Monday, 23 May 2011

Vintage Furniture, our pick of London's Best Shops

Vintage furniture never seems to go out of fashion. Its rise in popularity has, of course, meant a rise in price, but when you stumble upon a breathtaking haberdasher's cabinet from the 1920s, or 19th century gilt-finished mirror, the striking beauty of an original piece far out ways its price (don't forget, you can always try your hand at bartering too).

Through our inspiration trips and travels, we've happened upon some great shops that are a treasure trove of goodies and we just had to share them with you.

2 Cross Street, N1

Fandango offers an edited selection of lighting, furniture and decorative items that have been sourced from all over Europe. Prices vary from £65 for a 1960's glass table lamp to above £975, the price of the original 1947 Morris Cloud Table we adore.


67 Brushfield Street, E1

Spitalfield's market is a place we could lose many, many hours. We can't help but take a peak in Elemental every time we're at the market. This is where you'll find industrial-style lighting and haberdashery cabinets to die for.

The Peanut Vendor

133 Newington Green Road, N1

Barny and Becky, the founders of The Peanut Vendor, are obsessed with all that is old. They seek out pieces of furniture and antiques that not only nod to the past in their design, but speak to modern day interiors trends too. We love their gold-encircled mirror (and the fact that you can but it online too).

Little Paris

39 Park Road, N8

You'll find Parisian hats, 60's film posters and beautiful antique jewellery dotted here and there amongst striking pieces for the home at Little Paris. Our favourite pieces include the mini green 'La Tour Eiffel' and these adorable scales.

New Vintage

256 Battersea Park Road, Sw1

Run by a friendly lady named Julie, this tiny little shop is absolutely crammed full of original and reworked dressing tables, patchwork blankets and quirkily upholstered chairs. You'll occasionally find pretty wire birdcages too, usually in the price range of a pocket-friendly £20. Stock changes frequently (due to very affordable prices) so bear that in mind if you fall in love with an item as you'll need to buy it on the spot!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Spotted: Wire Chairs

We can’t help but notice an upsurge of chic, wire chairs. Often inspired by vintage furniture, today’s models have been reimagined in eye-popping shades, some are carefully crafted by hand and all look equally as good either in the home or outdoors. Here we share with you four of the best around.

Bend Seating’s ‘Farmhouse Chair' - $450 (approx £278)

Furniture designers Bend handcraft each Farmhouse Chair, inspired by the architecture of old Amish barns. Both comfortable and completely beautiful this one steals our vote, even if it does come in a little pricey.

Farmhouse Chair

Bertoia Wire Chair (Vintage) - £125

Simple yet striking, this beautiful grid design was created back in 1952 by Italian artist, sculptor and furniture designer Harry Bertoia for the iconic furniture specialists Knoll. Available at Fuse Vintage.

Bertoia Wire Chair

Habitat ‘Zach’ - £170

Wire design, plastic in construction Habitat’s Zach comes in classic black or white. We love the idea of mixing both colours for a modern dining table look.

Zach Chair

Charles Eames (Vintage) – price on application
Design duo Charles and Ray Eames pioneered modern chair design back in the ‘40s and ‘50s and have created some of the most innovative (and also some of the most copied) designs to date. While a real investment piece, this set of six chairs is a real masterpiece and exemplary of the cutting edge design Charles and Ray are renowned for. Available at Klassik Mobelkunst, an online furniture and art specialist.

Eames Chair

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Afternoon tea, al fresco

With the sun’s rays beaming down announcing the long-awaited arrival of summer, here at Roost HQ we’re making the most of it and taking to the garden for afternoon tea and cake!

We know outdoor spaces come in all shapes and sizes too, so whether yours is a sprawling countryside paddock or a minimalist urban balcony, our refreshing ideas make for the easiest of treats that can be enjoyed almost anywhere.

Rose hip tea

For a refreshing take on tea, try swapping your usual builder’s best for a cuppa infused with summer blooms. Simply add one handful of rose hips (available from good whole food stores, or your garden!) to five to six cups of boiled water. Allow the tea to infuse, then add honey to sweeten and decant into a gently warmed teapot. Potter Linda Bloomfield’s classic shape is just the ticket! Prefer a more thirst-quenching option? Allow the brew to cool, and ease into a large jug filled with crushed ice and slices of lemon.

Homemade old-fashioned lemonade (the cheat’s guide)

Nothing says summer quite like a cooling glass of traditional homemade lemonade. However, if you’re short on time (or just desperately thirsty!) mix lime juice cordial with soda water and serve with hunks of ice and a straws for fast-track refreshment.

The sweet treat

The pièce de résistance! No afternoon tea is complete without classic English scones, fresh berry jam and clotted cream. They’re so easy to make, why not try our simple recipe to impress your guests?


350g Self-raising flour, plus more for dusting

¼ Tsp salt

1 Tsp baking powder

85g Butter, cubed

3 Tbsp of caster sugar

175ml Milk

1 Tsp vanilla extract

A squeeze lemon juice

One beaten egg, to glaze

Jam and clotted cream, to serve

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt and baking powder. Adding the butter, rub the mixture with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs, then add the sugar.

2. Warm the milk (for around 30 seconds in the microwave) then add the vanilla and lemon juice and set to one side. Put a baking sheet in to a preheated oven - 220°C (fan) 200°C (gas).

3. Make a well in the middle of the mix, add the milk and stir fairly quickly. Once you have combined all the mixture, scatter a little flour on your work surface, pop the dough onto it and add a little more flour to both this and your hands. Fold the dough over two-three times, and then pat it into a circle about 4cm deep.

4. Take a flour-dusted 5cm cutter and cut four scones, and repeat, refolding the dough as needed. Brush the tops of the scones with egg, then place them onto your preheated baking tray and bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden-topped. Place your freshly-baked scones onto a cake stand (we love the one above by London-based ceramicist Fliff) and serve with a selection of jams and lashings of clotted cream!