The word 'Art' is most commonly associated with pieces of work in a gallery or museum, whether it’s a painting from the Renaissance or a modern sculpture. However, there is so much more to art than what you see displayed in galleries.

The truth is, without being aware of it, we are surrounded by art and use it on a continual basis. Most people don’t realize how much of a role art plays in our lives and just how much we rely on art in all of its forms in our everyday lives.

The Joy of Art

You may be wondering why all of these things are so important to our daily lives and that you could probably survive just fine with essential items that were non-artistic. That is just the reason why art is so valuable! While art may not be vital to fulfill our basic needs, it does make life joyful. When you look at a painting or poster you’ve chosen to hang on your living room wall, you feel happy. The sculpture or figurines on the kitchen windowsill create a sense of joy. These varieties of art forms that we are surrounded by all come together to create the atmosphere that we want to live in.

Art and Music

The importance of art in our daily lives is very similar to that of music. Just like art, music can make life extremely joyful and can have a huge effect on our mood. In the workplace in particular, music is something that can help people set the mood for what they are about to do. If you have something hard or difficult to work on or are feeling tired, an energetic song will likely wake you up and add some enthusiasm to the situation. Similarly, when stress is high, many people find that relaxing to calming music is something that eases the mind.

Inspirational Art

Inspirational art, such as posters are often found in work spaces to encourage employees to continue being productive. There is now an increasing amount of companies using art in their offices, as well as playing background music, as it is proven to actually work in making end results far better quality. There may be a piece of art that you own that you personally find motivational. Perhaps a print with a positive affirmation or quote beautifully scrolled on it or a painting of a picturesque scene of where you aim to travel to one day.

SOME REASONS WHY ORIGINAL ART IN THE HOME IS AS IMPORTANT AS A BED

1. Creates Mood
2. Adds Personal Character to the Home
3. Makes Memories
4. Provides a Colour Palette
5. Makes a Room Feel Finished
6. Inspires and Fosters Creativity
7. Conversation Starter
8. Supports Artists
9. It is an Investment
10. Creates a Livable Environment
11. Keeps the Brain Active
12. Relaxation
13. Curating Your Own Gallery is Fun!

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Choosing the Right Wood Heater

Nothing beats a real wood fire on a cold winter’s day.

The ambience and interaction created by the crackle of a burning log, while sipping a hot chocolate (or red wine) is pretty hard to beat!

Wood heaters have been increasing in popularity with the advances in technology making them more efficient and more stylish, with many sleek contemporary designs becoming a major feature in new homes.

In this article we'll cover:

  • Different types of wood heaters

  • What's the most efficient wood heater

  • What you need to know about firewood

  • Clean air regulations

  • Firewood holders

Different types of wood heaters

Space Heaters

Wood heaters are generally defined as ‘space heaters’, meaning that they heat a space directly and offer a higher level of out-put than other types of fireplaces. All wood fires heat well. They have the ability to heat 80-400+sqm

Radiant Wood Heaters

Some wood heater models are purely ‘radiant’ which means they are able to radiate heat out at a steady rate. Others can utilise a fan to push the heat out faster. When evaluating which model is right for you, the Australian Home Heating Association suggests the “You should also consider your personal heating needs as wood...


Choosing the Right Wood Heater

Nothing beats a real wood fire on a cold winter’s day.

The ambience and interaction created by the crackle of a burning log, while sipping a hot chocolate (or red wine) is pretty hard to beat!

Wood heaters have been increasing in popularity with the advances in technology making them more efficient and more stylish, with many sleek contemporary designs becoming a major feature in new homes.

In this article we'll cover:

  • Different types of wood heaters

  • What's the most efficient wood heater

  • What you need to know about firewood

  • Clean air regulations

  • Firewood holders

Different types of wood heaters

Space Heaters

Wood heaters are generally defined as ‘space heaters’, meaning that they heat a space directly and offer a higher level of out-put than other types of fireplaces. All wood fires heat well. They have the ability to heat 80-400+sqm

Radiant Wood Heaters

Some wood heater models are purely ‘radiant’ which means they are able to radiate heat out at a steady rate. Others can utilise a fan to push the heat out faster. When evaluating which model is right for you, the Australian Home Heating Association suggests the “You should also consider your personal heating needs as wood heaters provide heat in several ways and it’s important to get it right for your home".

They are available in a wide range of models that vary in output from small units intended to heat a single room to very large units with the capacity to heat larger homes. When selecting a wood heater ensure you consider your home’s design, insulation levels and the length of time the heater is to be operated – these are all questions that can be answered by your local AHHA member.”

Freestanding Wood Heaters

Freestanding radiant wood heaters transfer about one third of their heat output by convection and about to two thirds by radiation. Radiated heat will warm the surface of objects such as floors, ceilings, furniture, walls and people that face the wood heater. These heaters operate by sending their heat out in all directions and have very hot surface temperatures.

Freestanding convection wood heaters distribute their heat by convective currents and transfers and about one third by radiation. They have a ventilated casing around the firebox. This is either metal or tiled. In some instances, the convective air flow is increased by the use of in-built electric fans.

Slow Combustion Fireplace Insert

Fireplace inserts are wood heaters specifically designed for installation within a masonry fireplace. Inserts are commonly used to convert open brick fireplaces, which are usually unable to produce sufficient heat. This type of conversion ensures that most of the heat is delivered to the room instead of being trapped in the masonry structure, or wasted through the chimney.

Wood Burning Fireplace

Also referred to as a 'Solid Fuel' Fireplace, a wood burning fireplace is what you think of as an open fireplace. They are a low tech option – they are an integral part of your home’s construction, chimney with the built out of stone or brick. To improve their efficiency you can add an insert.

Wood Burner Fireplace

Most Efficient Wood Heater

All wood heaters sold in Australia need to be compliant with the Clean Air Emissions regulations, which mean they have achieved an acceptable efficiency rating. Optimising the efficiency of your wood heater above these minimum standards depends to a large degree on how you use it.

Tips for using your Wood Heater Efficiently

The AHHA’s top tips for the proper use of wood heaters are:

  1. Firelighters, kindling wood and paper should be used to get the fire started. Larger pieces of wood should only be added after a hot bed of coals has been established.

  2. A wood heater will burn better with three or four smaller logs rather than one or two large ones.

  3. Leave air controls open for at least 15-20 minutes to start the fire burning and when re-loading.

  4. Remember that a little air supply overnight avoids a lot of smoke. Don’t close the air supply totally overnight.

  5. Allow enough fresh air for efficient combustion, while at the same time closing doors and curtains in your house to conserve heat. Getting the balance right is important.

  6. Ensure your heater is properly installed by someone qualified to do so and that it is the right size for its intended purpose.

  7. Have your wood heater serviced each year in spring or early summer.

“Never use petrol, kerosene or oil to start the fire. You should only burn dry, well-seasoned hardwood from a reputable supplier,” Mrs Brown said. If your wood heater is maintained, used efficiently and of a good quality, it can last you between 20 and 30 years.

Firewood

If you are considering a wood heater for your home, then you need to know about firewood, as that is going to be the major influence on the efficiency and cost of running your wood heater.

  • Cost of Firewood – it’s tricky to calculate but the average tonne of wood retails for approximately $380 – the more you can buy in bulk and store the better.

  • When purchasing firewood, check if the seller obtains their wood from registered firewood cutters.

  • Don’t burn green wood and only burn dried hardwood as this will cut down on the amount of smoke produced. Wood needs to be seasoned, which takes time. Burning unseasoned wood is not only less efficient, it can result in a build-up of creosote in the flue or chimney, which could catch alight.

  • Wood is a bulky fuel, which means you need to think about how you are going to transport it, and where you are going to store it.

  • Wood needs to be stored in a dry place and shouldn’t be stored against the house, as it can become a fire hazard and a home for rodents and termites

  • Wood can create mess both before and after burning.

  • Your flue or chimney will need to be regularly cleaned (so that it works efficiently and doesn’t become a fire hazard).

Clean Air Regulations for Wood Heaters

AHHA General Manager Demi Brown is reminding consumers considering buying a wood heater that it should display a compliance plate that certifies it meets Australian emissions standards. “These models are tested and approved to meet Australia’s tough standards,” Mrs Brown said. Burning wood for warmth is satisfying – it takes a little extra effort, yes, but like tending a garden or cooking a meal, you are always rewarded.

The best way to get the most out of your heater is to be responsible – correctly operating your heater is just as important as installing a wood heater that meets the Australian Standard for wood heater emissions.”

Firewood Storage

Firewood Holders

A wood heater also offers an opportunity to get creative with firewood storage. Firewood is a beautiful natural element to have on display in the home that has a beautiful scent and there many creative ways to display it. Firewood can be tightly stacked in recessed wall niches beside the fireplace or kept in storage baskets or holders. There are many striking storage options available that are both artful and functional.

For more wood burning fireplace design ideas explore our range from retailers around Australia –the perfect fireplace is waiting to be found!

If you would like to learn about other types of fireplaces please visit our article on how to choose a Gas Fireplace.


Thankyou to Demi Brown, who heads the AHHA, the peak industry body representing the manufacturing, retailing and installation, maintenance and firewood sectors of the wood heating industry throughout the country.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wishlist of products, then be sure and check out our fireplace products range.


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How to Arrange Art

  • "People have a tendency to hang art too high," says Linda Crisolo, Art.com director of merchandising. "The center of the image should be at eye level." In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be lower. A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.
  • A common problem when hanging artwork above a sofa or sideboard is that it's not in scale. Having pieces that are too small or too large will make the whole arrangement look strange. "Make sure artwork is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or sideboard," Crisolo says. "For example, a 9-foot-long sofa should have a 6-foot-wide expanse of art above it."
  • In the bedroom, choose personal art, such as family photographs or your own photography. If you're arranging the pieces in groupings, Crisolo recommends sticking with one color theme, either all black-and-white or all color photographs.
  • "Above a mantel or fireplace is the perfect place to layer pieces," Crisolo says. "A house looks like a home when you can see layers of artwork and accessories."
  • In the kitchen, hang art in a place where it won't get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art above an office space, near the dining table, or above open counter space. Crisolo also recommends avoiding kitchen art in the kitchen. "I tend to shy away from pictures of asparagus in the kitchen," she says. "Vintage art with traditional frames works in a traditional kitchen. In a modern kitchen, try bright colors with stainless-steel frames."
  • A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. All-white frames and mats unify this grouping. "I like to use the same frames to create homogeny," says Crisolo.
  • When deciding where to hang images in your home, consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room. "Use small pieces between windows and doors," Crisolo says. "If small items are in a space too large, the pieces look lost. With larger pieces, allow room for people to step back and admire the work."
  • Artwork collaborates with other accessories and decor to create a visual story. Make sure images, moldings, and shelves all work together. "Hang artwork in front of a bookcase, on the face of the shelf," Crisolo says. "The shelves and ledges become part of a decorating story."
  • Make sure your arrangement matches your decorating style. "Symmetrical arrangements are more traditional or formal. Asymmetrical is modern," Crisolo says. "Also look at the image and style of the frame. For cottage-style rooms, stick with vintage images or botanicals. In modern rooms, choose large and abstract pieces."