Shabby Chic: The Original ’90s Cottage Dream

Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell

Before Anthropoloigie’s homewares section, there was Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic. I stumbled across the brand in the late 1990s. My mother, who still regularly redecorates her house, had Ashwell’s Shabby Chic book. These were pre-Pinterest days, so design ideas came from books and magazines. I remember flipping through the book. With excitement, I planned my future garden home, which would include an antique clawfoot tub and lots of floral prints. 

I fell in love with what I would call the country home aesthetic, and it influences my choices today. I always feel drawn to pieces I could picture in some magical cabin somewhere. Where everything is unnecessarily painted white and there are pink roses everywhere. No mattering how old I get, I can’t shake my love for things that¬†scream Shabby Chic.

Since moving into my own apartment, I realize my Shabby Chic inclinations come out here and there. At the Goodwill I found Shabby Chic floral duvet cover like this one, which I use to cover my couch.

In the years since I fell in love with Shabby Chic, I’ve found ways to incorporate the basics of the brand into my design sensibility. However, I’ve been a bit surprised that it hasn’t come out in bigger ways. By and large my decorating style leans toward the typically feminine style while still falling somewhere in the middle. I’ll alway appreciate Rachel Ashwell for introducing me to the concept that design can transport people to a different world. I remember flipping through her books, planning out my own home that would be located in the woods somewhere, separate from everything else.¬†

Shop Shabby Chic

Looking to find the perfect Shabby Chic piece for your home? Here are some of my favorite items available now.