Winter Style Updates 2018

We’ve taken our own advice from our Pinterest post and sourced some popular industry ‘inspo’ trends for you. The following 6 trends are high ranking and are sure to get the creative design juices flowing…

Woven Blinds

Organic, woven fabrics are still all over the ‘inspo channels’. If you have a small space, opt for slim blinds that’ll still let natural light in. These window furnishings will keep a space feeling light and airy.

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Sheer Curtains

Yes, they are still ranking very highly. If you’re lacking on windows, choose sheer panels for maximum light. It’ll help keep the room from feeling too closed off.

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Botanical Blinds

It seems that we still want to feel close to nature. Indeed, even if you’re stuck in the city, you can feel closer to great outdoors with the help of some botanical-printed Roman shades. Keep the vibe going with greens, blues, and fresh or silk florals.

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Sky Blue Window Shutters

That’s right, we’ve stumbled across a lot of beautiful, dusty pastel shutters. Light blue shutters can bring an oceanic or country feel to a kitchen or bathroom.

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Blinds and Curtains

People everywhere now refuse to choose between two window treatment styles. Woven blinds serve the functional purpose of darkening the room, while curtains add a burst of colour.

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Linen Shades

Linen curtains might be unpredictable with a marble-and-granite checkerboard floor and grass-cloth walls, but they help add a coastal, relaxed feel. The pink hue in this picture pops against the natural-coloured walls.

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There we have it! We hope our search for current trends and inspiration has given you some new (or reconfirmed some existing) style ideas to play with!

The Fashionline Team.

Are you utilising Pinterest?

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Some of us might be guilty of underestimating this network, but Pinterest has quietly risen to success as a powerful search engine and one of the internet’s most important shopping platforms. Your buyers could be actively looking for products as influenced by… what they find on Pinterest, so…

It’s a great place to browse the latest trends through the most popular pins, using searches such as this that we conducted on ‘interior design living curtains‘.

Or this search, on ‘window furnishings’.

Here are some fun facts that might encourage you to check in with Pinterest from time to time to browse the latest trends and styles that consumers are shopping:

Pinterest Fun Facts

According to Pinterest… Pinterest has over 200 million monthly active users. That’s an incredible number.

They’re mostly millennials… 

  • Pinterest has over 150 million monthly active users
  • 81% of Pinterest users are female
  • There’s been a 120% growth in male users in the past year
  • The majority (67%) of Pinners are under 40
  • Millennials make up the largest age group on Pinterest (36%), followed by Gen-X (34%)
  • Pinners spend an average of 14.2 minutes per session on the platform
  • 1 in 10 Australians use Pinterest
  • 1 in 4 live in rural areas Pinners live in urban compared to 64% that live in urban areas
  • 80% of users access Pinterest on their mobile app

Women dominate, but usage among males is growing rapidly…

Yes, women tend to dominate the Pinterest landscape, but 40 percent of new signups are men. That’s a 70 percent increase in year-over-year growth.

They’re well educated

Thirty-four percent of Pinterest users have at least some tertiary education, while another 34 percent have a higher tertiary education. That’s 10 percent more than users who have high school or less.

They’re likely to have an above-average income

Not surprisingly, being well educated also means that Pinterest users have money. Thirty-five percent have an income of over $75,000, a figure that rises to 50 percent when applied exclusively to millennials. The next largest income demographic is $30,000 to $49,000 (at 32 percent of users).

People pin a lot

Every day, 2 million people post pins, resulting in a total of more than 100 billion pins currently living on Pinterest.

They access the platform on the go

As is the trend across all social networks, people increasingly use Pinterest on their phones. With over 500 million app installs, 85 percent of all Pinterest searches happen on mobile.

Users tend to prefer using Pinterest on their mobile devices while shopping, traveling, and at work.

They use it to plan

86 percent of millennials say they use Pinterest to “plan life moments, big and small.”

The study ultimately concluded that the research and planning people do on the platform contributes to their “vision of an ideal self,” a powerful concept for marketers.

They use it to search

Pinterest has always been a discovery focused platform (more than 2 billion searches

happen every month), but the launch of their visual search tool, Lens, in 2015 was a game changer.

On average, 39 percent of female Pinners choose Pinterest over other traditional search engines like Google. That number rises to 48 percent when applied to male users. Visual searches alone increased 140 percent year-over-year in 2018 (totalling 600 million visual searches every month).

The most popular categories to browse are DIY & Craft, Food & Drink, and Home Décor – this of course includes window furnishings! But perhaps most important to note is that 97 percent of searches are unbranded, meaning Pinners are open to hearing from brands they haven’t considered before.

They stick around

Active Pinners spend an average of 34 minutes per visit on the site. That’s longer than sessions on other social platforms like Facebook (33 minutes), Twitter (24 minutes), and Instagram (24 minutes).

People use Pinterest to plan purchases

93 percent of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases. They are buyers. The same study found that 96 percent use it to research and gather information, while 87 percent report that Pinterest has helped them decide what to purchase.

And to discover new styles

Sixty-three percent of millennials say that Pinterest helps them discover new styles, brands or products to buy.

Most importantly, they use it to shop

According to the following stats, there’s no doubt that Pinterest is a major driver of on and offline sales:

  • It’s the number one shopping platform among millennials
  • 47% of millennials on Pinterest have purchased something they’ve pinned (9 percent more than millennials on Facebook and 14 percent more than millennials on Twitter)
  • 67% of Pinners report using Pinterest while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, most frequently at mass merchandisers
  • 55% of Pinterest users shop on the site, more than 4 times the rate of other digital platforms
  • 18.5% of Active Pinners make a Pinterest-inspired purchase at least once a month
  • 73% of Active Pinners have bought something because they saw it on Pinterest
  • 61% of Pinners have made a purchase after seeing branded content on Pinterest

So if you haven’t checked out Pinterest, why not have a browse through the latest trends and styles, you can pass the great ideas you find to your customers and help your team with some creative inspiration and their on-point, in-store trend talk, too!

The Fashionline team.

 

 

 

 

Member Profile: Scorpio Screens & Blinds

Scorpio Screens & Blinds was founded in 1980 by Cameron and Glenis Wood, and the company has grown considerably during that time. To this day Cameron and Glenis are still involved in the company along with their sons. So when you do business with Scorpio Screens & Blinds – you do business with a second generation family business.

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We spoke to Sales Manager Rodney Southall for our latest Fashionline Member Profile.

Who makes up your team? 

Scorpio is essentially like a big family business. Cameron & Glenis (Dad & Mum) were the founders of the business, over 30 years ago, and they are still an integral part of the business. Me, Dyson, the General Manager, overseeing the complete operation. My brother Joshua is responsible for our Commercial department. Joshua & his team look after a number of builders that we supply.

Scorpio have a Sales team, both on the road & indoors, as well as a large administrative staff.

When it comes to manufacturing, our experienced factory staff build our Security & Screen product, along with our comprehensive window furnishings department.

Once everything has been sold and made it’s up to the installation department to get the job finished off. We have an experienced team of installers, many who have been with us for a very long time.

In essence we are a family of approximately 70 people.

What’s special about your service? 

What we do, we do well. Scorpio’s roots are in Security & Screens, and if we don’t know how to do it, it probably can’t be done. We started day one in screens, and over time we have now moved in to Stainless Steel Security. When we saw the need we moved into window furnishings. We manufacture most products on site. One of our greatest assets is that we have been established on the Gold Coast for over 30 years, with the same owners. That’s quite an achievement on the coast. The other advantage to the client is that we offer a full range of services to both the private homeowner through to the largest of home builders.

Which products do you specialise in? 

By far our greatest specialty would be our ULTRA Stainless Steel security screens & doors. To compliment this we also offer 7mm diamond grille products.

Our window furnishings product range is quite comprehensive. We manufacture Roller Blinds, Panel Glides, Vertical blinds, Roman Blinds. We are pleased to be able to offer many exciting fabric ranges.

What do you forecast will be the new growing trends over the coming year? 

Amongst the growth areas the new products for us are AUTOMATION, SHUTTERS & CURTAINS. We are experiencing huge growth in the area of blind automation. With the development of higher quality, reliable & inexpensive motors, along with the new command module systems, anyone can afford to operate their blinds at their fingertips.  When I say new, Shutters have been growing for the last 3 years, but they have finally got to a point where they are the “norm” rather than the exception. Curtains are our other growth product. We offer a full range of Sheers & Blockouts. Also clients will often use blockout roller with sheer curtains. The finish is quite amazing.

Is there anything new that you’re working on or bringing in this year you can mention? 

There’s always something new. Scorpio have learnt that getting it right the first time means a lot. Therefore we don’t jump into things lightly. We do have some developing stories… But not enough to tell you about yet. Watch this space.

What do you love most working in the window furnishing industry? 

The fact is that Australians love the outdoors and they like to be part of it. We Aussies are also famous for grasping onto new ideas. I love the fact that Blind Automation has become so simple and affordable to everyone. I love that we have a huge range of products that suit the Gold Coast conditions, and it gives me lots of satisfaction seeing installations successfully completed. To bring a client’s home to life, with Scorpio blinds, is a reward in itself.

Is there anything else that you want us mention in the member profile? 

We see many benefits of being part of the Fashionline group. Not the least being the opportunity to share ideas and trends with each other. I like the ability to freely talk to the industry without concern or fear of giving away confidences. I most enjoy that I am able to share with other about some of the things that we have found to make our business successful. On the other hand it’s good to be able to make people aware of pitfalls too. I think there is great merit in the Fashionline group as an asset to move the industry forward.

You can visit Scorpio’s website for more information here.

 

Fashionline Group Australia is a Group Buying organisation…

Made up of approved suppliers engaged in the manufacture, distribution and sales of window furnishings, security products and home improvement products, Fashionline Group uses a buying process that allows several businesses to come together for the purpose of buying at discounted rates.

Fashionline Group Buying

The idea behind this type of buying is to combine the buying power of all the Fashionline Group Members, and use that volume buying to extend low rates to every member of the group, regardless of that member’s actual usage.

In business, smaller retailers have often used this approach to secure discounted pricing on goods for resale in their stores, allowing them to successfully compete with larger retailers that operate on a national or international basis.

Everyone involved in the group buying effort benefits from the arrangement, which is great. Members of Fashionline Group receive discounts that are based on the total business volume of the collective, rather than just their own volume usage.

Typically, this results in savings that help to reduce operational expenses, even for smaller companies that participate in the group buying, which in turn increases the amount of net profit that the smaller business generates!

At the same time, each member of the Fashionline Group has the ability to offer their customers a wider range of goods and services than would be possible if negotiating pricing with vendors on their own. This is a Win, win!

If you’d like to know more about our Fashionline group membership costs and conditions, get in touch with us here. We would love to hear from you to discuss how group buying could benefit you!

Tips for sleep in the sweltering heat

summer sleepWell it’s no secret that we’ve been experiencing higher than average temperatures around the country this summer.

When the night time temperatures don’t drop off that much, remember that there’s actually a scientific basis as to why you can’t sleep when it’s hot.

You might not be aware of this, but sleep is actually dependent on a fall in your core body temperature, your internal temperature, so to do that we need to get rid of heat.

It’s also particularly difficult to sleep when it’s humid, as we can’t get rid of the heat.

Though the temperatures can seem overwhelming at times, there are things we can do to help sleep better.

Experts recommend keeping curtains closed during the day, using a fan, or air conditioning if possible, and keeping your windows shut until the late afternoon or evening, when it’s cooler.

Yes, it is tempting… to want to open the windows and doors and let in whatever “breeze” or “fresh air” there might be outside. But that just lets the hot and humid air inside, and traps it there.

Which window furnishings can keep your home cool? 

Awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing windows. You can use an awning to shade one window or have an awning custom-made to shade the entire side of your house.

In the past, most awnings were made of metal or canvas, which need to be re-covered every five to seven years. Today, awnings are made from synthetic fabrics such as acrylic and polyvinyl laminates that are water-repellent and treated to resist mildew and fading. Whatever the fabric, you should choose one that is opaque and tightly woven. A light-coloured awning will reflect more sunlight.

You can roll up adjustable or retractable awnings in the winter to let the sun warm the house. New hardware, such as lateral arms, makes the rolling up process quite easy.

Blinds—vertical or horizontal slat-type—are more effective at reducing summer heat gain than winter heat loss.

Interior Blinds

Because of the numerous openings between the slats, it’s difficult to control heat loss through interior window blinds, but the slats offer flexibility in the summer. Unlike shades, you can adjust the slats to control light and ventilation. For example, when completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, highly reflective blinds can reduce heat gain by around 45%. They can also be adjusted to block and reflect direct sunlight onto a light-coloured ceiling. A light-coloured ceiling will diffuse the light without much heat or glare.

Curtains ability to reduce heat loss and gain depends on several factors, including fabric type (closed or open weave) and colour. With such a wide variety of curtains available, it’s difficult to generalise about their energy performance.

During summer days, you should close curtains on windows receiving direct sunlight to prevent heat gain. Studies demonstrate that medium-coloured draperies with white-plastic backings can reduce heat gains by 33%. Curtains also stay cooler in the summer than some other window treatments because their pleats and folds lose heat through convection.

To reduce heat exchange or convection, curtains should be hung as close to windows as possible. Also let them fall onto windowsills or the floor. For maximum effectiveness, you should install a cornice at the top of a curtain, or place the curtain against the ceiling. Then curtain at both sides and overlap it in the center. You can use Velcro or magnetic tape to attach drapes to the wall at the sides and bottom. If you do these things, you may reduce heat loss up to 25%.

Two curtains hung together will create a tighter air space than just one. One advantage is that the room-side curtain will maintain around the same temperature as the interior space, adding to a room’s comfort.

What else?

It’s helpful to avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine during extreme heat, and keep hydrated.

Wearing loose cotton clothing at night also draws sweat and heat away from your body, but avoid polyesters!

Though the weather is heating up, we hope you’ll use these tips to keep your home cool into the night, so you can rest easy.

The fashionline team.

Christmas is upon us!

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 10.57.40 AMFashionline Group would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for a wonderful 2017. To all of our members, affiliates and all of your family and friends, we would like to wish you a safe, happy and healthy Festive Season. May it bring you joy and prosperity.

We thought it only fit to again remind everyone of some important holiday safety tips…

Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season using these handy tips:

Theft – Pick Pockets & Identity

Take with you only the cash and credit cards you need

Don’t carry your passport or other important documents unnecessarily

Don’t let others distract you in crowded areas when your personal belongings are at risk

Limit the use of your mobile phone in busy public places

Home Burglary

Install security screens or cameras

If you are travelling, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house

Put timers on lights in different parts of the house

Have papers, mail and deliveries collected by someone you trust

Personal Safety

Park in well-lit and well-travelled areas

Avoid overloading yourself with packages

Be aware of your surroundings

Auto Safety

Leave nothing of value visible inside the car

Keep all your car doors and boot locked

Keep packages in the boot while shopping

Don’t leave your GPS visible

Credit Cards

Only shop at secure websites

Never respond to emails that ask for your credit card or any other personal information

Check your credit card and bank statements regularly

We hope these tips have been useful, and again, we hope that you all have a wonderful break! Stay hydrated, look after one another. We will see you in the New Year!

The Fashionline Team :)

Bathroom Busters…

IT COULD BE SAID THAT ALMOST… anything goes for bathroom window treatments; it just depends on the decor, the client, and the budget.

bathroom window furnishings Bathrooms can vary from the simplest of powder rooms all the way up to roman bath-like spaces bursting with luxurious features and fittings.

Naturally, staying with the principal of practicality, you can’t look past at least considering plantation shutters. Constructed with either PVC or aluminum panels, shutters protect against steam, splashed and humidity in bathrooms.

Shutters look great on many different shaped windows and offer the utmost in privacy. You won’t be worried about having total block in your bathroom if you have shutters. If you have a window located right in a shower itself, then shutters are also ideal. They are wonderful for kids who tend to splash when bathing too.

Blinds offer the expected high level of privacy, but bear in mind they can feel tired. They also need to be constantly cleaned as they can become drab extremely fast. They are, however, usually the most cost-effective choice.

Roller blinds are also versatile choices in bathrooms, but you must ensure that you use moisture-resistant materials. Sheer rollers are not recommended as they can hold moisture and generate a look and feel of wetness; you should use materials that water can effortlessly run off, and that is also resistant to mould and mildew.

A recent fashion in upmarket bathroom spaces is floor to ceiling sheer curtains. These are lavish and reminiscent of five-star resort spas! Usually a basic, machine-washable sheer is advised, as you want an option that will not get mouldy or hold moisture, and if it does start to generate these ‘symptoms’, you can wash it quickly and easily.

In terms of materials for sheers, true polyesters should be chosen for bathroom conditions, which is excellent as they are usually more affordable than their natural-material cousins.

Don’t forget that their fixtures and fittings are vulnerable to discolouration and rusting, so be sure to choose aluminum with as few movable parts as you can. Make sure the curtains can be removed simply, for washing, and if you are worried about damaging them you can place them in a wash bag or a pillowcase. Make sure you remove any hooks before washing. You should also never wring out a sheer, though delicate spin cycles should be fine.

And finally, make sure you consider your window furnishing early. Try to decide on them in the planning stages of a redesign or build (if possible), so that the end product is everything you hoped it would be!

Happy bath-rooming!

Safety First

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There has been some activity in the media lately relating to the safety of blinds when it comes to children and animals.

As industry professionals, we know that corded products are considered unsafe and require other safety measures to make them safer.

Going cordless is the only way to be 100 percent kid-safe and pet-safe, but if going completely cordless isn’t an immediate option for your client, there are still ways they can protect their family.

Here is advice you can give:

  1. Order safety devices online: Cord cleats make corded blinds safer by consolidating the excess cord and keeping it out of reach from a small child.
  2. Pull away all furniture from windows: Children love to climb on things and may still find ways to reach wrapped cords by climbing onto the window sill or furniture. Even if window coverings are secured by cord cleats, all furniture should be moved away from windows to prevent children from accessing any existing cords.
  3. Replace blinds one window at a time if need be: If you’re financially unable to change out all of your old window coverings for cordless blinds, consider replacing blinds one window at time, starting with the ones in rooms where your child spends the most of his or her time.
  4. Check out price-comparable options: Don’t just automatically assume that cordless blinds are much more expensive.
  5. Don’t assume they’ve outgrown the risk: Even if your child is no longer a tot, you still need be vigilant. Accidents have been reported with children up to 8 years old.
  6. Cut the cord: An easy option is to simply cut the cords off your blinds. While this does remove the ability to lift and lower blinds, slats can still be tilted using the tilt wand. For instructions click here.
  7. Don’t just tuck: It’s important to be aware that tucking the cord behind window coverings is not a safe option. It’s easier than you might think for little hands to climb to reach tucked or “secured” cords.
  8. Check the product: There are many products being sold by peer-to-peer sites that don’t conform to the current safety standards and have long inner cords that can easily be pulled out, forming a loop large enough for a child’s head. It’s also necessary to be aware that even current safety standards of two separate cords or safety releases are not enough to protect all kids because children can easily get wrapped up and tangled in a single cord.
  9. Don’t overlook the installation: Continuous cord loop products are only as safe as they are installed properly. Many people do not properly secure the cord-restraining device to the wall or floor, leaving the cords slack enough for a child’s head to fit through. Remember that continuous cord loops are just that, loops, and children are also able to easily tangle themselves in a single cord.

For more information, you or your client can visit fairtrading by clicking here. 

Entertaining Outdoors? Stay cool with an awning.

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If you have an outdoor living or entertaining space, then you know how beautiful it can be outdoors – just not when it’s blaring hot with the sun beating down on you. That’s where a retractable, or folding arm awning comes in. They can be a great way for you to enjoy the outdoors. There are some factors that you should however consider when purchasing retractable awnings. We’ve outlined them below:

Price

You should always compare pricing when purchasing retractable awnings. Folding arm awnings are some of the most expensive shade furnishings, and you should expect it to be a significant investment, even for a basic set up. For a purchase like this, avoid buying a product of lesser quality for a cheaper price, as the cheapness will become evident in not much time at all.

Manufacturing

Australian made is a great choice for awnings. Australia make some of the best window treatments in the market, and for good reason. We have some of the harshest climate conditions in the world. It’s good to know that your awning is designed and fabricated within our local standards, and that the product will therefore withstand the harsh conditions we find here, especially when summer hits.

Again, beware of companies that offer you low-cost retractable awnings at prices that seem too good to be true. Often they are too good to be true.

Warranty

You should always purchase your awning from a reputable supplier who offers a full service warranty. You can expect to pay a bit more up front, but the cost is worth it. In many cases, suppliers will provide a five-year warranty, which will ensure that your awning gives you stress free service throughout the five-year period.

Installation

If you haven’t thought about the cost of installation of your folding arm awning, before you shop is the time to consider it. If you go for a cheap product, you will not only (no doubt) find quality issues, but you will also likely have to install the awning yourself. Unless you are a DIY awning expert, you should probably leave it to the experts. This will have some cost attached to it. Also keep in mind, if you do choose to install the awning yourself, that in some cases this may void your warranty. Find out all the facts before you do DIY or have the experts install your awning.

We hope these tips have helped you out for buying your own folding arm awning, and we hope that you have a relaxing, cool, shady area to enjoy this summer!

Consumer Errors 101

Window coverings are in investment in the home; they add value to the home, and they can solve a number of problems. 

Some of the main Consumer Errors that we often find are outlined below…

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Consumers who buy the cheapest product

Window coverings can be expensive. But they are an investment. They will pay for themselves in no time in both use value, and the value they add to your property. There are many budget options in the business, who will skimp on fabric quality and quantity to keep their prices cheap. Consumers should educate themselves thoroughly before purchase.

Consumers who use fragile products on West facing windows

The Aussie sun is extremely damaging and you will simply be wasting your money if you do not purchase heavy duty products and materials for west facing windows. Find products that will not fade, warp or disintegrate under these harsh conditions. It is best to speak to a professional to discuss options available and ensure you are not throwing money away.

Consumers who don’t consider window size

Consumers are sometimes unaware that there is a maximum size you can successfully make a blind; and perhaps multiple blinds are the solution. Alternately, narrow windows may not be the right choice for roller blinds or shutters. They should speak to a specialist to discuss the best options for difficult window sizes.

Stack

The vertical stack of a blind is important, especially on a door so you don’t bump your head when it is pulled up. You may also have a view that you don’t want to obstruct. Horizontal stacks are for curtains. When you open your curtains, you must consider how much room you have for them and if they will impede any view you want to leave open.

Consumers expecting full blockout from all products

Full blockout can only be achieved from curtains with pelmets. Blockout roller blinds have small gaps at the sides and the top, whilst shutters have very small gaps all the way round. Keep this in mind if you need total darkness in a bedroom or home theatre space.

Consumers not looking for quality features such as lined curtains

Lining protects the fabric and also the other furnishings in the room. The extra cost for lining could save thousands in the long term and buyers should be aware of this when they are making their choice.

Consumers not comparing apples with apples

This sounds obvious, but if you are getting a number of quotes, they can vary greatly due to a great number of variables, such as fabric quality and price.

Consumer DIY Installations

Just don’t do it. Ever. In most cases, it will reduce or void the warranty on your products.

Consumers not considering the era of their homes

A period home should not be “modernised” with minimalist window treatments; it simply doesn’t work. If you don’t like elaborate drapes, ask your window covering professional to give you some options.

Consumers who don’t think about street appeal

Using plantation shutters on colonial windows may not seem like a problem to some, but from a designer’s perspective and the view from the street, they can be a real eye-sore with so many lines going horizontally and vertically. You should try not to use too many different styles of window coverings in your home as it can look cluttered, and lack cohesion. Another important note is to be careful of the colours of blinds and sheers, as these can be seen from the outside, and need to look good with your external features.

If consumers find a recommended expert in window treatments, they will avoid costly mistakes and have functional and gorgeous window coverings that will last for many years to come, as well as add a lot of value to their home.

 

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