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!

Consumer Errors 101

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

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

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Consumers who buy the cheapest product

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

Consumers who use fragile products on West facing windows

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

Consumers who don’t consider window size

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

Stack

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

Consumers expecting full blockout from all products

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

Consumers not looking for quality features such as lined curtains

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

Consumers not comparing apples with apples

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

Consumer DIY Installations

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

Consumers not considering the era of their homes

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

Consumers who don’t think about street appeal

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

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

 

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)

How to dress Difficult Windows

Have you ever wondered how to dress a Bay Window? While it’s a delight to have original period features, they can prove to be decorative challenges. Bay windows are grand and easy on the eye, and will open a space far more than a basic window. There’s more glass on show and the design projects across three planes. This lets in so much valuable sunlight and offers expansive views up and down the street – it’s why bay windows have been so popular over the years. But it’s these benefits that also create difficulties for bay windows. Sometimes the sunlight coming in can be too much, and privacy can be a problem because of people being able to look in … from all angles.

The expert advice … dress a bay window with shutters. To start with, installing made-to-measure shutters means each panel is designed to fit each section of the window. The outcome is something customised and beautifully unique for your space. You can adjust each individual panel to let more or less light in, or for privacy reasons. Also, with custom colour options available from so many suppliers, you can style with the perfect shade for your room and furniture.

…And what about a Crittall Window?

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The current trend for open-plan living and the industrial style have seen a surge in Crittall Windows. They’re often associated with the Art Deco period of the 1930s, but their history actually stretches back to the Victorian era. Their ongoing popularity proves that exceptional design never goes out of style. The delicate, thin lines of the steel frame have an industrial but very contemporary aura. The real appeal though is how Crittall Windows allow a room to be zoned, and create a sense of continuity between the living and outside areas. If you worry that they look too sterile or cold, then lined curtains can add a splash of colour, softness and privacy when needed. The insulation they also provide can keep the space warmer over winter and reduce the harshness of the frame, while still letting it be the feature you are after. The most important thing to think about when you’re dressing Crittals is to extend the track as far and as wide as it can go so the curtains can be pushed back to maintain the integrity of the Crittal frame. You don’t want to hide it.

Get in the mind of the buyer

Aesthetics and function combine when it comes to furnishing windows. Here are some things to consider that will be, or should be, top of the buyer’s mind…

A touch of Style

The aesthetic impact of window coverings is often the main motivating factor for buyers, as the right choice can completely transform a living space.

Social Media has had a huge impact on buyers -those beautiful inspirational pictures are generally centred on the style and look people want to achieve in their home, whether it’s contemporary, minimalist, country, industrial, beach hamptons, french provincial etc.

Pay attention to the pictures – there’s a reason they are showing you Instagram images. A buyer will want to “copy” the look and may go elsewhere if you try to steer them away from what they are showing you. Make sure you show them that you really ‘get it’ – the specific decorative style and colours they are after.

Control the light

Light control is an important benefit delivered by window coverings, and a facet that shouldn’t be overlooked, as it has a big impact on a home’s liveability. The buyer should know what they want, but you can ask questions relating to the room, what it’s used for, do they need to watch TV and movies in the room? What is the aspect and the warmth/cold that it endures? Make sure they’ve really considered light control and flexibility before purchase.

Ensure Privacy

With the majority of Australians living in urban areas and with neighbours close by, privacy is an important consideration.

If you can see through window coverings during the day, from inside at night, it will be the reverse, and people outside will be able to see straight in. So choosing the right coverings ensures a home remains private for your buyer.

Create Mood

The mood of a house is absolutely a function of the window dressings. Mood is influenced by many factors, including light, privacy and style – which can all be summed up in the right window treatment. Again, taking note of the pictures your buyer shows you is really important, and don’t forget to ask questions – what kind of mood do you see in this room? Peaceful, quiet… or fun, bright and active?

Deliver Thermal Comfort

Windows are essentially ‘holes’ in a home, so keeping the heat out in summer and the warmth in during winter is an important job for a home’s window coverings. They also help to reduce electricity bills.

Well-fitted, custom-made window coverings will deliver the highest level of thermal comfort, so make sure you bring this up when speaking to customers.

Add to Energy Efficiency

With Australians typically spending 41% of their household energy expenditure managing their home’s temperature, the right window coverings can save money, all year round.

Muffle Sound

Many people don’t consider the acoustic benefits of great window coverings.

A room with lots of hard surfaces that echoes, or hearing road noise from inside can be pretty unpleasant. But choosing the right window coverings can help dampen these sounds, so find out how noisy your buyer’s neighbourhood / family is.

Safety for Kids & Pets

Safety might not spring to mind when thinking about window coverings, but tangled cords pose a serious safety risk to children and pets. Most Australian households have either a child or a pet, or both, so safety is an important consideration. All modern window treatments comply with the latest child safety regulations, but make sure you mention this to buyers, find out if they have young children, and take appropriate action to minimise risks with their purchase.

We hope these tips have been helpful!

The Fashionline Team.

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