Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Festive painted pinecones

After a Sunday walk through the woods a few weeks ago, we returned home with bags full of pinecones wondering what to do with them. Before long, we decided to turn them into a festive garland and save any extras for tying onto presents. If you also have pinecones at home, or fancy collecting some, here’s what to do if you’d like to make a homemade decoration of your own.

Pop your collected pinecones into a basin of warm water with a cupful of vinegar and leave for half an hour. This cleans, removes sap and de-bugs the cones; let them dry naturally upon sheets of newspaper.

Mix 4 tablespoons of white emulsion with 500ml cold water. Once the cones are thoroughly dry, dip them into your diluted paint, then put them on greaseproof paper to dry naturally again.

Once dry, loop a small length of twine or string through the top of your pinecones and hang them upon a felt ball garland (you can buy them online or in homeware shops) or tie them onto your wrapped presents for the prettiest of presentation! 

Last orders for Christmas delivery
U.K. Standard delivery: Friday, 20th December | U.K. Express delivery: Monday, 23rd December

Thursday, 12 December 2013

For her, for him, for little ones

How are you getting on with your gift shopping? Still have bits and bobs to pick up? We've been on a bit of a crazy present dash lately, so are grateful for ideas that make it easier. Here are a few ideas of our own; ones we think make great gifts for those closest to you. 

Rosa Cushion (£58)      Candle (£35)      Elegant Lady Serveware (£27-£85) 

Monogram Tile (£37.50)   Beetle Hankies (Set of three, £15.95)   Geo Notebooks (Set of three, £12) 

Wol Cushion (£50)  Folk Stacking Cups (Set of three, £45)  Woodland Bed Set (£95)

Last orders for Christmas delivery
U.S.A. and Canada: Friday, 13th December
Europe (outside of the U.K.): Friday, 13th December
U.K. Standard delivery: Friday, 20th December | U.K. Express delivery: Monday, 23rd December

Don't miss our festive Facebook give-away: more, here

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Day 3 - We're giving away a Mixed Box of Christmas Napkins

Day 3 of our 12 Days of Christmas and you're chance to win a box of Mixed Christmas Napkins by Thornback and Peel.  Visit our Facebook page for details of how to win....

Last orders for Christmas delivery
Australia, New Zealand and Asia: Thursday, 5th December
Europe (outside of the U.K.): Friday, 13th December
U.K. Standard delivery: Friday, 20th December | U.K. Express delivery: Monday, 23rd December

Friday, 29 November 2013

Flash Sale Friday!

The last working day of the week is always a treat, but we’ve just the thing to make your weekend start (not to mention, Christmas shopping) with a warmer, fuzzier feeling: 30% off until Sunday!

We’ve also updated our gift collection just in time for this treat; you’ll now find hand-picked edits for crafters, foodies, and animal or art lovers.

Before you hop over to our website to take a look, we’ve one last thing to share... if you place an order with us over the next few days, we’ll pop a complimentary copy of our Christmas Recipe book in with your items – ’tis it is the season of good cheer after all.

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

From today: 15% off and free delivery!

This week we're embracing the festive spirit and offering you 15% off, starting today. What better an excuse than to do a spot of early Christmas shopping? We'll also wrap and post your parcels for free, so long as you order before midnight on Sunday. 

Here's to the best Christmas yet. 
Happy shopping! 

                       for her                            for him                        for kids

Friday, 15 November 2013

Meet the Maker - Sian Zeng

Since an early age, London-based Sian Zeng knew she wanted to create; with fairytales, books, and her surrounding environment providing endless inspiration.

It wasn’t until after following the valuable advice of her parents - to have a plan B - and graduating from her economics degree as well as a second degree at London’s Central St Martins University, that she established her eponymous design label in 2010. In the same year, Sian was awarded not her first, but a second prestigious accolade; Elle Decoration’s Young Talent of the Year.

Impressed by her innate creativity - not to mention her charming narrative-telling designs - we leapt at the opportunity to chat with Sian; read on to find out a little about what makes her tick.

When and why did you decide to be a designer?
Design and art was something I was always interested in, but it wasn’t popular with my Chinese parents, so I had to study an economics degree first before I went to Central Saint Martins to study a one year foundation course, which then lead me to a three year BA textile design course. 

What are you main creative influences?
I draw a lot of inspiration from stories, be it ancient or something that I’ve experienced myself.  I love stories that are funny or a bit odd. I translate those ideas into products so that other people can also experience the stories through my products. With my Magnetic Woodlands wallpaper I wanted to create a product that allowed users to tell their own tales using the magnetic characters, buildings, and dry-wipe speech bubbles.

Who is your favourite designer? Which aspect of their work do you most admire?
I don’t really have a favourite designer, but I have a huge admiration for fashion photographer Tim Walker. His photos always tell an epic tale and are staged so beautifully. Even though many of his themes come from well known fairytales, he has managed to twist them and present them in a poetic and quirky way. 

Which aspect of your work gives you the most pleasure?
I love coming up with new design concepts in my head and sketching them out on paper. The more unusual it is the more excited I become so I then quickly start my research for materials and viability of the new product. 

Where are you most creative?
When I am travelling on a train with nothing to do other than to think.

How do you describe your style?
The products I design often appear as though they’ve come out of a story book. I would describe them as fun, magical and poetic.

What are you currently working on?
A wallpaper design for a jewellery franchise.

When you first started out, what was the best advice you received?
To take really good pictures of my work.

What advice do you have for other designers starting out?
I value great design very highly. However, I think that for a designer to become successful it is also extremely important that they market themselves well and calculate their pricing model correctly.

How do you achieve a work/life balance?
I plan my days out so that when I go to work I try to be as efficient as I can. If I don’t absolutely have to, I don’t work on weekends and after 6pm on weekdays.

What are your other passions?
I enjoy finding out about new apps and other tech gadgets. I also watch TED talks and dance.

What’s your favourite food?

And your greatest weakness?
I have a really bad sense of direction. I often feel embarrassed when I come out of the bathroom in a restaurant to try to find my table. I usually pretend to be merely checking out the rest of the restaurant.

Trousers or skirts?
Skirts with leggings.

We are very happy to have a few of Sian Zeng's products online.  Click here to see her Hedgehog cushion, Bears and Bear Kits, Woodland Bedding Set, Magnetic Notice board and Giant Scissor Cushion.


Monday, 11 November 2013

Autumnal Table Toppers

Nothing brings a tabletop alive quite like a fragrant bouquet – it’s an indulgence we love year round. 

Autumn’s posies hold something altogether different though; the addition of vibrantly hued berries and sweet-smelling herbs makes for a richly varied and impactful bunch. Try adding a few sprigs of Hypericum Berry Flowers (those little red ones) or Lavender to yours, and pop your bouquets into vessels like our Elegant Lady Vase or glass tumblers for a modern finish.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Easy, fun Halloween décor

Here are Roost, we think you're never too old to indulge in the spooky celebrations of Halloween - and you'd be surprised what you can do with bits and pieces you might find at home or in the garden.

We plan on re-creating the D.I.Y idea we found at shelterness; a beautiful pumpkin window display that's super-simple to make. We'll also be adorning our outdoor nooks with elegant hand-written white pumpkins inspired by Lil' Luna's trick or treat one (no carving involved, hooray!). If you fancy trying out these super simple decorations, here's what you'll need: 

For Shelterness' pumpkin display:

1. Pumpkins and gourds of various sizes and colours. 
2. Dry fallen leaves (as many as you wish). 
3. Tea lights.
4. Hanging basket (if you want to incorporate it). 

Place the whole pumpkins on a ledge or windowsill and scatter them with leaves (you might want to use glue to fix them). Weave leaves into your hanging basket and top with tea light-filled mini pumpkins. 

For a Lil' Luna's pumpkin: 
1. Permanent marker.
2. Acrylic paint.
3. Paint brush.
4. A steady hand! 
All you need to do is use the marker to roughly write out your message, then go over it with acrylic paint. Let it dry, then pop your pumpkin wherever you like.

1. Mason jars (as many as you want). 
2. Googly eyes (from any good haberdashery).
3. Bandages (from your local pharmacy).
4. More tea lights. 
5. Glue.

For goody bags (designed by blogger Almost Make's Perfect):
1. Cellophane bags (available at good craft shops or eBay).
2. Stapler.
3. Printer.
4. Stiff card (print/colour of your choice).
5. Sweets!
Cut and fold the card to fit each cellophane bag, then fold over these downloadable 'trick or treat' headers and staple to secure. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Designers we love around the globe: Australia

This week it’s designers from down under that are captivating us here at Roost Living, with a bit of an unintentional print theme – we're sure you'll love them, too.

Everingham & Watson
Brisbane based design duo Susie Everingham and Liz Watson create Australiana inspired homeware, injected with fun and colour.   We love their bold shapes and colour and this very prawntastic prawn

And of course we are not biased,  even if we do know them from our high school days..

Ink and Spindle
Melbourne-based Lara Cameron and Tegan Rose are the creative forces behind interiors label Ink & Spindle. Together, Lara and Tegan screenprint all of their textiles by hand, using ethical and sustainable processes wherever possible. It’s their prints that really set them apart and we’re coveting each and every one. If we simply had to choose, it’d be ‘blockprint’ which adorns their cushions, and ‘wrens’; a lovely inky blue pattern upon neutral cotton that you can use for all manner of furnishing projects.

Bonnie & Neil

Also in Melbourne, Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie describe themselves as “compulsive hoarders”, clinging onto scraps of vintage fabric and pieces of timber that often serve as inspiration. The design duo, similarly to Lara and Tegan of Ink & Spindle, hand-print their expressive shapes upon bedding and tea towels to beautiful effect. We love the organic feel to their use of paint, and their choice of equally natural materials such as linen.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Designers we love around the globe: France

While we love nothing more than to support art that's made right here in the U.K. - British designers we stock include Richard Brendon, Thornback & Peel and Rory Dobner -  we're also romanced by several other craftsmen around the world.

We begin in France, where our hearts are captured by three very different designers. The first, is La Cerise Sur Le Gâteau. Their humourous prints ooze grown-up girlish charm and opt for a signature colour palette of chic pastels.

We're also swooning over Mathieu Challiéres whose sculptural lighting takes shape in surrealist forms, including our favourite; wire birdcages, complete with vividly-hued feathered friends.

Lastly, it's Zoé De Las Cases's vintage-like portrait prints and pop art-inspired stationery that we're coveting - she also crafts charming toy sets - choose from a mini garage, kitchen, sweet or grocer's shop, fold and tuck them together and pop up on the wall - adorable.

Whom are your favourite French designers?

Friday, 27 September 2013

New Season, New Collection

As we wave summer a fond farewell, it's time to embrace all that autumn brings with it - long countryside walks, crisp leaves underfoot, and evenings curled up by the fire.

What that also means is that now is the time our thoughts turn to our interiors - weather-proofing, if you like - with extra throws on the sofa, cosy cushions for that extra bit of comfort, and lots of handy storage that keeps everything nice and neat when not in use.

We've popped a few of our newest warmers below - we hope you love them just as much as us.

layer up 
...with a few of our favourite new arrivals 

cosy factor
new cushions for extra warmth 

throw and go 
Eleanor Pritchard's 525 Line Blanket is as heart-warming as a hug

Friday, 13 September 2013

From tomorrow: The London Design Festival

As of tomorrow, London will become a super-sized hub for British creatives as the first day of The London Design Festival 2013 gets underway.

It's going to be quite a spectacle too; "drawing in the country’s greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to deliver an unmissable celebration of design", as LDF describes.

Blurb aside, it’s definitely not just about the designers; the festival brings all walks of life together, from art fans to buyers, tourists to children. Essentially it’s one big wonderful community of folks whom love to explore.

Naturally, we ourselves are huge fans of design; championing home-grown talent including artists such as Caslon & Co, Fanny Shorter, and Richard Brendon. Over the coming months we've plenty of exciting new pieces arriving from a variety of British designers, some of which you can see a sneak peek of below.

In the meantime, we’re jotting down the must-sees of The London Design Festival. On our agenda so far? The "Endless Stair" at the Tate Modern, re-visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum (a key venue for the festival), and taking in the "If Shoes Could Talk" exhibition - just for fun. What are your plans?

"Endless Stair" at the Tate Modern

Coming soon to Roost Living 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Desk-friendly plants

If you’re anything like us, African Violets, Orchids or Peace Lilies keel-over in your work space in no-time. We’re officially terrible at keeping plants.

Still, we love having a little bit of the outside, in, so we’re thrilled to have found three indoor beauties that thrive upon desks nearly almost all by themselves.

While we’re all pretty familiar with the ‘Vera’ species, there are many other varieties in this plant’s family. This one, the Aloe Polyphylla (or Spiral Aloe), is drought tolerant so no need to worry should you forget to give it a drink every now-and-then.

Snake Plant
Named after its vertical-shooting leaves, this yellow-edged shrub will continue to flourish again and again - no matter how often it's neglected.

Chinese Evergreen
Jewellery designer Winifred Gundeck, whose home is featured on the Design Sponge blog, shows a shining example of why we should opt for this perennial plant. Not only does it blossom year-round, it makes quite the focal point, too.


Monday, 8 July 2013

Shoes, just not quite as we know them

Every woman loves shoes, but for art and antiques dealer Susan Gaston, they're quite literally an obsession.

It's little surprise really as three generations of Susan's family have worked in the shoe trade -  it was only a matter of time before she caught the bug, too. Susan and her husband Jimmy are the creative force behind White Dove & Wonder. Together, they reclaim the wooden shoe lasts that are used to make shoes; and transform them into all manner of objets d'art. 

From clocks to candle holders, loo roll holders (yes, really!) to coffee tables, the "What shall we do with these?" conundrum that Susan and Jimmy once faced has long been forgotten - only to be replaced with a whole host of striking, one-of-a-kind home accents. 

Vintage Shoe Last Bookends - now available at Roost.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Our summer sale picks

If you've not spotted already, our summer sale has just started (hop on over to Roost Living to shop it now).

You'll find all sorts of goodies at up to 50% off such as WOOP Studios' bold wall prints and plenty of ideas for the kids.

For now, here are a few of our favourite sale pieces... some of which we don't have that many of - so don't delay!

Sparrow & Co's 'Campfire Candle'
Add a pretty beetle tag for the perfect gift. 
Candle was £15, now £7.50. Gift tags (set of six) were £6, now £3

 Thornback & Peel's 'Artichoke Apron'
 Was £22.50, now £11

Nadia Sparham's 'Banimal' Cushion
Was £62, now £31

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The perfect wedding gift

As sure as summer arrives so too does wedding season and whether you're part of the family or a cherished friend, a gift, though rarely expected, is the perfect way to show your congrats to the newlyweds.

But what to pick? Should there be no pre-chosen gift list to help you decide, here are a few favourite ideas of ours.

Ms Chattanooga is a true statement piece; both as a gift and and once primely placed in the just-married couple's home.

Tea Towels and aprons with delicious veg illustrated upon them are sure to inspire creativity in the kitchen.
Pretty porcelain to serve up a hearty feast for two.

Vintage-like prints that bring a touch of the outside in.

Write a personal message upon charming note cards and gift tags.