House & Garden | E-cquisitions

E-cquistions: For the click-witted

An online emporium of crafty yet contemporary homeware

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E-cquistions: For the click-witted

October 07 2010
Dominic Lutyens

Online boutique Roost Living will appeal to those who like their homes to have a gently edgy, rather than aggressively trendy feel. Roost Living’s wares epitomise the current vogue for homeware that marries a nostalgia for the “craftsy” with a sharper, more contemporary aesthetic. Part of their appeal lies in their handmade, organic look, which is emphasised by their often asymmetric shapes.

“I set up Roost Living to combine my passions for interiors and craft and to create a site dedicated to handmade British products,” says Laura Binns, its London-based founder. “I search for talented designers and designer-makers around the country, then bring their beautiful products together in one collection.”

Yes, this is granny chic, but forget literal revivals of antimacassars and china spaniels; a cosy but not twee sense of the past is conjured by Fliff’s Lace Teaset (first picture) whose earthenware is hand-rolled in its raw state with doilies to leave an impression of a lace pattern (£65 for a teacup, saucer and cake plate).

Meanwhile, Charlene Mullen’s black and white Zsa Zsa the Cat and Kitten cushions (second picture, £55 the pair) are distinctly 1950s-retro but with a modern, graphic look. Ditto her London skyline cushion featuring the Tower of London and Gherkin (fourth picture, £175). And Thornback & Peel’s napkins come screenprinted with a quaint yet funky Victorian-style image of an old-fashioned jelly in hot pink (£32 for four).

Occasionally, Roost Living strays from granny chic and espouses the totally bonkers – take Undergrowth Design’s salt and pepper pot set shaped like crinolined ladies with heads in the form of TVs (third picture, £38). But this site isn’t just about Binns indulging her whims. True to her aim of promoting British crafts, one section of the site features potted biographies of all the designers she nurtures.