A Summer Necessity: Straight Drop Awnings

Check out this fantastic piece from our member Macarthur Home Improvements about the virtues of Straight Drop Awnings which are a must for those wanting to enjoy the rest of the summer.

It’s coming up to summer and by-geez aren’t we excited to get the BBQ roaring after a year like this one! If you’re keen to get the family and friends over to enjoy summer in style in South Sydney, we recommend a straight drop awning to upgrade your outdoor area or unit’s balcony.

And here’s why…

Macarthur Home Improvements Team Photo

They look great!

Straight Drop Awnings are just that. They are Outdoor Blinds that hang “straight” down from the top assembly to the bottom fixings. The Straight Drop Awning is generally installed to fit and operate between 2 “poles”, as they are anchored to an optional frame box (aka Over-Roll Hood) at the top of the Awning and then anchors can be set down at the ground to ensure that they don’t get blown around in the breeze.

The design and installation of the Awnings create a sleek look and act like a temporary “wall” when in use, i.e. acting as a barrier between the weather elements and your protected space. They provide you with privacy when you need it!

Each Awning can be made from as little as 500mm wide and span up to 5600mm wide. If you have an area that is wider than that, it will require more than one Awning to cover the area. There is a limitation on width to ensure maximum protection and ease of operation, otherwise, the weight will be overwhelming for the size and it won’t function as it should.

Read the rest of this article on their blog here.

Luxury Awnings

Luxury Awnings Bring High-End Features to the Shade Game

All quality awnings provide shade and keep you dry when it rains. If you want to add this feature to your home or business, you should opt for a product that has a reputation for quality and can stand up to daily use. Luxury awnings do not only offer the excellent quality that you need, but they also often come with extra features that make them more attractive than standard options.

Luxury outdoor awnings come with high-end features. These elements, paired with the superior look and engineering of these products, provide great overall value and make these options worth the investment.

With the Melbourne Summer Sale at Undercover Blinds & Shade Systems, you can enjoy even greater value on state-of-the-art automated awnings and outdoor blinds.

Folding Arm Awning

Luxury Awning Design Options

There are several types of luxury outdoor awnings. You will want to choose the option that best fits the design of your space and your functional needs. Then, you can select the extra features that add to the attractiveness and convenience of these luxury awnings.

Three popular options are folding-arm awnings, Zipscreen, and retractable roofs.

Learn more about luxury awnings and how they can meet your specific needs at Undercover Blinds & Awnings Melbourne, the experts in luxury awning installations.

How to beat the heat with your window furnishings.

Summer is almost upon us and depending where you are, you may already be dusting off your fan and switching to your lighter bedding. As the weather warms up, we often feel inclined to run the air conditioning unit in attempts to keep our home at the comfortable temperature we have become accustomed to in the cooler months. Though effective, 40% of the energy used in a home escapes through the windows so simply by adding the right window furnishings for your unique style and budget, you can reduce your power bill by up to 70%.

As the sun’s UV rays radiate through our windows, they will transfer heat into our homes. With well fitted window furnishing this light will reflect off the back off the fabric, repelling the heat and is best achieved with finishings with light-coloured backing. Choosing to opt for window furnishings that will reduce heat gain will provide ongoing reduction in your energy costs as they also work to prevent heat loss in the cooler months. Correctly fitted window dressings create a pocket of air between the window and the finishing resulting in an insulation barrier.

Cellular blinds
Davidsons blinds

Image credit: Davidson Blinds

As one of the most popular window finishings, cellular blinds provide the highest level of insulation due to the combination of their tightly woven fabric and how well they fit within the window cavity. Compared to Roman shades and roller blinds, cellular blinds are the most versatile window finishing in terms of aesthetic and your overall goals. Light levels in the house can be managed by the opacity of the blind from sheer to block out and often single or double cell so you have the best of both worlds. Blinds have evolved where you now have the options of cordless, adding greater safety features than corded blinds around small children and motorised with the convenience of being incorporated into your smart home. For the most effective heat reduction aim to have the blinds drawn between 10am and 3pm, particularly on north facing windows as they will receive the most UV exposure.

Plantation Shutters
Watson Blinds

Image credit: Watson Blinds & Awnings

Timeless, clean and seamless, plantation shutters are always a good idea. As the shutters must be custom fitted to each of your windows, they provide an extremely effective insulation barrier. While providing heat reducing benefits, shutters also add a layer of security to your home adding a physical barrier with locking systems for an intruder trying to enter through the window. Plantation shutters are considered a permanent fixture to your home and are often quite desirable due to their timeless design, for this reason they can be included in your property’s evaluation, increasing the value of your home.

Awnings Bob Burns Blinds

 Image credit: Bob Burns Blinds

Automatic, wire guard, pivot, fixed or folding arm; all awnings will provide premium energy efficiency by preventing sunlight from reaching the external glass on your windows, stopping the issue of overheating before it can begin. Awnings can be motorised and incorporated into your smart home to control the light throughout the day but also to help protect your home against the other elements even while at work or away on holiday. Awnings are available in a variety of fabrics and colours, making them a stylish addition to your home and outdoor entertaining areas.

With the weather starting to heat up and summer just on the horizon, beat the summer rush and contact one of our knowledgeable experts to help find the perfect window treatment for you.

Your Fashionline team.

Shade solutions for summer. Is your home summer ready?

When you first think of summer – what comes to mind? Hot weather, beach days, garden barbeques and endless days spent soaking in the sunshine. It sounds wonderful, but Australian summers are known for their harmful UV rays and harsh elements – not only to our skin, but also to our homes.

If you are someone who enjoys entertaining outside but is in need of some extra protection to help block out the sun and provide some much-needed shelter during the summer season – outdoor awnings are a great, cost-effective solution to creating shade or protection from Australia’s elements.

When selecting your awning, it is important to know that there are several types to choose from, we’ve picked our top three to help you be ready this summer.

Retractable awnings
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Image credit: Stylecraft Blind and Awnings

One of the most popular awnings on the market is retractable awnings. These types of awnings can be extended or retracted depending on the weather conditions. This type of awning is a great option if you wish to use your awning for certain occasions, certain times of the year or when needed – e.g. to provide shelter or shade from hot or rainy days by extending the awning and retracting the awning when it is not required.

There are several variations of retractable awnings available, each with many benefits, unique styles and functionality – we encourage you to discuss your desired look and feel with one of our knowledgeable experts to ensure the right type of awning is chosen.

Vertical awnings

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Image credit: Macarthur Home Improvements

Most modern homes today already have an outdoor covered entertaining area but often these areas are still faced with harsh UV Rays from either the morning or afternoon sun. A great solution is to install Vertical Awnings – a combination of retractable blind technology with weatherproof awning material.

When extended, the awning provides perfect cover from UV Rays and sun glare as well as other weather elements such as wind and rain. If these awnings weren’t smart enough – opt to have motorisation added during installation – providing needed shelter has never been easier – simply control your awnings by a touch of a button.

Fixed awnings

Unlike other awnings, a fixed awning has been designed and manufactured to withstand the harshest of conditions for long periods of time. This makes them the perfect option for those searching for a permanent undercover area.

Fixed awnings are available in a range of materials to suit customers’ needs such as; canopy material, carbolite (a type of resin) and Colourbond. As well as this, fixed awnings are available in an array of shapes, sizes and colours – to help tailor the awning to the customers’ needs and desires.

With the weather starting to heat up and summer just on the horizon, beat the summer rush and contact one of our knowledgeable experts to help find the perfect awning for you.

Your Fashionline Team.

 

What are the benefits of motorisation window furnishings?

Motorisation allows you to set up your window furnishings to automatically open and close by either a touch of a button or by timers and schedules. Imagine if you could set your blinds to be drawn when you go to bed at night for complete privacy and a night of sound sleep. Then, wake up to the sun rays illuminating your space, without having to lift a finger or jump out of bed – this is all possible with window furnishing motorisation teamed with home automation or a smart home system.

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Image credit: Absol Awning Blind & Shutter Solutions

Motorisation is a fast-growing trend and a favoured choice for modern designs. Here are a few popular benefits of motorised window furnishings:

Link with an existing, or future, home automation/smart home system

Whether you have an existing system or are looking to have one installed – you will have ease linking your smart home system e.g. Alexa or Google Home with your window furnishing motorisation.

By connecting your window furnishings to your smart home system, you’ll not only have control over your windows but also other aspects of your home, all from the same device – from turning your lights on and off to setting the temperature of your air conditioning system. When your window furnishings are linked with a smart home or automation system, you’ll have peace of mind and added security through the imitation of activity in your home when you’re away.

Suitable for a range of blinds, curtains and awning options

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that most blinds, curtains and awning options can be motorised. So, no matter your needs, style, or in some cases, existing furnishings, you’ll be able to tick all the boxes.

Other benefits include:

  • Ease of use
  • Peace of mind with no cord hazards where children, the elderly or pets could be involved
  • Less wear and tear with little, to no, need to handle your furnishings
  • Quiet and discreet operating systems
  • A simple and minimalistic design. No need for cords or curtain wands
  • Save energy and money by easily adjusting your window furnishings to heat or cool your home or business. Meaning less reliance on air conditioning units

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Image credit: Straitline Blinds

Enjoy the flexibility, ease of use and convenience of motorised window furnishings all from a touch screen, mobile phone app, handheld remote or even voice control.

It is a perfect solution for both residential and commercial environments or indoor and outdoor settings. This trend of modern living is continuing to grow and will help increase the value of your home.

Our Fashionline members offer a variety of motorised systems from reputable and quality suppliers – you’re sure to find a solution to suit your needs.

Get in touch with one of our knowledgeable experts to learn about the latest range of motorisation products for curtains, blinds and exterior awnings.

Your Fashionline team.

 

Member Profile: Bob Burns Blinds

In 1953, Robert (Bob) Burns and his wife, Marie, first started their own blinds business, RJ Burns and Co, “In the beginning stages, we used our backyard shed to assemble blinds with imported kits from Melbourne, before installing them into our customers’ homes.” The business flourished and in 1956, they bought some land in Adelaide to build a factory and showroom to promote their work and encourage business growth. They gradually expanded the premises and employed staff members. 26 years later, Bob sold the business and retired.

Then in 1992, Bob wanted to get back into the blinds industry and partnered up with his daughter Sandy, to help form a new company, known today as, Bob Burns Blinds.

This family ran business is owned and operated in the heart of Adelaide and is now in their third generation of business.

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We spoke to co-owner Sandy for our latest Fashionline Member Profile.

Who makes up your team?

Currently we have a team of 18 employees, which includes a CEO, general manager and advisory board. We take great pride in employing local installers and when need be, contracting out our installation work.

What’s special about your service?

To successfully run a business of 65 years, we have built a growing reputation based on the excellent work our employees have provided and the products we sell.

We are very proud of the team we have in place today; all staff have exceptional knowledge of the industry and go above and beyond to best accommodate their customers’ needs.

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Which products do you specialise in?

We proudly sell a full range of window furnishings. However, our main sales are internal products such as; roller blinds, vertical blinds, curtains and external products such as; awnings, security doors and ZipScreens, which we proudly manufacture ourselves.

We of course sell other window treatments, such as plantation shutters and roller shutters, however, these are outsourced.

What geographical areas do you cover?

We are primarily based in the metro area of Adelaide and mainly service this area as well as the south and west surrounding areas.

However, our dedicated team often visit other suburbs, even as far as Kangaroo Island and Yorke Peninsular.

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

Plantation Shutters has been a window treatment that continues to grow each year and I don’t think this year will be any different. Curtains also continue to be very popular and sales increase each year.

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

Our main focus for the next few years is to keep our range of products at a manageable level, focus on up-coming trends and concentrate on our in-house manufactured products.

What is your ‘point of difference’ in your local industry?

Our name and brand are our best assets as we have been around for nearly 30 years. We are very proud of our team and the work we produce, our saying is “Made Local, Made to Last”.

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

I have been working in this industry for nearly 40 years and I’m now closing in on my retirement. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of running such a diverse business. Since joining Fashionline I have enjoyed sharing our work and accomplishments with those in the same industry who can relate to the challenges and craftsmanship.

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

We are a third-generation, family-run business. As I near retirement my children, who currently work within the business, are keen to step up and take over the day to day operations of the business. They will bring new life to the business and the business name will continue to live on.

Member Profile: Launceston Blinds

Launceston Blinds Canvas & Awnings is a Tasmanian owned and operated business which was first established in 2005. New owners Kerry and Dale Arnold took over the business in 2017 and during this time, they have undergone a rebrand and business name change. Formally known as ‘Drummond Blinds & Canvas’, both Kerry and Dale felt the name change was a necessary requirement for the profiling of their business. We spoke to owner Dale Arnold for our latest Fashionline Member Profile.

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Who makes up your team?

Our team consist of six team members, myself (Dale), Jeff and Hans, we focus on exterior window furnishings and Kerry (my wife), Brett and Lisa focus on interior treatments.

What’s special about their service?

We pride ourselves on our ability to problem solve, there is not a problem that we cannot solve. Our team thoroughly understands the needs of our clients and we go to great efforts to ensure that our customers are happy with the final product.

Which products do you specialise in?

We are a specialist in all of our window treatments, but in particular our roller blinds and vertical panel slides have been proven a popular choice with our customers.

Our external blinds are equally as popular, a lot of our customers approach us for help with their outdoor entertaining areas, we often suggest our exterior shutters and a range of awning products.

What geographical areas do they cover?

We are based in Launceston and serve the Launceston area as well as the surrounding areas such as Ross, Scottsdale and Port Sorel.

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

We recently changed our business name and refreshed our logo, so with that, we have designed and executed a new website that exudes the same look and feel.

Our goal this year is to work on our social media presence, we are planning on doing this with regular up to date and interesting Facebook posting, as well as interacting with our customers. Our overall goal is to bring more awareness to our brand.

What is your ‘point of difference’ in your local industry?

We really pride ourselves on our problem-solving skills. We enjoy interacting with our customers and showing our willingness to achieve the look and feel they are aiming for.

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

We enjoy interacting with our customers on a daily basis, helping them with their needs and exceeding their expectations.

Trends for a new decade.

We are only weeks away from 2020… and that means more than you think! Because we are also a week away from a whole new decade. As you know, a new decade brings new styles and trends in the culture that always makes that decade unique.

So, what are we seeing?

 Velvet

Making a huge come back during 2019, and forecast to continue into the early 2020s, velvet is one of the hottest trends. From a statement armchair in a bold shade to a stunning sofa, or by simply adding some velvet cushions, anyone can get in on this stylish interior trend to start your home transformation.

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Botanical

An interior trend that’s going strong is to bring the outside in and reflect the beauty in nature with botanical prints in bold shades. From vibrant artwork, rich coloured wallpapers, to curtains that make an impact, get onboard with this blooming botanical trend.

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Abstract

You can inject some personality into your home with some modern abstract adornments. From bold lampshades to statement furniture, abstract interiors are around and holding fast.

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Curved-edge furniture

From next year it will be a full century since the Roaring Twenties, and furniture designers are revisiting that decade with Gatsby-esque curves. Implement the trend by opting for an Art Deco-inspired curved cocktail chair or a stylish storage cabinet with a round top. Steering away from the formality of harsh lines within the home, curved upholstery can soften a space.

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What about colour?

Warm and natural colours are replacing stark colours. The trend, as also confirmed in the Dulux Colour Forecast, is a wide spectrum of jewel-tone blues, shades of terracotta, living coral, soft pinks, deep greens and warm neutrals. Grey or white clean walls are not on-trend going into the new decade. Wallpaper and textiles are also coming back with neutral colour florals and colourful patterns.

Colour Dulux Trends

 

 

 

 

 

And window coverings?

Changing your window coverings going forward into the new decade can make a huge impact and also frame a beautiful view. There is so much to choose from; bold with graphic designs, subtle with sheers or fabrics in muted colours, or add some texture with woven wood shades.

Cedar shutters will blend seamlessly with some of the bolder colour schemes we are seeing, as will white plantation shutters. Try PVC shutters in kitchens and bathrooms for ever on-trend horizontal lines.

Romans and verticals can really move into the warmer neutrals to keep in tune with the trends, and don’t forget about expanding your living areas outdoors with awnings.

Drapery side panels on beautiful hardware can totally change a window and add a new dimension to any room, with either bold patterns floral or even very subtle muted colours. Finish the look by adding new pillows or throws, a velvet sofa, a curved-edge or abstract piece to make it a personal, creative, homely, and inviting space.

Smart shades and home automation are the fastest growing trends in the window covering industry. Simplify and technically evolve your home with motorised blinds, curtains or awnings. Motorisation makes all windows and skylights accessible with the touch of a button.

What needs to go?

Minimalism is fantastic when you are selling a house as it allows people to project their lives into the home. However, when it comes to home styling the opposite is true: bringing your personality out is crucial to building a warm, interesting space.

Most of us love minimalism’s bold geometric shapes, monochrome shades and contrasting textures because it resonates with a personal style. What needs to be thrown out in 2020 however, is the need for people to be so minimal as a knee jerk reaction, as over time this will prevent them from being creative.

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We should encourage people to make mistakes and reinvent their style so that it never turns stale. Being adventurous and seeking new discoveries is key to new decade worthy interior styling that makes a house a home.

Best blinds for holiday homes

When choosing window coverings for your holiday home, as the property will not be used all the time, you should look to choose window coverings that will last a long time and suit the varied needs of different people.

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To make your decision you can ask yourself these important questions;

  • What style do you want – formal, casual or traditional?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you have neighbours or a main road looking into your property and need to increase privacy?
  • Do you prefer a window treatment that will provide insulation?
  • Which directions do the windows face and what kind of sun management is required?
  • Do you need to manage glare in a working area such as the kitchen or study?
  • If it is a window treatment for a bedroom, how light sensitive could the people be who will be sleeping there?

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Some options are;

  • Roller blinds (sheer, translucent and blockout),
  • Roman blinds,
  • Venetian blinds,
  • Sheer curtains,
  • Blockout curtains,
  • Plantation shutters.

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Understand the different looks they create;

  • Blinds and plantation shutters provide a casual feel. Plantation shutters scream Hampton’s style holidays and are highly versatile and easy to maintain.
  • Curtains create a more traditional look, but how much so depends on the heading and the fabric chosen.
  • Curtains with swags and tails are far more formal and traditional compared to more relaxed, sheer-linen curtains.
  • Sheer curtains provide a soft and sophisticated look. They boost privacy during the day, don’t need to be drawn, and can be used to create a formal or sleek and contemporary look.
  • Lined curtains are best for insulation and blocking out light.

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Choosing the right blinds;

  • Roller blinds are often used as a double treatment, such as combining with a sheer and a block-out blind.
  • Sheers can boost privacy and add solar protection in the day, but do not provide privacy at night.
  • Block-out blinds are often used in bedrooms, these block sun and light, and create full privacy.
  • Roman blinds are a more traditional and formal treatment that is often made from a feature fabric. It can be lined to form a block-out or unlined for a translucent look.
  • Venetian blinds’ horizontal slats allow you to manage light levels with ease.

Layered treatments are ideal when trying to boost privacy and black-out light, without sacrificing your holiday home views. Having a sheer curtain over a block-out blind or shutter can also soften the harsh lines of the latter and are suitable for holiday homes because they will serve the varied needs of many different people and also look beautiful at the same time!

Happy Holidays everyone! 

Let’s Talk Shading

Consider your climate for external blinds

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When thinking about shading, your location on the map and your region’s climate must be considered. In temperate climates the magic direction to start with is north. The north side of a home has the most solar energy available and it is the easiest to control. All you need is the right width eave or other horizontal shading to stop the sun in summer and let it inside in winter.

For east and west windows, a different shading solution is needed as the sun is lower in the sky. Adjustable vertically-placed blinds, screens or louvres work best to control sun for the short time it’s needed, and then open up again to daylight, views and breezes.

In hotter climates – roughly north of Brisbane – shading is important all year round, including on the south side of your home. In colder parts of the country, winter heat gain is the priority so it’s vital to ensure any shading doesn’t impede solar access in winter.

Local site topography also plays a part in deciding the amount of shading needed, for example, a south sloping site may need slightly less shading for a longer period of the year. For more information, see Your Home’s ‘Shading’ fact sheet.

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Fashionline’s Top Tips for External Shading

  1. Remember that there are plenty of choices for effective shading, from cost-effective and easily retrofitted blinds to custom-designed automated systems. External blinds, shutters and screens can also provide security while inner doors and windows are open for ventilation.
  2. Fixed awnings for windows are cost effective and allow you to keep the windows open when it’s raining. However, they allow for less active sun control and flexibility than adjustable versions.
  3. For western and eastern facades where the sun is intense at a low angle for a short time you can try retractable fabric awnings. Other adjustable shading options include blinds, louvres, sliding screens and roller shutters. Louvres, shutters and even pergolas with adjustable angled blades allow sun control while admitting breezes.
  4. If the budget stretches, pergolas with motorised blinds or complete louvre roof systems may fit the bill. Such systems can help create the effect of an outdoor room and allow your home’s internal spaces to feel larger.

For more advice and stockists, you can contact us here :)

The Fashionline Team 

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