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{favourite five: rachel ashwell}

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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.

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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:

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{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.

 
Laily Mesbah
Contributor, New York City

Laily lives in NYC and began contributing to This is Glamorous in 2011 - interviewing designers for a popular series called Favourite Five. Her background ranges from studying documentary photography at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan to founding Project Flora, a company that works with florists, event planners, and socially-conscious brides and grooms to resell flowers after events, donating a part of the proceeds to charity. She currently runs a digital media and marketing company servicing an array of clients, including Flower Girl NYC and Lushlife Nailworks. Her new column, La Fête, explores trends in the world of event design and planning.
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