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…

Woman & Home - - Editor's Letter -

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 >>


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!” henand­


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.

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...

Draw­ing room 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...

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