{favourite five: rachel ashwell}


Rachel Ashwell is the designer who turned shabby into chic, and comfortable into classy, and she did it all with the help of perfectly ruffled pillows, floral printed fabrics, romantic chandeliers, and pastel tufted cushions.

In 1989, Rachel, a former movie set designer and stylist, generated a worldwide phenomenon when she created the Shabby Chic brand, showing that there is an elegance in time-worn objects and that interior spaces can be simple and relaxed, while still beautifully sophisticated and refined.

Since then, Rachel has created a successful brand that has grown into three distinct lines: Shabby Chic, Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture and Simply Shabby Chic, with flagship stores located in three glamorous cities: Santa Monica, New York City and London; Ashwell has also written a series of design books and most recently, launched a new stationery line.



The daughter of a restorer of antique dolls and a rare book dealer, Rachel’s love for flea markets and antique stores began as a young girl. She spent her days learning how to appreciate and recognize the beauty of vintage items. Because of this we could not possibly imagine anyone better to tell us her:


{five favourite flea markets around the world}

1. Round Top in Texas
I love everything about this flea market, so much so that I even bought a ranch/bed & breakfast there. I love the people, love the way the aisles and parking/pickup is organized, and the finishes on the furniture -- lots of authentic crackled paint in their palettes, lovely tables and cabinets.

2. Brimfield in Massachusetts
I am always guaranteed to come away with an eclectic mix of large furniture pieces from Brimfield and love the great accessories such as lamps, mirrors and dinnerware; there is also lots of lovely art -- many portraits and landscapes.

3. Remnants of the Past in Santa Barbara
Have only been there once, but for sure it will be a annual stop for me -- a wonderfully curated collection of fab dealers, and while there isn't "junk" to wade through, there are still well-priced items displayed in an eye candy way.

4. Kempton Park in London
Often shopping in the rain, so my focus is on wonderful English "tat". Bits and bobs of textiles, art, dinnerware, glassware, enabling me to embrace the "its all in the details" part of my aesthetic.

5. Alameda in San Francisco
Close enough for a pleasant drive, but far away enough from LA that it attracts vendors from further afield; lots of diversity of products and styles, but a professional group of vendors.


{p.s.} previous favourite fives:
* fashion muse, chloë sevigny
* nyc florist, denise porcaro

~ laily

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


OpenID thedesignfairy said...

A great list of markets to check out on wordly travels. Love shabby chic.

March 24, 2011  
Blogger Alice said...

Amazing! I'd love to go to all 5. I love Ashwell's style so much. Thank you for sharing!


March 24, 2011  
Blogger Scarlett Fiona Reed said...

Love Rachel, and I love three out of five of her flea markets. I feel so lucky to be able to attend Round top and Alameda consistently and this year I will be a vendor at Remnants of the Past! Perhaps I will finally meet her :)
Great post, thanks!

March 24, 2011  
Anonymous meenal @ maison marigold said...

i love the worn out carpets in the first image..they are incredible..thanks for the lovely post..do check out my runway to room post when you have a moment..xx meenal

March 24, 2011  
Blogger The Pocket Stylist said...

Oh love you hit me in the heart with this post. I adore all of her stuff and I actually attend the Alameda antique fair often for great finds. I own a vintage rental company and we rent vintage details and furniture for photoshoots,weddings and anything else! Check out the company: www.heritageandcraft.com

Ps I adore the couch in the first picture.

March 24, 2011  
Anonymous Michaela in Eden said...

What a great selection of flea markets, Laily. Brimfield is just a short hop from my home here in the southernmost tip of Vermont, and has long been a favorite since my days at UMass, Amherst. And Alameida I know from my time in San Francisco. Given your good taste there, I will have to visit the others... particularly curious about Round Top, TX. Thanks so much for the list. And now, dare I ask, can you share a favorite Parisian market? Visions of faded & dusty delights dance in my head... xo M

March 24, 2011  
Blogger Holly Anne said...

i madly love her and her brand. i remember watching her show years ago longing for her vintage treasures! i can't wait till i'm getting married and i can register for all of the shabby chic line at target, i was just drooling over them last night!

March 24, 2011  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

michaela -- just wanted to clarify: the list, compiled by laily, is actually from rachel ashwell herself :)


March 24, 2011  
Blogger Kat Tanita said...

I love this!! I just did a post about shabby chic as well :) My friend rhiannon referred me to your blog and I'm glad she did I love it!



March 24, 2011  
Anonymous Michaela in Eden said...

Thank you L & R, for sharing Rachel's wonderful list, and for clarifying. However, it is I who must slow down a bit, and read more carefully... upon second read, the credit for your source is quite obvious! I can't wait to get back to the outdoor markets! ;) xo Michaela

March 24, 2011  
Blogger Sweet Young Journey said...

Oh, I just love chippy paint and ruffles. Remnants of the Past is coming up soon, I can't wait to go!


March 24, 2011  
Anonymous Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

This is a great post! I also love this list. Really glad that I found your blog!

March 24, 2011  
Blogger VINTAGE HOME lifestyle said...

Love Rachel...she is such an inspiration. I sell at the "Alameda Antique Faire" every month. It is a great show. I hope to make to the "Remnants of the Past" show some day as a seller...Judy puts on a great show as well.
Cathleen alyce

March 24, 2011  
Anonymous Avery said...

Yes! Round Top Texas is the best! So happy its number 1! Great list, and great story, I see a cross country road trip in my future to hit all these spots...

Thank you for sharing!

March 24, 2011  
Blogger Plum Pretty Sugar Loungerie said...

Such incredible inspiration!



March 24, 2011  
Blogger Jara Ra said...

#5 on Ms. Ashwell's list — Alameda Point Antiques Faire — also publishes a blog. Check it out at alamedapointantiquesfaire.com/blog. I'm the blogmaster and have been fortunate enough to attend every month for the last year as photographer of the Featured Dealer column.

March 24, 2011  
OpenID urbanebeast said...

Roundtop is so much fun! (Though I've never seen so many dogs being pushed in baby strollers). They have a prom night where all the vendors dress up in ridiculous 80's prom clothing (and drink a ton!) I got some fabulous vintage fashion sketches there.

I blogged about it what seems like not long ago...

March 24, 2011  
Blogger Retreat said...

Rachel was the special guest at last October's Remnants of the Past Antique Show, and it was such a pleasure to meet her. We've been one of the 50+ vendors at the show and it is definitely one of our favorites, too! http://www.RemnantsofthePast.com

Deb Kennedy @ Retreat

March 25, 2011  
Blogger Retreat said...

Rachel was the special guest at last October's Remnants of the Past Antique Show, and it was such a pleasure to meet her. We are vendors at this AMAZING bi-annual show, and it's one of our favorite markets, too! http://www.remnantsofthepast.com

Deb Kennedy @ Retreat

March 25, 2011  
Blogger My Little World said...


March 25, 2011  
Blogger Sarah Klassen said...

This is fabulous! Rachel Ashwell is so amazing. I loved learning more about her and also, some of her favorite spots. Thank you :)

March 25, 2011  
Anonymous Alicia ~ time worn style said...

Oh boy how do I wish i could get to those markets! Alas the markets in Australia pale in comparison, but a girl can dream....

March 25, 2011  
Anonymous Mimi said...

Love what Rachel has done with Shabby Chic. The table setting is gorgeous. Have to add visiting those flea markets to my to do list.

March 25, 2011  
Blogger Judy said...

I feel very honored that Rachel was a guest at my last show, www.remnantsofthepast.com. Rachel was so warm, friendly and genuine to all the customers and they loved her. I hope that she comes back soon!

Judy from Remnants

March 25, 2011  
Blogger lisaroyhandbags said...

Someday I'd love to vacation to Texas to attend Round Top. Rachel's style is something I don't think we'll ever really grow tired of - it's pretty, comfy and attainable for everyone which makes it so appealing! :)

March 25, 2011  
Blogger 'LUSH' said...

I am a huge fan of Rachel Ashwell. I collect her books. I have pieces from her couture collection, as well as, Simply Shabby Chic at Target. I relate to her love of Texas!

March 25, 2011  
Blogger Andrea @ strawberry-chic said...

What beautiful shabby chic shops! Love her work!

March 25, 2011  
Blogger maureen said...

too cool! She loves Roundtop too...the best flea market | antique shopping ever. Rachel Ashwell is heavenly.

March 26, 2011  
Blogger Pieces From The Past said...

I one day will attempt to hit the top 5...Well atleast texas, thanks for this great info!

March 26, 2011  
Blogger Sandra & said...

I am co-founder and co-producer of the Alameda Point Antiques Faire & have been inspired by Rachel Ashwell's style TV program, books & blog. When we first started the faire, I used to wish she would come & shop our show. Though I have never met her when she has come up, I am honored she picked our market to be in the top five in the world! We do have top professional dealers and try to provide high quality service to our valued customers. We welcome all Shabby Chic lovers to our scenic faire, every month to shop for vintage treasures.

Thank you Laily & This is Glamorous for this post. I love your blog and I am an advocate for all things glamorous!

March 28, 2011  
Blogger Olivia said...

Darling blog! I am a new fan! Shabby Chic all the way!

April 04, 2011  

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping in to say hello -- it's lovely to hear from you!

j u s t a f e w t h i n g s
Please note that due to the inordinate amount of spam, comments with links to other sites may not be published; all self-promotion & promotions of give-aways on other sites will not be published; additionally, please include your blog address in the box provided, and not in the body of your comment.

Thank you xo

<< Home