The Shabby Chic Home Hardcover – Mar 23 2000
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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 Library Journal
Ashwell (Shabby Chic and Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting & Decorating Guide) shows how she transformed her own Malibu home, a 1920s natural-wood dwelling built by a Swedish boatbuilder, into a reflection of the "Shabby Chic" style that she has popularized with her home furnishings and fabric lines. Taking a house with "good bones," she dramatically changed the look of the house with simple adjustments, such as using lots of white paint. (To those who protested her painting the natural wood, she replied, "Oh, well.") Given the continuing tendency to gut or tear down older homes, her recommendations are refreshing. A good purchase for public libraries.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, there WERE some good ideas like that in this book, but I felt that unless you were a HUGE fan of flowers and girly prints you wouldn't really find much of use in this book. Granted, it's probably a personal style conflict that made me return this book, but if you can find this book used and for a good price, go for it. Not worth the full price.
The photos are very beautiful, and as is the case with any decorating magazine or book, i can almost always find a nice detail to copy. What i found very irritating is that the author or her children were in every other picture. Not even Martha Stewart exerts such a cult of personality.
Also, some of the suggestions the author gives are unrealistic for most of us, because we lack the space or the budget or the time. How many extra pillows and duvets can you realistically store in your house? And how many of us have housekeepers tending over the place? Have you ever tried to find affordable antiques in California?!?! How about the little evening ritual of cookies, tea and flowers? The author is quite anal when it comes to detail, such as buying beauty products that are color-coordinated with her bathroom. What's next, combing the fringed ends of the "shabby" area rugs? The narrative was too aggravating. Stick to the photos, just in case you find something salvageable.
Like most of her books she understands that (this may sound snobby..sorry) some of us have traveled well, and have evolved and simply want the elegance meshed with a less hootie tootie mode. The kind of home where we can walk in and see order but not the boring or sterile style that tract homes often denote.
She has a way of showing how to make a home out of a house. How to make the tract house look like a one of a kind mega bucks decorated home, and all on less money. She has obviously not forgotten her original intent, which was to decorate without breaking ones saving account or going into debt.
It is also nice to see a book that understands the piece meal ideal. That one does not have to redo the whole room in a week, but that using ones trek to the flea market, taking your time to redo a piece of furniture, and doing it right is what counts. Along with doing what YOU want and what makes YOU happy and not doing the cookie cutter decorating thing that sadly, most Americans do.
Most recent customer reviews
Except, mine will be on the Indiana or Illinois coast of Lake Michigan. I love Rachel Ashwell's frugal, classy style. Read morePublished on May 29 2003 by Shannon Lilia
I've owned this book now for two years and I keep referring to it over and over. I wish that Rachel Ashwell would come out with these types of books more often. Read morePublished on July 6 2002 by Xenia
I must admit I usually write only positive reviews as I buy books very carefully. This is unfortunately a wrong buy. Read morePublished on June 11 2002
the book possesses a relaxed sweetness that pulls out the decorater in all of us. being a designer i selected the book for inspiration. Read morePublished on Jan. 25 2002 by S. Barnes
This is a wonderful book for those who are tired of living in a boring space. The photography is inspirational and amazing. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2001 by Lisa K. Pearson
Function, Beauty and Home Design....Rachel Ashwell's thrid book is the best! They say Three's a Charm and it is. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2001 by Barbara A. Bernat
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