and went to work on it.

Inspired by the original design of the 1920s house, Rachel was able to transform it into her bright, cozy dream home, one that had the hallmarks of a Shabby Chic home: a practical amount of space, a relaxed atmosphere, and a comfortable beauty. Through simple instructions and detailed before–and–after photographs, Rachel reveals her decorating and entertaining secrets. Even the most apprehensive novices will learn how to incorporate Shabby Chic style into their everyday life and home.

Using her home as an example, Rachel shows you how to assess what needs to be replaced (in her home it was the dark tile in the pool and the bathroom doorknobs), make small structural changes (she exchanged a glass window for a glass door), and keep costs down while adding personal Shabby Chic touches. The gray marble countertop in the guest bathroom and the somewhat noisy glass–front refrigerator were fixtures she would have never chosen, but she left them alone and was pleasantly surprised by the character they added.

In her previous books, Rachel showed you how to recognize beauty in overlooked places. Now, in The Shabby Chic Home, she teaches you how to find it in the nooks and crannies of your own home and then apply it to everyday life. She reveals how work, love, a lot of white paint, and Shabby Chic details can turn any new house into a comfortable, functional, beautifully designed home.

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