I first came across Rachel Ashwell back in 1996 when she published her first book Shabby Chic and I have followed her ever since. She had by then founded her iconic brand also called Shabby Chic and opened her shop in Santa Monica, California. Rachel is originally from England but since many years back based in California.
Rachel has published eight books, she has had her own television series and has shops in Los Angeles, New York, Texas, San Francisco and London. Her last venture is opening a bed and breakfast called The Prairie in Texas and this is the book about her journey from start to finish. The book is called Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures published by Cico Books/Ryland Peters & Small. The gorgeous photographs are by Amy Neunsinger.
What I love about Rachel is her ability to make her interiors look effortless. They are full of creatively used old pieces of furniture and lovely, almost always floral fabrics and linen mixed with lace.
My absolute favourites are all her incredibly romantic flower arrangements and that is what I wanted to focus on in this post.
I have often used many quotes by Rachel about flowers in my blog series called Florets - Floral Quotes. Her use of flowers are so much part of the shabby chic look and in her latest book she says that "Flowers are truly like oxygen to me and absolutely intrinsic to my style."
On her blog earlier this year she did a post that she called My Love Affair With Flowers. Rachel says: "Not a day goes by when flowers don't play a significant role in my life. Whether by way of my design work of prints, inspiration for a palette, gratitude for a beautiful fragrance or heaven on earth in my garden. My appreciation and need for flowers crosses over into obsession, never quite enough...."
I admire her sense of style, her enthusiasm, her total commitment to her work even when times are hard and I obviously love her passion for flowers!
Almost every page in the book has some kind of flower on it - weather it's real flowers in vases or silk flowers. Rugs, cushions, curtains and wallpaper are all covered in floral prints. The vintage furniture she uses often has flowers painted on them. She also uses a lot of floral china - from platters, tureens, bowls, cups and especially jugs and vases that she fills with gorgeous floral arrangements. In the book she talks about her favourite flowers - larkspur, delphiniums, lisianthus, hydrangeas, stocks and roses - and what a great choice - all very romantic and beautiful!
You can find Rachel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as well as her previously mentioned blog.
I have had an unscheduled break from blogging these last few weeks. I have done a writing course, both kids now also live back home with us and we have had workmen in to paint the house - so chaos descended on us. Things are now almost back to some sort of normality and I hope to be back to a more normal blogging schedule.
See you soon again.