Imaginative, stylish, sustainable and great fun. The wildly creative Studio Roof designs have transformed bedrooms, playrooms and kitchens the world over.
The vibrant wall decorations are made from recycled cardboard and vegetable inks, adding a splash of colour wherever they go.
It’s a pleasure to introduce Romy and Ilya, parents of Sonia, Nika and Stas, the Dutch founders of Studio Roof wall decorations who created this family business with a global impact.
At PomPom, we are unashamedly obsessed by their designs. It was the first brand that we ever bought for our stock room, long before finding our wooden toys for kids!
Their ethos, materials and style were so aligned with what we were trying to do, in curating a unique, plastic-free lifestyle website for families with imaginations.
We had the great pleasure this week of catching up with Romy; entrepreneur, mother, creative and the self-confessed backbone to the organisation.
A sustainable family business.
I admire a family business. It takes a clear head, as work and home lives become inextricably mixed, admin and creativity get muddled in a pile of family washing. And yet this free-spirited family from the Netherlands have seemingly, and effortlessly, got this SO right.
It's a family run business, so Romy who is really in charge?!
“I am:) Ilya, my husband, is kind of a free-spirited artist and does not like to be managing a business. I am better at it than he is, but really, it's team work. At this point we have a team of 10 people and we would not be able to do what we do without these people that feel like our extended family, plus all of our children have smaller or bigger side jobs in the company.”
It was 16.5 years ago, while observing their children’s imaginations, that Romy and Ilya recognised that both children AND adults need playfulness in their lives. Adults too must seek that playfulness and at times, might need help embracing it.
For Romy, her children were the inspiration they needed to get to the drawing board, “Our 3 children are very much the base of our company. We started our company with a large white cardboard playhouse when our own children were very small. The idea was to make a design object that leaves room for the imagination … children can be the boss of their own house and decorate it the way they want to, whereas the parents can quickly clean the room by stuffing all loose toys quickly into the house in the evening!”
The large white cardboard playhouse is sadly no longer part of the Studio Roof stable but it certainly inspired legions of Etsy sellers who have merrily adopted this very same idea.
Romy and Ilya are free and inspiring thinkers, the Studio Roof design motto is a wonderful insight into the poetry of their minds, “Run through the forests, gallop through the fields. Set your imagination free and play!”
Studio Roof bugs, birds, butterflies and bees are your signature designs. As a family, do you spend a lot of time in nature?
Yes, we do, and we always have. Nature is a big inspiration to us. We have a shed in the south of France that is really isolated and has no running water nor electricity. We regularly go there to recharge and find new inspiration. Also, our children have grown up with this concept: having to light a candle for some light, having to make a fire to cook or to get water from a well. I find this a very enriching experience.
You plant trees, you use recycled cardboard, you gave 5% of your Christmas profits to a charity in India, why is social enterprise so important to you?
“The company is a very personal project and has to be in line with our personal beliefs and worldview. I believe in giving back when you can. The dilemma for us as designers may be whether we should still add new products to the world when actually there is enough of everything in the world.
However, we do believe that our designs add a joyful sparkle to everyday life and that they make wonderful and sustainable gifts and home decor. We are just very happy to contribute our little share to make the world a greener and more sustainable place, especially for the youngest and future generations.”
Right, Romy lightening round of 3 questions:
1) Death row meal?
“O no no death row ever. That is not an inspiring idea to me at all, eating before you get murdered.... You can wake me up for a homemade apple pie though! With some whipped cream please:)”
2) Favourite movie?
I recently watched Compartment No 6, a movie about a train trip in the early 90's in the then still Soviet Union.
As Ilya is Russian from Moscow and I have studied there and also traveled in Russia in these times, this was a wonderfully warm and nostalgic movie for us.
3) Do you have a living motto?
Let's imagine, dare to risk and make changes in life, dare to speak out and always try to be honest to yourself and the people surrounding you.
I can say I feel very blessed to be able to do what we do. To create, to work with inspiring people, to be connected to different generations, to make designs that are appreciated and find their way into people's homes and that we can make a living out of it. That's a huge freedom and I am very conscious of it.
Loved by parents, children and interior designers alike, come and discover the world of Studio Roof wall decorations. Let their imagination change your house.
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