Monday, 3 August 2015

The Social Types

I recently discovered the work of talented young designer Jaz Isabella Dean and her latest project The Social Types. Jaz has designed a range of super cool greeting cards that are guaranteed to make yours the best looking gift, without a doubt. These are the cards that will get stuck on pin boards and popped into frames, as each one is a tiny work of art.

Taking inspiration from popular culture, the internet generation and her fashion background, the line incorporates unique graphics, illustrations and typography. Jaz has used striking black and white, bold colours, and gorgeous gold foil to create a series of designs that work beautifully together as well as stand alone. "I created The Social Types as a collection of prints I think customers will love themselves as well as love to share, to shake up the market and make greeting cards cool again," she says.

The Social Types studio is located in Karaka Bay, Auckland, where they are committed to using only the highest quality printing methods and sustainably sourced paper stock.

Pop over to the website to check out the full range, and make sure you follow The Social Types on Facebook and Instagram for all updates and new arrivals. Keep your eye out as the designs are all soon to available as art prints - yay!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Buying the Right Size Rug

One of my favourite decor items is a rug. You know how I love and live by William Morris' wise words "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" - well a rug is both these things. A rug helps to define a space (especially useful in open plan living) and unifies your furniture. It should also be beautiful and enhance your decor, tying in colours and softening hard surfaces. But, and it's a big BUT, over and over again we see people falling into the "rug too small" trap!

This rug grounds the table so it's not just floating in the middle of the space

I know the main reason for this is that rugs (good rugs that will stand the test of time) can be expensive, and the bigger they are, the more they cost. I get that, but using a rug that is too small cheapens the whole room. I know that sounds harsh, but I really do highly recommend investing in a quality rug the right size for your space. If it's good quality it will last you years, so is well worth the investment. Also, the larger your rug, the larger the room will appear (and vice versa), another great reason why size really does matter when it comes to floor rugs. 

I've drawn up some floor plans to illustrate the "dos" and "don'ts" of rug sizes in different rooms. You can find various size rugs, and we can also order you custom-size rugs, but for this post I've used the standard sizes of one of our favourite rug suppliers - Armadillo&Co. A living room rug should ground the furniture (all of it not just the coffee table), and to do this you should have at least the front two legs of your chairs and sofas on the rug. By running the rug under the furniture it not only unites the setting, but also gives the illusion of a larger space. The illustration below uses a standard size 3-seater sofa and occasional chairs.

Immediately below is an example of a living room rug that is too small, followed by some examples that I give a big "thumbs up". Most living rooms will need a 2 x 3m rug, or even better, a 2.5 x 3.5m rug.

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A dining room rug needs to big enough for the chairs to be completely on the rug even when they're pulled out. You don't want to get the legs tangled in the rug as you pull your seat in and out. The illustration below shows a large 8-seater table, 2m long.

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In your bedroom you want the rug to run beneath the bottom two thirds of the bed, at least. You want it to be big enough so that you can step on to it when you get out of bed. It's amazing how much bigger your room will look with a large rug under the bed. The illustration below features a standard queen size bed.

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If you have a rug that you just love but you know it's too small, there are a couple of tricks that can work. You can create an eclectic look by layering several smaller rugs together. Or layer your small rug over a large sisal or solid weave rug. The larger rug will help to anchor the smaller one.

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I hope that helps rooms everywhere to feel larger and more united. Remember, a rug is one of the easiest ways to finish off a room. They will bring warmth and texture to your home, and they're excellent for renters when painting walls or hanging art is not possible. We can help you find the perfect rug for your home or workplace, and we'll definitely make sure that it's the right size. Get in touch with us anytime.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Tinkered By | Building Brighter Futures

I love hearing how businesses are born and the Tinkered by story is an especially inspiring one. Australian sisters, Rachael Steadman and Kate Boston, had a vision to create a business together that was both fulfilling to them, as well as being a 'force for good'. With Rachael living in Western Australia and Kate in Kenya, the pair created a sustainable brand that brings superior handmade products to consumers, while having a positive impact on the artisans behind the products.

Artisan businesses in the developing world struggle to gain access to a global market where they can sell their goods. Tinkered by is committed to helping their artisans in East Africa to grow their businesses. They source all of the handmade products and work directly with the beautiful people that create them.

This is positive in so many ways... providing work and growing businesses, empowering women, helping families, cultural sustainability, connecting communities, and brighter futures for many. There's a wide range of products available, all beautiful and you know that each piece is unique. The jewellery is lovingly crafted using raw or recycled materials and each piece comes with a 'story of note'.

You can shop for beautiful homewares and accessories and know that you're not only receiving an amazing product, but also giving back to a community at the same time.

The rugs are also works of art. Raw wool is spun by hand and then dyed in barrels of boiling water over a fire. Dried in the sun it is then woven into beautiful thick woollen carpets with a gorgeous thick texture. The rugs are durable, hard wearing and naturally stain resistant due to the lanolin in the raw wool. Custom-made you can choose your design, colours, and size to suit your home and create a wonderful story that you are very much a part of. You will be guided through the process and have plenty of input.

I am completely taken with the range of Tinkered by toys. My favourites are the beautiful dolls, but the motorbikes and tractors made from wire and bottle tops are so clever!

If this business model has inspired you, Tinkered by has recently launched an extension to their business - the opportunity to become an Ambassador. You can create your own flexible business by marketing and selling the Tinkered by collection at in-home "Trunk Shows". These are parties where you can share the background stories and sell the quality products in a fun, no-pressure setting. As an ambassador you can choose when and where to sell and how much time you want to invest, so it is completely flexible with your lifestyle. This opportunity is currently open to Australian women, but Tinkered by hope to extend it to include New Zealanders in the near future. If you're interested to know more check out the website or drop them an email.

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