Say hello to Rosie Birkett – London foodie and star of our latest Today’s Coolest Habitats shoot. Based in Hackney with her husband and cheeky whippet, Cyril, we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek inside Rosie’s home and asked her everything you could possibly want to know. Take a little look for yourself…
Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you summarise what you do for a living?
All things food! I’m a food writer, cookbook author, food stylist and cook.
Is this your dream job?
Pretty much yes. Of course all jobs have their off days but I feel incredibly lucky to do something I’m so consumed by. The beauty of my job is that it’s incredibly creative and I do so many different things, so no day is the same, but each day invariably involves some good food and drink.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Growing up, it was all about food and cooking. My family are a greedy bunch and we always came together over my mother’s delicious home cooked food. I think this, and the fact I was so aware of us growing our own veg, keeping chickens and fishing etc has had a big influence on my love of food.
What exciting projects have you been working on lately?
I’ve been doing lots of events and pop up dinners, including two really recent ones. One was a collaboration with the fab cinema supper club, Kino Vino, during which we screened an old Ealing Studios film called “It always rains on Sunday” set in and around East London, and I cooked a foraging inspired autumnal menu full of locally sourced produce and wild food I foraged. The second was a charity banquet organised by Bristol chef Romy Gill for Action Against Hunger with a load of other female chefs and food writers. We had to serve 8 courses to 112 in a hall in Borough Market e weren’t cooking in, so it was very challenging but such great fun and we raised over 10k which was amazing.
Why did you choose this particular location and home?
We got to know the area (right on Walthamstow Marshes) walking our dog and loved it so much because it’s so near to nature but also close by to cool areas like Clapton, Stoke Newington and South Tottenham. It’s a real sweet spot.
How would you describe your interior style?
Whimsical, eclectic and natural. I love collecting beautiful objects and handmade treasures such as ceramics, vintage furniture and art. Also, you’ll notice I’m a sucker for a house plant. We don’t have a garden so I definitely like to bring the outdoors in.
You must spend a lot of time in the kitchen. What’s your favourite thing about it?
I spend at least four days a week in the kitchen. What drew me to our house is that the kitchen is pretty much the whole of the downstairs. It’s open plan and flooded by natural light by a glass ceiling, so I’m really happy cooking here. There are plenty of units for storage and I love being able to display my props on top of the cupboards. I’m very proud of the marble tiling and hexagonal tiles behind the sink, as well as the second hand stainless steel catering cupboard which is an island and storage solution in one.
What would you change about your kitchen space?
I would love a big range cooker.
Where do you find interior inspiration?
Elle Decor, Remodelista and interior design books. Instagram too of course, including Habitat’s!
Which 3 Instagram accounts would you recommend for interior inspiration?
As above. Apartmenttherapy and Jungalow too.
What’s your favourite interior trend at the moment?
I love the pink trend. I’ve never been a girly girl or that into pink but recently something has changed and I can’t get enough of little hints of pink, particularly when it’s dusky, faded, pastel or stone washed.
Are you a Habitat Voyeur? If so, whose home do you most admire?
Absolutely! I love my friend Alice Levine’s flat in Clapton, everything is beautifully done.
What does Habitat mean to you?
For me Habitat has always meant quality and innovation and that’s why I love it. I think as a brand it’s always done well to be on top of, and ahead of the curve.
Which Habitat products do you love and why?
I adore my new pink stonewashed bedspread which sits atop our gorgeous new wooden bed. Having a wooden bed is a real statement and brings so much character to an otherwise simple room. The grain of the wood on the bed is beautiful. I really love the gorgeous green marble of the coffee table too. Watch out for many Instagram food shots featuring this, coming soon! Also the marble lamp is just dreamy – bringing a hint of luxury to the spare room.
What’s your favourite thing about your home?
The light and sense of space. Floor to ceiling windows and our double height glass ceiling make it a really light, airy space.
What was your last interiors project and purchase?
Doing up our spare room and putting in some shelves for my huge library of cookbooks.
How have you made this house your home?
By filling it with our most-loved objects and people. We are always hosting dinners and drinks at ours and we’re such home bodies.
Tell us about your most treasured possessions?
The rug in the spare room was brought in Argentina. I was really broke at the time and really agonised over whether to buy it but I’m so glad i did, it makes me so happy. Our vintage Ercol dining set was a total bargain from Ebay and I’m so thrilled we found it, even though we had to hire a van and drive to the middle of nowhere to this really posh lady’s country house, it was so worth it.
Where is the heart of your home?
The kitchen of course.
If you could re-live one moment in this house what would it be? Tell us about your favourite memory.
Our first Christmas party in the house was pretty epic. We got an 13 ft Christmas tree, I made venison stew and there was a lot of prosecco and mulled wine. It was so brilliant to finally have our own space and be able to host our friends whose houses we’ve been partying for years.
What would complete your home?
I would love a wood fired log burner but unfortunately it’s not possible in this house.
Tell us something interesting about yourself or your home that not many people know.
Cyril our dog calls the shots. Seriously, he thinks the sofa, our bed and the spare room bed all belong to him.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
My late dad, I would love to cook for him and catch him up on the last 12 years.
Love Rosie’s interior style? See more from her home here.
Craving even more? Check out our series of Today’s Coolest Habitats.