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Rachel Ashwell

How do you define your decorating style?
(or do you even try?)

Charles Faudree

French Country.
Beach Cottage.

I have always been a mix...
mainly of French Country and Shabby Cottage style.
(hence the name of my blog)
I don't really ever fit into just one or even two particular categories.
Sometimes, I think I have a style identity crisis... lol!

I love color & bold traditional patterns.
Rich dark wood, exposed frame furniture
and a mix of enveloping warm fabrics.

Charles Faudree

An elegant but welcoming, comfortable feel.
Charles Faudree's French Country style
is probably my biggest inspiration.
Charles Faudree
Charles Faudree

I love his use of reds and color, dark woods and gorgeous patina
and of course, all the old painted pieces mixed in.

Charles inspired the red checked settee at the foot of my bed

and my gorgeous French buffet is his style influence.

Really though,
sometimes I wrestle with myself...
I do LOVE color...
LOVE it. LOVE it. LOVE it.

Country French

but find that sometimes I crave more of the quiet.
The faded. The muted.
The whites.

Carolyn Westbrook

I Love white rooms probably as much as I love traditional rooms.
They are filled with old worn painted finishes chipping away,
with soft faded pastel fabrics piled high
and a definite quiet beauty.

Rachel Ashwell's style has always talked to me as well
and I do incorporate much
shabby cottage style in my home in the way of painted
and faded and chippy imperfect.

Rachel Ashwell

My home definitely lends itself to a shabby cottage style.
An old home with knotty pine walls & hardwood flooring throughout-
it was dark and cabin- like when we moved in.
I knew I would paint every last bit of that stained knotty pine the first time I saw it.
(I apologize to those who are cringing.)


The white painted wood plank walls,
dark stained hardwood floors, quirky old charm & character...
it all worked for my vision of a french- shabby- cottage inspired home.

Vintage Bathroom

Rachel Ashwell's style invited me to welcome less than perfect
pieces into my own home.

French bedroom armoire

With old painted finishes chipping away,
layers of wear from years of use & to look at their imperfections as
character and charm,
rather than flaws.

I have come to love and appreciate the flaws near as much
as finding a perfect piece.

The old silvering worn away on a mirror... *love*

Exposed wood where the paint has long been gone,
spidered crackles in an old finish
gesso ornamentation missing here and there on that gorgeous old frame...

To me, those bits and pieces of character are invaluable
in bringing that welcoming and warm feel to my rooms.

So both of these wonderful designers have inspired me in different ways.
and they both have influenced me.
These styles also help define what styles my blog is about.

My sweet friend Sarah over at Modern Country Style
is having a 'DEFINE YOUR BLOG' party...

So, I guess to try and explain my blog,
I would say it's about sharing things I am passionate about.
Family. Design. Life. Friends.
It's about creating warm spaces & blogging definitely gives me motivation to get projects done :)
It's about being creative and immersing myself in a world filled with so much inspiration
and finding others who feel the same way.
It helps me keep my dreams of designing for others and writing a book
focused in my mind.

What about you? Who inspires you?
If you want to share how would you define your blog
head on over to the lovely Miss Sarah's party at Modern Country Style.

sharing at
No Minimalist Here for Open House Party


  1. Rachel Ashwell is also a big influence on me. I have to say seeing bloggers homes that I love also are a big inspiration to the direction I decide to go in decor. Your home is lovely, and I would love to see a full blown post on the kitchen someday.

  2. Hi Courtney!

    Oh, you are speaking my language. I get so confused about color. I love the white dreamy relaxed feel of Cottage style and yet, I love color. It's hard to incorporate both but I think you've done a beautiful job with your home. I just love it! Rachel Ashwell has been a big inspiration to me, as well! I like how we can have pieces that aren't perfect and they still look great! Enjoyed getting a peek at the designers and style you love.
    Hope you're having a good day!

  3. Fun read and a good question, Courtney.I suspect that anyone who loves decorating is torn between different styles, since they all have their own beauty (except Victoriana, that has NEVER tempted me...) I think a toned down French Country is my favorite... minus any clutter. Lots of worn stone, gorgeous wood, and muted warm color. Your picture of the country French bed was my favorite!

  4. Lovely article anc lovely illustrations. I like a wide variety of things. However, every time I see something new I like ON HGTV or in a magazine, etc., I find that it has the label "French" in it somewhere. I don't know how r why I do that, as I don't necessarily recognize all of those things as being French influenced when I first see them.

    But, my home is difinitely shabby -- though not necessarily chic:) I use a lot of old family things.

    I love Rachel Ashwell, but notice that not even Rachel, herself, is sticking with the same aesthetic so much. Still, her original look speaks to me.

    I agree with Courtney that you have a good eye for pulling in color and white!

  5. I mean that I agree with Michelle that you have a good eye, Courtney, for pulling in white and color, too.

  6. I struggle with trying to pin down My "style" all the time. Years ago it was the english country Laura Ashely kinda look then I went over to the white side where I found home! Even with my whites, I've always tried to incorporte some lovely florals. I'd have to say I got a lot of my style from my aunt who was shabby before it was chic! I've incorporated the beachy look living by the lake and it's also a part of hubby's and my heritage. But, I've recently found a love for the farmhouse look! Oh my, I love the weathered gray wood look with the burlap and whites, old weathered floors. So I can so identify with this post! What am I? I;ve been told modern cottage, so I would have to say modern cottage, beachy farmhouse? Lol. This was a great question and post Courntney!

  7. Love you photo's and I have had many styles over the years.........but the one I keep going back to is what I liked when I was a teenager we called it country style thenand were using alot of whites and beiges, then I like pops of color so I would say I am liking the Carolyn Westbrook, Rachel Ashwell and Atlanta Bartlett styles the best!!! I have never been traditional closest I got was potterybarnish....


  8. Very nice inspirations. I guess I am sort of a French chic vintage, my favorite is more... I have no idea..... I love all things vintage and I love to mix and match things. I love color and I love neutrals. My house reflex's that image.
    Nice mix of styles in your inspiration photos.

  9. I think the looks that you gravitate towards are very complementary Courtney. I feel like I'm a mix and match of styles too...unfortunately they are stlyes that are sometimes hard to meld together. I like things a little bit contemporary (although I think my house in more traditional) and I like a nice vintage look too. I've been trying to weed out color and pattern in my house so that I can get the two styles to work better together. Not sure if it's working though :)


  10. hummmmm, i have no idea what my style is? i think it's a mixture - if you can tell me, please do.....i've always wondered what my "style" would be called????? xoxo

  11. Beautiful images. I almost faint as I travel though France gathering beauties to bring to the States!

  12. Hi Courtney! I so relate to what you are saying about loving color and dark, rich wood tones and yet also being drawn to lighter and brighter rooms. I think you balance both sides perfectly in the way you decorate your home! :-)

  13. I LOVE your pieces Courtney~ I love a mix of shabby chic and french farmhouse~ Hugs,Rachel :)

    French Farmhouse 425

  14. I think sometimes I need 2 or 3 houses since I like so many different styles. If I had to sum mine up, I'd say its somewhere in the Elegant French Farmhouse Country Victorian realm. Yeah, I don't know what it means either, but it sort of fits our 100 year old home. I appreciate clutter free living, but it just isn't me. I love my cozy clutter, so I strive to strike a balance between just right and too much. Always a struggle with so much cool old stuff out there! Have a great day!


  15. This is a great post, Courtney, and I love all the pictures of the various designers. I guess I am sort of like everyone, not defined completely by any one style. I started out influenced by Rachel Ashwell and then I feel in love with the English cottage style that I used a lot of up at our lakehouse. Now I am really loving a more laid back farmhouse look so I have been trying to simpify and keep a neutral pallette. I think all of these styles converge in my home because I have too many treasures!! So much for simplifying!!


  16. I love all the designers that you featured! My mom has several Charles Faudree books, and whenever I visit her, I always make a beeline for them!

  17. Oh- I have been all over the place too...and then some. I love Laura Ashley for years..and copied a lot of what she did...then I went very traditional when we lived in a historic home...then beachy casual when we lived on Lake Michigan...and now I am a mish-mash again...but tending to be comfortable traditional, I guess. If I had my druthers (no man in the life) I would do all Rachel Ashwell...but MyHero doesn't like ruffles! Imagine that!!!!

    Great post, Courtney! xxoo Diana

  18. Hi Courtney, I am going to say my style is eclectic. Basically that means I don't have any one primary style. I love shabby, cottage, beachy, french country and even tuscan! Of course every time we move I go in a different design direction. Thanks for sharing these beautiful inspiration photos at my party.

  19. My style? Almost everything!!! French Country, Shabby, 1950's (I'll post those pics sometimes)lacy, stripes, polka dots!!! But I've always head on to my family antiques and the old things that tell a story. Never letting those get away! Great post!
    Hugs from Arizona,

  20. Shabby chic has always been a style that I am drawn in by. It seems fresh and comfy. I love the photos with the red, by Charles Faudree. I am going to have to look up more about him.

    Love your blog title.

  21. I've always been drawn to the Shabby Chic style, too. Rachel Ashwell has been a huge inspiration. I love timeworn pieces. But lately I've also been gravitating to French Country, as it is just sooo romantic, too! Guess I'm eclectic!!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  22. Whatever you call your style, Courtney, it is *gorgeous*

    I have definitely been influenced by Rachel Ashwell.

    I also like Lee Kirch's designs. Your home reminds me of her so, so much. I also like Dena Fishbein. I like the way she embellishes stuff, and her home is fun.

  23. I am with you. . .I have a style idenity problem too. I love all kinds of styles and color, I love it bold and I love it muted. . . I think I am very eclectic to the point of cluttered.. Thanks for sharing a delightful post. Karie

  24. So many decorating styles ... so little time! Love all of it! xox

  25. Well, whatever your style or however you define it, it all stays the same for me, which is I LOVE IT!!! I love to see what you do, what inspires you and I love that you share it all, so thank you Courtney!

  26. Hello sweet pea,

    Well, I am a huge fan of your gorgeous style. I really like the way you've defined it. I think your blog title captures the heart of what you love perfectly. Unique and beautiful - like you!!


  27. Hi Courtney. thanks for visiting recently! i am now a follower, and if this post is any indication of what i'm in for--woo hoo. i do love European country style and the dreamy images i see here.

    have a lovely week.


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