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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Step Inside Chin Chin Sydney

The bustling Sydney suburb of Surry Hills has become even livelier in recent times with the arrival of Chin Chin Sydney, a restaurant which has been enjoying a hugely popular first few months of business since opening in late 2017.

The stylish Sydney set have welcomed this neon-signed, impeccably-styled Melbourne native with open arms, which is made clear by the queues of people out front waiting to put their names down for a table.

The historic Griffiths Tea Building, where the restaurant is located, has always appealed to Chin Chin’s owner Chris Lucas from his years living in Sydney in the 80s. The striking building is situated on a unique triangular footprint on the corner of Wentworth Avenue. Lucas says, “it reminds me of the Flatiron Buildings in New York.”

The brick building which was originally designed by Kent, Budden & Greenwell architects in 1915, was used as a tea warehouse and a garment factory before becoming unoccupied in 1971. Vacant for over 30 years, the heritage building is now home not only to Chin Chin Sydney, but also to 38 apartments. Both the restaurant and the residences retain a number of the original features of the building.


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Step Inside Chin Chin Sydney

The bustling Sydney suburb of Surry Hills has become even livelier in recent times with the arrival of Chin Chin Sydney, a restaurant which has been enjoying a hugely popular first few months of business since opening in late 2017.

The stylish Sydney set have welcomed this neon-signed, impeccably-styled Melbourne native with open arms, which is made clear by the queues of people out front waiting to put their names down for a table.

The historic Griffiths Tea Building, where the restaurant is located, has always appealed to Chin Chin’s owner Chris Lucas from his years living in Sydney in the 80s. The striking building is situated on a unique triangular footprint on the corner of Wentworth Avenue. Lucas says, “it reminds me of the Flatiron Buildings in New York.”

The brick building which was originally designed by Kent, Budden & Greenwell architects in 1915, was used as a tea warehouse and a garment factory before becoming unoccupied in 1971. Vacant for over 30 years, the heritage building is now home not only to Chin Chin Sydney, but also to 38 apartments. Both the restaurant and the residences retain a number of the original features of the building.


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The Chin Chin Experience

The first thing you notice when you arrive at the door of Chin Chin Sydney is an enormous pink neon bunny. It beckons you in from the streets of Surry Hills to sample a selection of flavour-loaded food and picturesque cocktails. Once inside the restaurant’s glass doors, the main dining area opens up on your right. Here you will find some diners perched at the marble bar enjoying wines from the region and sharing snacks.

Other patrons gather around wooden tables selecting spicy morsels from the plates in front of them. Should you decide to take a left turn when you walk through the door, you will find yourself in Gogo Bar; a darker, moodier section of the establishment. The basement, which was used for cocoa production in the building’s past, is now home to Chii Town, the restaurant’s function space.

The interior of Chin Chin Sydney was designed by award winning Interior Architect George Livissianis, who founded his Paddington-based design practice in 2007. Since then, George has worked on a number of Sydney’s best restaurant interiors, including The Apollo, Billy Kwong, Cho Cho San, The Dolphin Hotel and Shortgrain. George has a light touch and prefers natural materials, his style is refined but relaxed.


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The Design

The brief Chris Lucas gave to Livissianis was to not try to recreate the Melbourne restaurant, (which was designed in 2011 by Projects of Imagination), but rather to make full use of the incredible building in which the new kid on this Sydney block would be occupying.

The design was to be very much about the building, while still staying true to the Chin Chin brand. The result is refined, while still maintaining the restaurant’s youthful cheeky feel. The main restaurant has stone finishes, and uses reclaimed timber from pylons removed from the building for the tables and floorboards.

There are plentiful windows that let light stream in during the day, while at night the city light’s add an urban playfulness to the space. Throughout the restaurant the distressed walls have been largely unaltered from their original state, adding to the industrial vibe of the space.

In contrast, Gogo bar is darker, and has a more cosy, sophisticated feel, while Chii Town has a stunning pressed metal ceiling and an urbane cool cement floor. In each of the three different spaces of the restaurant there is a unique Thonet bentwood chair used; blond wood & plastic-covered brown and white duck down cushion in the main restaurant, black wood & plastic-covered black duck down in Gogo Bar and pink wood & pale pink velvet in Chii Town.


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The Menu

While the venue’s extensive menu does have many of the classics from the Melbourne original, it has, Lucas says, been “put through a Sydney filter.” The venue’s larger size enabled there to be a more extensive kitchen installed, which includes a custom-built charcoal pit and a rotisserie. As a result, the menu includes such mouth-watering dishes as Barbeque King Ora Salmon, Balinese Roast Duck and Rotisserie Pork Belly with Fennel.

The Chin Chin food moto is “a quintessentially Australian take on Asian Food”, with executive chef Benjamin Cooper stating “we don’t see ourselves as purely a Thai restaurant. We’re an Australian restaurant cooking Asian food.”

The dishes are delectable and moreish, with delicious, intensely flavoured dishes that are perfect for sharing, including Silken Tofu with Gai Laan, Mushroom & Eggplant Chips, Stir-fried Egg Noodles with Bug Tail, Chopped Prawn & Chilli Hellfire Oil, and Twice Cook Beef Short Rib with Shaved Coconut Salad.


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The Drinks

If you are after a drink to go with your meal, then you are in luck here. There are 5 wines on tap, plus more than 100 bottles to choose from, and the bar also features an extensive spirit list and beer selection, including the Chin Chin-owned Shiki Lager.

Then of course there are the cocktails, which include the almost-too-pretty-to-drink Sunflower (we said almost…) with shiraz gin and dragonfruit, the Watermelon; a modern twist on a margarita with tequila and coriander salt, and the Pearl Barley; made with pearl barley reduction and ginger.


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Like it’s Melbourne sibling, Chin Chin Sydney is attracting crowds in the droves so don’t expect to be seated straight away. If you are coaxed in off the street by the pink neon bunny, the friendly staff at the door will take your name and number and send you a handy text message when your table is ready. With the impressive, original design and fit-out, exciting menu and delectable cocktails, we think it is definitely worth the wait!


We hope you enjoyed this article. We would like to thank our guest contributor Julia Chapman for her work on this article.


House of Home is an online marketplace. We bring together retailers from across Australia and let you search 80,000 plus products in one location. There’s no place like it.

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Photography by Tom Ferguson.


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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."