Building & Window Furnishings – What’s On Trend?

One of the biggest building annoyances revolves around ceilings, and often comes to a head when your customers start talking to their architects and builders about built-in pelmets, curtains and blinds. Many don’t know the correct terminology and may come to you with pictures like the one below, and pointy fingers:

recessed curtain tracks

 

 

 

 

This is a ‘recessed track’ and it’s very much in style – the curtain tracks are recessed into the ceiling and it screams luxe.

 

The thing a lot of people don’t understand is that recessed tracks are considered a major architectural feature, and they need to be thought of right at the very beginning of the design stage. But because a lot of people associate this decision with window furnishings – which is not part of building, per se – they forget to mention it at the beginning.

If this is the case for any of your customers, they may be able to save the look if built-in pelmets with a hidden rail has been factored in. The hidden pelmets may be able to be widened, so that they effectively turn into bulkheads. This would allow the hidden rails to mimic the effect of recessed tracks without having to rework the design in a huge way. See below:

bulkhead NO cornices

 

 

 

 

(bulkhead, no cornices)

Ceiling mounted tracks:

Because the long, rippled lines of linen are so popular in celebrity bedroom photos, you might also find customers will be very satisfied with ceiling mounted tracks.

“Linen. Great swathes of linen with the sunlight glowing through them…”  Such a romantic look.  But they also need their bedrooms to be dark, they don’t love light when they are trying to sleep…

Suggest a double ripple-fold ceiling mounted track with two separate curtains or blinds.  An unlined linen curtain in front, a block-out behind (see image below). It’s perfect, the linen curtains can be drawn when they want a soft dappled light or privacy, and the block-outs are closed at night and are an extra thermal layer in winter.

ceiling mounted double track

 

 

The ripple-fold tracks are neatly mounted onto the ceiling, very unobtrusive, and window coverings can be pulled from one side right across the opening, and also stack on a single side.  This is a good option to save on dropping any height at ceiling level, and gives the illusion of higher ceilings with the long, vertical lines.

It’s almost the Holiday Season!

Fashionline Group would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for a wonderful 2016. 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 remind everyone of some important holiday safety tips – because times can get pretty crazy when the silly season comes around!

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 Group.

 

 

 

Fashionline Member Profile!

Bush’s Blinds are a proud member of Fashionline Group, and have been a family operated business within the industry since 1937!

Over this time the business has expanded to become a leader in window furnishings in North Eastern Victoria.

Glenn and Nancy Bush are the current owners, and have been involved in the business for thirty years now.

Glenn said, “We have a great team, comprising of my daughter Hannah, myself and Nancy, our office manager Josie who handles the accounts. Sales on the road is Mike, Abid puts all the gear together ready for installing and Denis works together with Talay in the fitting team. The whole team provides a professional quality product and service to all clients.”

The staff at Bush’s have extensive experience in all types of window furnishings, including motorization of exterior and interior treatments.

“The biggest percentage improvement in sales so far this summer season would be the Roller Shutter market, as well as Motorised Blinds that work on timers,” Said Glenn.

“The Motorised Blinds are a great option for the warmer months because they can be set with timers or sensors to come down when peak heat intensity is reached, and then retract when the sun has gone away.”

Bush’s blinds believe in creating a culture that maintains commitment to continuous improvement and training, meaning that Bush’s is a progressive business that intends to be operating and expanding for many generations to come.

Bush’s are located in Shepparton, and specialise in Internal & External Blinds, Curtains and Motorisation. To read more visit http://www.bushsblinds.com.au/ or get in touch on (03) 5821 2688.

 

Summer has arrived early…

The Australian Government has once again advocated the use of window furnishings to keep cool this Summer, keep energy usage down, and bills too!

Here is some useful information from the Government, that you can quote to your customers:

“Windows let in useful warmth and light in winter, but in warmer weather sometimes this can be too much. Heat gain through an unshaded window in summer can be 100 times greater than through the same area of insulated wall. In winter windows can allow up to 40 per cent of your heat to leak out. This means you’ll be using more energy to keep your home comfortable and paying higher energy bills.”

We’ve already had some very hot days this season, and it’s only November, so it’s worth reminding your customers about the benefits of getting the right window furnishing before the real Summer heat hits.

We know that snug-fitting curtains and blinds on windows can prevent heat gain as they trap a layer of still air next to the window.

If they are installing blinds, it would help to look for an insulating fabric and ensure they’re well-fitted to restrict air movement around the window to prevent unwanted heat loss or gain. For an energy-efficient option honeycomb or cellular blinds are an excellent choice as they trap air within cells and act just like a double-glazed window.

If your customers are in a very hot climate, external blinds and awnings can be installed to provide shade. Also, blinds which are white or near-white on the outside or have a reflective surface will reflect more heat back outside.

Don’t forget to value-add by reminding your customers that shutting curtains on the northern side during the day, and the western side in the afternoon will keep the sun from overheating the house.

And lastly, Automated home systems can make sure your window coverings raise and lower at certain times of the day. They can be pre-linked to sensors and timers to automatically respond to the outside weather conditions, meaning your customers have greater control of how much energy is being used in the home.

It’s Allergy Season and we can help.

Do you have customers who are wheezing and sneezing this spring season?

Something you may not have considered, is that allergy-prone people are often triggered by the floor and window coverings they choose to have in their homes.

Interior design takes on a whole new level of importance when you’ve got someone at hand who suffers allergies. Though the number of possible triggers is endless, the fiendish four most likely behind everything from runny noses to asthma attacks are pollen, mould, pet hair and dust. The good news is that there is much you can do on the decor front to minimise their risk.

For their windows why not recommend blinds rather than curtains? And easily cleaned roller style blinds rather than venetian blinds? If curtains are a must, they should go for those in a fabric light enough to take down and wash regularly without fading.

More helpful tips include keeping window frames clean of dust and mould as regularly as possible.

Hard floors are better too, so your customer should avoid carpets and rugs. If they must have either, they go for as short a pile as possible.

These are great Springtime conversations that add value to your client experience around important things that we might sometimes forget, like their health and wellbeing.

THE FASHIONLINE TEAM.

Spring is in the air!

Spring is upon us! It’s when we let the warm breezes in and throw away the winter clutter … or at least intend to …

The 2016 Spring Season for decorating is set to inspire feelings of homeliness, nurturing and relaxation. With “colours that calm” at the forefront, pale palettes: sky blues, spring greens – sage green, mint green, mustard yellows, and playful splashes of pink.

We will see the clever use of all things textured – rustic touches, detailed kitchen splash-backs, decorated entryways, upholstered headboards, embroidered pillows. And more original ideas – like painting the inside of your kitchen cupboards in the above mentioned tones.

To compliment these fresh feels, and to bridge the worlds of ‘outside and in’, window furnishings will play an integral role this Spring. Decorators will be looking to enhance their new styles with customised window furnishings.

One trend that’s always in style for Spring is using window treatments that allow a lot of natural light into the space. Vision Blinds are an innovative option that feature two layers of translucent and opaque horizontal striped fabric. They not only look great but are practical too.

Organic materials are bringing nature indoors, nature-inspired and eco-friendly materials and designs like Timber Venetians and Plantation Shutters evoke ‘plantation’ and ‘raffles’ decorating styles, and are an economical choice without compromising on style and quality. These simple yet highly effective window treatments are easy to install, and provide an efficient and inexpensive mechanism for controlling light, room temperature and cross ventilation this spring.

Because florals are on the return – wallpapers, and even cherry blossoms, one may choose to project a feeling of Asian inspired peace and tranquility with a Japanese Shoji Screen. A Shoji is a sliding window or door panel in a traditional Japanese house. They allow soft, diffused light to filter from the outside, and provide a cherry-blossom ambience.

Colours will be used to brighten spaces this season. Yellow epitomises warmth and a sunny outlook toward the future, so expect to see some yellow tones.

Whatever the choice of the decorator, remember that customised window furnishings play an integral role when Spring is in the air!

 

Why Group Buying?

Group buying is a process that allows several businesses to come together for the purpose of buying at discounted rates. The idea behind this type of buying is to combine the buying power of all our 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. 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!

It was great to see you at Super Expo!

On the 8th to the 10th of June, Fashionline Group proudly attended and exhibited at the Gold Coast Convention Centre for the 2016 Super Expo. The name really says it all, Super Expo was simply super.

We had the chance to network with industry insiders from all walks of the business, and showcase our members as well as meet many new faces!

Because Fashionline are a group of the most successful independent Manufacturers / Retailers of window furnishing products, we wanted to show our expertise and the benefits to customers at Super Expo, and we got to do just that, because official visitor numbers were up some 60% on the 2013 version of the event, which was really great to see!

Organisers certainly learned that this expo has become a huge event, especially given the large number and size of the custom build stands. The management at the GCCEC said they had never hosted an event of such size and quality exhibits, so full credit must go out to all attendees for the outstanding displays. We were certainly proud of our stand (see image).

If you were one of the people we met at Super Expo, we want to take the opportunity now to show you the main benefits of becoming a Fashionline member. Here they are:
  • Group Buying Power – able to negotiate better rates as part of the group
  • Buying discounts – for both purchases as a group and individually
  • Subsidised Marketing Material – Fashionline have brochures and marketing material that can be customised for your requirements at a significantly reduced cost due to group volumes ordered. Plus, your business details are over printed at no additional cost.
  • Exclusive Content and Media Library – Fashionline have an image, video and copy library that can be used in print, TV, and online (including your own website).
  • Advertising subsidies – These are offered by several suppliers and when applied reduce marketing materials costs even further.
  • Group Promotions – Access to consumer promotions run by the group that significantly increase members’ sales.
  • Networking – Access to a premier range of industry contacts with a diverse range of knowledge and experience to draw on.
  • Independence – Each member retains their independence to run their own business as they see fit.
  • Flexibility – Whilst assurance is given to preferred suppliers to purchase the bulk of materials from them, each member is still able to purchase from other suppliers.
  • Wholesaling Opportunity – Some members specialising in manufacturing can wholesale those products to the members at special discount prices.
  • Member Rebate on Purchases – Each member receives a minimum 0.5% rebate on all purchases from approved suppliers.

If you’d like to know more about our membership costs and conditions, get in touch with us here. We would love to hear from you! And, don’t forget, Super Expo will be back, bigger and better than ever in 2019!

The Fashionline team.

Honeycomb Blinds

Insulate your home with Honeycomb Blinds – they are great for Winter and Summer. The hexagonal shaped cells trap air inside, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  The lightweight design expands for full coverage or compacts away easily with either cord controlled or cordless operation. They contain an auto balance mechanism to ensure the bottom rail is always level.

Honeycomb blinds are compact in design when raised as they practically disappear, and are light weight with fade resistant fabrics. Fabrics are constructed of polyester and have good insulation properties and are easy to clean. Block-out fabrics block 99% of visible light and 99.9% of UV rays.

You can choose from corded or cordless blinds, with Aluminum and steel head and bottom rail with plastic caps on both top and bottom. Select from translucent to block-out fabrics in a variety of colours and designs.

SUPER EXPO IS BACK!

You guessed it…

FASHIONLINE GROUP AUSTRALIA will be exhibiting and attending Australia’s largest trade exhibition for the window furnishings and specialised textile industries on the sunny Gold Coast in June.

As the name suggests, this is really no ordinary trade expo. It’s Super Expo and we’re really getting excited.

Following the very successful inaugural event in 2013, and based on attendance then, organisers are expecting up to 4000 visitors this year, comprising industry fabricators, agents, and specifiers. As a result, the 2016 event is likely to be the largest trade exhibition ever staged in Australia for the window furnishings, awning, marine and outdoor textile conversion!

Fashionline will be one of 100 key industry exhibitors – and we don’t plan to simply blend in – we are, after all, Australia’s largest Independent Blind Manufacturing Group – we’re going to be in our element!

Super Expo will take place in all four main halls of the Gold Coast Convention Centre and visitors can attend from June 8 – 10, 2016.

For us, it’s not just an Expo (not all fun and games, though, there might be some golf!) no, no, it will be time to get down to business! We will be of course exhibiting, as well as attending award presentations and key industry networking events, giving us the opportunity to stay on the pulse and keep up to date with market trends and news. We relish these opportunities to network in face-to-face environments.

Super Expo will allow us to showcase our members, and market our group to independent leaders in their fields, who show business integrity and service. That is after all, what we are all about…

Fashionline are a group of the most successful independent Manufacturers / Retailers of window furnishing products, with over two hundred collective years in the industry. Our team brings together a wealth of experience to the industry with a range of companies from both metropolitan and country areas.

Each member has an exclusive trading area, and, each member enjoys the benefits of group purchasing, saving many thousands of dollars and then giving us the ability to pass savings directly to our valuable customers – who will be able to see this first hand at Super Expo.

For more info you can visit www.superexpo2016.com.au or contact us via secretary@fashionline.com.au for more information on our attendance.

 

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