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 Buy The Right Home Lighting

Subtle though it may seem, lighting has the ability to make or break a home build or renovation. From an energy use perspective, the right lighting can save a small fortune, whilst an incorrect lighting choice may see money run out the door. Lighting and light fittings are decorative features that enhance a home’s style; they can be the sparkle that draws you in the moment you walk through the doorway. Yet sometimes lights are overlooked in the overall budget, or they are the emergency after-thought at the end of the build, which is a paradox given the impact they can have.

Michelle Gontier from Liquid Lighting has for years supplied products and advised clients on how to get the most from their home lighting, both in terms of design and cost savings. We shone the spotlight on Michelle and share some of her invaluable advice with you so you can start planning early to ensure you budget the right lighting for your dressing your home…

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Why is home lighting so important?

Lighting in the home does so much more than simply illuminate a room or an area. It has the ability to enhance a visual perspectives so that, for example, a small room appears larger than...


How To Buy The Right Home Lighting

Subtle though it may seem, lighting has the ability to make or break a home build or renovation. From an energy use perspective, the right lighting can save a small fortune, whilst an incorrect lighting choice may see money run out the door. Lighting and light fittings are decorative features that enhance a home’s style; they can be the sparkle that draws you in the moment you walk through the doorway. Yet sometimes lights are overlooked in the overall budget, or they are the emergency after-thought at the end of the build, which is a paradox given the impact they can have.

Michelle Gontier from Liquid Lighting has for years supplied products and advised clients on how to get the most from their home lighting, both in terms of design and cost savings. We shone the spotlight on Michelle and share some of her invaluable advice with you so you can start planning early to ensure you budget the right lighting for your dressing your home…

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Why is home lighting so important?

Lighting in the home does so much more than simply illuminate a room or an area. It has the ability to enhance a visual perspectives so that, for example, a small room appears larger than it actually is. Lighting is also ambient – by literally flicking a switch, a mood can be influenced or indeed an emotion can be evoked. Another great feature of lighting is its ability to enhance a space, so it can complement and highlight other details within the room, such as a delicate marble pattern, an exquisite decorative item.

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What should you consider before making a lighting decision for your home?

When we go into client homes to assess their lighting needs, we take into consideration so many potential influences, challenges and considerations.

Some of these include:

  • Natural light. What window access does the room have and how much of the room/ home is already lit naturally? Just how intense is that lighting throughout various times of the day?
  • The Building Code of Australia sets guidelines relating to achieving energy efficiency, such as the watts per square metre, these have to be adhered to.
  • Architectural challenges. For example – cathedral ceilings are something we encounter fairly regularly and they present specific lighting challenges.
  • The direction the building is facing and its geographic location. For example a home in Melbourne, where winter lasts for a longer time and daylight is shorter, will have very different lighting needs to a home in Cairns.

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How do we know what lighting we need?

Speaking to your lighting retailer is a really good place to start. It’s our job to know the very latest lighting technologies, designs and solutions. With the market always changing so fast, a reputable lighting retailer will be abreast of the most current options and ideas available to you. Another good idea is to walk through your space, all the while asking yourself what you do in each room and therefore what do you need to see? For example, do you read quite a bit on a specific lounge chair? Do you love spending time in the kitchen preparing food from an island bench? Do you spend a lot of time working from home and need your office to be well-lit at any point, day or night? Do you really need the hallway flushed with light, or will something more subdued be just fine? Toilets are another area that can usually afford less lighting. Each space will have different uses and therefore lighting needs will vary, so applying the same lighting design throughout the entire home is usually to be avoided.

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What are the latest lighting trends here in Australia?

The lighting industry moves fast. What was coveted one year will may be superseded by a more innovative, cost effective, design focused product the following year. Energy efficient solutions are increasingly changing lighting options on the market. Right now for instance, LED lighting strips are a popular and beautiful way to apply a wash of light to a wall whilst still keeping costs in check.

If I am building or renovating to a fairly strict budget, what would you recommend in terms of lighting solutions?

Say for example you are planning to convert from halogen downlights to LED; the advice here would be to avoid disappointment and try before you buy – take a light bulb home, use it and see if it will do the job. Be aware there are different brightness light outputs in LED Globe replacements.

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If I am building or renovating with a more flexible budget, what would you recommend?

A 10-12 watt LED Lamp with good 700 – 800 Lumens “brightness” output is a reasonable benchmark for those who are building or renovating with a more flexible budget. That said the decision is dependent on celling heights and size of the area.

Are there any common mistakes made when it comes to home lighting?

Light is not a tangible and tactile home feature, yet it really is something you should visualise and sense before you make a purchase. It’s also more difficult to monitor the quality of goods especially the LEDs purchased from overseas via online. If for example you purchase your lighting from a reputable retailer, they can objectively prove that the lights meet the standards required in Australia. They also provide a local presence to handle problems or warranty issues. That said getting online and doing research for all your lighting needs is definitely a way to save time. Traipsing all over the city to find exactly what you’re looking for is not a mistake – but it may not be the way you would prefer to enjoy your time! Purchasing lighting products such as decorative pendants online tends to involve less time however, you need to ensure the product matches your expectations, so research is the key to ensuring the product matches your requirements.


The Team at House Of Home would like to thank Michelle for her time and terrific lighting tips for our readers. Check out the full lighting range from Liquid Lighting or, pop in and visit Michelle and the team at Liquid Lighting in Moorabbin, Victoria today!

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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 Lighting Category.


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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."