Thursday, 27 September 2007

Good Web Guide

What fantasic review by The Good Web Guide:

Seems so strange to hear my little business being talked about - but how exciting!

Monday, 24 September 2007

Design is in the Air

What a weekend! Design is certainly in the air.

Two great exhibitions last week on the trail - Do shop in Beak Street, with fabulous homeware - including this lemon squeezer by Sena Gu.
Beyond the Valley have taken over another shop in Newburgh Street and are displaying work by 3D/stereoscopic photographer Gary Welch. Fantastic.
I missed out on Trashluxe because of a private view - but definitely going tomorrow.

100% Design was also on this weekend at Earl's Court. Really innovative products and just so inspiring -if only I hadn't just completed my house.
The only dampener was my rather grumpy boyfriend sporting his 'clothes shopping face'... Next time I'm leaving him at home!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

For the love of design

London oozes talent - especially this week with so many design events across the capital.

Today I'm going to sample a few:

Liberty is my favorite shop in the whole wide world. Such a happy marriage between classical beauty and cutting edge design. Exhibition Trash Luxe, on at the moment, is a response to consumerism and today’s disposable culture. Some wonderful designers include: Stuart Haygarth and Paul Cocksedge. I must admit to owning a Paul Cocksedge light shade (pictured above). It lives in my lounge, illuminating in weird shapes around the room. Made from polystyrene cups, it reminds me of a brain.

Do Masters at Do Shop is another exhibition with so many quirky things:

And my old haunt, Contemporary Applied Arts on Percy Street, where I spent many a lunchtime perusing the ever-changing exhibitions.

Reporting back tomorrow....

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Green Green Grass

Gardening is my new hobby, so enjoyable and always a good excuse for inspiration...and relaxing at the same time.

Colour, texture and height, an example in this RHS 2007 Chelsea Flower Show garden.

Growing up in Australia, gardening was a completely different experience, often dangerous and too many spiders to make it enjoyable. The colours and textures of Australian plants are so different too - vivid colours, but often against background of dead grass. The only flowers in our garden were Bird of Paradise and Frangipani, beautiful in their own way back not like the soft, gentle hues of England.

There are so many wonderful websites with inspiring gardening products and here are some of my favourites:

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Special Treats

My very lovely boyfriend gave me the best birthday present of all, a very special evening at La Manoir, Raymond Blanc's fantastic restaurant and hotel in was just amazing and just so inspiring. Every detail given great thought and the experience amazing.

So inspiring for Roost Living - especially in understanding the importance of "experience". Every element of Roost Living needs thought and careful attention so the customer experience really reflects the philosophy behind Roost Living.
The Roost Living plan has been troubling me for a while. I know where I want to go but how do I get there? In trying to find answers I am going to consult a few people and gain knowledge from their experiences. It really is the most amazing learning curve and something I want to learn and master

Monday, 10 September 2007

30 and ready to roar...

Birthdays really are odd. They conjure up so many different emotions - especially the big ones...

Today I am 30. With it comes many, many strange feelings, some good, some bad. I am really looking forward to it, in an odd way...a new stage of life, one I have already started through Roost Living.

Turning 30 has been the main motivation behind Roost Living. My previous life, working as a PA, wasn't what I wanted to do. There was always a certain element of frustration because I wasn't following my heart. I knew I wanted to work for myself, do my own thing and make it magical.

My friend Christine has a theory that 30 is when you discover your superpowers, you know your strengths and talents, and they become super....I hope mine are fantastic!

Monday, 3 September 2007

Living Etc

And here it is...Kathleen Hills Blue Rose Cup and saucer...
Now...if I can just get my stuff into a few more we will be away!


Aren't holidays great for recharging the batteries, getting perspective and motivation.

I have just spent a week on the beautiful Northumbrian coast, a remote part of England (the only one!), where the shores are littered with the ruins of castles and the islands full of seals and puffins.

Inspiration has not come from wonderful restaurants and beautiful shops, my usual delight, but rather from nature - heather covered moors, long walks, and a pub without pretension! How refreshing...

Relaxation came through my crocheting too...haven't had a chance to be creative with my hands for so long...and I'm working on a shawl for the website, a beautiful mohair shawl, delicate in every way.

And now I'm home, Living Etc has fallen through the letterbox, and low and behold, Roost Living products are on page 61 and 64. How very exciting. I will upload for all to see!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007


There are a few magazines in this world that really inspire me - World of Interiors, Living Etc, Elle Decoration, Donna Hay (fantastic Australian cook) and Selvedge.

Selvedge is the most beautiful fabric magazine. Lace and crochet necklaces were the highlight for me in the last issue, just such delicate and beautiful stitches. And so unique. I would love to add them to my website.
Emma Cassi, a French jewellery lacemaker makes beautiful pieces, and reasonably priced. If only she was a British designer, then I would definitely invite her to supply to Roost Living...
I have so many great designers up my sleeve over the coming months, and great products, from ceramics to crochet....and a lot inbetween. And I already have wonderful designers...

Friday, 10 August 2007

And then...

An order comes through! Wooh Hoo!

The Senses

Our sensory experiences guide our choices and taste. What may be wonderful to one person may be unbearable to another.

Inspiration can be fed by our sensory experiences. I am a visual person and what surrounds me I either love or am offended by. But I look for inspiration in my surroundings, whether a beautiful autumn leaf, a bird in a tree, or a tea pot with cup and saucer...

The teapots in this photo (by brilliant photographer Beth Evans) were used as props for Ruth Cross' tea cosies on my website. The silver teapot is very dear to me as it belonged to my great grandmother. Originally English, it has spent the best part of a century in Australia, before returning to these shores.

I love the way it feels in my hand, the way the silver has tarnished in places, it reminds me of where I have come from, and where I am going to. More importantly, it inspires me. It is this link between old and new that I am trying to achieve, a rekindling of old crafts in a modern context. This is exactly what Ruth Cross' tea cosies do. The marriage between old and new.

Today is the most inspiring day in London. The sky is blue (for once), the birds are tweeting, a lawnmower is humming in the distance, the sound of planes (of which there is no escape)...and it is a Friday - the most skiving yet inspiring day of the week. The promise of a sleep in and a drink at the pub.

On the business front? I think I've had enough for this week. Time to crack open the wine and surf for the perfect dining chair to accompany my beautiful new dining table, made by Keith Skeel....any suggestions greatly appreciated

Thursday, 9 August 2007

The Down Day

I couldn't quite bring myself to writing my blog yesterday. It was a down orders.

It is days like this when I just hope all the hard work is worthwhile.

Motivation is something often forced, at least for me anyway, and even more so when working by myself at home. Distraction surrounds you - another load of washing, dishes from breakfast, clothes thrown on the bedroom floor and, heaven forbid, the telly. I find I have to sit down a couple of times a day, green tea in hand, and reassess, motivate, and get going again. It is at these moments that I feel truly isolated and long for company, or at least someone to bounce ideas off.

This is made worse when you feel the world is slightly against you, another journalist not returning your calls or responding to emails. A little voice pops into my head saying ‘you’re website just ain’t good enough’ depressing.

So I did the only sensible thing in such circumstances - a couple of very large glasses of red wine, and hoped for a better day...

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

The Deep End is Dark and Scary

Ever been thrown in the deep end and thought, shit how the hell am I going to swim if I don't know what stroke to use?

This feeling washes over me on a ridiculously regular basis. Like when I have to call my website software support and they ask me a question that, to me, sounds like different language...or when I try to understand my recently acquired Sage software, and realise I haven't the foggiest idea what a Nominal Ledger is.

It is all new to me. All of a sudden I find I am everything - the Accountant, The Photographer, The Marketing Manager, The PR Consultant, The Designer, The Managing Director, The Secretary and the Chairman....ah oh! What have I got myself into?

But then I have to take a step back, reassess and remind myself what I'm trying to do. And why...

For me there are 3 areas of importance, that I strive to achieve:


This is my mantra....

Monday, 6 August 2007

The Business Virgin

Ever wondered what starting a business from scratch is like? Well, my blog explores the trials and tribulations of setting up a business and all it entails.

It will be updated daily and will include my inspiration , passion, the emotional rollercoaster and the trouble of trying to understand a VAT return while being an accounting moron...

Please keep reading.