Say hello to the queen of colour and fun RACHEL CASTLE. We have been lucky enough to collaborate with this talented creative for our latest collection – aptly named CASTLE.
She’s taken a break from her sea of colour to share with us how she came to be the success she is today, as well as give you her tips for adding colour to your home and spill on who inspires her, how she works and more.
Photo: Julie Adams
Where did you grow up?
Country Victoria in a little town called Sale. I had a fun childhood, lots of good friends and family, but I couldn’t wait to hit the big smoke!
What path lead you to where you are today?
I spent the first 15 years of my working career in branding. My first job was at Country Road in the marketing department, and from there I moved to the UK and worked at The Conran Shop, organising all the catalogue shoots, working on all the various Conran brands. We then started an agency called The Nest and developed projects for various companies, including Michelin, Lancome, and British Airways. Although I was always involved in the direction of product and creative, I wasn’t the one actually creating the imagery. I loved my job and didn’t really feel any need to change direction. I hadn’t developed my own aesthetic, was rather developing aesthetics for the companies we worked with.
It wasn’t until I had my children and moved back to Australia and found myself at home alone with a very real urge to just ‘make things’. I fiddled around with embroidery, did a screen printing class at TAFE, started painting and finally when I had the space to do my own thing, discovered I had quite a lot to say and do. There was never a grand plan, never a plan of any kind at all really!
I just started making things, had a little website made, drew up some bedlinen designs on a very rusty old version of Quark (what a dinosaur!) and had them made locally in Melbourne. I guess I had a LOT of experience in how to create a brand, and had to just let the creative process develop with a little bit of space, no timelines, no briefs, just making things for friends and family, and then eventually popping them online for sale to the general public.
How would you describe your creative process – from the beginning of a design to finish product?
Messy. Just a flurry of activity and before I even know it Im near the end, its never planned or mapped out.
Your work is just plain fun – where or who inspires you?
Pop culture is my biggest inspiration for sure. I think because I spent the majority of my working life developing visuals for others, my own aesthetic had laid dormant since my teenage years. I grew up in a very small country town and I was always trying to get my hands on anything from the big smoke. In my day there was no internet, the only way to access the outside world was via music and tv. So Boy George, Countdown, Dolly magazine, all the fluro, spots, pop songs, pom poms, all my teenage eighties influences just came rolling out in a very organic way when I finally started creating my own little things. Because at that point everything I made was for myself I was completely free to just choose what I liked, what I wanted, what resonated with me. I discovered pretty quickly that everything I made needed to have a bit of wink to it, if it wasn’t having fun then it went in the bin!
You are great with colour – lots of people aren’t – what advice do you have for people wanting to add colour to their home?
Be intuitive, pick the colours you love even if they’re not in fashion. Your home is about what makes YOU happy.
What is your most treasured piece of art in your home?
An artwork by a dear friend Cameron Fraser which was given to us as a wedding present by my husbands parents. It will always be pride of place in our home.
What is your favourite thing you have created?
Some of the paintings are my favourite pieces, and I have to say a good pillowcase combination still makes me go weak at the knees!
Do you have a favourite interior design style?
Not really, but there are two essentials for me. Books, lots of them and plants, green ones.
Where is your favourite place to travel?
I just couldn’t say, we’ve had too many good holidays. I married my husband because he was holiday man, always planning the next holiday, the next crazy destination. He gives me my passport and tells me where we’re going and I follow. The one constant for me Id have to say is our summer Mollymook holiday, all our friends go, all the teenagers go, two weeks every summer.
Thanks so much Rachel!
View all the wonderful pieces as part of our latest CASTLE x NJ collection – we have created bedrooms for teens and bedrooms for babies and toddlers.
You can visit Rachel Castle’s Castle and Things website for more of her work.