Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not Too Shabby and Extremely Chic

No matter how many other lovely design concepts and images I'm exposed to, I still love Shabby Chic. There's something about the way Rachel Ashwell takes things to a certain level of distressed, mismatched, crumpled, rumpled dishevelment, and just when you think it's about to go beyond what's aesthetically acceptable, she pulls it back to somewhere beautiful. Take her Texas ranch, The Prairie, for example. There's a lot of rusty corrugated iron, uneven stone flooring, log cabin walls, wagon wheels and deer antlers, not to mention purple velvet upholstery and way more florals than there should be this side of the Laura Ashley eighties. But after staying there for three nights, I can attest to some kind of alchemy at work there which gives it an ethereal beauty so that you never want to leave.

Take the aforementioned violet velvet three-piece setting. Here it is:

Once it's placed against a plain slip-covered chair, lamp and wall in various shades of white, it fills up the white space. In turn, the white is lifted and beautifully complemented by it.

Here is some rusty old iron at the entrance to the Ranger's Lounge:

The iron has developed its own patina with wonderful rich colours of oxblood and silver, and it offsets the ornateness of the white wrought iron chairs.

Again, here is the balance between distressed and opulent, with the gold and turquoise chair pared back by the peeling paint on the plain and simple cupboards:

In the Ladies' room, floral wallpaper is juxtaposed with corrugated iron on the walls, and it all makes complete sense:

While I'll probably never return there, I know that I can close my eyes anytime and remember the deep pleasure of lolling in one of these generous squishy sofas surrounded by sheer luxury and loveliness:

We stayed in Liliput Lodge, which has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, dining and living rooms. Here are the bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor:

And a couple of the upstairs rooms:

The Prairie is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been and I would thoroughly recommend a stay there. At once faded and opulent, gritty and glamorous, it weaves a spell which makes it difficult to leave. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...