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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Newtown House by Hindley & Co.

Melbourne architect Anne Hindley talks to House of Home about how philosophy influences her designs.

On the surface, philosophy and architecture seem unlikely partners. And yet, for Melbourne architect Anne Hindley, it was a background in pure philosophy, coupled with an appreciation of rationale subjects like science and maths, that lead her to design. “I see architecture as a practical application of philosophical principles. I am interested in how space can affect the way people perceive their environment and I set out to create spaces that are uplifting,” she explains.

Anne is founder and principal architect of Hindley & Co, a small practice based in Melbourne. Anne recently spoke to House of Home about how philosophy inspires her work. “I am constantly drawn to work that allows me to frame views and foster a balanced relationship with the surroundings – be it a garden, beach or valley”, she explains.

One such project is a classic mid-century home in Newtown, Victoria with spectacular views over the valley. Originally the childhood home of one of the owners, the brief was to capitalise on the views and the playful 1960s character of the house, whilst bringing it into...


Newtown House by Hindley & Co.

Melbourne architect Anne Hindley talks to House of Home about how philosophy influences her designs.

On the surface, philosophy and architecture seem unlikely partners. And yet, for Melbourne architect Anne Hindley, it was a background in pure philosophy, coupled with an appreciation of rationale subjects like science and maths, that lead her to design. “I see architecture as a practical application of philosophical principles. I am interested in how space can affect the way people perceive their environment and I set out to create spaces that are uplifting,” she explains.

Anne is founder and principal architect of Hindley & Co, a small practice based in Melbourne. Anne recently spoke to House of Home about how philosophy inspires her work. “I am constantly drawn to work that allows me to frame views and foster a balanced relationship with the surroundings – be it a garden, beach or valley”, she explains.

One such project is a classic mid-century home in Newtown, Victoria with spectacular views over the valley. Originally the childhood home of one of the owners, the brief was to capitalise on the views and the playful 1960s character of the house, whilst bringing it into the twenty-first century.

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Anne goes on to explain: “Where our vision initially differed to that of the client was in the delineation of the old and the new. While we wanted to express the difference between the mid-century house and the contemporary additions, the clients worried about the juxtaposition of these two time periods.” Anne’s clever solution was to take cues from the home’s striking mid century details and then amplify them “to create contemporary interpretations of the original details,” she explains.

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The team introduced striking modernist angular features and asymmetrical profiles such as the butterfly roof on the south side of the house which allowed them to raise the ceiling towards the view. The board and batten timber cladding, which was originally used on the front façade just above the windows, became a feature of the entire end wall at the front, giving the home a very contemporary edge. They stripped off the 80s render to expose the original brickwork and painted it a bright white highlighting its clean modernist lines.

Loaded with charming mid-century detailing such as the windows, fireplace and inbuilt joinery there were also a number of small, dark utilitarian rooms which the clients wanted to reconfigure to be more functional. The result is a functional home with generous, bright rooms that can accommodate the clients’ young family.

Anne rebuilt the original joinery and it became a major source of inspiration for the new detailing. In keeping with mid-century design, large windows open up the home to light and spectacular views. Anne also replaced the front windows with energy-efficient options to match existing large windows in the living areas, while similar style windows were introduced in the extension.

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Inspired by the home’s mid-century heritage, the owners looked to Scandinavian design for their interiors selections. Anne’s team introduced clean architectural shadow lines, timber panelling and white painted brickwork to brighten the home. Nordic references are reinforced with Coco Pendants from Melbourne designer Kate Stokes and Muuto stools in blue-grey.

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Anne likes to play with light and shadow to create drama. She added skylights to both bathrooms that allow sunlight to stream in over the shower, while the steam is drawn up to a hidden fan. Each bathroom has a large feature window that frames the view out to the valley. She introduced layers of texture with clever material choices like Lapege Italian Kuni ‘Timber look’ tiles and Academy Tiles white penny round tiles.

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We would like to thank Anna Hindley of Hindley & Co. for inviting us to step inside this beautiful home. We would also like to thank our guest writer Kate Shaw for her work on this article.


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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."