Finding Balance with Architect & Designer Rachael Grochowski
Rachael Grochowski knows balance. In her work as an architect and designer, and practice as a yogi, Rachael appreciates the power of symmetry and balance in all things. Inspired by the feelings that a space evokes, her process emphasizes the feelings a room inspires — from a piece of furniture to a shade of paint. In our discussion with the award-winning Founder and Principal of RHG Architecture + Design, you’ll read Rachael’s illuminating perspective on how to create dynamic, meaningful spaces.
How do you describe your personal style? How did you find it?
My personal design style is grounded more in a philosophy vs. a look or a trend. I believe that design should invite us into a physical and spiritual place that remind us to ground ourselves in the present moment and begin by contemplating gratitude and beauty. This can be achieved in both a colorful or neutral space and in an active or quiet space. It’s about how the space makes you feel.
I believe that design should invite us into a physical and spiritual place that reminds us to ground ourselves in the present moment and begin by contemplating gratitude and beauty.
Photo by Emily Gilbert
What is inspiring you right now in the design space?
Right now, I’m very inspired by how self-care can be embedded into every aspect of design. I might be in the textures we choose to incorporate into a space; it could be through the integration of nature by bringing an element from the outside into a room or how we use a limited color palette to help create a peaceful space.
Do you have any style rules that you always stick to? What about some traditional style rules you love to break?
There are definitely classic design rules I follow - like groupings of three for decorative items, am also partial to symmetry. I find it intuitively connects us to nature and what we see in the natural world.
What makes a space?
For me, it’s about flow and balance. It’s important to have clear a flow through and between spaces because it allows the mind to focus on the beauty of the space and the elements within it it. Balance is about scale, texture and color because they all help focus the eye on the design elements you want to elevate in a room.
It’s important to have clear a flow through and between spaces because it allows the mind to focus on the beauty of the space and the elements within it it.
Photo by Emily Gilbert
As an architect and designer, how does your vision change throughout the many stages of a project?
I approach every project from a holistic perspective, grounded in what the client is trying to achieve in the space and how they will live in it. Every decision we make is very intentional and the goal is to make everything feel cohesive from the flow of the floor plan, to the furniture and décor we choose, to the finishes and fixtures we install. Every detail matters and each choice must align with the holistic vision for the project so the end result is the most cohesive final product we can achieve.
How do you know when a space is truly finished?
That’s a tough question but I think it’s just intuitive for me. When I feel balanced and calm in the space, I know it’s finished.
How do you style Courant in your spaces?
Courant’s accessories seamlessly find their way into our decor. The texture and colors are a beautiful desk or bedside addition. The CATCH:2 is great in the kitchen where I often create a family message center. The kitchen is the hub of the home and it’s where everyone needs a beautiful and functional charging station for multiple devices! For clients who have larger walk-in closets with islands, I love recommending the CATCH:3. It’s an excellent piece that allows clients to safely house their jewelry and watch, but it also keeps the phones away from the bedroom …which I really like.
Photos by Donna Dotan