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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How to Find the Right Kitchen Solution

When it comes to the kitchen, functionality and durability is key above all else.

The kitchen acts as the heart beat of the home and is recognised for it's role as the most used and most hard working room of the house. As such, it is essential that this space works well for the needs of both yourself and your family. It must also be heard wearing and durable enough to take on wear and tear over time.

There are so many ways to improve a kitchen to make it much easier to utilise the list can be endless. For example;

  • Updating the layout of the space to create a better flow and ease of access to appliances
  • The addition of extra storage
  • The type of appliances, sinks or tapware specified
  • Cabinetry details such as self closing doors and drawers or the type of hinges or storage inserts used.

When you speak to a kitchen designer you soon realises just how many options there are for a successful kitchen design and what is and what isn't possible to achieve.

One company that are skilled in custom solutions for kitchen refurbishments is Select Kitchens. They are experts in Kitchen design and fit-out and offer a wealth of knowledge, (along with many years experience) to their kitchen...


How to Find the Right Kitchen Solution

When it comes to the kitchen, functionality and durability is key above all else.

The kitchen acts as the heart beat of the home and is recognised for it's role as the most used and most hard working room of the house. As such, it is essential that this space works well for the needs of both yourself and your family. It must also be heard wearing and durable enough to take on wear and tear over time.

There are so many ways to improve a kitchen to make it much easier to utilise the list can be endless. For example;

  • Updating the layout of the space to create a better flow and ease of access to appliances
  • The addition of extra storage
  • The type of appliances, sinks or tapware specified
  • Cabinetry details such as self closing doors and drawers or the type of hinges or storage inserts used.

When you speak to a kitchen designer you soon realises just how many options there are for a successful kitchen design and what is and what isn't possible to achieve.

One company that are skilled in custom solutions for kitchen refurbishments is Select Kitchens. They are experts in Kitchen design and fit-out and offer a wealth of knowledge, (along with many years experience) to their kitchen renovating clients. We spoke to Olivia Watson at Select Kitchens to learn about some of the challenges their customers face and what ensure successful outcome of a project.

Olivia took the time to talk to us about one of their many success stories - a project located in Melbourne for a client named Gail Ryan. The case study below provides interesting insights into the process of undertaking a kitchen renovation and the benefits of working with a kitchen design company.


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The story of a kitchen renovation

The Design Brief

What was the Homeowners vision?

It started with the wish for a new bench top, then after chatting with Gail and reviewing the functionality of the existing layout, we realised what she really wanted (and needed) was a better functioning layout for her kitchen.

Gail really wanted to remove the formal dining room to create more space and allow us to better utilise the footprint to create a much better well designed kitchen. As such the decision was made to re-do the whole kitchen.

What existing design issues was Gail hoping to overcome?

Gail and her husband felt trapped in the space when entertaining. The kitchen was small in size and as the case with many kitchens, didn't have enough storage. They felt the kitchen was overcrowded when entertaining and wanted to resolve this.

Design Objective

What was Select Kitchens vision for the project?

To create the best design outcome possible for the new open plan space, ensuring that would allow for Gail to be able to entertain with ease.

What were your main requirements and design objectives for the new kitchen?

For Gail specifically it revolved around the open plan and the ability to entertain. We always aim to improve the functionality of every kitchen we design, making sure to have the right size drawers and space for a drink station. This included space to house mugs, glasses, tea, coffee and spoons, (placed next to the fridge for easy access to cool drinks), along with the addition of a hot/chilled/sparkling water tap in this location away from the main sink for ease of use. This enabled someone be able to prepare drinks easily if the main sink is occupied.

Why the two separate sinks were important and the problem did they solve?

When entertaining a lot of things can be going on at once. Getting to the sink for a glass of water or to fill the kettle while someone else is preparing the meal can be a hassle. Having a seperate instant boiled and chilled water tap not only provides another place to make drinks, it's also a quick fix for whatever you need, without making more noise or taking up more bench space as is the case with a kettle. It creates simple living at its finest.

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Design & Layout

Could you provide some information on the design and layout of Gail's kitchen and how it improved the overall functionality as a working kitchen?

One of the main important parts of the design layout was to create space around everything. When entertaining the kitchen can become a crowded space, but with the right amount of spacing for access it can still feel spacious. Gail’s kitchen particularly allows the space to walk around the kitchen and allow for extra people to be in the kitchen at once.

Design Details

What specific design details were implemented into the kitchen?

To create the ease of flow for large groups of people. The open plan living was a big part specific to the Ryan's project. Repositioning the kitchen crated the space for Gail to cook while keeping an eye the grand kids. The bulk head lighting brings an sense of elegance to the kitchen that Gail specifically wanted.

Every part of the kitchen is set up with stations as well. For example the drinks station is set up as an all-in-one spot of the kitchen. Negating the need to do three laps across the Kitchen to get to the various things you need to make a hot drink anymore.

What’s your favourite design element or kitchen feature?

The bench top and splashback are all in one. Corrian to be specific. A product very similar to stone but completely shapable. In Gail's kitchen the Corian goes right from the top of the splashback down across the bench in 1 seamless piece. For Gail this means cleaning with ease. No grout lines to worry about at all.

Existing Style & New Style

What was the original style & layout of the kitchen?

The Kitchen was originally in the middle on the room were the dining table now stands. It was an enclosed space with minimal storage and minimal access to the room. It was truly separate from the other rooms in the house. Certainly not the best layout for entertaining.

And how would you describe it now?

It has now moved towards the front end of the house where you can openly see across the dining area and the living area just past it. It only separates from the front room which is a formal living area that the clients desired the ability to create some privacy. The location has specifically improved the functionality of the kitchen as well. It is now very spacious with plenty of storage options.

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Materials & Finishes

What materials and finishes palette was chosen?

Gail's kitchen is high quality Albador vinyl. It is a luxurious satin classic white Vinyl, which is nice warm white to create a homely appearance. The bulk head lighting detail was created to bring a warm light and luxurious style to the white kitchen and provide a more homely touch.


Get the Look

Design Constraints

Did you encounter any challenges completing the fit-out?

Gail’s Kitchen became quite an extensive job fast. Many wall removals and the relocation of the kitchen required a lot of work, along with the relocation of gas, water and electrics and a lot of measuring. While you can prepare as much as possible for all the changes, sometimes a things can arise during the reno process which couldn't previously be unaccounted for. We encountered the issue of having a little less space than for cabinetry than previously accounted for.

How did you tackle them?

There's always a solution to every design challenge and resolving these quickly onsite is a big part of the process. We resolved this issue shortening one of the cabinets to make the perfect fit in the space.

Construction Period

How long did it take to complete the project?

A normal kitchen renovation takes approximately 10-13 weeks from the time the settles on the design. Of that time we usually spend 3 weeks on site. With Gail's kitchen we had to look at preparing the space before installing the kitchen. This was the longest part of the process as wall removals and relocations needed be done. This took more planning and more on site time, still the project was completed in 12 weeks. A small amount of time considering the drastic changes.

If you would like to hear about this project from Gail the client and learn about her experience, view the video below.


We would like to thank Olivia from Select Kitchens for sharing this interesting case study with us.

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 Kitchen Renovation Category.


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Image Credits: selectkitchens.com.au


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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."