SHABBY CHIC® is the trademark for the home furnishings brand founded by the designer Rachel Ashwell in 1989 and now owned by Shabby Chic Brands, LLC. The Shabby Chic brand is based on the aesthetics of beauty, comfort and function. It embraces and often replicates the beauty of time-worn objects and marries great design with casual ease. The mark was coined by Ms. Ashwell to refer to her furniture, bedding, fabrics and other home furnishing designs, which are vintage items chosen for their age and signs of wear and tear or new items that achieve casual yet elegant look of her designs.
SHABBY CHIC style is a soft, relaxed, romantic way of decorating that looks comfortable and inviting. The style is sometimes referred to as cottage style. The essence of SHABBY CHIC is vintage and antique furniture, usually painted white or another soft color, with a distressed finish. The style is imitated in faux painting using glaze or by painting then rubbing and sanding away the top coat to show the wood or base coats.
Fabrics are mostly cottons and linens that have a soft, hand feel and drape. SHABBY CHIC fabrics are easy care and machine washable to give a comfortable look and feel. Whites, neutrals, and soft pastels make up the palette.
Rachel Ashwell founded the SHABBY CHIC brand in 1989 with a home furnishings store on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, CA. Born in England, the former movie set designer and single mother of two young children looked to open a small shop where she could sell “pretty things” without spending much time or distance away from her children.
The retail presence eventually grew to fifteen locations, and in 2004 Ms. Ashwell launched a partnership with Target to develop the Simply Shabby Chic® line of decorative home furnishings. The program continues to thrive and has expanded to thirteen categories of home furnishings and décor product.
Today, SHABBY CHIC is a trademark of the company Shabby Chic Brands, LLC, which obtained these rights after Rachel Ashwell Designs, Inc. entered into Chapter 11 proceedings in 2009.
New retail locations have opened under the RACHEL ASHWELL SHABBY CHIC COUTURE brand in Santa Monica, CA and the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.