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Design Inspiration: Drawn From Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Shop In Santa Monica

[On my DIY list: I am going to make a version of this lamp for our new apartment - I just can't wait! Will share on the blog when I do]

There are very few things that get me bubbling forth with joy - shopping at my favorite stores and boutiques in Santa Monica, CA is one of them. While window shopping on Montana Ave, I stopped in Rachel Ashwell's shabby chic couture (thanks to the hubby who spotted the store). I remember back in 2000 when she was on HGTV, I was captivated by her because back then, I was very much into the shabby chic look. In fact for two years our apartment was decked with wood furniture that I distressed, including an old French paned window that I used over a credenza giving the illusion of a window looking to an outside garden. I even strung small white string lights behind it and had it lit at night which gave that area of our dining room a nice warm cozy glow. (I will dig through pictures of my before and after photos of that apartment to see if they're worthy to even post. Great photography back then was only left to the professionals on your wedding day, and other special occasions - it's not like today where you will find everyone walking around with pro grade cameras at the ready. Anyway, I've digressed a tad.)

Although both our taste and style at home have changed tremendously as we get older, we're still very drawn to the distressed shabby chic furniture and look...except now we're reserving that experience for when we stay at a B&B somewhere in the country for tranquility and a good visual rest. The soft white-washed palette and gauzy light curtains flowing by the breezy outdoor air sure is hypnotizing though.

Montana avenue is one of the many cool and fun streets full of shops to feast the eye on inspiring the soul with an unstoppable flow of ideas and creativity. I picked up a few goodies there while I chatted with a couple of the shop owners about Santa Monica. I always get my ears tickled when some of the locals we talk to suggest we move there. Who knows? Maybe one day soon that could be our next zip code. Just putting it out there. Anywho, these are a few photos of some of the items you will spot in her store.

[A basket filled with my favorite things: post-cards, journals, notebooks, notecards]

Don't you feel at peace just by looking at the pictures? I even said to one of the friendliest sales gals there, 'can I move in the store?' And she said "come on, move right on in..." HA! 

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