The Shabby Chic Founder’s Favorite Non-Shabby-Chic Home Goods

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Not too shabby-chic.
Not too shabby-chic.

About 25 years ago, the very British designer Rachel Ashwell started a brand that quickly became synonymous with mushy slipcover couches, fluffy duvet covers, and lots and lots of knockoffs. Now she’s rebranding, with a name change from Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic to simply Rachel Ashwell, and a look that’s a bit more modern. It’s a reflection of how her own home has evolved, she says (“This is just how I personally live”). And how she personally lives, of course, involves some designs that aren’t her own, which we asked her to reveal here.

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10 Strawberry Street Royal Charger Plate Set
“I have a lot of vintage plates, but I like to layer them with white. Target has really good staples of just plain, white china, and it’s always very affordable. It’s as good as any top-end line that you might find in a more expensive store.”
$97 for six at Target 

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Tibetan Goat Rug
“I love this creamy goat-hair rug. I like the island-y feel of things from Calypso.”
$950 at Calypso St. Barth 

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Votive Candles
“As far as candles go, I tend to like very simple white votives because I like to weave in and out of mixing high-end things with basic staples. But because they’re so basic, I’ll put little flower petals on the table around them.”
$8 for 12 at Amazon

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Photo: Sean Dagen

Capiz Scalloped Chandelier
“I bought this for my daughter’s room. I’m known for chandeliers, so I typically like a fixture that makes a statement, but I like this one because it has a subtle hue and a little bit of that boho feeling.”
$295 at Serena and Lily

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Hammered Brass Tray Set
“For side tables, or even coffee tables, I like to use a soft fabric ottoman and then put a tray on top. There’s a bit of versatility to that and I find that quite useful.”
$525 at Calypso St. Barth 

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Outdoor Tassel Umbrella
“I just ordered these tasseled patio umbrellas. For the outside I lean toward a bohemian Ibiza feeling as opposed to anything too traditional. The little tassels add the flair.”
$299 at Pottery Barn 

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Wool Shag Rug
“Obviously when you’re putting something on the floor that has a white or cream background there’s a danger that it’s going to look grubby very quickly, but there’s just something forgiving about this brown diamond pattern. It still feels fresh and nice even when it starts getting a little bit worn.”
From $188 at West Elm

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Glass Bud Vase
“Flowers are really important accents to any room and Target is my go-to for little bud vases. I tend to pick a theme and either do everything in white or clear or a palette of blue, just to keep the vision quite simple. What’s nice about Target is that what you find there today might be completely different tomorrow.”
$17 at Target