Before and After: Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby-Chic Malibu Trailer
Interior design icon Rachel Ashwell, famous for her Shabby Chic brand, has created her own slice of paradise in Malibu. Her new weekend home in Paradise Cove, an exclusive clifftop mobile home community overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, has been transformed into a haven for beachy relaxation.
Paradise Cove proved to be the perfect fit for the Ashwell’s unique brand of light, casual elegance. Although she used her signature “wow of white” as the canvas for the project, Ashwell also incorporated a palette of blues inspired by the trailer’s oceanside location. “Design choices of simplicity and calm are a direct reflection of the environment,” she explains.
“My Paradise Cove home is perfect for me,” says Ashwell. “Now that I have an empty nest, my life is a balance of creating a peaceful sanctuary for myself but also enough snoozing nooks and entertainment for friends and family.”
Scroll down to take the full tour of Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Malibu trailer!
Following one of her own guidelines for small spaces, Ashwell took a “less is more” approach. “I also wanted to embrace the fact that this little home is really a trailer,” she says, “so I didn’t want to overdress it.”
For Ashwell, balancing both the shabby and the chic is key. “Mixing a twinkly chandelier, a flaky painted table, a mushy slipcovered sofa with a vase filled with floppy roses tells the story well,” she remarks. “Equal parts shabby and chic make for beauty, comfort, and function.”
Ashwell embraced the challenge of designing for a small space, noting that her Paradise Cove home is among the smallest in the community. One of her tricks for decorating small spaces is to think outside the box to create storage options that are both chic and functional. “I bought an affordable island and popped a marble slab on top,” Ashwell recalls. “It functions as both a food preparation island and my dining table, along with baskets below for my kitchen pantry.”
Despite the small size of the trailer, Ashwell was able to incorporate some unexpected signature details, including unique tiles and vintage wallpaper in the bathroom and gloss paint on the wood paneling. She also painted the floors white, which serves an aesthetic and practical purpose. Ashwell points out, “Bare feet is the norm for beach living.”
Ashwell’s favorite part of the home is the sleeping nook, where she got creative with a compact three-by-six-foot space. “The prior owner had a desk in the nook,” she recalls, “but I built a platform with storage drawers and popped a mattress on top.”
Ashwell approached capturing the essence of beach living in Paradise Dove with an eye for balance. “It is important to me to that I create an environment that is both inviting and comfortable while maintaining attention to details,” she says.
Ashwell’s design mantra? “Beauty, comfort, and function,” she says. “Any room that inspires peace is always of huge value to me.”
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