Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Farewell Shabby Chic

Back in the late 1990's a designer captured my attention on the Style Network, her name was Rachel Ashwell and her show was called Shabby Chic. Rachel took the movement full swing, with the term Shabby Chic encompassing the white painted chipped furniture look, large comfy slipcovered sofas, and beautiful French Country floral prints. Shabby Chic stores were first opened in Southern California, my favorite on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. 

I'll never forget the first time I walked into the Montana Avenue shop. I felt like I was at home, the Shabby Chic look is very inviting and the linens are beyond comparison. I was always treated kindly in the shop that offered $8,000 sofas and $500 duvet covers, even though I was not a high end customer. Over the years when visiting Los Angeles, I always popped into the shop to see what was new and how the design of the floor had changed. 

I also have quite the collection from visits over the years. I do recall in 2005 hitting the jackpot during a June visit. Shabby Chic was hosting it's annual warehouse sale, where I dragged my hubby and my almost two year old daughter. I waited in line for hours with the likes of Jennifer Love Hewitt for the deals. I even had my first and only glimpse of Rachel herself. Oh, the good old days. 

To my sadness, last week the announcement came that Shabby Chic would be no more. Rachel had started a blog a few months ago and when I got to the end of her last post I was in shock. She announced all her stores would be liquidated and that she would return soon, with a new venture. 

My first response was to hop on the web and pick up anything I could! To think I would not have the opportunity to purchase another Shabby Chic sheet sent me running for the reinforcements. I did find a few things, but many of the items were no longer in stock. I even contemplated taking a short trip to Santa Monica to pick up some items in person. 

But I've let go. I've let go of owning a white sofa and a beach bungalow. With any design style, tastes change, style is in constant flux. I will always be most rested in my Shabby Chic sheets, but sad the style I so adored for years has gone. A true sign of the times. 


  1. Oh crud... That means my whole house is outdated??? Thank gawd for Cottage Living! I designed Ballard Designs catalog for along time years ago and we did revisions for trade - I have a slipcovered white couch - I noticed after about 15 years the slipcover is getting a bit threadbare - but still white - kids and dogs and washable slipcovers are a good thing!

  2. That is sad!! I know she has a line at Target, but it's not the same.

    I love that look, especially with kids and dogs. It's nice to be comfortable.

  3. oh l love shabby chic too...I just put my spring shabby chic sheets on last week:) sad to hear it close...I wonder if she will keep her line at target!! I had been to 2 stores, the one in newport beach and there was one in SF:(

  4. That is so SAD as a So Cal girl I shopped there many times over the years - I am so sorry to see another wonderful store closing - California really is no longer the sunshine state!

  5. Oh this is so sad I love the Shabby Chic; I've made many things that she showed me how to make and I bought her books...ahhh :-(.

  6. I love Shabby Chic too but my husband doesn't so I don't have much of that kind of thing....but I have always loved that look!

    Can't wait to see what her next venture is!

  7. Wow, I had no idea...there is a Shabby Chic 4 blocks from me...I hadn't even noticed. I always loved the look, just never could justify anything white with 2 kiddos and a 20 pound cat:P


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