Rachel Smékalová is the founder of Qurated, a vintage furniture and home accessories store. But, above all, Rachel is Mum to magical Siddhartha. Looking after her son is her priority, but whenever a bit of free time comes up, you’ll find her varnishing or sanding some wonderfully unique piece of furniture.
Rachel’s apartment in Prague’s Nové Město (New Town) is full of a wonderful mix of miscellaneous accessories, furniture and colours that together work surprisingly well. When Rachel was pregnant, she moved into this apartment with her boyfriend Sahil. This new flat looked promising; not only would there be room for her baby, but also room to bring her interior design ideas to life.
At first, I founded Qurated as a side hustle, an extra income and a small project that I could keep going while on maternity leave. However, it gradually turned into a large fulfilling job. Our aim is not just to sell products but to curate (we work with a carpenter and a glassblower) and bring you the best interior and décor ideas for a whole new lifestyle. Sometimes I wonder if I should slow down, be a fulltime Mum and do nothing else, but I can’t, because this is what happens when something you love and enjoy turns into a business.
I'm inspired by almost everything I come across in life. Exhibitions, concerts, travelling, life in Australia, London, living by the sea. …
I believe that where we live shapes our personality on a daily basis. Rather than aesthetics, I would say it’s the general ‘feeling and flow’ that I look for in a place. An interior design that naturally develops and changes. I love colours, contrasts, and textures – they’re at the top of my list. When you walk around a room, use not only your eyes but also your hands. Use all your senses. How do the objects and different textures feel and how do they make you feel? Notice veneer sheets, wood grains, soft and coarse fabrics, cold marble and chrome, creaky floors, etc. Watch how the light plays in the interior throughout the day. Consider your lifestyle and the things you need. And then think about what it is you don’t need. It is only after all these considerations that I search for a visual balance between the items and put them together in way that calms the senses.
...where Siddy and Sahil are.
I don’t really have any rituals, but every morning I make myself an instant coffee with loads of milk. I can’t do without it! It’s my guilty pleasure.
That’s a hard question to answer.... I see my whole flat as an entity, one that lives and grows independently, so my favourite place changes constantly, but my bed always feels like a great place.
Oh, I know the answer to that one instantly! All your crispy pillows from the down alternative range Comfort. The softness and crunch of those pillows guarantee you’ll fall into deep slumber in no time.
To tidy constantly and get the help of our housekeeper Naďa.
The smell of the top of my son’s head. It’s the most beautiful fragrance in the world.
A lot of my things had to be placed higher. I used to have a lot of things on the floor, like books, candles and vases. I thought I would miss them being on the floor but somehow, I’ve learned to accept that that’s the way things are now.
Something from Qurated…and something from Lejaan.
Vases, lights, candle holders and marble home decor.
To mix and match materials and textures and to never only follow interior design templates.
Use light. Brighten any dark corners. I think it’s light that creates that homely feel. Also, fabric is something I like a lot. I like to combine different fabric materials, but in matching shades, and then play around with pictures on the wall. I try to see the flat as a whole. Our field of vision doesn’t end at one point, but reaches far out. I try to keep this in mind when arranging things in an interior. Walking around the flat and viewing it from different angles, and imagining stories, based on where my eyes stray to…
An early bird.
A luxury hotel.
A quirky minimalist!
Perfect order. Always.
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