Member Profile: Launceston Blinds

Launceston Blinds Canvas & Awnings is a Tasmanian owned and operated business which was first established in 2005. New owners Kerry and Dale Arnold took over the business in 2017 and during this time, they have undergone a rebrand and business name change. Formally known as ‘Drummond Blinds & Canvas’, both Kerry and Dale felt the name change was a necessary requirement for the profiling of their business. We spoke to owner Dale Arnold for our latest Fashionline Member Profile.

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Who makes up your team?

Our team consist of six team members, myself (Dale), Jeff and Hans, we focus on exterior window furnishings and Kerry (my wife), Brett and Lisa focus on interior treatments.

What’s special about their service?

We pride ourselves on our ability to problem solve, there is not a problem that we cannot solve. Our team thoroughly understands the needs of our clients and we go to great efforts to ensure that our customers are happy with the final product.

Which products do you specialise in?

We are a specialist in all of our window treatments, but in particular our roller blinds and vertical panel slides have been proven a popular choice with our customers.

Our external blinds are equally as popular, a lot of our customers approach us for help with their outdoor entertaining areas, we often suggest our exterior shutters and a range of awning products.

What geographical areas do they cover?

We are based in Launceston and serve the Launceston area as well as the surrounding areas such as Ross, Scottsdale and Port Sorel.

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

We recently changed our business name and refreshed our logo, so with that, we have designed and executed a new website that exudes the same look and feel.

Our goal this year is to work on our social media presence, we are planning on doing this with regular up to date and interesting Facebook posting, as well as interacting with our customers. Our overall goal is to bring more awareness to our brand.

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

We really pride ourselves on our problem-solving skills. We enjoy interacting with our customers and showing our willingness to achieve the look and feel they are aiming for.

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

We enjoy interacting with our customers on a daily basis, helping them with their needs and exceeding their expectations.

Fashionline: Celebrating 30 years of service

2020 is special year for Fashionline and is a year that deserves celebration. With so much uncertainty in the world right now, we feel very proud of our achievement.

When the idea for Fashionline first started, it was a very different time for the window treatment industry. John Wood (original founder and previous owner of Wagga Blinds & Awnings) and Ray Watson (Watson Blinds) first met at an industry trade show in the late 80’s and were both running small businesses at the time. With growing frustrations and limited access to products and suppliers, as well as manufacturing costs within the Australian Market, they thought to themselves that others in the industry must also be struggling with the same challenges.

“We didn’t know exactly what we wanted to create, but we knew we wanted to talk to some other business owners that were having the same challenges as we were, and maybe we could start a buying group” says Ray Watson, Watson Blinds.

Soon after the initial thought, they approached other businesses in the industry and when interest peaked, a formal meet and greet was organised in Sydney, which resulted in further interest by all attendees and those met as a result of these connections.

Then named “The Independent Home Improvement Group” began to form but heavily relied on the business owners volunteering their spare time and business resources to help gain traction. Over time, the group gained interest with new members and suppliers which resulted in branching out and renaming the group, Fashionline.

Ray Watson from Watson Blinds receiving an award from a supplier.

Ray Watson from Watson Blinds receiving an award from a supplier.

The next challenge was to negotiate with supplier Rollease Acmeda, known then as Sbriggs. The negotiations resulted in placing an order for a 40ft shipping container filled with vertical blind componentry. Once an order was placed, the next step was to negotiate and form a partnership with textile supplier Bradmill Textiles. Until this partnership was formed, blind makers communicated with canvas wholesalers, it was unheard of dealing with a canvas manufacturer directly, which was something that made Fashionline unique.

Today Fashionline is ran by a board of directors and has grown immensely. We have 27 members (and growing each year) that have access to 23 unique suppliers across Australia. We are very proud of what Fashionline has accomplished over the last 30 years and we look forward to watching the company continue to grow.

Your Fashionline Team.

Can updating window furnishings pay off in the long run?

Whilst everyone was staying at home during COVID-19, home renovations fast became the activity to do to keep entertained, updating your window furnishings can add a substantial amount of value to your home, but did you know you can do this without paying the big bucks?

A simple, yet affective way is to upgrade them to mirror current interior trends. Installing popular furnishings such as a Plantation Shutter or Roller Blinds with a sheer curtain over the top can provide an up to date, modern look to any home.

Bush's Blingds

Image credit: Bush’s Blinds

When researching different styles, you will quickly see that floor to ceiling and wall to wall curtains radiates an elegant, modern and sophisticated look that is quickly becoming very popular. Installing this style of window treatment can change a person’s perspective of your room size by giving off the illusion that the room is much larger than it actually is.

Scorpio Screens PTY Ltd

Image credit: Scorpio Screen & Blinds Pty Ltd

If you didn’t already know, Plantation Shutters are an extremely popular window accessory, which is favoured by most consumers as they are not only modern but also act as a great insulator. During the winter months, these shutters help keep the warm air inside whilst blocking the cold air outside, and in summer these shutters work the same way, but in reverse. Installing a window treatment that also acts as an insulator, over time, can help reduce the cost of running heating and cooling appliances, because of this, they quickly become a valuable furnishing to your home.

Stan Bond screens

Image credit: Stan Bond Screen & Shade Solutions

Updating window furnishings doesn’t necessarily mean upgrading interior blinds or curtains, outdoor security screens are just as much a part of the window furnishing family. Installing these types of screens can help create a sense of protection, which can be a necessity or they can help provide an added layer of protection for both the elderly or young families.

Your Fashionline Team.

How often should you update your window furnishings?

From ever changing trends or home renovations to wear and tear, have you asked the question how often you should update your window furnishings? Your window furnishings can transform your homes overall aesthetic, so you’ll want to take care and consideration when making the decision to upgrade.

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Image credit: Premier Shades

Consider the different types of window furnishings available

With there being so many different types of window furnishings from blinds, shutters, awnings and curtains, what you currently have installed can influence your upgrade decision. You’ll need to consider which types of window furnishings will suit your needs? When deciding this, you will need to take into account the size of the room, the level of light and ventilation control that is needed and finally, the size and type of window/patio door that the furnishing will be installed on.

Why do you need to update your window furnishing?

As trends change, so does taste in interior design. Choosing to update your window furnishing may be purely for aesthetic purposes, however, other factors such as; new design patterns, product quality improvements or changing from manual to automation all contribute to furnishings being updated regularly. If you are renovating in the near future, this can be a great opportunity to opt for different types of window furnishings that you may not usually choose – without much disruption.

Stan Bond

Image credit: Stan Bond

Once you have decided to make the investment in new window furnishings the first step, is getting in contact with a window furnishing specialist for a measure and quote. Your local specialist will be able to advise on window furnishings that will best suit your needs.

Your Fashionline team.

 

Plantation Shutters: A stylish and smart investment

Are you looking to update your home decor and need beautiful window furnishings to match?

Then Plantation Shutters are the furnishing for you. Why not take advantage of your extra time at home and create an ideal space that’s not only modern but allows you to let in natural light while ensuring privacy.

Plantation Shutters consists of a wide range of internal and external shutters and can come in a wide range of sizes. Each beautiful, practical and economical and are built with the strength to last a lifetime.

These are a great addition to any home, coming in a wide range of finishing and materials such as; Wood, Vinyl, PVC or Aluminium, as well as this, there are several benefits of installing shutters, we have listed our top benefits below:

Creative Blinds Ballina 2

Image credit: Creative Blinds for Interior & Exterior

Light control and insulation

Shutter louvres allow you to adjust the amount of sunlight entering your home – helping you to control the temperature and ventilation inside.

Customisable

Shutters can be custom made to suit all shapes and sizes of windows and doorways. They are also available in a range of finishing’s, so you’ll be sure to find something to complement your home.

Increase the value of your home

Plantation shutters have an attractive aesthetic that suits almost any decor and have been proven to be a timeless investment. They can also increase your homes ‘curb appeal’.

 Easy to care for and durable

 Plantation shutters have also proven to be easy to care for window furnishings. Made of long-lasting materials and often just need a wipe down with a damp cloth.

Alltone Shutters 2

Image credit: Alltone Shutters

Whether you’re looking for a stylish way to improve your home, give it a different look or just want to change things up a bit. There is a large range of shutters available to you, speak to an experienced team member for an affordable, effective solution for you and your home.

Your Fashionline Team.

 

Beat the heat by installing these window furnishings

An air-conditioned house during summer sounds like every person’s dream, but not everyone can afford to have luxuries such as air-conditioning! That’s when window furnishings come into play, choosing the right window coverings can help keep your house cool and reduce the intensity of those summer rays.

Cellular blinds, also known as Honeycomb blinds

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(Image credit: maisondereve.tk)

Cellular Blinds are the most popular and effective shades when it comes to keeping the heat out. Cellular blinds have hexagonal cells which form a honeycomb looking structure (hence, where they got their name from), this unique structure helps trap the outside heat in these cells, keeping you comfortable inside.

As a bonus, these types of blinds work wonders during the Winter months, just like Summer, they trap the cold air inside of the cells, making them a well-rounded blind for the entire year.

Roller Blinds

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(Image credit: Instagram.com/mottura_spa)

There are many benefits from installing roller blinds, they are perfect for both small and large windows as they come in a variety of sizes. As well as this, roller blinds can be made in a wide selection of fabrics, from sheer to block out. To beat the summer heat, we suggest picking an insulating fabric which will help keep the heat out. Roller blinds are a popular choice in Australian households due to the way they are operated, however, if desired, these blinds can be fully motorised, as well as options to control the blinds directly from your phone, tablet or home automation making it easy to block out the western rays before you get home from work.

Curtains

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(Image credit: chrislovesjulia.com)

Blackout curtains and thermal curtains are a cheap solution to blocking out the intense summer heat. They are made with a multi-layer backing that is made from tightly woven fabric resulting in 99.9% of the light being blocked out.

By keeping the light out, blackout curtains can help reduce the room’s temperature during summer, because these curtains have multiple layers, they can also act as an insulator during winter and keep the heat in. As a bonus, these curtains have been proven to help drown out outside noise, perfect for that lazy Sunday morning.

Don’t be fooled though, just because they are called blackout curtains doesn’t mean they are only available in black, they are in fact available in a selection of different colours. For that added touch of luxury, these curtains can also be motorised.

 

Your Fashionline Team.

What window furnishings are best for large sliding doors?

For the last few years, sliding doors in homes are getting bigger and taller and more popular. By having large sliding doors, it welcomes in lots of natural light as well as giving your home an indoor-outdoor vibe. But what kind of window treatment would work best in an area like this?

Have you heard of Vertisheers yet?

Yep, it’s exactly as it sounds…  a vertical blind and a sheer curtain. Vertisheer blinds are quickly becoming a luxury window treatment and it is easy to see why.

(image credit: lunchboxarcgitect.com)

When the blind is open the sheer fabric offers privacy whilst still letting in lots of natural light just like a sheer curtain, however, when the blind is closed, the vertical vanes provide maximum privacy like a traditional vertical blind. This innovative design has captured the stylish and warmth of a sheer curtain and the practicality of a block-out blind which has resulted in a product that is fast becoming a ‘must-have’ in the window treatment world.

The lightweight fabric is easy to clean and can be purchased in an array of colours to suit everyone’s décor. For those that do not have large sliding doors, these blinds are available for all window and door sizes. For that added touch of luxury and convenience, these blinds can even be motorised.

(Image credit: threebirdsrenovations.com)

(Image credit: threebirdsrenovations.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 
As the large sliding door trend continues to grow in Australia, window treatments for this area will continue to be in high demand, be prepared to answer questions about this product from your customers.

(Image credit: bushsblinds.com.au)

(Image credit: bushsblinds.com.au)

 

 

 

 

Your Fashionline Team.

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! 

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.

 

 

 

 

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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