Trends alert!

If you are planning to update your window treatments, then here’s our list of top 5 trends to see out the year!

Smart Blinds

With having smart tech in the home getting more and more popular, it should come as no surprise that smart blinds are huge this year! Smart blinds allow you to control your blinds from any location using your smart phone. This is a great upgrade for those who work often. No longer will those western sun rays heat up your home, from the click of a button on the app, you can lower your blinds to keep the heat out… or in winter, keep the heat in. How’s that for futuristic living!

Black shutters

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Shutters are always a popular choice, but we’re predicting that black bi-fold shutters will be seen increasingly in more homes. A bi-fold style allows you to fold the shutters to one side or the other, to expose the entire window and act as a room divider, while the stylish black colour helps to modernise any space.

Linen Curtains

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Sheer linen curtains are increasing in popularity due to the heat – regulating properties of the fabric and their beauty. Linen is also hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, so if anyone in your home is prone to allergies, linen curtains are ideal. Linen is also a strong material, you won’t have to worry about your curtains wearing down over time.

Panel Track Blinds

Move over vertical blinds, a newer and sleeker version has taken your place. When fully opened, the individual panels tightly stack together to give you as much sunlight as possible. When they are closed, you can enjoy all the rich textures and fabrics that they come in. Panel track blinds are the ideal solution for covering patio doors, sliding glass doors and oversized windows. Available in numerous fabrics or even woven wood materials, sliding panel blinds are easy to coordinate with any décor style as well as other window coverings in the room.

Natural Wood Blinds

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Organic is IN and what could be more organic than wood?

Wooden blinds give your room a classic look that will last and be in style for years to come. Wooden blinds are available in many stains and colour options. People also love the high-end look of wooden blinds.

What’s your favourite?

Your Fashionline team.

Best Blinds for Rental Properties

Blinds and window coverings are used every day and yet many investors find them one of the most regrettable expenses.

What are investors looking for in a window covering?

  • Value for money
  • Low maintenance
  • Safe
  • A timeless look

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Value for money

Our first instinct it to buy the cheapest when it comes to blinds for rental properties. Just something off the shelf at Bunnings or Spotlight. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit perfectly, “it’s only a rental!”

But buying off the shelf window treatments have a lot of components and brackets which can break in a short amount of time. Most blinds get used every single day, and these “quick fixes” often don’t sell replacement components, so once the blind is broken and cannot be used every day, the blind then needs to be replaced.

Remember if you buy quality in the first instance, you’ll get longevity and save money down the track!

Low maintenance

The lowest maintenance blinds for rental properties are:

Roller Blinds

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Wide range of colours that fit all interior looks
  • Components available for easy fix
  • Good insulation
  • Can span wide width
  • Affordable

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Vertical blinds with a wand control

  • Using a wand control vertical blind eliminates the need for child safety cords and locks
  • Wide range of colours that fit all interior looks
  • Components available for easy fix
  • Blades can be replaced or updated if track is still working
  • Can span wide width
  • Affordable

Slimline venetians

  • Slim modern looking aluminium venetians
  • Can have wand controls to eliminate cords
  • Can span wide width
  • Modern colours
  • Affordable
  • Safe

For safety, remember that the biggest risk that blinds cause is a choking hazard to children and animals so;

– Make sure roller blind cords have safety locks installed so they cannot hook around a child’s neck

– Remove all chains from the bottom of vertical blinds. Choose sewn in or slip in bottom weights for vertical blinds instead

– Choose blinds that can be operated by wands, or motorised for a more luxurious property (motorisation might achieve a higher rent for you too!).

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Maintaining a timeless look

Most blinds are refreshed every 8 years, and often when a new coat of paint is applied. Apart from the walls in the house, the window treatments span the next biggest space and make the biggest impact to the look of the property, both inside and out, so;

– Choose colours that are neutral and timeless – greys, creams, off-whites

– Choose low maintenance fabrics/material that can easily be wiped down or cleaned to maintain their fresh look

– Choose correctly fitted blinds for the window with no gaps or overhanging

– Choose the right design of blind for a high traffic window. For example, a sliding door

– Choose block-out blinds for sleeping areas

What do tenants want when it comes to window coverings?

We should probably note what tenants prefer! No surprises here, roman or roller blinds are the most preferred window coverings for tenants.

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What are the main considerations for tenants?

  • Function – does it provide privacy in sleeping, dressing and bathing areas, block the sun, retain the warmth/cool within the house or all of the above?
  • Style – consider the style of the home. Would heavy curtains suit a modern house? Remember that tenants are home-proud too!

Your Fashionline team :)

Key Colour Trends

The current mood in design is all about slowing down and bringing back the idea of handcrafted, imperfect finishes. At the same time, softer shades and finishes are coming through. In these trends we find that;

Colours are more relaxed, with the aim of making spaces feel calm, warm and lived in.

Designers are using varied finishes to add layers and depth inside and out.

Colours are less intense compared to last season’s palette. There has been a greater shift towards matt or raw finished, pinks continue their rise, especially those with earthy undertones (dusty pinks particularly). Trending greys have coloured undertones in light and deep shades.

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Neutrals are no longer just cream or white. The new neutrals palette includes greys and pastels such as soft pinks, greens and blues.

Common among the various trend reports are softer neutrals, creamy whites, muted colours and rich dark hues.

Trends

 Soft natural paint colours will have warmer undertones this season, which make a space feel warm and cozy.

Mixing a soft neutral wall colour with a dark or bold colour in furniture, fabrics or art is a great way to add contrast to a space.

Dark Hues

Rich, dark hues are another common paint colour looking forward into next season.

Designers like mixing rich, dark colours with whites and soft neutrals to create contrast and make a statement.

Accent walls are a great way to create contrast in a space without painting the entire room a dark shade that may be overwhelming.

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Chestnut brown, deep burgundy, and dark blue are all beautiful deep colours that can make a statement and look stunning on walls, cabinetry, interior doors, and furniture.

Consider a combination of rich colours paired with shiny finishes like brass or chrome.

Muted colours

Muted colours are colours that have grey undertones, which diffuse or soften a colour.

They are a great compromise if you want to add colour to a space but you’re not quite ready to go bold and bright.

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Muted greens, blues and blush colours are versatile muted hues to consider.

White

White walls and cabinetry will continue to be a big trend in the coming season;

Consider creamy whites and whites with light warm grey undertones for cabinetry, doors, trim and home exteriors.

The easiest way to determine what shade to use is to sample white colours on a poster board in the room that you want to paint.

For exteriors, an easy way to sample colour is to paint two large poster boards with the colour you’re considering and tape to the windows. Check the colour in the morning, afternoon, and evening light to see if there any changes in the colour and to determine if the colour is right for your home.

Violet undertones

Whether light soft pinks, shades of mauve or deep purples, colours with violet undertones are a trend for the season that give a room stunning depth.

Warm greys

Grey is still a strong trend, however greys with warmer undertones will grow in popularity, moving from the cooler greys to the warmer ones.

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Insulation when it comes to blinds

With modern architecture focusing on open-plan designs and an abundance of natural light, as well as developments in glass technology, our windows are getting bigger.

Large windows can result in loss of heat in the colder months and can also let in too much heat in the warmer months. This can have undesired impact on the comfort levels within your home – which cause us to seek relief with an air-conditioners or fans, resulting in a higher power bill.

Traditional fabric blinds – Roller blinds, Roman shades, Panel glides and Vertical blinds

  • Advances in fabric technology mean these blinds have good insulating capabilities, as long as they are fitted well.
  • Textured fabrics, fabrics with reflective weaves, fabrics with block-out capability, and layered fabrics are all popular choices for these styles of blind. They also come in a wide variety of colours.

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Honeycomb blinds

At first glance, honeycomb blinds don’t seem as though they’d have a significant insulating impact as the fabric is hollow.

  • The hollow design is what gives these blinds their insulating properties. Air is a poor conductor of heat, very little heat passes through the structure of the blind, helping maintain your homes internal temperature.
  • Cellular fabric blinds are available in a range of colours and opacities, from block-out to sheer options.
  • Honeycomb blinds are ideal for large windows and difficult to reach windows such as skylights. Honeycomb blinds are also well-suited to motorisation.

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Blockout, translucent or sheer?

  • Sheer and translucent fabrics diffuse and deflect harsh light, protecting your rooms from the summer sun rays but still allowing light to enter.
  • Sheer and translucent fabrics are lightweight and attractive, balancing light control and glare and heat reduction.
  • Block-out fabrics offer total light control and have an excellent insulating effect, deflecting heat in summer and trapping in warmth in winter.
  • Block-out fabrics are ideal for rooms that receive a high degree of direct sun.

Roughly 40% of your heat or cold is coming through your windows, and anything you put on the window correctly-fitted will make a difference.

Remember;

  • Look for where the cold or heat could be coming in from other places around your home
  • Be aware of where the worst of the heat and cold weather affect your house.
  • Are there certain rooms that getting hotter or colder than others?

And finally, don’t forget external shades. These are often overlooked and can block out the most intense sun or wind!

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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! 

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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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.

 

 

 

 

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!

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