Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Visit to Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture Shop in London

Taking on a house that needs renovating is so exciting,. It’s also hard to get a balance and sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed.  I want to renovate .. but truthfully there is comfort and beauty living in what is effectively real shabbiness!  I joke about feeling quite aristocratic on a rainy day because  breakfast consists of "pass the marmalade darling ..oh  .. and could you move the bucket .. there’s a new leak!"

That said  I do feel really at home when it’s not quite perfect. The paint is worn, the carpets are fraying and the windows rattle when the wind blows .. but unlike my last house the untidiness here seems romantic .... as opposed to slovenly!

Having bought Rachel Ashwell’s new book a couple of weeks ago I decided to go to her London shop called Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture .. She also has shops in New York and Los Angeles. 

 Going in to London from the countryside it’s quite a trip and I had all three children with me and I was quite apprehensive Of course working the hours I do it’s not always practical to leave my children behind for a day out .. so I was worried that the staff in the shop might not be happy that I had my children with me.  As I travelled up on the train I thought about why else I felt apprehensive.   Rachel’s book is so gorgeous and I suppose a part of me was worrying that it just wouldn’t be as lovely or that it would be really too expensive for my limited budget, or that the style that I love just wasn’t practical for a real family, with chickens, cats, mischievous children who will sneak a slice of chocolate cake to eat on the sofa .. and a husband who sometimes forgets to take his boots off. 

I needn’t have worried.  To my delight the shop was even lovelier that I had imagined. The branch manager Paulina was completely taken with the children, and the prices seemed affordable and the style really will work in a real family home.  

I ended up coming home with lots of lovely things.. but more exciting than that is that I learnt about the home design service on offer.  It's exactly what I need and so I've booked a visit in a few weeks time from the team.  They are so friendly and have amazing creativity and it now feels more like I have a girlfriend with great taste coming for a chat and a coffee and  I've stopped feeling quite so daunted by everything. 

My children were made to feel welcome too. 


  1. Great news, I know that you are so excited and passionate about the project on your forever home, enjoy the shopping xx

  2. Lovely shop - how I would love to live in it!

  3. I have met Rachel in person and she is exactly like the way you described her shop. All her things are lovely and fun. Did you know she also has a B&B in Texas, USA? I am sure you will end up with everything you want to make your house feel and be the home you have invisioned. Enjoy!

  4. What a lovely post! I saw this link via RA's FB page and I loved every bit of what you wrote! I can so relate to the renovation issues, a real budget, and having children tagging along - so this post was something I could relate too! That and my love of Shabby Chic. :) Wishing you a blessed week from a gal in Los Angeles!


  5. What a Great Post !! How amazing, just wish i could walk into to a Rachel's day.. i live in Florida a little to far.. Your little girl is adorable!!! I', huge fan of Rachel Ashwell Big Time

  6. Lovely shop! I could live in such shabby/antique shops and never leave. Gorgeous :)

  7. Just found your lovely blog from Rachel Ashwell's facebook page. LOVED this post!! xo Rachel


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