What are the benefits of motorisation window furnishings?

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

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Image credit: Absol Awning Blind & Shutter Solutions

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

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

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

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

Suitable for a range of blinds, curtains and awning options

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

Other benefits include:

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

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Image credit: Straitline Blinds

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

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

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

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

Your Fashionline team.

 

Which is the better choice: Wooden Blinds or Faux Wooden Blinds?

It’s the battle of the blinds; wooden blinds vs faux wooden blinds. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, and you’ll probably need both when kitting out your home’s interiors. The guide below takes the guesswork out of choosing the right blinds for certain areas in your home.

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Image credit: Blindware

Wooden Blinds

Wooden blinds are timeless, and the appeal of authentic wood is hard to match. These blinds go especially well in homes with modern architecture and wooden furniture. In saying this, the versatility of wood means blinds can be as light or as dark as you like, and it’s easy to match with existing home décor.

Not Suitable in High Humidity

One thing to keep in mind is that wooden blinds are not suitable in environments with high humidity, like bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. Wooden blinds will warp, fade and stain when exposed to high levels of moisture in the air. This changes the blind’s aesthetic and function. When it comes to cleaning, you should not use water on your wooden blinds; use a duster, cloth and furniture polish instead.

Natural Insulation

Wood is a natural insulator, providing protection from stinking hot days and the colder ones too. Wood reduces solar heat gain, keeping interiors cool on hot days and reducing energy consumption. Ultimately, they will help keep your energy bills low, especially if you live in a tropic or subtropic region.

A Little More Expensive

When compared to faux wooden blinds, real wood blinds are a little more expensive. They also may not age as well as faux wooden blinds, without proper care. In saying this, you pay for quality and at the end of the day, nothing can replace the elegance of real wood.

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Image credit: Straitline Blinds

Faux Wooden Blinds

Faux Wooden blinds, made from a durable polymer material, are designed to look like the real thing. They have all the charm of natural wood and they give you a little more flexibility when it comes to window covering treatments in all areas of your home.

They are Waterproof

Unlike wood, plastic is waterproof. So, if you are putting blinds into your bathroom, kitchen or laundry (in fact, anywhere with high humidity) you must install faux wooden blinds because they won’t warp, fade or stain. Being waterproof, faux wooden blinds are much easier to clean, and can even be hosed down for a deep clean.

Colour Variety

Being a plastic material, faux wooden blinds come in a wide range of colours. They can be made to match any wood material, with an array of texture-rich wood grain finishes. These blinds can be made in neutrals and whites as well, allowing you to be more creative in your home decorating.

Durability

Faux wooden blinds last very well in any setting. Being plastic, they won’t crack, peel or chip over time. While real wood is often chosen for its authentic look, faux wooden blinds can offer a low maintenance alternative that will see you through the years.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. It’s so important to consider the environment where your blinds will live and to make sure you are choosing a material that will last.

Your Fashionline team.

Which window furnishings are best for your rental property?

Whether you are building a new build, have purchased an investment or a run-down property that needs some TLC… installing window furnishings can help maximise your weekly rental income and attract potential tenants.

Window treatments not only create privacy, but they also generate a sense of ambience and softness within a room, they help make a room appear bigger and most importantly… increase the capital value of your property, which allows you to charge more rent per week – so it’s vital, if you choose to install window treatments, that you install the right furnishings from the get-go!

Cost effective option

Curtains can be both the cheapest and most expensive window treatments on the market. They can adapt easily to suit windows of all shapes and sizes, as well as creating the desired style you wish to achieve e.g. floor to ceiling curtains, or curtains installed just above the window frame.

With a wide selection of fabrics and colours to choose from, we recommend choosing a neutral colour tone for your curtains to help appeal to a larger audience.
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Image credit: ABC Blinds

Low to mid range option

Blinds are a highly attractive furnishing – they provide partial shade or block out the afternoon sun, they are easy to use and can be made from a variety of materials such as soft cotton fabrics, natural fibres e.g. timber or plastic-coated fabric that helps block out light.

Vertical and venetian blinds are often favoured, however, these types of blinds might be the cheaper option in the beginning but in the long run they could become the costliest option due to tenants mistreating them, incurring damage and needing to be repaired or replaced.

Don’t get us wrong, vertical and venetian blinds are a great blind to install, but if you are after a window furnishing that is going to last in a rental and does not need fixing or replacing very often, we recommend installing roller blinds due to their durability, inviting price tag, are easy to maintain and have a modern look and feel.

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Image credit: Scorpio Screens & Blinds

High range option

Plantation Shutters are the costliest option out of the three to install, however, they also help increase your rental return. These types of shutters can be customised to suit windows and doors of all shapes and sizes, which is why they continue to be very popular with investors. These shutters are available in a range of colours, but neutral tones are favourable due to their classic timeless look. Angling the louvres allows the user to have control over their privacy e.g. stopping people looking into the home without sacrificing the natural light. Despite the price tag, these shutters are worth the investment, they are long lasting due to being built with durable materials and are easier to clean when comparing these shutters to venetian blinds – which will highly appeal to the rental market.

Picture 1Image credit: Bush’s blinds

When renting your property, you want to make sure that your home appeals to as many people as possible… especially if you are wanting to maximise your rental return or sell in the future. If you are unsure which treatment is best suited for your property, we encourage you to discuss your window furnishing needs with one of our experts.

Your Fashionline team.

To sheer or not to sheer

Sheer curtains, also known as sheers, continue to be one of the most versatile window treatments on the market. This is due to their ability to be well-matched with different types of window furnishings and their lightweight, partially see-through fabric which help diffuse and soften the light entering the room. They also offer daytime privacy without sacrificing the natural light – bonus! Sheers continue to be popular with homeowners as they can be customised in length and width to suit windows and doors of all sizes, they add a sense of elegance, softness and style to any room… without the hefty price tag.

A popular, and on-trend, type of sheer are s-fold curtains. They are attached to a special track that helps create a wave-like effect to the curtain – this effect is proving very popular and helps add depth and movement to any room.

Creative BlinfsImage credit: Creative Blinds & Shutters

Sheer curtain over Venetian blinds

Combining these two types of window furnishing is perfect for those looking to furnish rooms with windows that face the afternoon sun. Pairing a sheer curtain with Venetian blind allows you to have more control over blocking out the afternoon sun whilst still allowing a soft, diffused light into the room.

Sheer curtains, as well as Venetian blinds, are available in an array of colours and materials, which can ensure your window furnishings not only complement each other, but also the aesthetics of your room. For example, a timber Venetian blind paired with a white sheer curtain creates a warm, inviting and natural look in your home.

Sheer curtain over a roller blind

A common question that gets asked is “do curtains and roller blinds work together?”. The answer is… YES!

With various styles and patterns to choose from in both types of furnishings, mixing colours, textures and patterns are a great option to add vibrance or create a feature within a room… provided they are executed correctly.

A great combination is a roller blind in a block colour such as a navy blue, paired with a stone coloured sheer curtain, each colour compliments each other and creates a warm and inviting room.

Sheers by themselves

If you are wanting to make your room or home feel as spacious as possible, we recommend installing ceiling to floor sheers. Installing your curtains to the ceiling instead of above the window frame emphasises the height of your space and creates the illusion of higher ceilings.

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Image credit: Kyal and Kara

Sheer curtains alone are the best choice when trying to create a sense of space in a small room. Contact one of our knowledgeable experts if you would like to find out more and they will be able to assist you with your window furnishing choice.

Your Fashionline team.

 

 

Which window treatment will work best with my window frame?

What comes to mind when you think of architecture? Large scaled buildings, landmarks, places of worship, visually stunning buildings?

Today, it is quite common for people to hire an architect to help design their home. These types of homes are often designed with eccentric layouts, intricate exteriors both visually and structurally and sometimes even unique windows. If you watched The Block this year, you would have seen two of the contestants installing round windows in their studio… which looked fantastic. But how do you furnish them?

We’ve outlined the best dressings to use below:

Curtains and Sheers

Curtains continue to be the most versatile window treatment on the market and can be used for both windows and doors of all sizes. When dressing for example, arched windows, there are several placements where curtains or sheers can be installed. For those that wish to create a sense of privacy as appose to using curtains to block out light, simply install a curtain rod below the arch. This will help break up the window into two sections – the lower section can be used to create privacy, whilst the top section can continue to fill the room with natural light.

ABC BlinfdImage credit: ABC Blinds 

Vertical blinds

Circular, arched and even triangled window shapes are becoming increasingly popular, so much so, that the need to dress these shapes is in high demand. Vertical blinds are custom made, just like plantation shutters but are a cheaper option. Because they are custom made these blinds can easily be tailored to suit all window and door shapes.

Plantation Shutters

Plantation Shutters continue to be a popular furnishing choice and there are many factors as to why, but one in particular, is the fact that each shutter is custom made… which means they can be tailored to fit windows and doors of all shapes and sizes.

ABSOL -Image credit: ABSOL

Roller Blinds

These types of blinds are usually installed above the window frame, but if your window is a circle or arched shape, roller blinds can be installed on the windowsill instead. The reason this is installed this way is to ensure the circular or arched part of the blind is visible first. To ensure that the blind remains taut when in use, a blind guidance frame will be installed either inside or on the trim of your window.

Nowadays it is very common to pair a sheer and a plantation shutter or roller blind and having an unusual shaped window shouldn’t be an exception! No matter the shape of the window… you can’t go wrong with a blind and sheer curtain combo!

Your Fashionline team.

What are the best window furnishings for a bathroom?

Bathroom window treatments offer more than just privacy, they also offer a sense of comfort to a room that can appear very cold or they can simply be used for a pop of colour to help brighten the room… but where do you start when choosing the best furnishing for an area prone to moisture?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right furnishing for your bathroom for example; it’s uses, practicality, colour, operation or maintenance.

To make the decision easier, we have outlined our favourite bathroom window treatments and why:

Sheer curtains

estliving.comImage credit: Estliving.com

These soft, lightweight curtains are perfect for creating privacy whilst wanting to utilise the natural light as much as possible. Sheers are easy to maintain too, known for their light material, these curtains dry quickly and can easily be taken down and washed to refresh them. When picking out your sheer, make sure to choose a cotton fabric as this helps the curtain withhold the humidity in the air.

Plantation Shutters

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Image credit: Campbell & heeps

It may be surprising to hear that aluminium plantation shutters can be used for both interior and exterior use. Many refer to aluminium shutters as an exterior only shutter, but because of their durability, effectiveness and water-resistant material these shutters are perfect for all wet areas… inside and out.

PVC shutters are extremely popular, not only for their appearance but for their competitive price point. Compared to aluminium shutters, they are obviously the cheaper option. But if you choose to go down this road, ensure that the ‘bones’ of the shutters are made from aluminium as this will help with the durability of the shutters and help prevent distortion of the blades from the moisture in the air

Roller blinds

Bob Burns Blinds

Image credit: Bob Burns Blinds

Roller blinds are another popular window treatment and are known to be the most versatile. They are the perfect option for those seeking a minimalistic look and wishing for their blinds to go unnoticed. They can be adjusted to create as much or as little privacy as possible and are available in a generous selection of colours, patterns and fabrics to suit any bathroom design.

As a bonus, waterproof fabrics are available. However, if you have a specific pattern/colour in mind, an antifungal treatment can be applied to prevent moisture build-up and make them suitable for wet areas, but bear in mind this would need to be re-applied over time.

Venetian blinds

Bob Burns Blinds 2

Image credit: Bob Burns Blinds

Aluminium venetian blinds continue to be one of the most popular blind options for bathrooms. Available in an array of sizes, colours and finishes it’s easy to see why. When choosing a venetian, it is important to choose a blind made from aluminium as they are more resilient in high moisture environments, this will help guarantee the blind will not swell or warp.

As well as choosing an aluminium blind you will need to make sure it is made with plastic mechanisms used for adjusting the tilt and position of the slats. Most blinds are made with steel components, which in a wet area will reduce the durability of your blind.

Your Fashionline Team.

Member Profile: Bob Burns Blinds

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

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

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

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

Who makes up your team?

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

What’s special about your service?

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

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

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Which products do you specialise in?

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

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

What geographical areas do you cover?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All This Rain is Making Everything Dirty!

We’ve had a lot of rain this autumn already, and this weather can lead to dirt, grime, mould, mildew, and lack of energy for cleaning!

Here are some tips from the experts to help with some of your common window cleaning issues…

If your screens are worse than your windows 

Remove and take them outside. Pick up the screen by its edges, hold it at an angle so most of the screen surface is facing the ground, and tap one edge lightly against a firm surface. This will shake any dirt loose. Using a broad, soft-bristled brush, scrub both sides of the screens with warm or hot water and lemon-scented dishwashing detergent. Rinse with a hose and air-dry thoroughly before reinstalling.

If your windows get dirty unusually fast

Change the filter in your heating and/or cooling system. Modern airtight homes trap more dust, pollen, dander, dangerous mould and other particles inside than ever before. While air conditioner filters extend the life of your appliances, they also help trap that dirt. Filters should be changed every month or two, or anytime you can’t see through the filter when you hold it up to a light. Cleaning your air conditioning filter regularly is also an inexpensive way to keep your house cooler/warmer.

If your blinds are the problem

Dust or wash them. Dust blinds regularly with a soft cloth, a duster, or the dusting brush on your vacuum. Be sure to dust both sides of the shades. If they’re stained or spotted, it’s time for a real cleaning. Though you can wash them in place (with a drop cloth over the floor and furniture), it’s best to remove them. Place one shade at a time across a worktable covered with a plastic sheet or shower curtain. Wash vinyl blinds using a sponge and a solution of 1⁄4 cup white vinegar in a tub of warm water. Washing them in the bathtub is even easier. Run some warm water in the tub, add a squirt of dishwashing liquid, and wipe each side with a large sponge. To rinse, dunk them in clean water or hold them under the shower. Then wipe with a clean, soft cloth. Many fabric blinds can also be washed, but take a close look at the care instructions before washing them! It’s best not to leave them in the water for more than a minute.

If you can’t keep outside windowsills clean

Apply a coat of floor wax. Because your exterior windows are, well, exterior, they are subject to collecting a lot of dirt. Wax is the simplest (and most effective) way to protect your sills. A coat of WD-40 can also protect your windows from the elements.

If there’s mould or mildew on your window frames

Wash with a bleach-detergent solution. Black or gray mould spots on wooden frames can be cleaned for good with a solution of 2 parts household bleach and part laundry detergent in a tub of water. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands, sponge the solution on the spots, let it sit for ten minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

If your blinds are always dusty

Use an antiseptic spray (read care instructions first though!). The best way to keep dust from piling up quickly is by applying a spray, such as Static Guard, on the window blinds right after you clean them. If dust is a problem in other parts of your home, other cleaning strategies may be more effective.

If your windows are always streaky after washing

Use a window-washing squeegee with a smooth, soft rubber edge. Dry a one-inch strip at the top or side of each window and always start your squeegee there. Starting on dry glass is one key to avoiding streaks. Don’t wash windows in direct sunlight, because quickly dried glass is more susceptible to streaking. Evenings or cloudy days are the best times for window washing.

Happy cleaning!

The Fashionline Team.

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.

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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