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The Sunshine Home

Homes

As we’ve quoted before, ‘Rachel Castle is sunshine’  and her Instagram delightfully describes her as a ‘fun enthusiast.’ It is therefore little surprise that the designer and artist’s family home in Northbridge, Sydney, is also a sun-drenched scene of buoyant cheer! Rachel shares this space with husband Daz, children Cleo (18) and Lucas (16), and Sydney the sausage dog.

This home has a vibrancy that almost bounces off the screen, which Rachel describes has organically evolved from loving ‘too many things to have a proper style.’ Please sign us up to this laissez-faire method of bundling joyful objects together, and hoping for the best!

25th July, 2018

Inside the sunny Northbridge home of artist Rachel Castle, her husband Daz, her teenage kids Cleo and Lucas, and Sydney the sausage dog! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rachel’s amazing dining space looking out to the pool! Dining table made by Ben Sibley. Pendant lights from Euroluce. Penny round cushions from Rachel’s brand, Castle. Steel-frame and doors were custom-made in Melbourne by Sky Frame, brought up on a truck and installed over a few days. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rachel in front of her ‘Peace Bird’ artwork. ‘We only have a couple of paintings in the house, normally on rotation based on what’s sitting about the studio. This one will stay because it fits the nook so well!’ Rachel tells us. Parquetry floors from Precision Flooring.Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rachel jokes that she loves ‘too many things to have a proper style’. We tend to think that is what MAKES her style unique! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A bright and full book shelf taking centre stage in the dining room. Penny round cushions by Castle. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The kid’s TV room, which has been taken over by the couple’s teenage son! According to Rachel, ‘all I know is that teenage boys play video games in there, and this would be the first time in about a year that the cushions are actually on the sofa and not all over the floor!’ Print from The Standard Store. Sofa by MCM House. All cushions from Castle. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The kitchen and dining open right up to the backyard and pool areas. Stools from Mark Tuckey. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Various artworks by Rachel Castle, Third Drawer Down x David Shrigley, and Lucas Grogran. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Indoor and outdoor happiness all in one!’, says Rachel of her amazing steel-framed glass doors. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A look into the living room, which connects to the hallways via steel-frame doors. Pink Togo sofa from Domo. Villemot print from Vintage Posters Only. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Walkman artwork by Cameron Fraser. Rug by Loom from Koskela. Coffee table from Mark Tuckey. Table lamp from Euroluce. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rachel’s daughter Cleo’s bedroom, featuring new season ‘Sweet Pea’ bedlinen available this week from Castle. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Hall entry. Left vase poster from Vintage Posters Only. Triangle artwork by Beci Orpin. Letter prints from an old printer’s calendar. Hearts and dog print by Rachel Castle. Wooden man and pottery owl by Castle children! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rachel’s home office. Blue line print by David Band. All other artworks by Rachel. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 25th July 2018

‘I love those houses that are highly curated, I would love to live in one, but would have to burn everything we own in a bonfire.’ – Rachel Castle.

Artist and designer Rachel Castle and her family have lived in their much loved Northbridge home for the past 10 years. The essential criteria for buying the house were ‘privacy, great light, and a living area that opened onto a level backyard’ and this property delivered on all fronts. The Castles have since fully nestled into their local neighbourhood – where neighbours have become best friends, and children have grown up together. ‘We are our own little suburban Ramsay Street!’ Rachel describes.

Over the past decade, the family has transformed their home, through the layering of Rachel’s bright and cheerful soft furnishings and artwork, as well as through major renovations. After some frustrating false starts with the bureaucracy of planning permits (grrrr), plans for an upstairs renovation were flipped, when approval was instead granted for ground floor works to proceed. Rachel explains that after this process, ‘we were so reno weary, we just left the upstairs in the end.’

While council restrictions limited a large-scale transformation of the site, no administrative red tape could dampen the energy of Rachel’s distinct aesthetic! She views her style as ‘laissez faire’ as she loves ‘too many different things to have a proper style.’ Hilariously, she proclaims ‘I love so much those houses that are highly curated and so easy to find a quiet spot in, I would love to live in one, but I would have to burn everything we own in a bonfire and start again.’ PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS RACHEL!

Rachel’s styling approach is simple: ‘sticking all of the things I like in the one spot’ and collecting art that she truly loves. She outlines this straightforward approach succinctly, ‘I never sell anything, so my one rule is just to love it there and then on the spot and commit to it.’ This has resulted in walls laden with beloved artworks, and a house which truly communicates the passions of its owners.

While Rachel’s self-described ‘lazy’ style has organically led to the relaxed, bright and cheerful feeling of the space, she is eager to highlight the contributions of interior designer Tina De Salis, too. Rachel enthuses, ‘the house would never have looked half as good without my interior designer’ who specified all of the cabinetry,  windows and doors, all of the fittings. ‘Even though I knew what I wanted, she was KEY to getting all of the details right’ Rachel emphatically concludes, adding ‘my one piece of advice is to invest in the service of a good interior designer.’ If we have any chance of ever occupying a house as beautiful as this, we’ll be following this sage advice!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net