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The Inspired Home — NZ Home Decor Blog

Two Life Changing Rules + Tips For Decluttering Your Home

Bren Sutton - Company owner and Designer at Ink & Brayer

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you all for the incredible support you've shown my small business throughout this year. I am really grateful to see my business thrive and grow in unexpected ways. Some of you may know the story behind Ink & Brayer - that I started the business at an extremely difficult time in my life, and with a very different vision in mind. It has been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of my life. If you would like to learn more, click to read my journal entry Why the Name Ink & Brayer?

NEW YEAR, NEW APPROACH

As we approach the end of 2023 and reflect on the year gone by, and look forward to the possibilities the New Year holds, it's worth considering what has worked and what hasn't. 

Do you feel inspired when the New Year rolls around? 😀
I always find myself brimming with energy, ready to take on the world, and always craving a declutter and reorganisation of my home. Every year I dive right in, throwing open cupboards, pulling out things with a gusto that would make Marie Kondo proud. I create a mountainous mess, all with the vision of a perfectly organised space in mind. As the day progresses, my enthusiasm starts to wane and the project begins to feel more than a tad overwhelming. 😬

Sound familiar? 

This pretty much sums up the way all my New Year projects and resolutions go. 😔   Can you relate? 

Well, this year I learnt a thing or two and really made some progress with my goals. So for 2024 my resolutions will follow two simple rules that ACTUALLY WORK!

1. START SMALL 👌

➡️  TINY EVEN! Teeny Weeny
➡️  So small that its totally doable
➡️  So small it's non-negotiable. Why resist when it's so damn easy?

Then when you've nailed that as a habit, make the next teeny weeny step.

2. ONE THING AT A TIME 🙄

 ➡️ Only one focus at a time
 ➡️ Yep, you read that correctly; just ONE thing to begin with

😳 Don't try to eat better, exercise more, read more, drink more water, drink less alcohol, and declutter your house all at the same time! Choose one goal to start with. The rest can follow later. 👍

I know, you've got all that energy, but trust me. Just one thing should be your main focus. Choose the most important thing first (the rest will follow later once you've nailed this habit.) 

Habits are here to stay. Resolutions wane.

It's all about creating habits, keeping your focus on one thing at a time until it's established as a habit and then moving on to the next. 

I know you are thinking that would take forever to achieve anything, but it doesn't. That is because when you see success in small things, it creates momentum. It feels good and it creates more energy and snowballs in the best possible way.

MUST READS

If you're intrigued by the power of small changes, I highly recommend reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. It's simply brilliant!

The Power of Habit - Atomic Habits - Essentialism

I also recommend The Power of Habit by James Duhig and Essentialism by Greg Keown.

For a brilliant downloadable that can help you get some clarity on how to craft your best year yet, try Mel Robbin's workbook: https://www.melrobbins.com/bestyear

TIPS FOR DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME

If your focus is the house this year, here are a few my favourite rules for decluttering. I hope they inspire you:

1. Start Small. Don't try to declutter the entire house in a day. Start with one room, or even better, one drawer.

2. One Item at a Time. Pick up each item and decide what to do with it. Does it stay or does it go? Be brutal.

3. Keep a bag at the door and every day put one thing it to donate to an Opportunity shop or Hospice Shop. When the bag is full, transfer it to the car to drop off and start a new bag.

4. If you are not sure, or hesitant to get rid of something - or if you are worried about the children being upset - create a 'transition box' in the shed or out of sight. If you don't need to get something out of it in the course of three or six months it goes.

5. Digitise Where Possible:** Can that pile of papers be scanned and saved digitally?

6. Sometimes it is hard to let things go when we have paid a lot for them. In this case consider giving them away to someone who will appreciate them. Perhaps a friend in need, Women's Refuge, or another charity. Ask yourself "Would I be happier with a more organised space? How much would I buy this for if I saw it in a shop now? If you wouldn't buy it, then you don't need it - it will make you happier to be free of the clutter.

7. A little bit often works better than a massive clean out. Just chip away at it. If you get rid of one thing a day, you'll find some days it will snowball into five or six things. Habits get results and maintain results. One big clean up slowly unravels, if indeed you get it completed (which I never do!)

I hope that is helpful. If you have found some value in the in post, please get in touch and let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Wishing you a happy, healthy year ahead,

Bren XX

Baya cushions and rug in a contemporary living room

Pictured: Baya Imelda and Imogen cushions, Baya Cassia Cushion in colour Toasted Coconut, Baya 100% Linen Millhouse throw in Clay, Baya floor rug.

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Ruanui Station Luxurious Lambswool Throw Blankets

Ruanui Station Luxurious Lambswool Throw Blankets

Throws are a versatile accessory, making spaces more welcoming with a complementary combination of colour and texture. Woollen throws are highly sought after for their natural sustainability, warmth, and beauty.

 

Shop Ruanui Station Throws 

 

For a cosier texture, lambs’ wool fibre has a finer diameter than ewes’ wool, creating an even softer yarn. Ruanui Station is known throughout the world for its’ luxuriant lambs’ wool throws. The origin of this particular lambs’ wool is just as exceptional as the quality - grown exclusively at Ruanui Station in the Central North Island of New Zealand.

Ruanui Station Farm in Taihape NZ

Situated in the hills west of Taihape, with a backdrop of the majestic Mount Ruapehu, the large farming station sits at an altitude of 550m above sea level and benefits from the rich soils of the volcanic plateau.

Ruanui Station Sheep Farm Taihape NZ

As the third-generation of their family to farm at Ruanui Station, the Carpenter’s have a strong sense of guardianship of the land and respect for its history. As a reflection of this, products are named after a paddock at Ruanui Station, connecting the final product back to the land, from where it originated. Shepherds tend to their stock on horseback, just as they have for 150 years.
Here the ewes experience optimal wellbeing, grazing on an abundant pasture within the 3,150 hectares of farmland. Shearing takes place twice yearly, and lambs born in spring are shorn alongside their mothers in January.

Ruanui Station Farm in Taihape, nz

At Ruanui Station the diameter of the lambs’ wool fibre, known as microns, is around 29 microns – to put that in perspective, a human hair is around 100 microns wide. This makes for an incredibly soft and luxuriant yarn.

After shearing the wool is washed or scoured in Hawkes Bay with biodegradable and eco-friendly detergent. All contaminants such as wool grease, mud, seeds and thorns are removed, resulting in the cleanest processed wool in the world, ensuring the highest quality end product.

Once cleaned, the wool journeys to Wellington where it is then milled to the highest technical standard and spun into a weaving count of 1/11 (Yorkshire Skeins Woollen), resulting in fine soft stands of yarn.

In Auckland, the Ruanui Station yarn is dyed and woven into luxuriant products of exceptional quality. A truly Kiwi-made product from start to finish.

Ruanui Station nz wool blankets draped over chairs

Naturally sustainable Ruanui Station throws make a beautiful gift for loved ones here in New Zealand or abroad. They make a colourful, textural decor piece for your home or a cosy travel blanket in the car. 

Ruanui Station Lambswool throw draped over the end of a bed

Shop Ruanui Station 100% NZ Made Lambswool Throw Blankets online at Ink & Brayer. Enjoy free shipping NZ wide. International shipping available. Please contact us with any questions.

 

Shop Ruanui Station Throws 

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Weave Home Santa Pollini Collection

Weave Home Santa Pollini Collection

A perfectly trending, traditional and timeless aesthetic

Escape to the idyllic coastal sun-drenched daze of a European holiday. Where a soft morning breeze blows along the shore, and the warmth of the honey glazed sands give a golden aura view with a mimosa in hand. The olive trees nestled along the paved boardwalks, provide a soft sage hued vista, evoking a muted tropical palette. While organic geometrics mirror the naturally occurring elements in local flora and fauna. A sophisticated, and versatile twist on a cabana aesthetic, reminiscent of a relaxed yet modern coastal dream. 

Weave Home Nz Santa Pollini Cushion collection

Easily mix and match cushion combos from a range of exquisite patterns and plains.

1. Halcyon Cushion - Manuka. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

2. Clunes Cushion - Sage. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

3. Donnatella Cushion - Manuka. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

4. Francesca Cushion - Mustard. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

5. Vinnie Cushion - Manuka. 40 x 60cm Lumbar (Santa Pollini Collection)

Weave Home NZ Santa Pollini Cushion Collection with matching throw blanket

A stripe, a pattern, and a plain offers excellent contrast. Choose from soft velvet plain cushions or textured plains. Complete the look with a draping throw for a warm, inviting living space with plenty of visual interest.

6. Francesca Cushion - Salt (Campania Collection)

7. Domenica Cushion - Sage. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

8. Vinnie Cushion - Manuka. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

9. Francesca Cushion - Sage. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

10. Domenica Cushion - Sand. 50 x 50cm (Santa Pollini Collection)

11. Solano Throw - Amber (Santa Pollini Collection)

Weave Home Santa Pollini Collection Summer 23/24

This beautiful collection is one of three new collection releases from Weave Home NZ for Summer 23/24. It also includes a range of stunning, warm-toned floor rugs that work in beautifully for a complete and well-rounded selection of easy-to-match home decor items.

The Ravello Linen Bedding in Caper, or the new colour Bone, ties in perfectly to bring cohesion and flow through the home.

 

Explore Ravello French Flax Bed Linen 

 

Weave Home nz bedroom setting featuring Ravello premium linen bedding, santa pollini cushions and a new weave floor rug

 

Shop the Santa Pollini Collection


At Ink & Brayer we offer free interior design advice and guidance, and would love to help you craft your cushion, throw, and rug combinations. Please get in touch - we would be happy to help.

 

Get in touch

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New-Season Orla Kiely Rugs - 12 New Designs

New-Season Orla Kiely Rugs - 12 New Designs

New-season Orla Kiely indoor rugs are here! 

Twelve stunning new Orla Kiely rugs have just been released and we absolutely love them! In 100% wool, there is something for everyone, including some more pared-back designs than previous seasons for a more subtle Orla touch.

Orla Kiely 100% wool floor rugs, shown in retro-styled modern homes

Orla Kiley wool rug 'Solid Stem' in colour Olive, seen in a modern living room

Orla Kiely's designs are confident pieces that inject energy into a space. The striking colour and strong graphics allow them to stand alone as a feature, or makes it easy to introduce more pattern and colour. They are energising yet structured, bringing bold colour without chaos. Simply beautiful, happy pieces.

 Orla Kiely blue floor rug, 100% wool, styled in a contemporary home

Orla Kiely is an independent brand run by Orla and a small team who design and create beautiful products using bold prints many of which have become iconic. 

Orla Kiely Designer Floor rugs with chocolate brown tones

Orla Kiely reinvents and aspires to 'newness'. Her design process involves drawing, refining and simplifying organic elements into perfect motifs that are then repeated to build rhythmic patterns for everyday applications.


"My dream was always to create a style with a strong sense of identity, a visual language that was welcoming and friendly, happy prints that make you smile!" —Orla Kiely

 

Orla Kiley iconic designs now available in wool rugs to elevate your home

Ink & Brayer offers the full collection of Orla Kiely indoor rugs, with free shipping NZ wide. Typical delivery time is 3 weeks. We have samples of all the Orla Kiely 100% wool rugs, and encourage you to view them in your space for the best representation of colour and how they will work in your home.

We are also available to chat with to give you free interior design guidance, and help choosing the perfect rug for your home. Contact us now for more details.

 

Shop the Orla Kiely Rug Collection

 

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How to Choose the Best Floor Rug for Your Home | Buyer's Guide

How to Choose the Best Floor Rug for Your Home | Buyer's Guide

A rug is a key design piece that makes a strong impression, influencing the look and feel of any room. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a rug to ensure you are making a sound investment. In this article I cover some of the key considerations.

Fibre Composition

It’s important know which fibres will perform best in your space. Beyond the desired look and feel, consider if the rug will be in a high or low traffic area and if there are pets or young children in your home.

Natural Fibres

Natural fibres are not only a sustainable choice, they’re also beautiful, breathable, and can be hardwearing.

Tribe Home Floor rugs nz

  • Wool is luxuriously soft, stain resistant and highly durable; ideal for high traffic areas. Being a natural fibre there is some potential for colour fading, so it is important to take this into consideration. If you are choosing a dark or colourful rug, it is best to avoid full sun.
  • Silk is a premium fibre that retains its shape well. More knots per square inch mean that patterns can be intricate, but silk does require specialist cleaning.
  • Bamboo silk is an accessible alternative to silk. It's similar to viscose but derived from Bamboo. This delicate fibre isn’t suited to high traffic areas, but when paired with wool it becomes more durable. We recommend MicroSeal protection to protect from spills.
  • Jute is a plant fibre with an appealing woven aesthetic and brings visual interest through its texture and natural look. Jute can discolour if it gets wet, or through regular exposure to the sun, so MicroSeal protection is recommended to improve longevity. (See below.)  
  • Hemp thread is strong and durable, lightweight and absorbent, with three times the tensile strength of cotton. It's mildew-resistant and its coarse texture softens over time.
  • Viscose is a delicate, versatile fibre noted for its genuine silk-like softness. It’s often found blended with wool for durability and produces a beautiful sheen. It is derived from wood pulp, but is manufactured using a chemical process; therefore it is neither a pure natural fibre, nor a fully synthetic one. Viscose can stain if it receives spills, so we recommend Micro-seal protection. (See below.)  

Synthetic Fibres

Synthetic fibres are often made to mimic the look and feel of natural fibres and can be paired with them to improve durability. Synthetic fibres are ideal for outdoor areas due to their resistance to fading, stains, mould, and mildew.

Baya Summit Peak Outdoor Rug Khaki

  • Recycled polyester has a sustainable appeal being derived from recycled PET plastics. It’s highly resistant to water, making it perfect for outdoor use.
  • Polypropylene fibre is known for its flexibility and softness, making it excellent for creating durable rugs ideal for outdoor spaces.

Rug Care - Microseal Protection

While some fibres have higher stain and fade resistance than others, Ink and Brayer recommends applying a MicroSeal treatment on all indoor rugs, especially viscose and jute. MicroSeal is a non-toxic, non-allergenic formula for permanent stain and sun fade protection that dramatically increases the longevity of rugs.

Learn More About Microseal

Weave Style 

Rugs are manufactured in a variety of woven and knotted styles. It’s important to consider how the weave will wear in relation to your lifestyle. High pile or loose weave rugs may not be ideal for young children or pets and shouldn’t be vacuumed with a brush vacuum.

Ink and Brayer - Floor Rugs- Weave Styles - Copyright 2023

Size and Placement

To avoid choosing a rug that’s too small it’s important to remember that the role of a rug is to define a zone and to do that it is often best to have furniture at least partially placed on it.

Baya Rug - How to place a rug in a room - Legs under furniture

Open Plan: Several rugs can be used to define the living, dining, and other areas in an open plan space.

Living Area: For large rooms with furniture in the centre, the rug should fit comfortably underneath, taking up slightly more floor space than the furniture.

An oversized rug can frame a room and create interest.

When furniture is against a wall, the front legs should be placed on the floor rug.

Smaller rugs can be placed under a coffee table, used to define specific seating areas, or to define a small space such as a reading nook.

Dining Area: The table and chairs should all rest on the floor rug. Choose a rug that’s large enough to fit under the chairs when they are pushed back from the table.

Bedroom: The floor rug should extend around the bed for a cosy look. Try placing a rug part way under the under the bed.

Weave rug in a modern bedroom, placed under a bed

Reach Out for Professional Advice

When making an investment in a rug or any significant purchase for your home, it makes sense to consult professionals that can offer helpful information or advice. 

Bren Sutton from Ink & Brayer in an interior design consultation, Auckland, NZ

Remember that when purchasing a rug through Ink & Brayer, I am here to assist you with interior design advice and guidance, so that you can feel confident that you are choosing the right floor rug for your space. I am always happy to ask the supplier any specific questions for you too.

If you'd like to discuss a rug for your home or commercial space, get in touch now - I’d love to hear from you.

Contact Bren

If you are based in Auckland, New Zealand, you may also like to learn about my In-Home Rug Consultation Service.

Learn More

So I hope that has been some help to you. Have a great week. Happy rug buying everyone!

Bren.

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Introducing the Exquisite Ravello Bed Linen Range by Weave Home

Introducing the Exquisite Ravello Bed Linen Range by Weave Home
Luxurious Ravello bed linen by Weave Home is here and I am absolutely loving it! Crafted from the highest quality French Flax Linen, each product from the Ravello range is pre-washed and aero finished for a unique and luxuriously soft, relaxed feel, making it a dream to rest and relax in. Continue reading

Why the Name Ink & Brayer?

Why the Name Ink & Brayer?

Welcome to The Ink & Brayer journal.

To kick off I want to answer a question that I get asked frequently. Why did I choose the name 'Ink & Brayer' for my home interiors business?  

 

A brayer rolling out ink ready for printmaking.A brayer is a roller that you use in printmaking to roll out ink.

I began Ink & Brayer at a very tumultuous time in my life. My husband was extremely ill with cancer, and Covid lockdowns had just hit NZ. I had been working as a designer and illustrator in the New Zealand souvenir industry. With the borders closing, no new product was being developed. I needed a new job that allowed flexibility so I could support my husband's fight for his life, and my children as they struggled with the shock of potentially losing their Dad and the changes Covid brought.

Having worked my entire life as an artist and designer, I decided to create a website selling art. I decided I would pursue a long-time dream of printmaking for my own craft, but until I had the time to invest in my own art development I sold other people's art. I loved pattern, so I also sourced some beautiful and vibrant textiles and made cushions to pad out my online store offerings. 

NZ interior designer Bren Sutton

The cushions sold well, so I began visiting local textile and design houses to source more fabric. The quality and breadth of offerings astounded me and I was absolutely in my element. Among the exquisite prints, patterns and weaves of the many design houses of Auckland, I found my happy place. The tactile nature of textiles was a welcome contrast to the computer aided design I had been doing, and ignited a passion that has changed the course of my career.

The Ink & Brayer interior studio

While I may still work with printmaking art one day, I anticipate it will be married to fabric, perhaps using the craft to design motifs and patterns for interior textiles. In the meantime, I am developing my online home decor store, where I focus on my passions and strengths - textiles and soft furnishings, interior design, and decor for the home. 

I am thrilled to say my husband survived against all odds. I've contemplated changing the name Ink & Brayer to something more interior-decor related; but it reminds me that life is unpredictable and it's important to follow your heart and be open to life's opportunities — flow with it and see where it takes you. I could never have anticipated this career change, and I've never been so passionate about my work. I adore my humble home studio and being able to work with tactile weaves and beautiful home decor products. Life is strange and wonderful.

Bren Sutton at the Ink & Brayer studio
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