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Shabby Chic Hardcover – Jun 21 1996

3.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design; 1 edition (June 21 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060982047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060982041
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 0.6 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #277,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Ashwell, founder and owner of Shabby Chic, a home furnishings chain, shares her secrets on how to obtain the decorating look that suggests "the aura of old money, cushy comfort, and crafted indifference." She covers such topics as how to negotiate a flea market and incorporate the purchases for the home, the types of fabric best suited for this look, and how to use flowers to accessorize a room. Lots of color photographs depict the "shabby chic" look in casual, formal, and contemporary settings. This type of eclectic decorating continues to be popular, making this a wise purchase for most libraries.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.


""Shabby Chic is as unpretentious as its author, including thoughts about what works and what doesn't, tips on how to shop at a flea market, inspirational photographic illustrations and plenty of encouragement.""Los Angeles Daily News

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 12 2004
Format: Hardcover
Rachel Ashwell's "shabby chic" concept is a creation no different than a painting. Some people will be moved and inspired by it while others will pass it by. Several years back many decoraters both private and professional hailed it as a trend and there were those that rushed out to copy Rachel's look for that reason only. Those are the people that tend to declare things are "dead" or "out-dated." They are the same people that dress to impress. They write reviews or make statements about what's "in" and enjoy being "in." That is their priveledge. However, declaring whether "shabby chic" is in or out is an opinion and not a book review. One would assume that a person that is searching for this book could make up his or her own mind whether "the look" is what is desired. The point of reading a review is to find out whether the book provides the information needed or wanted. That is my job as a librarian. When I read a review, especially a non-fiction review, I want to know if a book is well photographed, informative, clearly written, fairly priced etc. This book meets those requirements, but as an "inspiration" book and not a technical manual. I have read and heard both positive and negative reviews, but paid attention only to the ones in which examples were given to support the opinions cited. Many of my patrons at the library have asked for this book and as we have a limited budget, I make selections carefully. I read many reviews of the book first and chose to buy it based on it's uniqueness. In a small library, we can not have ten books on one subject and we can't afford to purchase books that sit. The patrons of the library have taken "Shabby Chic" out many times and taken ideas from it.Read more ›
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By A Customer on Oct. 15 2002
Format: Hardcover
A major aspect of Shabby Chic as presented in this book is to bring comfort, practicality and a personal touch to one's decorating. How is that ever "dated"? If your only goal is to keep up with the latest fads and re-do your house every year, then, no, this is not the book or concept for you. If, on the other hand, you would like ideas on how to incorporate both quality vintage pieces and fun contemporary finds into a decor that reflects your personal style, while allowing your home to be liveable and inviting, then give Ms. Ashwell's ideas a try.
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Format: Hardcover
Contrary to what one reviewer wrote, while the book is a few years old it is still very much useful in 2001. Maybe one has to have lived in France, rural London or even in Greece to fully appreciate the authors wisdom. And page 141 has the ONLY non-fitting slip cover that could be described as "loose fitting and shabby".
Fact is the 7 Chapters are well written and well photographed. The topics of each Chapter are: Diverse Styles; Rooms; Hidden Treasures & Inspirations; Fabrics; Seating; Lights & Lighting; and Flowers. Have used the crisp and very neat fitting slipcover ideas she has on page 23 and 27 as well as the setting idea on page 27 where two same covered, sofa's are used in the viewing/screening room of a clients home.
Now... I am the only woman/female in this family. So with a husband, sons, male cats and dogs I love to save money as well as have furniture that men like and which looks good as well. Ms Ashwells book wins on all counts. Showing what works and what doesn't and why. She isn't just a woman who pays others to do what she says, she does it herself. The flea market piece and photos reminded me of the awesome Pasadena flea market that is so awesome!
It is also nice that she shows a variety of living styles from country garden homes, to zen simplicity, to more a seaside or Mediterranean mode. She offers wonderful information on choosing the right fabric for the piece of furniture and home environment. And information that even I did not know about picking paint. Appreciated the section on furniture restortaion and the photographs that remind me of my favorite haunts in SF and Oakland.
The book is one that you will actually pull off the shelf and read often. In my opinion it is worth the price.
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Format: Hardcover
I wish some of the reviewers would be a little more open-minded and polite. I have enjoyed taking ideas from Shabby Chic and mixing them with my own. I never take anything too seriously. But I will tell you this..for those of you who love comfort and old things and fixing them up, stick with it and make it your own. Rachels book provides some great ideas, and you can be inspired by them but you do not have to follow everything. Be your own person. Someone wrote "faded fabrics are out" or something? I am sorry, but for those people who enjoy older, inherited looking items in their home that is something that will never die. This look, whether you call it Shabby Chic or not, will continue to evolve throughout time. Just because all the snotty designers are pusing a more cold, modern minimalist look with bright colors does not mean the classic old look is outdated. It is the one look that is never outdated if you work with it right to please you. And some of Rachels items are not expensive at all. I found her collection at Mervyns Southern California to be very fair priced, especially during the white sale, and purchased a few things that were simply classic and delightful, to mix with my own findings and makings. All and all, this is a nice book for your collection if you like to decorate and you like that style, but again, it is not meant to be followed completely. It is meant to inspire.
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