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?

EPSON MFP image

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.

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.

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.

Spring is in the air!

Spring is upon us! It’s when we let the warm breezes in and throw away the winter clutter … or at least intend to …

The 2016 Spring Season for decorating is set to inspire feelings of homeliness, nurturing and relaxation. With “colours that calm” at the forefront, pale palettes: sky blues, spring greens – sage green, mint green, mustard yellows, and playful splashes of pink.

We will see the clever use of all things textured – rustic touches, detailed kitchen splash-backs, decorated entryways, upholstered headboards, embroidered pillows. And more original ideas – like painting the inside of your kitchen cupboards in the above mentioned tones.

To compliment these fresh feels, and to bridge the worlds of ‘outside and in’, window furnishings will play an integral role this Spring. Decorators will be looking to enhance their new styles with customised window furnishings.

One trend that’s always in style for Spring is using window treatments that allow a lot of natural light into the space. Vision Blinds are an innovative option that feature two layers of translucent and opaque horizontal striped fabric. They not only look great but are practical too.

Organic materials are bringing nature indoors, nature-inspired and eco-friendly materials and designs like Timber Venetians and Plantation Shutters evoke ‘plantation’ and ‘raffles’ decorating styles, and are an economical choice without compromising on style and quality. These simple yet highly effective window treatments are easy to install, and provide an efficient and inexpensive mechanism for controlling light, room temperature and cross ventilation this spring.

Because florals are on the return – wallpapers, and even cherry blossoms, one may choose to project a feeling of Asian inspired peace and tranquility with a Japanese Shoji Screen. A Shoji is a sliding window or door panel in a traditional Japanese house. They allow soft, diffused light to filter from the outside, and provide a cherry-blossom ambience.

Colours will be used to brighten spaces this season. Yellow epitomises warmth and a sunny outlook toward the future, so expect to see some yellow tones.

Whatever the choice of the decorator, remember that customised window furnishings play an integral role when Spring is in the air!

 

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