The Start-Up Home: Naomi Callan of Castles for Rascals.
Often what drives a career path is a change in personal circumstances and in Naomi Callan’s case, the arrival of her two children meant the long hours of site visits and client meetings entailed in being an interior designer had to be abandoned.
But when she set out to design her son’s bedroom, Naomi realised that there was a large gap in the market for well-made, ethically sourced products for children. In her life as a designer, she had come across a variety of original products at trade shows and squirrelled them away for future projects but what became obvious when she started a family was that there was no one-stop destination for new parents to source all these beautiful items. So just a few short months after giving birth to her daughter, Claudia, Castles for Rascals was born.
The collection is carefully curated to offer everything you would need to kit out your child’s bedroom, from curtains and rugs to wallpaper, cots, desks and lighting, and somehow manages to combine a modern feel with a cool retro aesthetic. Much of the look is Scandi but in fact is fact it is sourced from all over the world.
Naomi’s mantra has always been ‘stylish and sustainable’. ‘I wanted to avoid the boring beige which dominates many interior schemes but equally offer something beyond the primary colours commonly found in children’s rooms’, she explains. The range has something for all tastes, from whimsical dragons and castles (obviously) to comical cats, wildlife, dinosaurs, robots and outer space – the list is endless but it’s a particularly inspirational site if you are struggling to decorate a boy’s room.
As for the sustainable, I have a sense that Naomi knows exactly where every item in her range has come from and how it’s been made. So all the wallpaper and furniture comes from FSC approved sources and the bedding and mattresses are natural and organic. Even the nightlights are solar powered.
These high standards are at play in a social context too. For instance the rugs and cushions featured on the site are produced by Lorena Canals, an organisation which funds school places for children in India. Made from natural dyes and materials, the Kaarol featured below is all the more attractive for being machine-washable. Click here for more information.
And with an eye to the future – both her own family’s and the business – the Castles for Rascals range follows right through to teenage style. Constantly expanding and developing her ideas, a new moodboard facility on the website makes it easier to co-ordinate and style your space from the comfort of your own home.
What next? “We have so many exciting plans” says Naomi “brighter colours are being introduced across the range of, we will be adding more interactive aspects for children to play with and a selection of super-stylish gifts. All coming soon.”