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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Outdoor furniture you can leave outside – Seriously!

It sounds like we are stating the obvious, but surely outdoor furniture should be designed and built to stay outdoors, right?

Unfortunately the answer is – it depends. Not all outdoor furniture is created equally and as a result some outdoor furniture will last much better than other brands.

As Australians we love our al fresco areas, our outdoor entertaining areas, and there’s seriously nothing better than eating outdoors in the summer, so read on and find out how to choose great outdoor furniture that’s going to last, outdoors!

Outdoor Furniture is available in so many different material choices, that it really pays to get educated and understand the pros and cons of the different styles of outdoor settings available.

We spent time with James Fogarty of Kimberly James (formerly Adelaide based Classic Timber), and got an insight on choosing the right outdoor furniture & some tips on caring for it.

Choosing Outdoor Weather Resistant Furniture

As James explained there are three main weather resistant materials that are used in outdoor lounges and dining room settings:

  • Redgum or other hardwood timbers
  • Aluminium
  • Synthetic Wicker

outdoorfurniture_infographic-01-jpg

Redgum Timber Outdoor...


Outdoor furniture you can leave outside – Seriously!

It sounds like we are stating the obvious, but surely outdoor furniture should be designed and built to stay outdoors, right?

Unfortunately the answer is – it depends. Not all outdoor furniture is created equally and as a result some outdoor furniture will last much better than other brands.

As Australians we love our al fresco areas, our outdoor entertaining areas, and there’s seriously nothing better than eating outdoors in the summer, so read on and find out how to choose great outdoor furniture that’s going to last, outdoors!

Outdoor Furniture is available in so many different material choices, that it really pays to get educated and understand the pros and cons of the different styles of outdoor settings available.

We spent time with James Fogarty of Kimberly James (formerly Adelaide based Classic Timber), and got an insight on choosing the right outdoor furniture & some tips on caring for it.

Choosing Outdoor Weather Resistant Furniture

As James explained there are three main weather resistant materials that are used in outdoor lounges and dining room settings:

  • Redgum or other hardwood timbers
  • Aluminium
  • Synthetic Wicker

outdoorfurniture_infographic-01-jpg

Redgum Timber Outdoor Furniture

Hardwood timbers like Redgum have natural properties that make them ideal for use in outdoor furniture. Redgum timber is renowned for its strength and durability. The grain of the wood is relatively even, making it ideal for use in furniture making.

Quality timber outdoor furniture, made from Red Gum, Teak or Keruing will stand up to the elements, and is suitable for being fully outdoors and exposed to the elements.

Tips for caring for Timber Furniture Outdoors

Redgum Timber Outdoor Furniture, and actually most timber outdoor furniture needs annual maintenance to keep it looking its best.

James recommends occasional cleaning, ‘this will help to maintain its natural appearance and prevent build-up of dirt and grime.’ He recommends:

  1. Using your garden hose on low pressure, and simply hosing down the furniture.

  2. Then if necessary, you can use warm soapy water and a soft brush to clean off any stubborn marks. Make sure you are out of direct sunlight when you are using warm soapy water. For stubborn stains like red wine or oil simply use a medium to light grade sandpaper.

If you have an al fresco area, and your outdoor setting is under cover, you’ll probably only need to give the timber a light sand and oil with an appropriate Timber Care product just once a year.

If it is out fully exposed to the elements, then you really will need to oil it a couple of times a year to keep the colour and texture of the timber. Without that, the timber will turn grey in colour over time.

Its important to note that all timber furniture goes through a settling in period. So after you’ve been using it for a month or so check the fasteners on the chairs and tighten if they’ve become loose.

And one final tip – before you buy check with your sales person that the screws and other fittings are made of stainless steel, this means they won’t corrode as readily, and you’ll get more longevity from your set.

Should I buy Outdoor Furniture Covers?

If you’ve done your research and bought quality outdoor timber furniture, you may want to consider protecting it with outdoor furniture covers. This is a completely personal choice – if you’ve been maintaining and caring for your timber outdoor setting, you really don’t need to cover it.

The advantages of using outdoor furniture covers are that it keeps your chairs and table relatively dust free. But some people prefer the look of their setting in the yard rather than the covers.

If you are looking at buying covers, James recommends making sure you use water proof covers that are still breathable. ‘Well-designed covers will allow circulation and avoid mildew growing on your furniture’.

Aluminium Outdoor Furniture Options

Aluminium is an awesome material for outdoor furniture, first and foremost because its so low maintenance, but there are lots of other advantages too:

  • As a manufacturing material, it’s really easy to work with, and that means you can find a wide range of interesting outdoor furniture designs in aluminium – check out aluminium settings that combine timber and aluminium, glass and aluminium and wicker and aluminium.
  • It’s lightweight – so that makes it easy to move around the balcony or yard, to make sure you catch the sun (or the shade!).
  • It’s super easy to clean and keep looking good - cleaning and maintenance is as simple as wiping down with a damp cloth or hosing off and leaving to dry.
  • Plus, Aluminium can be powdercoated in a really wide range of colours – so chances are you can find a setting that suits your outdoor space.
  • It’s durable and strong too, so an all aluminium setting will last well, even outside.

So are there any downsides to buying aluminium outdoor furniture? As James mentioned not really, but because it is a lightweight material, if your outdoor furniture is in a windy spot you may need to thing about how you store it for those windy days.

Synthetic Wicker Outdoor Options

Synthetic Wicker is made of a product called Fibre Core. The material has been designed to be much more resistant to UV and moisture than natural wicker or cane furniture. Its been formulated to be resistant to mildew, mould, sea water and chlorine.

Even though it is weather resistant, synthetic wicker hasn’t really been designed to be completely exposed to the elements, so it is better used in an under cover outdoor area.

Being a synthetic product, it is available in a range of on-trend colours too.

Generally, synthetic wicker lounges and dining settings are supplied with cushions for comfort. These are made from foam and fabrics that are water resistant, and treated with anti-fungal and anti-mould agents.

Any tips for caring for Outdoor Wicker Furniture?

Synthetic Wicker furniture is easy to care for – it can be gently hosed down, or wiped off with a damp cloth to remove dust, or if needed it can be washed with warm soapy water and rinsed off.

Any Tips for caring for your outdoor cushions?

We do recommend taking care of your outdoor cushions. There are different fabric qualities and you really will get what you pay for. They will fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight, and some are more water resistant than others. For this reason, James does recommend storing them away when they are not in use –something like an outdoor blanket box is ideal for this.

What about Sunbrella Outdoor Fabric?

Sunbrella is the Rolls Royce of outdoor fabrics. If you are looking for an outdoor couch with cushions, that is robust enough to be outside and fully exposed to the elements, then you should only look at couches made with the Sunbrella range of fabrics.

Divona has launched a new range this year that combines the low maintenance of an aluminium frame with the robustness & high performance of Sunbrella fabrics together with the highest quality outdoor foam. This range of outdoor couches is easy to clean and maintain and looks awesome.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure to check out our range of outdoor furniture.


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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."