Lunch at The Prairie with Rachel Ashwell

What better way to kick off Antique Week than lunch at The Prairie? Rachel Ashwell (a designer famous for making shabby chic) hosted a bloggers luncheon at The Prairie, her bed & breakfast located just outside of Round Top.

The luncheon benefited Dwell with Dignity, a nonprofit group of Dallas interior designers and volunteers dedicated to creating soothing, inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty. They provide and install home interiors for families that include furnishings and art, bedding and kitchen supplies, and food in the pantry.

Dwell with Dignity was recently featured on the Nate Berkus Show, and since then, they have been flooded with calls and emails from people that want to bring the organization to their cities. There is such a need right now, and people that can help want to. Founder Lisa Robinson explained that the charity group really needs funds right now more than anything so they can hire some full time workers and begin expanding. It truly is a story of one person taking her talent and finding how she could use it to help others. And we all have something we’re good at, right? Anyway, they are a fantastic organization, and if you want to donate, you will be helping families find warmth and dignity.

Kelley Copeland of The Hidden List (above left) coordinated the event, and she was so warm and welcoming–one of those people that you immediately consider a friend. Bud Royer of Royers Round Top Cafe and hostess Rachel Ashwell (above right) both did their part to make the day special for the 35 attending bloggers.

Royers catered the lunch, serving their signature shrimp BLT followed by a decadent slice of chocolate chip pie served with Amy’s Ice Cream.

Have you ever eaten at Royers Round Top Cafe? It’s a place you don’t want to miss. If you hit them on a busy weekend (antique or bluebonnet season), you might have a long wait for a table. But don’t worry, they just opened Royer’s Pie Haven on the square in Round Top, so you don’t have to wait for a slice of their world famous pie.

By the way, Bud “The Pie Man” sends two of his mouth-watering pies to every home that Dwell with Dignity designs. How awesome would that be to come home to? Royers also has Operation Desert Pie, which they started to send Bud’s pies to deserving servicemen overseas. I’m excited that we are featuring them in our holiday issue of Texas LIVE Magazine. Hopefully lots of our readers will be ordering Christmas pies for soldiers. (The deadline for Thanksgiving delivery is October 17, so head to their website now if you want to donate in time for Thanksgiving.)

I was able to mix a little business with pleasure as I attended the luncheon representing Texas LIVE Magazine. It was a great opportunity to do some networking and visit with fellow bloggers from all over the state. I’m having fun going through the list of blogs to see all the interpretations of the day. I’ve found a few new blogs to follow (including The Brown Shed) and one that I’m interested in featuring in the magazine for a garden feature (My House, My Garden).

Can I just say, I’ve never seen so many cameras at one small event?

Ladies of all ages, styles, and interests were represented.

Rachel was very warm and accessible, visiting with as many of the attendees as possible.

I saw my talented friend Holly, which is always a treat.

After lunch, Rachel shared a little about what brought her to The Prairie. (Her lovely British accent, her cowgirl boots, and her love of Texans won the heart of this Texas gal.) Rachel and her crew had been staying at this property for years as they attended Antique Week in Round Top and Warrenton each fall and spring. When the previous owner told Rachel she was going to sell the place, Rachel’s attachment to the property led her to buy it in the spring of 2011.

Of course, she immediately began infusing her shabby chic style, but she did not want to erase all the traces of Texas. There are still antlers and some unpainted wood, but expect flowers, soft linens, and delicate chandeliers to dance with the remaining hints of traditional Texas decor.

After a brief tour of the property (all of the cottages except the main house were occupied by fellow junkers attending the antique festivals), we were welcome to shop at the newest retail location of Ashwell–Shabby Chic Couture. That’s right–London, Santa Monica, New York, and Round Top, Texas. Of course you can still find her affordable line of Simply Shabby Chic at Target, but I recommend visiting the little house on The Prairie if you get a chance. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find…

I love the Union Jack and Texas flag inspired pillows. I might have try that with some of my own fabrics one of these days (the Texas one, of course).

I had to laugh when Rachel shared about the addition of the store to The Prairie. I had just told my coworker Britney that I didn’t remember the little house being there when I had attended the grand opening party in the spring, when Rachel said that one of her Texas friends had just called her one day and said he had an old farmhouse that he was bringing her. She joked about all the paperwork required to even hang a sign in NYC, but here in Texas, someone could just call and drop off a house.

If I had a little girl, she might need this blooming dogwood chandelier.

Pearl the prairie dog was taking her duties very seriously.

Well, that pretty much concludes The Prairie luncheon. I can’t wait to go back in the spring!

Stay tuned for more Antique Week pics (including my first time to attend the Junk Gypsy Prom)! I hope you were able to do some junkin’ this past week. If not, mark your calenders now for the spring show!


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3 Responses to Lunch at The Prairie with Rachel Ashwell

  1. What a special treat it was to have you attend this lunch! Your post is absolutely beautiful! I hope that we can work together on something in the future! Look forward to keeping in touch and following your blog! XO!

  2. Vikki says:

    Hi there!
    I am finally catching up reading all of the posts about our fun day at The Praire. What an experience! Your photos are fabulous. That’s something on my bucket list to refine: my photography skills.
    I see where you mentioned you may want to feature my garden in Texas Live. You have no idea how wonderful it felt to read that!! Made my day to read that you even considered it and made me forget about all the back breaking hard work it took to get there! :)

    If you ever want to chat about it, please feel free to email me.

    Xo. Vikki

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