Life in Design - Rachel Bates
Whats important to you when beginning a design?
When I begin any form of design work, be it a room scheme or a product design for my own label collections or special collaboration projects the approach is always the same. The end result is always going to be colourful, elegant & sophisticated. The underlying consideration, however, is practicality, usability, functionality and sustainability. Comfort is also of paramount importance if you are designing a piece of furniture for example.
The proudest moment in your career to date?
There have been a few really. The moment we launched our online boutique (www.rachelbatesinteriors.com) in 2015, after years of planning and hard work was an incredibly proud moment. Being featured in the Financial Times How to Spend It magazine the following day was the icing on the cake! I would say being awarded Positive Luxury ‘Brand to Trust’ status in 2017 was also a highlight.
The best thing about working in the industry?
The world of interior and product design is an incredibly friendly industry where people are genuinely happy for the successes and achievements of others. It’s an industry full of vibrant and interesting characters, ensuring there is never a dull moment! It is a diverse and uniquely talented community who provide so much inspiration for all those interested in creating beautiful products and sumptuous home environments.
Which designer inspires you the most?
Interiors and Architecture – French & Italian Rococo Design by the likes of François de Cuvilliés, Germain Boffrand and Nicolas Pineau.
Fashion - Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana
Your work has enabled you to travel extensively; tell us your favourite destination?
Gosh, there are so many beautiful places that I have visited over the years both on holiday and for business purposes, although when it’s business travel you often don’t have much time to see the sights. My favourite country of all is Italy. I love the people, food, scenery and the culture & history of the place. My two favourite places to escape to with my husband for a break are The Splendido in Portofino and Villa D’Este in Lake Como. The latter is where I met one of my heroes this summer, Lionel Ritchie. I was really dancing on the ceiling! I also attended the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda in Como which was just mind-blowing. I’m a huge fan of the brand but when I realised that it was being held in Como whilst we were staying there and that hubby had planned to take me, I nearly passed out with excitement!
Where will we usually find you when you are not in the studio working?
Spending time with my husband and family is of the utmost importance to me so mostly that’s where you’ll find me if I’m not busy working or travelling.
I love cooking too, I find it incredibly relaxing and it allows me to switch off completely. I have been working on a lifestyle and cookery book in my rare windows of spare time which I plan to publish in the near future.
For exercise, I can often be found walking to The Edge with my adorable pug, Arabella and my sister & business partner Katie and her little pug, Isadora. We like to stop at the wizard tea room mid-walk.
One Saturday a month I meet up with my girlfriends at Piccolino in Alderley Edge for a late lunch and a catch-up. We all lead such busy lives so the dates are booked in the diary on a “make-it-if-you-can” basis. We generally have a full house, hell would freeze over before we all missed out on a girly catch up and a few glasses of Champagne! Sunday Lunch at The Edge Hotel is also a favourite.
I have little to zero time for shopping for myself so when the opportunity does crop up I can generally be found with my feet up, reading a magazine or surfing online for some new wardrobe staples. Two of my favourite go-to sites are Moda Operandi and The Outnet. However, I do think it’s very important to support the local businesses and shops in our villages too and Out Dazzle is a particular favourite, Sally, the owner, is a super lady and always helps you to pick out some wonderful pieces for your travel wardrobe. Jennifer Gibson, who specialises in exquisite, vintage costume jewellery is another local favourite. You can often find her on a Sunday at Altrincham Market or popping up at Black and White Denim in Wilmslow, or you can simply visit her e-boutique. Both are excellent local retailers to add to your shopping list Ladies! If I need wonderful, fresh produce for the dining table then a run out to Grantham’s in Alderley Edge is an absolute must.