Meet New Zealand's Styling and Renovating Genius, Erena Te Paa
Tell us a bit about yourself and your day-to-day?
I am a stylist by trade, airbnb owner and busy Mum of two so my days consist of juggling motherhood with emails, enquiries, cleaning and meal prep. At the same time I can often be found moving furniture around or crafting a corner of my home because I can't help myself and it feeds the creative need in me.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Modern, earthy, elegant and perhaps a bit quirky too.
You also have Akito Studio, an air b-n-b which looks beautiful, what were the important and exciting factors in creating this space?
Our house was quite run down when we bought it and so we'd always intended to tackle it in stages. The outhouse just seemed like a great place to start and as we didn't live in it we felt it had the most potential for a full renovation but also had the best chance of paying for itself/providing an income as an airbnb when it was complete. The key factors for the space were that it needed to be open-plan in case we wanted to transform it into an office or another living space down the line and it needed to be light, modern and private so that it felt like a space you would happily want to spend time in. Thankfully it has ticked all those boxes.
What do you like about the George and Willy Aesthetic?
I like that the G & W aesthetic is simple, stylish, practical and adaptable which means the pieces we've chosen grow with us and can be used in unexpected ways which encourages longevity and that's something I am constantly trying to prioritise with the things I choose to buy.
What's the key to good design?
For me good design is about knowing what you like from a style point of view, knowing how you live so that what you choose performs how you need it to and above all taking risks so that while everything should flow and function well in your space there is something that makes it a bit different and unique to your personality too.
Which George and Willy's products do you use regularly?
Without a doubt, the Daily Roller is a firm favourite. My boys have one for drawing/doodling on and we have a larger one for writing down that ever-growing list of to-do's and brain-downloads that would otherwise clutter up the mind. We also have the Round Sign which points out our airbnb to incoming guests and it is doing an effortlessly stylish job of that everyday too.
What would be your tips for staying organised?
I think the key to staying organised is knowing how to find order in chaos and practising that daily. That could be as simple as knowing what you're going to do the night before and prepping for it, whether that's writing down a bullet-point list of jobs to do or getting a head start on cleaning your space so that there are no excuses or setbacks for achieving the days' goals. I also think there is something to be said for 'a place for everything and everything in its' place' and having designated areas for your knick knacks to live as in boxes, baskets, hooks and preferably stylish ones as it makes being organised more of a pleasure.
How do you stay creative and keep your spaces inspiring?
Creativity is a funny thing in that it comes in waves so while it's important for me to enjoy the times when I'm not feeling creative, when being creative is a necessity or I just really need to finish a project I'll usually find inspiration by accessing Pinterest or perhaps simply watching design shows or even looking at Youtube tutorials to get those creative juices flowing. I also make a point of noting down ideas when I am on a creative high and then will look to those ideas as inspiration for a rainy day or when I need some creative direction and motivation.