Consumer Errors 101

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

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

window furnishings right

Consumers who buy the cheapest product

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

Consumers who use fragile products on West facing windows

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

Consumers who don’t consider window size

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

Stack

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

Consumers expecting full blockout from all products

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

Consumers not looking for quality features such as lined curtains

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

Consumers not comparing apples with apples

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

Consumer DIY Installations

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

Consumers not considering the era of their homes

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

Consumers who don’t think about street appeal

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

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

 

Escape with style this summer season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fashionline Team.

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

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.

Building & Window Furnishings – What’s On Trend?

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

recessed curtain tracks

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

bulkhead NO cornices

 

 

 

 

(bulkhead, no cornices)

Ceiling mounted tracks:

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

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

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

ceiling mounted double track

 

 

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

Finding the Best Curtain and Blind Fabric to Suit You

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

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

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

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

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

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

Menu Title