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.

1 | 2

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.

1 | 2

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.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Square Inch | Smart Small Spaces

I love working with small spaces and often feature them on the blog and Facebook page. There are some fantastic and creative ways to furnish and decorate them, and they definitely encourage you to only have those possession that you love, and to avoid clutter. With the price of houses these days becoming increasingly unaffordable, smaller homes could arguably be more affordable too.

Some others who agree with this are the owners of the exciting new business, Square Inch. Susan and John Frear think it makes sense to live in smaller spaces as the quarter acre dream becomes an unrealistic goal for many New Zealanders. Living in tiny flats in London and Tokyo didn't affect the couple's quality of life. Their spaces were well thought out and designed to squeeze a lot of living into little space, and they were filled with functional furniture that made the size of the space irrelevant.

Back in New Zealand, Susan and John decided it was time to reframe what comfortable living looks like, and in the process take some of the financial pressure off home owners. They wanted to bring multifunctional furniture pieces to the New Zealand market that would address our basic living needs - comfort, safety, plenty of storage, pieces that would allow us to work, sleep, eat, and entertain, all while looking stylish.

Limber 3 Seater

The first Square Inch product range is from young New York designer, Efe Kababulut, who previously worked for BoConcept. When furnishing his first New York apartment Efe was underwhelmed by his options, so decided to design his own range. The range includes sofa beds that are stylish as a sofa, comfortable as a bed (no hard metal bars to interrupt sleep), and offer additional storage.

Empire Sleeper Sofa

As interior designers, Dael and I (Bibby + Brady) are always looking for good looking sofa beds, and in the past have struggled to find any that are comfortable and look good, so we are thrilled with the Square Inch range. A lot of our clients have spare rooms that work as offices or media rooms, but need to function as spare rooms when guests stay overnight, and the Square Inch sofa beds are also perfect for holiday homes.


It's not just sofa beds on offer, there are chaises and chairs that fold down to single beds; side tables that can turn into shelving units; entertainment units that can double as a desk... and many of the pieces are designed to work together. Various wood finishes and fabric options are available so you can customise your furniture to suit your home.

Puzzle Bookcase

The Square Inch vision is to help everyone live large, no matter what space they have. All their products are stored in Auckland and can be delivered nationwide within 2-10 days. The products are flatpacked which makes delivery easier, and allows installation in the room they're destined for - no more nasty surprises when you can't get the furniture through the door!

Chelsea Side Table

Lego Side Table

While most of us are accustomed to internet shopping, if you find buying online a challenge or have any questions Susan is more than happy to answer them. To find out more visit the Square Inch website, and keep up to date with all the news on their Facebook and Instagram pages. If you're quick you can take advantage of the special offer - 15% OFF ALL SOFA BEDS - which runs until 19th July 2015. Go on... think smart and make the most of every square inch you have!

Dispatcher TV Stand

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