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Book Blog Tour – Couture Prairie by Rachel Ashwell

September 11, 2013
Once again I’m very happy to show you a brilliant book published by Cico Books (these publishers have heaps of them for all tastes!). This time it’s a special occasion – we have joined a Book Blog Tour! That’s why this post is more than just a review of Rachel Ashwell’s latest book.
Read on and you’ll find out what five questions we have asked the author and what her answers were. And for the most faithful readers… there’s a surprise – you can win Rachel’s book if you follow our instructions on how to do this!
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   What do you think, would it be possible to create a beautiful, although “beautiful” is not enough, lets say magnificent interior using just vintage flea market finds? If you doubt this, you should definitely acquire Rachel Ashwell’s latest book – Couture Prairie.
   Professional photographs reveal stunning interiors, where old things have been revived to live a new exciting life. By the way, I should probably first of all tell you that we aren’t talking only about a few rooms, Rachel has turned almost an entire little village into a pretty, comfortable and functional B&B!
   It’s almost impossible to imagine that in the middle of Texas there’s such a place where one can feel as if entering a different, very romantic World. Pastel colours, ruffles, chandeliers, colourful fabrics and china, and loads of flowers… Looking at these images all I can do is sigh… I guess an opportunity to spend at least a few nights there should go on my most important wish list!
   Reading this book you’ll find out how an idea to create a perfect B&B came true. This is going to be a journey around a little town called Round Top, which is supposed to have the most eclectic, vibrant antiques and flea markets in the World. It’s also a trip back in history, as you get to know the previous owners of one of the houses and, of course, get to see heaps of vintage finds, that could no doubt tell us a few stories about the old days.
   Rachel’s book is all about inspiration and creativity. I think it proves that something old can be as good (or sometimes even better!) as new, that a bit of paint can do wonders and that amazing results can be achieved if you use your imagination. And if by any chance you decide that shabby chic or flea market finds style is not for everyday life, use Rachel’s ideas for special occasions, especially Christmas, when all of us want to retreat into a cozy fantasy World.
   Summing it up – this book could change the way you live, so it definitely is a must have!
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Couture Prairie by Rachel Ashwell is published by CICO Books and is available from
More from Rachel available from
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The promised 5 QUESTIONS for the author!

Decor-Art: Somewhere in your book you describe yourself as a “proper London girl” who wonders how her “connection to the culture, the people, and the land could be so deep”. How did you end up in the USA and what are the things that you love the most about this country?

Rachel: My heritage by my father is American, although he is an anglophile. The cliché of America being the land of opportunity has held true for me.  The beauty of my British heritage is one of an overabundance of culture, creativity, and history. Creativity inspired by me from the seasons but there is something about the American way that stimulates bringing my creativity into the world.  

Your perfect B&B is in Texas. What should one visit in order to be immersed in a true “Texas” experience?

A BBQ by one of the locals or dinner at Royer’s Café, a local musical event of some sad country songs, driving through the farmlands during April and seeing all the blue bonnets, and of course visiting the flea markets of Round Top, Texas. 

What was the most exciting part of creating your amazing B&B and what were the chores you weren’t too keen on?

The exciting part of creating the B&B was seeing the vision manifest into a functioning business. This vision is being able to execute our mantra; beauty, comfort, function- for all to enjoy and to see our guests really connect to the values and the beauty of our property.  The challenges are at the end of the day, the business model of the B&B is of a modest income and it is how to balance the budget with the experience that we want to offer.

What are your favorite vintage finds?

Vintage dinnerware in more of a hodge-podge design of colour. More so today than in the past are vintage silk flowers- I find these decoratively gift wise such a powerful and useful little accent.

Which of the little houses on the Prairie is the most popular and what is the best compliment your B&B has ever received?

I would say that still for a couple, the Cornflower Cottage is the most popular in part for its beautiful Jacuzzi and its romantic atmosphere. The best compliment was an entry in our guest book stating, “The Prairie must share the same zip code as heaven”.

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Thank you for joining us on this tour!

P.S. I nearly forgot the GIVEAWAY (I’m only joking, how could I forget something like that!?). If you would like to win Rachel’s book simply mention this blog post on one of the social network websites you are using: your Blog or Facebook page (in this case send us an e-mail with a link on where we can find it) or even on Twitter (then please include @decorartuk & @cicobooks in your tweet). By the way Tweeters will also be invited to join this competition by simply re-tweeting one of our tweets, so if you aren’t following us, it’s high time to do so – @decorartuk. The winner will be announced on Friday.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2013 2:03 pm

    Happy to share on my facebook page. Beautiful pictures and it sounds like Round Top might be a place to visit.

  2. September 16, 2013 10:05 pm

    just tweeted the giveaway and hope i win! i have yet to receive a copy and am dying to peek inside!

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