Friday, 24 May 2013

This weekend: 30% off at Roost Living

Oh, the British Bank Holiday weekend - so often three days of dreary wet weather. Not this one though! London is forecast to have a sunny Saturday and temperatures are predicted to stay in the upper teens until Monday. Could summer have finally arrived? 

To add to this jolly news, we're offering you 30% off the Roost Living collection this long weekend. Whether you're looking for something to update your dinner table or perhaps something for the kids' room, once you've finished shopping, simply enter the code FLASHMAY at checkout and we'll apply the discount for you. 

Here's to a lovely break; we hope you have a fantastic one.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Caslon & Co: traditional tools, contemporary prints

Passionate about pattern is by far the most apt way to describe the homeware label Caslon & Co.

Founder Andy Rouse lovingly hand-crafts original prints in his Birmingham studio using antique letterpress blocks known as ‘ornaments’ and ‘fleurons’- once used by printers to decorate posters and books. 

After Andy has perfected his motifs, a highly-skilled team of UK-based craftsmen and women transform them into statement soft furnishings and homeware, such as the Vintage Corner Piece Cushion - our much-loved latest arrival here at Roost Living.

Designer Andy Rouse formed Caslon&Co after acquiring a retired printers press at the beginning of 2012, and their vintage inspired patterns are created using antique wooden printing blocks known as ornaments and fleurons. Printers traditionally used the beautiful little blocks to add decorative flare to books and posters, you will have seen them in use on vintage circus posters, before they fell out of fashion and became a thing of the past, which is a bit of a shame if you ask us! Caslon & Co have put their collection to good use (and they’ve got quite a collection) creating patterns for use in the home, and in turn giving a forgotten art a new lease of life.

Andy explains his approach: ‘I work in our studio using traditional relief printing techniques, working in black and white at first, so that I can focus on creating repeating or tessellating patterns from the printing blocks, I only adding colour when I am happy with the pattern. Depending on how many of the blocks we have, I either work on the press, creating a small repeating pattern or printing a single block a number of times before developing a pattern. Some of the blocks can surprise you when you work with them, they can create patterns that you didn’t expect. I think that’s why I love working in the studio, plus I always feel like it’s a day well spent when I return home with printing ink on your hands!

‘Once I’m happy with the patterns I will transfer them to a silk screen so that I can expand them and start to experiment with colours. We’ve developed a colourful but soft monochrome approach for Caslon & Co, the colours a very fresh and although our patterns have a vintage quality the colours bring a very contemporary feel.’

‘I like to select a fabric that adds to the vintage quality, the natural cotton we use for our cushions has a character of its own, it's a lovely textured fabric with visible flecks of fibre.’

The resulting patterns bring character and charm to the home through a collection of cushions featuring their vintage inspired patterns and fresh, contemporary colour palette.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Washi Tape: mess-free adhesive that’s fun!

No longer saved for cover-up-while-you-D.I.Y moments, masking tape itself has had a make-over.

We have the Japanese to thank for the brightly-hued ‘Washi Tape’ trend, and in all its prints, stripes and polka dots, it can transform our home d├ęcor mess-free in seconds, plus re-imagine the way we hang everything from notes to posters. You (and the kids) can even create your own wall art with the tape itself.

If you haven’t caught on just yet, we’re sure it won’t be long before you develop a mild-addiction for Washi Tape too... pick up a variety of mixed prints here and let the creativity commence!


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Meet Fanny Shorter


We are ever so excited to introduce you to our latest designer Fanny Shorter.  We love her intricate kaleidascopic designs, inspired by anatomy, yes, you didn’t misread, the human body, and Fanny's latest pouches and notebooks for Roost Living are based on the human brain.

The daughter of a physics teacher and a music teacher, she grew up in a school in Winchester, surrounded by idyllic countryside and historic buildings in an aesthetically crowded house crammed with prints and patterns on books, plates, cushions, rugs and wallpaper. English holidays, frequents visits to the V&A, the Natural History Museum and National Trust properties as well as an entire childhood in a school are an evident and enduring influence.

She trained as an illustrator and her clients have included Twinings, the Cutty Sark and the Wellcome Collection. She divides her time between her freelance illustration work and expanding her 
screen-printed product range at her studio in Bloomsbury, London.

How long have you been designing?

Full time 2 years. Sporadically for 7.

Did you go to art college or are you self taught?

I have a degree in Illustration.

What are your main creative influences?

The study and record of natural science, William Morris, turn of the century illustration.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Outside, The V&A, Natural History Museum, Grey’s Anatomy, National Trust houses, terrible confession but Dorling Kindersley has proved invaluable.

Who is your favourite designer?  What aspect of their work do you most admire?

Timorous Beasties. Hand-crafted and highly original.

What aspect of your work gives you the most pleasure?

Screen-printing. It’s great being technically practical for a change rather than moody and creative.

Where are you most creative?

No recipe for that yet. It’s still very unpredictable. Long train journeys?

What is your workspace/studio like? 

Civil war. The photo provided is not a particularly accurate representation.          

How do you describe your style?

Traditional with a contemporary quirk.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a collaboration with a company called Mr Jones Watches designing the illustrated interior for a range of limited edition watches. I’ve also got a pop up shop coming in the summer.

When you first started out, what was the best advice you received?

Work hard and be nice to people.

What advice do you have for other designers starting out?

In reference to being self-employed you have to really love your practice. As soon as you leave college or university no one is going to tell you what to do and you are answerable to no one. You have to want to succeed so if you don’t really love it, don’t do it.

How do you achieve a work/life balance?
I don’t have a life! The two just seem to blend into one another. Friends come and sit in the studio and I take my work home every night but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What are your other passions?

Walking, Scandiwegian crime drama, 80’s rock. Dipping a suspicious toe into opera (my sister is a singer). And it’s dormant at the moment but I love a spot of DIY. There’s nothing to beat the smell of sawdust and paint.

What is your favourite food?

A well baked potato. A Kestrel specifically.

Trousers or skirts?

Skirts. I just don’t ever wear them

A selection of Fanny Shorter's pouches and notebooks are now available online.