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5 Ways to Make Fireplaces the Star of Your Home Interior

5 Ways to Make Fireplaces the Star of Your Home Interior

Do you want your fireplace to become the ultimate star in your home? This is quite easy to achieve, especially if you know how to properly arrange your room around this beautiful focal point. Here are the five best ways to turn your fireplace into the heart of your home.

Turning your fireplace into the most beautiful part of your home is simple and easy, but it requires a lot of planning. Before you go ahead and buy the fireplace of your dreams, do the necessary measurements and analysis within the room before purchasing and installation. Purchasing an elegant fireplace shouldn’t be a wasted effort. It should be carefully thought out so that the outcome will be satisfactory and last for years to come.

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1. Make the fireplace the centerpiece of the living room.

Like any design effort, interior design also aims to put something in the spotlight so that it will stand out. If you would like your fireplace to be the main attraction of your living room, it should be the centerpiece. Position the fireplace in a location that is visible from any area of the room, particularly from the door. The moment anyone enters, the fireplace will be the first, strongest, and largest part of the room that will definitely catch the person’s attention.

Making the fireplace your centerpiece requires some skill, since the entire arrangement of the room will depend on the placement of the fireplace. You can ask a professional to help you, or you can check out some pictures of room arrangements for inspiration.

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2. Use a beautiful and large fireplace.

Traditional fireplaces with chimneys are hard to adjust because they are built into the wall. However, if you use something like a gas fireplace, you will have more flexibility to position, design, and adjust it to your liking. Gas fireplaces are actually more convenient and practical to use as compared to traditional wood fireplaces because you don’t need a chimney and ashes are not produced. Many gas fireplaces come in gorgeous and distinct designs, perfect for making them the center of your home. Just make sure you have enough space to install the fireplace without any risk of causing unwanted fires.

3. Arrange your furniture in such a way that the fireplace is your focal point.

Now that you’ve got your fireplace installed, the rest of your interior can be planned accordingly. Use the fireplace as your focal point and rearrange your furniture so that they will face your fireplace. When your guests sit down, the fireplace will keep them warm and capture their hearts.

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If you are torn between making your TV or your fireplace as the focal point, you can position them in a way that will not overlap the other. For instance, instead of placing a TV stand, mount your TV on the wall right above the fireplace. This should not be an issue if the TV is placed high enough to avoid the heat from the fireplace.

4. Add ornaments around the fireplace.

What will add beauty to your fireplace? Simple: put fresh plants around it. Potted flowers are great accents to your room which will give life and fresh air inside it. You can also add nice ornamental touches like a painting on both sides above the fireplace, or a bookshelf nearby. Some vintage ceramics would also add a luxurious effect in the room.

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5. Only put a fireplace in a spacious room.

Because a fireplace usually takes up a considerable amount of space, it should not be installed in a small room that can get cramped with all kinds of household items, particularly fabrics. Not only does this destroy the purpose of making your fireplace the star of your interior design, but it also increases the risk of unwanted fires. If you live in a small home, a good suggestion is to buy a faux fireplace or electric fireplace that’s small enough to fit your room but bright enough to catch the attention of your guests.

Fireplaces should also be securely positioned inside a room to avoid any fire hazards. If you are using a gas fireplace, make sure you don’t have anything flammable nearby, especially aerosol which can instantly produce fire when sprayed near gas.

Featured photo credit: 5 Ways to Make Fireplaces the Star of Your Home Interior via google.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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