Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I have to thank my Parents sooooo much for one of my favorite gifts this holiday. I can hardly believe I hadn't already caved and bought it, but under their Christmas tree this fantastic book was waiting to come home with me.

For years and years I loved the look of old, aged things. Long before I ever heard the name Rachel Ashwell or the words "Shabby Chic" I was hunting for things that had character and history. In fact when I was in 6th grade my parents wanted to buy me a gift for graduating up to Junior Highschool, my decision? An antique wood bed. I still have that 100+ year old bed and probably will hold onto it for years to come, I could hardly say the same for most of the other things I had when I was 12.

Then one day out of the blue I stumbled onto one of Ms. Ashwell TV specials and wow! was I in love. It was like everything I ever loved finally had a name and face. Several months later I scooped up one of her books and I have been hooked ever since.

Over the years I have loved watching both my style as well as Rachel's style change and evolve. But one thing always seems to be constant: our love of white, clean lines, and comfort.



Flipping through her new book I was mesmerized, inspired and awestruck by how beautiful simplicity can be. If you have already read it then you know how magical her own home is with it's one of a kind treasures, calming colors and attention to detail.


all images from Rachel's Blog

I usually like to put my own "stamp" on things, but every single image in this book is just perfect with no room for improvement.

One thing it really had me questioning was the chracoal wall in our bedroom. I had wanted to do it forever, but after seeing it I immediately second guessed myself (which never happens to me!). I decided to live with it and see if I came around. And until reading Rachel's book I didn't think about it too much, but now I feel rejuvenated and refreshed with ideas and inspiration. The insight it gave me was that the wall has to go. It's just not "us".

I have no idea what will replace it, or when but THANK YOU to both R.A. and my parents for setting me back on track with this book~

And I can't wait to share a new WhiteBerry dresser tomorrow, so see you then!

19 comments:

Jessica said...

I definitely understand how you feel about the whole "second guessing" yourself after you've commited to a design change. There are just too many good ideas out there! Our minds start racing and we lose track of what we really want. I'm glad you found your inspiration to get back on track. You have such a beautfiul home and family. :)

Stephanie Rose said...

I just saw this book at Barnes and Noble yesterday and LOVED it! I am working on a pair of old solid wood closet doors that I am stripping and glazing teal to create that weathered look. Thanks for passing on the inspiration!

Mary said...

I am in LOVE with that book! My husband thinks I am just a crazy person for reading my decor books every night in bed. I look at them over and over. Every time I pick them up I get new inspiration. I can't wait to see what you replace the charcoal with. I know it will be something fabulous! Look forward to seeing the dressers tomorrow, too! ~mary~

Mary said...

I am in LOVE with that book! My husband thinks I am just a crazy person for reading my decor books every night in bed. I look at them over and over. Every time I pick them up I get new inspiration. I can't wait to see what you replace the charcoal with. I know it will be something fabulous! Look forward to seeing the dressers tomorrow, too! ~mary~

Jen said...

okay, don't second guess. live with it for a while. let it sink in. see if it bugs you 6 months from now. I love books under the tree. I remember being about my oldest's age (11) and my parents said, "you are only getting books this year." I was so offended. Like it was a curse. Now I would celebrate it. Which outfit did you decide on for New Year's Eve? And, what fun thing are you doing? do share!

Magic Brush said...

Saw this book at Barnes and Noble last week. Love, love, the look!!!! So glad someone got it!

Amanda said...

Oh Holly I am oh so familiar with this feeling. I typically immediately know if something just isn't "us". Your charcoal wall is absolutely beautiful, but, if YOU don't love it, change it. Stripes??? ;)

Thank you for inspiring me to know that just because I've put my time and effort into something, if I don't LOVE it, I can (and should) change it. Afterall, we have to look at these things every day.

Can't wait to see the new whiteberry piece. Every.Single.One. makes me wish I lived in Canada... and I am NOT a fan of cold weather. At all. So that should tell you how big of a fan I am of all pieces you do.

dedeetsyshop said...

I understand too! If you aren't enjoying it, there is no reason to live with it any longer! Paint it back white and add something interesting on the wall for some contrast instead! What about an old weathered door...or a big crsuty mirror? How about a couple chippy shutters? They can all be in white, while at the same time adding some texture! Good luck with whatever you decide! I am sure it will be great- your stuff is awesome!

About Me said...

I understand about changing your mind...my design loves have changed over the years, only to sometimes confuse me more on my style. I have been so inspired by your home. I live in the Rocky Mountains in a cold climate as well and love what you've done with your home. Im thinking a field trip to one of Rachel's stores would make my day on my next vacation!

Tracy is ... Loving Pretty Things said...

Santa brought me this book for Christmas ... isn't it fantastic? I've already gone through it 3x - each time discovering something new!

Have you heard of the Best Dressed home by Annette Tatum? Check it out - FABULOUS book Santa brought as well. She has a store a few blocks away from Rachel Ashwell's new shop in Santa Monica!

Happy New Year!

DustyLu said...

I love the new Rachel Ashwell Book! I was fortunate enough to go to one of her book signings! She is even more gracious in person! She commented that this book reveals her now more mature dusty palette. Lulu

mrso' said...

I had this under my tree as well and LOVE it!

Annie @ The House That Jade Built said...

My little sister just got that book for Christmas as well. We POURED over it and fell in love with her style. I use a lot of color in my home, and it fits my style. However, the shabby chic is totally my sister's style & personality. I can't wait for her to build her house so I can go have tea in it! We totally agreed that it was one of the best books! We too love any type of old chippy paint - it's priceless in our world!

cousin Deb said...

I love RA too and have her new book on my wishlist at Amazon.ca!

Erin said...

I agree that the wall isn't quite "you"- it seems a little harsh. I would probably whitewash or faux paint it to give it a rough stone look. Similar to this (minus the stone lines):

http://www.fauxfinish.com/FauxFinish/images/stone-wall-faux-effects.jpg

Cindy said...

I know just how you feel, I have always loved old stuff, I loved the antiques that my mother had and asked for them if she should ever want to let them go. I got one of them, too. I love white too, all of Rachel's books are amazing and I follow her blog, her look is me, too. Hugs, Cindy S.

Lee Laurie said...

Thanks for this post! I just saw this book a few days ago and fell in love with it! I just couldn't make myself pay $35.00 for it right after Christmas. I looked at it over and over in the bookstore and it was the only copy that they had left. It looked used because so many people had been looking at it. I love her style and I plan on adapting some of her decorating ideas into my cottage this coming year.
I love your home! Thanks for the inspiration!

Hugs,
Lee Laurie

Victoria said...

Isn't that the wonderful thing about paint?!?! You can change it up when you feel like it! Can't wait to see what you do...

I have a flooring question for you. I love your hardwoods and saw that you used an Expresso stained birch hardwood. Are they hard to keep clean? Everyone says the dark shows dust and scratches easily. Any thoughts?

Krystal Wight Armstrong said...

I just wanted to say that I really really loved the peaceful, breezy clean images of your white room with the awesomely huge mirror and pretty green tropical trees on the side (from the post on your master reno). Since you wanted to change it from that in the first place, maybe it's not quite your ideal, and since you're not sure about the newest change either, maybe it's somewhere inbetween...but I wanted to give an encouraging note that I thought it was originally breathtaking and beautiful, so if you went back, it would be great, but if you find that balance inbetween with the white and maybe some thick lighter grey stripes or something- maybe that would hit the spot? Whatever balance you strike I'm sure it will feel just perfect :) Good luck!

 
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