s t e e l e . creatives: Rachel Donath

We spent time in Rachel Donath’s gorgeous home and chatted about inspiration, her style influences and the importance of self confidence. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Funnily enough, I wanted to be a fashion designer! I went as far as preparing a portfolio for consideration for a place at a very exclusive fashion school and got accepted! But I changed my mind at the last minute.

You started Rachel Donath Interiors during Melbourne's COVID lockdowns. What drove you to launch a business at that time?
I had a lot of time stuck at home with all the restrictions in place and plenty of time to think about what I really wanted to do with my career and my life. I felt it was now or never, and I also felt that there was nothing to lose by giving it a go!

Have there been any mentors or role models who have significantly influenced your eye for design and your creative journey?
Absolutely. I would have to say that my grandmother, although surrounded by a world of academia, was a very creative woman, and her home was an inspiring place for me to spend time as a child and throughout adulthood until she recently passed. She was a collector and had an eclectic taste. She loved pottery and ceramics and had a wonderful eye. She appreciated handcrafted pieces with fabulous stories, and her home showcased items collected over the years from her travels. She was unpretentious and generous, and I adored spending long afternoons at her home.

Describe how your love for interiors influences your personal style.
I tend to disregard trends or what's in fashion right now and instead opt for timeless pieces that I love today and will love 10 years from now. I am also drawn to unique pieces that others may not understand or appreciate but that reflect my personality. I proudly wear something quirky that I love just as much as I would put an oddly shaped sculpture in my home that only I love.

What does a typical Sunday morning look like for you and your family?
Sunday mornings are my favourite. I will sleep in until maybe 8 or 9 if I'm lucky, have a coffee, and read the paper in bed. We love a slow morning, heading to the local markets for groceries, and then doing some cooking for the week. We might head across the road to the park or catch up with family and friends. It's a non-pressured family day, which is just lovely. 

What is your most treasured accessory in your wardrobe?
I recently acquired a beautiful vintage gypsy ring with garnet and diamond stones. It's magnificent, and I hope to pass it down to my daughter one day.

What advice would you give to aspiring creative women who are just starting their journeys?
I think the biggest thing that holds us back is negative self-talk or lack of self-confidence. I wish there were some magic potion to give women this positive inner voice so that they could push through to see their goals materialize. The advice I would give to women is to work through or push through these barriers and just go for it. Nurture that courage within yourself so that you can find the bravery to give your dream a red-hot go!

What's on your s t e e l e wishlist this season?
Ooh, how do I pick just one thing! I am obsessed with the terracotta set. It is so beautifully flattering; I want it in every color!

What has been your best vintage/antique purchase?
I found an incredible sculpture at an auction house many years ago and knew nothing about the artist except that I thought this piece was spectacular. I purchased it on a whim (always the best way!) and it is a piece I know I will love forever.

Restaurant: Grazia in Glen Iris 
Gallery: NGV 
Shopping: High Street Armadale 
Coffee: Master of None in Malvern 
Bar: Essie is fun in Malvern 
View: Open space and mountains out Warburton way! 
Florist: South Melbourne market 



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