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.