Roost Reflections – Warehouse living in Hackney Wick

“Warehouse living” is a term that’s become synonymous with cheap living, non-stop partying and the gritty occupation of tumbledown buildings in the more industrial corners of town. A myth? Errr, not really…

In a failed effort to debunk the notion that living in a converted warehouse space isn’t just a decadent free-for-all, we spoke to Roost community member Francie Hickinbotham, an ex-resident of 98 Wallace Road – now a hip canal-side bar/restaurant – about an eventful, chilly two years in Hackney Wick.

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7 times the small screen perfectly summed up house-sharing hell

Now, unless you’re in a relationship or in a position to splurge a solid £1,000 a month (at the very least) on a single room, the renting life will see you co-habiting with other people, likely for years at a time.

In university, this is an essential rite of passage, throughout which essential domestic facets like hygiene, diplomacy and self-respect will remain niggling details best avoided.

The subsequent years act, then, as a kind of liminal period between infantile crapulence and the crushing inevitability of adulthood. This is what we at Roost are interested in today – specifically, the glorious representation of such through the medium of television! (OK, and one essential filmic example.)

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Roost reflections – life on a London canal boat

Following our recent post debunking the money myths around living on London’s waterways, we set out gain first-hand testimonials from people actively living life on the city’s canal network.

Jo Hughes – a PHD student and houseboat enthusiast – spoke to Roost about her shift from land to water, the ever-present threat of mechanical disasters and her advice for for wannabe converts to the boating life.

Kit Logan, Little Venice, canal boats, autumn.

Little Venice – a boaters paradise. Courtesy Kit Logan.

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Data crunching – Boat Livin’

It’s a week before payday. You’re broke. Everyone’s broke, apart from your friends who are financiers or lawyers. They don’t even look at their bank accounts until they have to have some work done on the kitchen in the house in Walthamstow they just bought. Ignore them.

You don’t have any money, and in seven days half of your paltry new wages are going to fall out of your account like the spider-encrusted bottom of a damp box. And on what? Your rent of course! A huge wad of your hard earned cash disappearing into the ether, over to a faceless landlord or vacant estate agent, neither of whom have much interest in check out the massive crack in the ceiling you’ve pestering them about for weeks.

You know what would be better than this? Living on a house boat, of course!

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Video: Roost Reflections – Madame Lillie’s, Stoke Newington

Galleries that are also live-in rental spaces aren’t necessarily anything new – Peckham’s Flat Time House, formerly the home and studio of John Latham, was one for many years –  but their multi-practice art-cum-living spaces sure are interesting. Thus, Roost travelled to Stoke Newington in North London, to meet Chris Rawcliffe, a curator and the founder of the conceptual modern art initiative Project Number. Chris has been holding PN exhibitions and shows ever since 2010, at Madame Lillie’s – the tumbledown gallery and house he lives in on Cazenove Road. In this video, he explains a little about the history of the building and his tenure there, gives us a brief history of PN, and tells us about one of its most memorable shows (smoke intentional).

(Many, many thanks to Chris and Leanne Hayman for having me skulk around their house for so long.)

Short term holiday let in a truly insane property? Try Living Architecture

Living Architecture is an organisation dedicated to “the promotion and enjoyment of world-class modern architecture” (their words), initiated by the idea that outstanding, ground-breaking building design should be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in it.

It’s also an initiative best-known for allowing the potter and tapestry-maker Grayson Perry to design his 100-per-cent-bananas ‘A House for Essex’, and also factoring the philosophy demi-god (and Harry Styles’ pal) Alain De Botton as creative director. Each house is designed by a different, leading firm, with contemporary processes and materials (the interior design isn’t bad either), but the organisation isn’t just a showcase for bizarro building design – that means perilously cantilevered barns, rooftop boats, rural piles with Bond-villain interiors and austere, windswept beach houses, amongst others. Every property can be rented, and pretty cheaply too.

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2015 election special UPDATE – who should renters vote for?

Ballot Box, via

A ballot box, what you put a ballot in. Not actual size.

The time has almost come dear Roosters! Not to go back in time and rethink your vote choice for the 2014 European Elections (excusing the image), but to have a good hard think about who to vote for in next week’s general election. Of course, we’ll be voting according the rental proposals in each party’s manifesto.

Thus, as an expanded update to our previous post on just what the UK’s political parties have got in store for the rental market, we’ve plucked the salient points from each of the newly published manifestos, compiled below and had them pulled apart, analysed and debunked by our very own London-based estate agent (unfortunately incognito due to the wrath of their marketing department).

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