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 Shading Solutions

The great Australian Summer – some of us lust after it during the cooler months, others dread the thought of it.

No matter how we feel about the heat of an Aussie Summer, there is one thing that isn’t in debate and that’s our love of the great outdoors and our passion for outdoor entertaining.

The great news is there are a few ways to escape the harsh weather and protect our outdoor living spaces by way of sun, rain & wind protection. There are a number of outdoor shading solutions that can be retrofitted or introduced to an outdoor area that are not only offer privacy and protection but can also help to reduce the heat load and cooling costs of your home during the summer. The result is more comfort during the day and quicker cooling at night.

Just as it's important for us to 'Slip, Slop, Slap' before venturing out into the summer sun, so is protecting your patio furniture.

Our guide below takes a look at four of the top outdoor shading systems for your home.

Outdoor Shading Solutions 2

Outdoor Awnings

Auto Guide Awnings

Auto Guide Awnings which are also known as lock arm awnings, are one of the most popular outdoor blind systems. This system allows the blind to be raised and lowered to any...


Outdoor Shading Solutions

The great Australian Summer – some of us lust after it during the cooler months, others dread the thought of it.

No matter how we feel about the heat of an Aussie Summer, there is one thing that isn’t in debate and that’s our love of the great outdoors and our passion for outdoor entertaining.

The great news is there are a few ways to escape the harsh weather and protect our outdoor living spaces by way of sun, rain & wind protection. There are a number of outdoor shading solutions that can be retrofitted or introduced to an outdoor area that are not only offer privacy and protection but can also help to reduce the heat load and cooling costs of your home during the summer. The result is more comfort during the day and quicker cooling at night.

Just as it's important for us to 'Slip, Slop, Slap' before venturing out into the summer sun, so is protecting your patio furniture.

Our guide below takes a look at four of the top outdoor shading systems for your home.

Outdoor Shading Solutions 2

Outdoor Awnings

Auto Guide Awnings

Auto Guide Awnings which are also known as lock arm awnings, are one of the most popular outdoor blind systems. This system allows the blind to be raised and lowered to any position by sliding the arms on the guide rods. This flexibility allows you to better control the amount of light entering through a window.

One of the main strengths of an Auto Guide Awning is that it does not project far from the wall, so if a path or driveway is close to the window, the awning will not obstruct access. Also, as an awning can cover an entire window, it is suitable for facing any direction for sun protection.

Awnings come in an extensive range of highly durable fabrics. When buying an awning check that the fabrics and construction materials are manufactured to suit Australian conditions. If they are, the awning will look great for many years and can increase the value of your home.

Fixed Awnings and canopies

Fixed awnings are perfect for patios where protection from rain and sun is essential. A fixed awning can be can be mounted over the windows or doorways of a home and custom made to any size. The designs can be a standard shape or totally unique to blend with any type of architectural design.

Outdoor Louvre Systems

A louvered system can be fitted to a pergola to create a fully flexible outdoor living & entertaining area. Each system can be custom designed and built to your specific requirements, so the size, orientation and optional inclusions will work perfectly in any environment.

Made of aluminium, the louvres are designed with flexibility in mind to create just the kind of space you need to enjoy the day; during hot, bright sun, the louvres can be completely closed to create a fully shaded spot. Alternatively, if you want some light and warmth but not full sun, the louvres can be simply tilted. And should it suddenly start to rain? Easy fix - hit the remote control to close the roof fully.

Plus, if you wish to close in your pergola, fully retractable side panels can be added to enclose the space that can be made of glass, wood or screening options depending on what you want to achieve.

Outdoor Retractable Screens

While common shade products provide shade overhead, there are also side screens that offer privacy and protection from the angled morning or evening sun. Perfect for terraces and balconies, the fabric can be simply from its retractable cassette and hooked onto the floor-mounted post.

Outdoor Shading Solutions 3  2

Outdoor Umbrellas and Cantilever Umbrellas

Umbrellas are a great ‘quick fix’ while also bringing a sculptural element to a patio with they’re clean modern appearance. They are easily operated via the thick pulley cord and by positing the pin in the desired position.

There is a smorgasbord of fabric colours and finishes to choose from, making an umbrella a great way to inject some colour too.

Before purchasing an umbrella, look for options that have a canopy made from ‘marine grade’ quality fabric or acrylic and constructed from premium hardwood frames and finished with Zinc coated hardware fittings and a solid hardwearing base such as concrete to ensure longevity.

Below is a selection of excellent outdoor shading options that will adapt naturally to your outdoor living space, while looking great and protecting you and your furniture from the elements.

Outdoor Shading Solutions

Ready for summer-ready sun protection? Click here to discover more great Outdoor Shading Options.


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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."