Ways to add value to your home with window coverings

Want to add value to your home? Have you thought about updating your window coverings? We’ve put together some tips for you here;

1) Install Plantation Shutters
– They’re easy to maintain and clean
– They look amazing and appeal to a very wide range of buyers
– They’re built to last
– Plantations increase home appraisal value
– They offer complete light and privacy control

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2) Consider Home Automation
Property buyers’ expectations and requirements are changing, home automation is becoming increasingly popular and luxurious. Home automation is an investment which is immune to market trends whilst increasing your home’s ‘wow factor’. Home automation appeals to multiple buyers; older generations appreciate smart controls for safety, security, ease of use and temperature control, whilst younger buyers are looking for convenience, luxury, technology appeal and customisation in their home controls. Home automation doesn’t deter – it is an attractive and luxurious feature to most people. Potential buyers may inspect dozens of homes of similar sizes in similar locations and having home automation may make yours more memorable. When it’s put on the market it is an extra point that can be listed as Home Automation on your listing’s features. One of the big selling points of an automated home is the potential to make significant savings on energy bills. Having an energy-efficient home is particularly important to the younger generation. Younger buyers are starting to look for eco-friendly features in their properties so having home automation is an attractive feature.

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3) Increase Security
Security is a major consideration for those looking for a new family home. Being able to offer additional security features, such as automated roller shutters, motion-sensitive lighting and external blinds will make your property stand out as a secure option for these buyers.

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4) Customise the Window Treatments
Custom window treatments are made with specific dimensions in mind, they perfectly compliment a room. They are well-made and durable. Customised window treatments can be a focal point in your room and are something that prospective buyers will admire.

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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.

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!

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…

window furnishings right

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.

 

Escape with style this summer season

As we enter the warmer months of the year, it is important to consider functional
elements of your home for keeping you cool this summer.

When it comes to window furnishings, there doesn’t have to be a compromise between functionality and fashion.

The choice of window fittings is one of the core elements used to bring your interior design theme to life.

The textures, shapes, and colours you choose will act as a base for your style, just like the floor furnishings and paint you choose.

With so many options available, it’s easy to get confused as to what is the best option for your space.

Stylish timber shutters are a great way of adding a functional focal point to a living space, and can be used as room dividers to maximise both privacy and light flow.

Make the most of timber shutters by contrasting a room styled in light tones with dark timber shutters to create a moody feel. Or alternatively, open a light space up even more, bringing it in line with a heritage, coastal or even Hamptons style using classic white shutters.

For an ultra-modern look, roller blinds are the go-to option as they can be seamlessly integrated into a room.

Sheer blinds offer an ideal blend of privacy and natural light, while block-out blinds offer the upmost in privacy, meaning that there are options for every room.

If you’re looking to soften the feel of a room, there is no going past sheer curtains, which can provide a sense of homeliness, and also luxury if you take them up to the ceiling or into ceiling pelmets.

Consider pairing sheers with roller blinds or shutters, to create a flexible privacy solution, offering the perfect combination of style and functionality.

As far as colours go, Dulux in their 2018 Escapade Range predictions tell us:

“Organic shapes are offset by solid forms in a playful blending of styles. Don’t be afraid to mix up your decades with 70’s and 80’s references and take a chance on unexpected colour combinations.

Tones of pale mint, teal and blue promise plenty of light-hearted fun. Bursts of mustard yellow cut through the tonal colour effect. Shades of pink range from pale and soft to saturated and bold.”

Why not try white shutters with a mint or pink room theme, bringing you right up to date in colour and style? For more colour trends, see https://www.dulux.com.au/specifier/colour/colourforecast/2018/

The Fashionline Team.

(Photo credit: Dulux Australia, Escapade Colour Range 2018)

Finding the Best Curtain and Blind Fabric to Suit You

To help you find a fabric that suits your needs and the style of window furnishings you have chosen, consider the following factors:

What style of window coverings do you like? There are many types of blinds in the market with a suitable fabric. Whether you have chosen roller blinds, roman blinds, or maybe vertical blinds, it’s also important to note that you can actually use the same fabric throughout the home. Some of the most popular types of window coverings include:

  • Roller Blinds are one of the most popular choices for Australian homes. The fabric selected for your roller blinds can determine whether your window coverings blend perfectly with the interior or stand out as a design feature.
  • Roman Blinds create a sophisticated look in any room. The beautiful soft folds of a roman blind add elements of style to your interior.
  • Panel Glide Blinds are suitable for rooms with large open spaces and look particularly effective in lounge and living areas. Panel blinds are the perfect solution to dress wide window spaces such as sliding and bi-fold doors.
  • Vertical Blinds are a more traditional approach to window coverings and are especially suited for sliding or bi-fold doors. Their tilting fabric strips provide excellent light control with a total blockout option when required.

The next step is to consider the level of privacy you require for different areas throughout the home. The three most common types of opacity available in window covering fabrics are: Transparent (or sheer), Translucent and Blockout.

  • Transparent – Transparent (or sheer) fabrics diffuse the light to give you a clear view through the window with privacy during the day.  Transparent fabrics are ideal for living areas, where glare protection and light control are often important considerations. Provides privacy in the day but at night people can see in. Provides sun protection (lighter colours provide better protection). Good for living spaces where privacy is not a concern at night, or to be used in conjunction with a blockout blind or curtain.
  • Translucent – Translucent (or light filtering) fabrics offer greater privacy, particularly during the day.  Translucent fabrics are perfect for living areas, by providing privacy and UV protection while light is gently filtered into the room.
  • Blockout – Blockout (or blackout) fabrics block out the light and give you complete privacy.  By effectively minimising light penetration, blockout fabrics offer the maximum possible protection from heat, glare and UV.

You will need to think about the overall interior design scheme, that is both the colour and texture of a fabric can have a huge impact on the overall design of a room. Different textures and textiles can have a dramatic effect on light and mood in the room. Textural fabrics can provide a softer look or a design statement with the appearance of a subtle pattern in the weave. To enable you choose a fabric that blends perfectly with your interior or stands out as a prominent design feature – discuss this with your retailer.

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