What are the best ideas for an affordable office fitout in Brisbane?

Cheap room divider ideas

Look up pin interest, use wall paper and accessorise the room, have plenty of indoor plants and an aquarium, interesting room dividers and use IKEA for cheap furniture!

Wall partition ideas most modern

Youu2019re confusing u201cineffectiveu201d and u201cinefficientu201d.

,Thereu2019s no doubt at all that fireplaces with chimneys are effective at heating a home that has been designed to be heated that way - thatu2019s why they were used for thousands of years (and still are) - however that comes at a cost, and that cost is an inefficient use of fuel.

,Where I live (The West Highlands of Scotland) the majority of older houses are built to a similar design, with two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs.

They are stone built with lime mortar and lime harling on the outside.

They have four fireplaces: two on each gable wall.

One of those would have heated the u201cparlouru201d or sitting room, another would be in the kitchen where a range cooker would be used both for heat and for cooking.

The other two would be in two of the bedrooms upstairs.

,A typical west highland house.

,Those four fireplaces would do two things: they would keep the house comfortably warm, and they would help the building to u201cbreatheu201d and keep the house free of damp and mould.

,However the inhabitants of a house like this would need to burn somewhere around six or more tons of coal a year to keep the fires burning.

,Thatu2019s not efficient.

,The problem with houses like these however is that they were designed to have four fires burning in them throughout the heating season.

They have no insulation and no damp-proof course whatsoever.

If you close up the fireplaces and put in, say gas-fired central heating, you get all sorts of problems.

Things like damp and mould are encouraged because the house doesnu2019t have a constant air circulation via the air drawn in for the fires.

If you insulate the walls then because they can u201cbreatheu201d through the lime mortar and lime harling on the walls they also allow damp to come through if they arenu2019t kept warmer than the outside temperature.

The insulation stops the walls from being warmed and so problems with damp start to occur.

,Houses like this need to be totally re-designed if you want them to work more efficiently than the way they were designed to work originally.

,So thereu2019s the problem - itu2019s not that the fireplaces arenu2019t effective - they certainly are.

But they are very very inefficient, using literally tons of coal every year and using the fireplaces to allow air circulation throughout the house - things that we use other techniques to do nowadays much more efficiently.

,Of course itu2019s not only houses on the west coast of Scotland that were built this way.

Throughout the world different countriesu2019 buildings worked on exactly the same principle.

,Houses in Scandinavia and Russia, however, used much more efficient fireplaces to heat their houses, and even today their types of stove are still amongst the most efficient way to heat houses that we have.

,Russian masonry stove.

,Their stoves rely on the principle of thermal mass to keep their houses warm.

A fire is lit in the stove for a few hours each day, (longer of course in the depths of winter) which heats the several tons of brick and stone used to build the stove, and that heat is slowly given off throughout the day to keep the house warm.

,So those fireplaces are actually very efficient and in a modern, well insulated house they still work very effectively to keep the place warm and dry.

,In Japan and some other far eastern countries, as well as some parts of Iran and Spain, some houses had no fireplaces at all outside of the kitchen.

Instead of heating the house they heated the people in the house.

Using things like a u201ckotatsuu201d in Japan, or a u201cBraserou201d in Spain and a u201cKorsiu201d in Iran, people were kept warm without heating the whole of the house.

,A kotatsu is effectively a table covered in an insulating blanket, with a heat source underneath it.

Sitting around the table with the blanket around you, you would be kept comfortably warm, even in an otherwise unheated house.

Originally the heat would have come from a charcoal brazier - but nowadays (they are still widely used) they are more likely to be heated by electricity.

,Such devices are much more efficent than an open fire - but of course they have some real drawbacks (such as producing carbon monoxide and often catching fire!) and are certainly not effective at heating a whole house.

,But back to your question.

Why were they used for thousands of years?,Well basically because it was the best that they had.

,All over the world people used the best tools they had to do the job they needed to do - and before the advent of modern building, insulation techniques and electricity and gas heating, solid fuel fires were the best they had to do the job.

,From the few examples Iu2019ve given you can see that different people approached the problem differently - with varying degrees of efficiency and effectiveness.

But all of them were trying to solve the same problem - how to stay warm during the winter.

,Nowadays with super-insulated, air-tight buildings we can use much much less fuel to keep our houses comfortably warm in the worst of winters, but back then there were no real alternatives.

,Edit to add:,I originally wrote the following as a response to a comment on the difference between Russian and Scottish buildings.

However with so many comments asking why these houses were built so inefficiently I thought Iu2019d include it here.

,Nope - youu2019re mistaken, itu2019s not as simple as that.

In order to understand the local building vernacular you have to understand a little about the history of the area, as well as local, regional and in fact global trading patterns.

Itu2019s to do with the building materials that they had and the fact that the UK was industrialised long before most other countries.

,The houses I illustrated date from probably around the 1830s to about the 1930s.

Before that the typical West Highland villagers house would have been a simple stone, turf and thatch u201cblackhouseu201d heated by a peat fire in a central hearth.

Very similar to a peasants house pretty much anywhere in the world, regional building materials aside.

,The Highland Clearances began in earnest in around the 1760s.

Highland Clearances - Wikipedia those who werenu2019t forced to move completely away from the highlands ended up on areas of land near the coasts where traditionally there had been little settlement because of the poor soils and the rocky ground.

,The Great Forests of Scotland were pretty much cleared by the 1600s.

There was very limited timber available for building anywhere in the highlands, and it would be kept for the roof timbers.

In fact timber was so scarce that if you had to move house you would demolish the roof and take the u201croof treesu201d with you.

So those looking to build had to use the materials that were easy to hand.

,The same with fuel, with no timber available for firewood then originally the highland blackhouse was heated by burning peat in a central hearth.

However peat was a very inefficient way of keeping a house warm all winter, and the peat stack needed to keep a house warm all winter was often the same size as the house itself!,Like I said previously, the original blackhouse was basically a single roomed house heated by a central hearth.

It would in many cases, have been roughly partitioned in two, with animals being kept on one side and people living in the other.

With no chimney, smoke from the central hearth would have been allowed to find itu2019s way out through the thatched roof, staining the interior of the house, itu2019s roof and its roof timbers black with smoke, so giving the house itu2019s name.

But by the time of the clearances new ideas were coming in about health and hygiene from the industrialised South.

So often the new blackhouses were built with chimneys and separate fireplaces to cut down on the smoke and dust inside the house.

New u201cbyresu201d were often built to keep the animals separate from people.

,However because of the lack of easily available building materials these new improved blackhouses were still built of stone and turf, with some timber being used internally for wall partitions.

Because of this, it was easiest to build the fireplaces into the walls as they were built, if they were to be built internally then a new stone u201ccoreu201d would have to be built inside, increasing complexity and cost.

,At the same time as this, the rest of the UK was industrialising.

Coal had been mined in Scotland since the middle ages and was traded from the central belt throughout the rest of the UK.

,Fishing in the West Highlands up until this point had not been on an industrial scale.

Most of the cash economy in the Highlands had been based on the farming of beef cattle.

However with the population of the highlands being cleared from the fertile straths and valleys suitable for the raising of cattle, to the coastal fringes, fishing, once part of a subsistance diet, became a way for the men of the villages to gain seasonal employment, bringing cash into the highland economy in a way it never had before.

,Whaling, at this time was also a major source of seasonal employment for the men, with whale oil being in demand all across the British Empire.

,West Coast fishermen were also in demand to crew and in fact captain many of the large sailing ships, trading around the world.

Master In Sail .

,With the men away all summer, the women had to tend the crofts in their absence.

Peat cutting was usually done through the spring and summer, giving the peats time to dry before use through the winter.

It was an incredibly labour intensive activity however and without the labour of the men of the villages to help, it became more and more unsustainable.

,The West Coast puffer trade, small steamships that traded up and down the west coast of Scotland, took off at this time too.

They brought goods from the industrialised south of Scotland to sell in the north.

With no improved roads and with limited railway access, these little puffers were the main means of transporting goods and people around the highlands.

So with reasonable amounts of cash in the highland economy for the first time, allowing people to buy goods from the more affluent south, things began to change.

,This is when the u201cmodel croft housesu201d that I illustrated in my answer, first began to be built.

They were effectively u201ckit housesu201d in that you could hire a mason and a carpenter to build the house to a standard pattern that for the smaller version, used most of the stone from the original improved blackhouse to build the walls and gables, with construction timber brought in from the south by the puffers.

,The larger dormer windowed version required more stone to be dug or quarried as well as more timber to be imported from the south and was considerably more expensive to build.

,What they both had in common though was that they had u201cnew fangledu201d coal fireplaces to keep them warm.

The fact that they burned coal instead of peat saved huge amounts of labour each year.

Coal was cheap and reliable supplies were brought in by the puffers.

Compared to the original blackhouses the new model crofthouses were a huge step forward in the standard of building throughout the highlands.

Timber though, still had to be bought for all of the internal partitions and walls and stone still had to be quarried or dug from the fields to build these houses - so in order to keep costs down the design with fireplaces in the gables was much much cheaper to build.

,Four stone walls with half the stone at least already coming from the original blackhouse kept the masons costs down.

Internal timber walls and stairs etc.

were fast and straightforward to construct, keeping the carpenters costs down.

Slate from the massive slate quarries at Ballachulish on the west coast was cheap, durable and very weathertight for the roofs.

With coal so cheap to buy, keeping four fireplaces fed through the winter wasnu2019t a problem as long as the men of the family had jobs that were bringing in cash.

,So thatu2019s why the houses were built as they are.

Nothing to do with hundreds of years of experience determining the most efficient way of building - but all to do with an injection of cash into an otherwise cash poor economy, that along with new ideas of health and hygiene and a new way of life for a population that had been used to living a certain way for centuries.

,Compare that to the traditional Russian house.

Timber was easily available in huge quantities, both for construction and for fuel.

However stone, and the masons to work with it were something that had to be bought.

Log building skills were something that never exisited in Scotland but every Russian village would have had a master carpenter who knew how to build with logs.

The temperatures that Russian houses had to endure were much much lower than anything experienced in Scotland, and so they developed differently.


unlike the suggestion that your comment makes, that Russian and Scottish peasants were subject to the same conditions but came up with different solutions - things were very very different for both populations.

As were the buildings that they constructed to cope with those different situations.

Divider between living room and dining room

You probably have an odd idea on how places were warmed before modern times.

Real castles, in first place, had very few rooms.

Most X-XII century castles had essentially one main room, which worked as living/dining room during the day, which was where the lord held his court, and where basically everything happened.

At night this room turned into a sleeping area for almost everyone, except the lord and his family who slept in a separate upstairs room, and for some of the guards who were posted in other areas of the castle (for instance, one of the guards would sleep across the door of the lordu2019s chambers).

Later castles had a more articulated interiors, which in turn was often divided between summer and winter rooms.

The summer rooms were placed so that they remained cooler in Summer, but were hard to heat in Winter, while Winter rooms had relatively a little need of warming up, as they were better insulated against the cold.

,Also, castles and old houses would not ever be as warm as a modern apartment.

Rooms were warmed up just enough to keep them u201cthawedu201d.

People stayed warm by warming themselves: they wore warm clothes, sat in the warmest area of the room, and may have used a small brazier or a stone heated in the fire to warm their feet.

,There were nonetheless people who were tasked with keeping the fireplaces on.

Castles had servants, some worked at the castle full time, others were only called in in certain periods of the year.

One of the tasks of these servants was keeping the fire going, but also heating stones, and lighting braziers to warm up people.

Room divider ideas for living room

Convert one to a u2018formal dining room.

Take out the carpet, put in a good floor, tile or wood, move in a large dining table, hang some kind of chandelier, move in a couple of fancy China cabinets, and go from there.

Or, for the living room at the back, put in a home theater system, or a game table of some kind, and make the room into a u201c family room.

Use this room for family get togethers, or other social things.

Either way, you can turn your remaining living room into a more formal area .

So you would see either: finding room, kitchen, living room or living room, kitchen, family room.

A good balance either way.

Room Divider Partition

If youre looking for cheaper deals, then I have two recommendations:,IKEA.

It may not last for very long, and may not be very customised to your needs, but purchasing from IKEA is extremely convenient.


Sites like Qoo10 and Carousel will usually have people selling such furnishings.

,If, on the other hand, youre more interested in quality, then your choices are different:,Neighbourhood furtniture shops.

This may seem unexpected but, from experience, such stores are often very accommodating and willing to customise to suit your needs.

The quality of their products is also surprisingly high.

You might want to search through neighbourhood hubs and shopping centres.

I know of one place at Bukit Batok Central thats very helpful in this regard, but you should find a place more convenient for you.

,Furniture stores.

If youre willing to spend, go check our something like Scanteak, where youll find products of impeccable quality and design.

Of course, theres a very high chance these are made of wood, which may not be what youre looking for.