‘If it’s fun, we love it’. That’s the motto of Rachel Castle who founded Castle and Things in 2008. Dedicated to all things sunny and bright, we asked Rachel about her colourful life.
Rachel, tell us a little bit about what you want your brand to represent?
I want my brand to be as playful as it can be, to make people laugh, to be colourful and irreverent and well edited. I never want to make stuff for the hell of it, I want everything we make to be something we ADORE, no fillers.
Why did you choose the career path of artist and designer?
It’s like saying I like broccoli, I don’t know why I just do, and the same with my career, the pathway was nimble and organic, I never made a choice I just naturally ended up here.
Are there any particular people, places or events that have been influential in your style and the humour you bring to your designs?
My team for sure. My product designer Simone and I sit and make something we love and then call in the rest of the team. If it gets a giggle from them then it’s a green light. It’s actually so simple.
Your use of colour and pattern is prolific in all your work. Do you believe colour can change the way a person feels?
It certainly changes the way I feel. There’s a lot of talk these days about how scared people are of colour, but I think the opposite. My customers LOVE colour, they always have. Trying to own colour is like trying to own sunshine, it belongs to absolutely everyone and I personally have never met anyone who doesn’t love colour in some shape or form. We’ve seen it prolifically celebrated throughout history, different cultures and people and times, in homes, in our wardrobes, on our faces. Its a beautiful thing to celebrate!
We’ve read that you began your business when your youngest child started school. Has your design style evolved in line with your family growing up?
Yes and no. The more I am able to work as the children have grown the more we grow, but equally the business really develops very organically, so the changes that I can see are more design based. Colour palettes change constantly, fabrics come in and out of fashion, you have to be nimble in this business yet maintain a brand aesthetic throughout. It’s quite easy to be the popular new kid on the block, we love newness, but maintaining relevance year after year and into the decades, I believe, is the real test of a brand’s success.
Where do you go to look at great design?
I love the museums. Any and all of them.
We believe it is really important to teach our children to be conscious consumers and appreciate good design and quality. What lessons are important that you pass on?
Quality vs quantity for sure. We live in a highly saturated home product marketplace, there are a LOT of products here, there and everywhere. I say to my children, be conscious and PLEASE don’t be greedy. When one is enough, thats enough.
Have you ever seen your work copied without credit? What do you think should be done about it?
Yes. I legally protect my artwork copyright with vigilance. The products are far more difficult to patent. I have a thick skin these days, I would rather work forwards than fight backwards, if that makes sense.
How do you choose furniture for your home?
I just buy what I love! It’s super simple; there is zero curation except that everything I own is something I really love for one reason or another. It might be the shape, the fabric, the personality, just something that resonates with me somewhere that cannot be explained. Again like loving broccoli, you can’t sometimes say why, you just do. Having said that I don’t even like broccoli that much, but you know what I mean!
What are you loving on Two Design Lovers?
I really LOVE the Koskela leather quadrant sofa, OMG its soooooo cute.
Koskela Quadrant Soft Sofa https://www.twodesignlovers.com/product/koskela-quadrant-soft-sofa-leather/
Images have been printed with the permission of Rachel Castle.