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!