Designer style, family friendly!
Despite sharing her Edinburgh home with her husband and d threeth sons, interior designer Rachel Richmond has resisted a “family friendly” style…
A modern home renovation project
“Ilike to encourage clients to embrace beauty in their homes, even if they have children. Children do respect beautiful things and an immaculate home can be comfortable: it can be dressed up and down with fabrics and textiles. there is no need to have budget furniture everywhere,” rachel asserts, “the boys, rory, 13, Angus, six, and Murray, one, all have a space of their own in their rooms.”
rachel herself has created an elegant home that acts as showcase for her design work and a growing contemporary art collection, a passion her and her husband Adrian, firmly share. “we made our first purchase 16 years ago, on holiday in Miami. Sheltering from a storm in the doorway of an art gallery, they invited us in. we bought a print by romero Britto, the Brazilian artist who went on to decorate the Olympic tunnel for London 2012. we have bought two further pieces from him since, both dedicated to our two eldest sons.” Having studied english and Film at university, rachel worked in tV advertising for many years. the long hours meant that she needed to stop when she had children, and she renovated the family home in Henley as a career alternative. it turned out that she had a real flair for interiors. Hen & Crask was born nine years ago, and moving the family to edinburgh two years ago means she is offering her services in both Scotland and the south.
the relocation has been a great success – Adrian was brought up in edinburgh and his family all live nearby. “Life is a lot more relaxed, the schools are excellent, it is a slower pace and >>
A MINIMAL KITCHEN
This was made bespoke by Fife-based cabinet makers, murray & murray. There are no wall-hung cabinets – rachel wanted to reveal the detail of the wall mouldings – instead, a generous larder unit surrounding the integrated fridge freezer offers storage. The substantial pendant light above the island is the Forge Light from Heal’s.
less hectic,” rachel observes.
Hen & Crask does not have a shop; feeling that would be too restrictive, rachel loves the freedom to make each job unique and different. “i feel that opening a shop would require me to adopt a style. i simply would not want that. i research every job and try to come up with new ideas all the time.”
She also believes that people make a house: “your furniture, art and decor represent you,” she points out. rachel wants her home to be somewhere secure for her children, to be together as a family. A lover of comfort, throws, rugs and cushions are an important finishing touch; another priority is lighting, vital if you want your home to be relaxing. “i do not wait a year to do a house up, i know that is classic advice, and of course, if you do not know what you want you should… or hire a designer,” she laughs.
rachel has hung two prints: one of roger Moore as James bond; Mick Jagger is actually a framed scarf. “i did know what i wanted though – to respect the Georgian architecture, the exquisite cornicing and the fireplaces have all been restored. i have used a Farrow & Ball palette throughout, for continuity and a neutral backdrop. then i just mix it all up. i love Scandinavian design and mid-century modern pieces, but i have also used hot Mediterranean colours and tropical patterns. i do not try and make everything match – i like to break a few rules on the way.”
Clients seek rachel out because they like her style, which surprises her because she has always resisted adopting a signature style. “i think people are drawn in because my way of working is flexible. i sometimes set up a Pinterest board and ask people to pin – they pin away, then i start pinning as well and a scheme develops. 80% of an interior designer’s job is the client relationship – it is a bit like being a midwife, taking people through a project. it can be stressful, you need to hold people by the hand sometimes and you always have to remember it’s their baby!” henandcrask.com
the Chelsea stone vanity unit, basins, and large floor tiles are from Mandarin stone. the shower and loo are Porcelanosa. the huge mirror is Julian Chichester. the walls are painted in Farrow & ball Plummett.
The pair of elegant linen sofas are from rachel’s favourite interiors store in menorca, aquitania.
The Charles Bertrand “Sputnik” chandelier, a mid-century classic, was a bit of a budget buster, but a must-have for rachel. The Howard sofa and ottoman are from sofa.com, the fur throw over it is from Pad Lifestyle.
The lacquered photographs are by Steven nederveen, adrian’s favourite artist.
Master bedrooM the linen-draped bed and the rug are from aquitania, a furniture shop in Menorca. the chunky knit cream throw is from Life at Nettlebed, oxfordshire; the cushions are by osborne & Little. the console at the foot of the bed and the bedside cabinets are from Lombok.