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

campbell & heeps

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.

 

Conserve energy with Window Furnishings

Conserve energy with Window Furnishings

Passive solar building design or climatic design takes best advantage of the local climate and the design of windows, walls and floors store and distribute solar energy without the aid of mechanical or electrical gadgets.

Without effective energy efficient window treatments, up to 50% of a home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. A simple way and effective way to reduce energy consumption and to protect internal furnishings from fading is by covering your windows from the hot Australian sun.

Stop the Sun before it hits your Windows

The most effective way to reduce the heat from the sun is to shade your windows and sliding doors to stop the sun seeping in. Stopping the sun’s heat before it penetrates through is up to 7 times more effective than using roller blinds or curtains.

External window shading options include, fixed metal or carbolite awnings, canvas or acryllic awnings, shutters and louvred awnings. The styles vary from fixed, straight­drop, folding arm, pivot arm awnings, with the control options being manual, crank, spring or motorised.

Aluminium roller shutters provide all year round thermal, light, and noise protection with the added benefits of security, storm protection and protection from the radiant heat of bush fires. They provide up to 90% reduction from the effects of UV rays.

Traditional awnings made from quality canvas, sun screen or acrylic materials are available as 100% block out or mesh light filtering fabrics.

Fixed carbolite awnings that have been treated can provide 99.9% UV protection. They are available in many shapes and sizes, from the traditional bull ­nosed, domed and the conventional flat. These awnings will last longer than traditional fabric awnings.

Window furnishings aren’t just a decoration

There are many choices of fabrics and styles of curtains to suit any style of home and many practical reasons for their installation. The effectiveness of curtains depends on the fabric choice and whether the window covering is opened, closed, raised or lowered. In order for curtains to be effective, it is recommended they reach a long way below the bottom of the window frame.

Venetians blinds allow you to control the angle of light entering the room and provide privacy allowing you to see out. Timber venetians can provide some insulating properties in a closed position though due to the slats will not be effective as other options.

Roller and roman blinds keep the heat in due to the fact they are one continuous piece of fabric and are most effective at keeping heat in when they sit up against the window frame.

Timber shutters are crafted from plantation wood or PVC and provide great insulation. Wooden shutters are selected for its long lasting elegance, consistent grain and strength. PVC shutters are fire retardant, termite resistant and mould proof making them ideal for wet areas. They provide character and real style to your home.

Australia has very diverse climates and depending on whether you’re in Victoria or QLD, more than half of your household energy use goes to heating and cooling that is wasted. The cracks and gaps in an average home equate to having a 1 x 1.5 metre windows open all of the time. Forty percent of the heat loss is through uncovered windows.

Creating a comfortable living space is as important as choosing the perfect window fashion. Contact your local awning or blind expert to get specialised advice and service. Alternatively, don’t hesitate to contact us at Fashionline Group.

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