Hello again lovely Monday people. I am pinching myself, so that’s how I know this is really happening. Rachel Ashwell and Cico Books are kicking off their blog book tour today and starting it here with me on Lobster and Swan! I am so excited to share with you my favourites from all the stunning pictures and pages in Rachel’s new book Couture Prairie and Flea Market Treasures, and I also got to do a little interview with Rachel, below!This book really is bursting with beautiful shabby feminine amazingness from cover to cover. I have to keep picking it up and flicking through the pages every five minutes to look at all the lovely styling and images once more. My favourite space from the whole book is this image above on the left of the lounge of the Liliput Lodge, bright white with a hint of chintz, soft pinks and traditional patterned rugs, with the addition of beautiful light, and the right amount of calm, I think it is a perfect room. With so much beauty to take in I just about managed to compose myself and think of a few things I would like to ask Rachel on my own and your behalf, here is what she had to say –
1. It is such an amazing place, how did you cope with the overwhelming task of starting the renovations at The Prairie? The purpose of The Prairie was to give an experience of all the diverse aesthetics of my Shabby Chic® world. I compartmentalised the restoration process with allocating a specific style for each of the five structures and made my master ‘to-do’ list.
2. I have been dreaming for many years of opening a B&B, what special touches do you add to make people feel at home? Overall, I want the experience to be somewhere that I would like to and do stay at. One often doesn’t think of a B&B as luxury and through Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture® products; bedding and furnishings, we are able to bring an unexpected level of luxury and also find a balance of personal touches such as art, freshly cut flowers, and whimsical décor that feels curated rather than cluttered.
3. What are your favourite fresh flower combinations to decorate with? Pale pink garden roses, peonies, and pale purple lilacs.
4. Do you have any pets at The Prairie? Yes, we have Pearl the dog who is often adopted by many guests for their time at The Prairie and also Pearl the cat who is a bit more aloof.
5. Is there one space or room at The Prairie that pulls you in, and keeps you lingering there longer than the others? The Ranger’s Lounge because this is where all the action happens in a very peaceful manner. Above is the kitchen of Meadow Manor and the dining space in Liliput Lodge. One of Rachel’s lovely mood boards and the prettiest pinkest vintage christmas decor you will ever see below.