Look for Australian Standards When Choosing Blinds

Has the time come to replace those tired, old window blinds with bright and modern new ones? Have you checked the internet, looked through magazines and watched the latest home improvement programs for ideas and colour schemes? Perhaps you have already made some style choices, but have you based these choices on fashion only, or did you consider other aspects like functionality, and more importantly, safety?

Mandatory Standards Ensure Product Safety

Every blind manufacturer wants to create a product that is popular with the public and which sells well. They put a lot of effort into design so their blinds are practical, and they use materials and colours that look good. Now, there are mandatory standards in place to ensure that they are also safe to use in the average household.

This is something we are aware of as a provider of blind cleaning, repair and replacement services. At Blind Concepts, we offer an alternative to spending a lot of money on fully replacing your blinds. We restore damaged blinds by replacing slats and slat hangers, resewing where necessary and replacing chains, cords or wands.

New Rules for Labelling, Packaging and Installation

The Competition and Consumer (Corded Internal Window Coverings) Safety Standard 2014 came into effect on 1 January 2015 and this applies to all corded internal window coverings supplied from 31 December 2010. Now, there are requirements for the labelling and packaging of these types of blinds, as well as the installation.

Specific Measures Designed to Prevent Accidents

Corded internal window coverings must be installed so that a loose cord cannot form a loop 220mm or longer at or less than 1600 mm above floor level. A cleat used to secure a cord must also be installed at least 1600mm above floor level. These requirements are to prevent a repeat of several tragic instances of babies and toddlers who lost their lives when caught in these cords.

Anyone installing a corded internal window covering must label it with the name and contact details of the installation company and must not remove any warning label or swing tag supplied with the product.

Not the Only Standards and Regulations

These are not the only manufacturing and installation standards and regulations that apply to window coverings. All of us working in this industry must ensure we know what is expected of us to provide the best products and services to our customers.

Don’t Throw Out Compliant Blinds

If you have blinds that meet all these standards but they look shabby, think carefully before you decide to replace them with what could be an inferior product. Well-made blinds respond well to both our restoration and ultrasonic cleaning processes. If your existing blinds are compliant, we can have them looking awesome at a fraction of the cost of new ones.

How to Protect Your Airways While Dusting Your Blinds

If you are a sufferer of hay fever and asthma, keeping the home free of dust is essential to your overall health and comfort. There are various triggers that can start a bout of either condition such as exposure to some pollen and other allergens. However, you probably know that household dust mites are one of the most common causes.

Careless Dusting Technique Contributes to Hay Fever Symptoms

This makes cleaning an unpleasant task, especially if you are careless about your dusting technique. Dust cloths and feather dusters are notorious for flicking dust particles into the air where they are inhaled by everyone in the house. These particles also cling to curtains, blinds and other household furnishings, keeping the hay fever sufferer in a never-ending cycle of sneezing, itching eyes, runny nose and tickling in the back of the throat.

Is There an Alternative?

We have another alternative to these traditional cleaning methods when it comes time to clean your window blinds. Not only will there be no dust floating around the furnishings, but also you will not have to raise a finger to get your blinds cleaned. We will pick up your blinds from your home, put them through our process at the Blind Concepts workshop and return them to your home within 24 hours, ready for re-hanging.

Ultrasonic Cleaning – Just a Little Water and Sound Waves

Our process is called ultrasonic cleaning, and it works by using high frequency sound waves that produce millions of tiny imploding energy bubbles. These bubbles remove all the dirt, grime and grease that have become embedded in the blinds over time. There is no harsh scrubbing that can damage the surface of your blinds, and the bubbles get into every nook and cranny that brushes often don’t reach.

A Friend of the Environment

This process is also environmentally friendly. It uses a water-based solution that is safe and gentle to use and only the tiniest amount of bio-degradable detergent is needed. During the cleaning process, the blinds are also sanitised, deodorised and lubricated, restoring them to an almost-new look at a fraction of the cost of replacing them.

Spotless Windows – Blinds Look Brand New

While your blinds are away being cleaned, take the opportunity to clean the windows and wipe away any built-up grime or dust on the window sills and frames. If you have curtains on these windows as well as blinds, make it a clean sweep by taking them down and wash them yourself or have them dry-cleaned.

Say Goodbye to Irritating Symptoms

When we return your blinds to be hung at your now spotless windows, you will have the whole job completed and the dirt and dust will have disappeared. You will appreciate not only the pristine look of your window coverings but also being free of those irritating symptoms of hay fever.

Consumers Spoiled for Choice With Variety of Materials and Finishes

Blinds have proven to be a practical and popular alternative to other window coverings, and readily adaptable to our climate extremes. Where once they were available only in timber, in our modern world there are now multiple choices in materials and finishes, enough to keep every interior designer happy.

Advantages Differ Depending on Type

The different types of blinds have their own characteristics and advantages. Their versatility makes them just as popular in the heat and humidity of Darwin as they are keeping out the winter chill in Tasmania.

We are very familiar with all types of aluminium and timber blinds, and over the years we have been in business, it is likely that we have attended to every type on the market. At Blind Concepts, we clean and repair timber blinds, poly-resins, wood composites, aluminium and cedar blinds. Our service breathes life into old, worn and damaged blinds, extending their usefulness and making them look like new again.

Western Red Cedar a Popular Choice

Interior blinds are usually made of timber, and we know that western red cedar is a popular choice as indicated by the numbers that go through our cleaning process. It is light but strong, making it the perfect material for spanning large spaces without the need for additional supports. This makes it ideal for buildings with a view, as the vista is uninterrupted.

Insulation Qualities another Advantage

Western red cedar also has superior acoustic and insulation qualities. It shields occupants from external noises such as busy roads and saves energy costs due to its ability to keep the heat out in summer and retain warmth in winter.

Attractive Powder Coat Finishes are an Advantage

Aluminium is another popular material that our process can restore. These blinds are available in many different powder coat finishes and colours, which is one of the advantages. It gives the property owner or interior designer many options for colour matching the blinds to the rest of the interior décor.

Aluminium Suited to Sliding Doors

Another advantage to installing aluminium blinds is their aesthetic appeal. They are thin and light, giving them an appealing elegance. When fully opened, they reveal the entire window, allowing in light and a view to the outside. Privacy and protection from the elements is assured when they are closed. 

Aluminium and timber blinds are easier to keep clean than curtains, as they can be brushed over with a cloth or duster while still hanging on the windows. They do not go out of fashion, and if, after normal wear and tear, they need repairing as well as cleaning, we can do that too.

Get Style and Ambiance With the Right Window Dressings

Getting the right window dressings to suit the architectural style of a room is the final touch that brings all the elements of the space together. There is an amazing range of window dressing materials to choose from, both natural and synthetic. Surprisingly, given this multitude of choices, wood blinds are still very popular.

Is the Enduring Popularity of Wood Blinds a Yearning for Nature?

Is it because people living in modern cities are disconnected from nature to an extent not seen before? Are we subconsciously desiring to bring some of that nature back into our lives by choosing timber over aluminium or composite materials? Whatever the reason, shutters and blinds made from western red cedar and other timbers are still in demand, and bring a warmth and sense of comfort to any room.

We work with timber all the time at Blind Concepts so we know its desirable qualities. We do offer some words of caution, though, as there are pros and cons to using wood blinds. There is nothing that cannot be worked around provided you are aware, so we offer some comments here to help with your decision making.

Be Aware of the Negatives Before Deciding

On the negative side, some wood blinds can be heavy, placing additional stress on the cords and control mechanisms so they break more frequently. As a natural resource, wood has variations in grain and colour so if you are looking for consistency, it may not be the best choice. Also, some timbers warp and crack with changes in moisture, making them unsuitable for wet areas.

The Warmth of Timber – The Luxury of Colours and Finishes

The positive features of wood blinds are many. They immediately give warmth and character to an otherwise boring room, creating an illusion of permanence and stability. This negates the need for other work, saving time and money. Decorators need not settle for natural wood colours if they are seeking a contemporary look. Wood blinds come in all colours and finishes, from matt to high gloss and everything in-between.

Flexibility is Huge Plus

A big feature is the flexibility that timber venetians offer the occupants. They are fully adjustable to allow in just the right amount of light and air, can be closed completely against inclement weather or cold, or raised up to expose a full view of the outside. All these adjustments are quick and easy, and are done from the inside of the room.

Easy to Get Cleaned and Repaired

The best part about wood blinds is that they can be professionally cleaned and repaired. Our people are experienced at cleaning, repairing and restoring wood blinds. We will pick them up from your home and return them to you in no time, looking like brand new blinds.

A Money-Saving Way To Modernise Your Windows

Is your house looking tired and uninteresting? And you can’t put your finger on the cause? From the outside, the paintwork looks fresh, the gardens are neat and everything is in good repair. From the inside, the rooms are tidy, furnished with modern pieces and the colour schemes reflect the latest trend. However, each time you enter or leave the dwelling, you experience the feeling that something is missing.

Are Your Current Blinds Boring?

Have you considered that it may be your windows that are making the rest of your home look just a little dowdy? If the blinds have been on the windows for some time, while they may still be in good condition, they may have become unfashionable or even boring.
There are ways to change that; however, replacing every window dressing in the dwelling with new blinds at the same time, may be too big an expense. That is where we can help. Blind Concepts is a unique service, offering blind cleaning, repair and replacements for a lower cost than buying new blinds.

Don’t Replace – Refurbish and Save Money

Say, for example, your bedroom windows are covered with vertical blinds that are still in reasonable condition, but could use a revamp. You are looking for a softer, more romantic look in an unobtrusive colour that allows in light while maintaining privacy. We can replace the vertical slats with new ones in a modern shade, and refurbish the slat hangers, chains, cords or wands to match.

Timber Venetians Love an Upgrade

In many older homes, timber Venetians were used in formal areas such as lounges and dining rooms. At the time, they were expensive and, even now, are still serviceable. The colours that were fashionable when they were first installed are out of date and there could be some slats that are a little worse for wear.
If this is your situation, an excellent alternative to replacement is to hand them to us to work our magic and return them to you looking like new. We can repair what needs to be repaired, and re-colour the blades to fit in with the latest décor. In fact, we can do this with other styles such as Roman and Holland blinds, as well as others.

With Modern Curtains Boring Windows Come Alive

Now, transform your windows from “so yesterday” to “wow now” by adding the latest in eyelet curtains. The most popular styles are in a heavy, non-patterned fabric in a wide range of modern colours. A centre drape in a matching, see-through synthetic will soften the look and allow in light. When you are ready to close the room, it is a simple matter to pull the curtains together by hand without any need for cords or chains
These techniques will lift your windows and make them look beautiful again.

Don’t Be Bound By Convention In Your Window Treatments

Property owners are always looking for ways to keep their homes and apartments in good repair without breaking the bank, knowing as they do that this is the key to getting the best price when they decide to sell. The same can be said for the owners of commercial premises, which need just as much care and attention as a dwelling.
One of the least expensive ways to do this is to look for ways to give a lift to the windows in these properties. Making changes to the current window treatments will make an immediate difference both from inside and outside and a little bit of creativity will go a long way.

Lift Tired Venetians One Slat at a Time

Over time, any type of Venetian blind will sustain some type of damage to the slats. Not every slat may be affected, but once several of them display flaws, the entire blind looks shabby. Instead of replacing it, we now offer a repair service that can give you that creative spark you are looking for. Blind Concepts can replace the damaged slats, but the exciting part is that you can choose a different colour for the new ones, adding some interest and colour to what was a bland window.

Jazz up the Humble Roller Blind

Roller blinds were once the “ugly stepsisters” of the window treatment world but the wonderful new fabrics now available have brought them out of the shadows. The convenience of roller blinds makes them a very versatile window treatment and plain white ones are perfect for moderating heat and glare. Add sheer curtains in colours that match furniture accessories in the room.

Mix Up the Window Treatments in the Same Room

Conventional interior decorating decreed that every window in the room should have the same type of window dressing. Thankfully, modern decorators like to push the boundaries, and the time is ripe to mix it up. Roman blinds have been around for centuries and are making a comeback. Soft fabrics are great for a relaxed look, but if you want elegance and style, go for something crisp.
Now this is the fun part. On the other window, add a roller blind and a set of curtains. Keep within the same colour palette or it may be too garish, and get the same fabric as you have for the Roman blind. The horizontal line of the Roman blind contrasts with the vertical fall of the curtains, giving the room a sensational new look.
If you want to try out any of these window treatments at a reduced cost, contact us for a quote.

Not Sure If Blinds Need Replacing?

Regardless of how well they are made, or how carefully we have maintained them, the time will come when our window blinds need to be replaced. Like a comfortable pair of shoes, however, some home owners keep them in service longer than they should, spoiling the exterior appearance of their home, and exposing their carpets and furnishings to sunlight.

There are plenty of warning signs that your blinds have given their all and need to be retired. These signs will vary depending on the style of window covering you have, so we have assembled a selection for you to check against your existing blinds.

Warped, Damaged or Discoloured Slats

In timber blinds, heat and humidity over many years can cause some or all of the slats to warp. This looks unsightly, makes the blinds very difficult to keep clean and where more than one or two slats are affected, will prevent smooth movement when raising and lowering. Aluminium slats can withstand some rough treatment, but when they become completely bent out of shape, they also need to be replaced.

Even blinds with some level of UV protection will eventually fade if constantly exposed to the sun. However, if your slats have become yellow or discoloured beyond what you would consider normal fading, the materials they are made of have deteriorated to the stage where the structural integrity is compromised. They are now a safety hazard.

Mechanisms Not Working Smoothly

You should not have to use excessive force to raise or lower your blinds. If that is happening regularly, the mechanism controlling the up and down movement could be on the verge of breaking altogether. A sudden jerk to get them moving risks bringing the entire set crashing down, which could cause damage or personal injury. They should be replaced as a matter of urgency.

It is a similar story with the tilt wand. Repeated twisting to manipulate the slats will eventually wear out the tilt mechanism. Check first if it can be repaired easily, but if it is too difficult, again, replace the blinds.

Do Your Fabric Blinds Have Frayed Edges?

The answer to this problem is quite simple. This type of wear happens when the edges scrape along the window frame, which would have been caused by incorrect measurements taken when the blinds were first installed, or the installed blinds are made with a cheaper, low grade budget fabric. The fabric and/or tight fit will continue to fray so it is probably time to get correct measurements and new blinds.

Even though you may have decided by now to buy new blinds, this does not mean that the old ones are only good for landfill. At Blind Concepts we are experts at re-purposing tired blinds by restoring or replacing them. As the saying goes, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Call us for a quote and we will find the best solution for you.

The Eye Is Easily Fooled – Create The Illusion Of Space

A recent international survey identified Australia as the country with the largest homes in the world, measured in terms of floor space per capita. This makes sense when you think about the size of the typical project home built over the past 20 years. Most had four bedrooms and a study, a rumpus or family room, separate formal dining, outdoor patio and double garage, even though the average family was just three people.

Small Apartments Look Larger with a Few Old Tricks

Times have changed, and with that has come the rise in popularity of inner-city apartment living. Because the move to be closer to the city comes with a hefty price tag, many buyers have realised that they can no longer afford a large dwelling. While they have settled for smaller rooms, they are still looking for ways to create the illusion of space.

At Blind Concepts we can suggest an old trick for windows that will make a small window look larger and will not cost the earth. Typically, when we measure a window for a customer, we supply a blind that will fit neatly into the window recess. This defines the size of the window, immediately highlighting the boundaries of the frame.

Large Window Blinds Trick the Eye

To make the window appear larger, we can raise the height of the blind and also increase the width, so that the blind and any curtains the customer decides to hang later, sit much further outside the window frame. The mind assumes that the window behind the blinds and curtains is the same size as they are, tricking us into thinking the window is much bigger than it is. Alternatively, where the blinds are installed into the cavity or recess of the window, this creates more external space as the they are not taking up the space of the walls. This also creates the illusion of a larger room.

It’s All Done with Mirrors

As far as room sizes go, there are a number of different ways that smaller rooms can be made to appear larger. One of the easiest and most cost effective is to use mirrors to reflect light and bounce images around the walls. Either individual mirrors, or mirrors that go from floor to ceiling will create the illusion of a more spacious room.

Furniture on Legs – Who Would Have Thought?

Keep furniture light and go for pieces that are raised on legs, rather than sitting directly on the floor. The spaces underneath can then be seen, extending the eye back much further than if the pieces were solid. This can make a surprising difference to your perception of size.

Keep Floor Coverings Consistent

Use solid, continuous flooring in small spaces. Breaking up an open-plan area by having one type of flooring for one section, and something different for another will make the space look smaller. Avoid rugs or patterned carpets and research the paint colours that will add size to all your rooms.

Keep rooms uncluttered and tidy, and you will find it easy to fool the eye.

Save Money and Have Great Looking Blinds

Keeping your home in good condition involves more than just repairing something when it breaks. It is important to keep both the exterior and interior of the property upgraded to maintain its value. This does not necessarily mean an expensive make-over to change a particular architectural style into something completely modern. In fact, this could actually reduce its value because the features that made it unique in its day have been destroyed.

Can’t Afford a Complete Makeover? Try a Refurbishment

It just means keeping the paintwork in good order and the gardens neat and free of weeds, removing built-up residue from tiles and pathways, and the window coverings fresh and in keeping with the rest of the interior décor. For many people, the option of a complete make-over is financially out of their reach. They take whatever steps they can to refurbish whatever is already in the house.

Blinds are a good example of where substantial cost savings can be found if they are still in good condition, but need some attention to restore them to both functionality and good looks. We are specialists in this area. Blind Concepts will clean, repair or replace your old and damaged blinds so that they look as good as new.

Blinds – Repair or Replace?

Knowing that our service is available can make the decision between buying new blinds and repairing the old ones much easier to make. Some blinds will only need cleaning, while others may have broken slats that need replacing. Some will need chains, cords or wands replaced while others will need a complete slat replacement to restore them to their original condition.

Slats in New, Up-to-the-Minute Colours

A major advantage to replacing all the slats is that we can introduce new colours to give the blinds a contemporary look. We have a large colour range from which to choose, and once the other components of the blinds have been cleaned, you will find it difficult to tell the difference between a new set and the refurbished ones. This is an added bonus if you are financially unable to completely replace all your old blinds with brand new ones, but still want to keep your home looking smart.

Get your Blinds Assessed Before Making a Decision

If you have trouble deciding whether to repair or replace your blinds, we can help by assessing them and giving you a quote so you can compare the difference between the two options. Most times, it just comes down to money as householders these days have many financial pressures and a saving in one area can be used for something essential in another.

Getting The Right Look For Your Window

The shape of our windows, as well as how we dress them make a very visible statement about the condition of the home on the inside. Faded, torn and shabby blinds seen from the outside give an impression of neglect, which may be an incorrect reflection of an otherwise neat and tidy home. However, first impressions are powerful, so homeowners need to be aware of this if they want their property to look its best.

Too Many to Choose From?

With so many different types of window blinds available, buyers can be confused about which ones suit their situation. Roller blinds, Roman blinds, Venetians, verticals and others provide a range of choices, but getting the right type for the style of window and the aspect can be challenging.
Large windows that have a scenic outlook, for example, would need a very different types of window blinds available to a small room at the back of a dwelling that struggles to get sufficient natural light. It is not as simple as picking one type of blind and using it for every room in the home.

Suggestions for Making Those Important Choices

From our point of view, however, it really does not matter what type of blinds you have in your home. Our business at Blind Concepts is to offer superior cleaning, repair and replacement services to our customers. Since we are able to provide those services for most blinds on the market, the choice is yours, but if you need some help, we offer these suggestions.

What Does the Room Need?

Start with the room itself. What does it need in a window covering? Does it need more or less natural light, is insulation against heat and cold required, is the window facing a main road so that privacy is an issue? The answers to these questions will give you the style needed, then the choices of fabric and colour will be easier.

Ever-Reliable Roller Blinds

Modern roller blinds have come into their own as stylish and chic decorator items, and once they are rolled up, leave an unobstructed view of the exterior. Clever fabrics address issues of light and insulation, and are available in a range of modern patterns and colours.

Romans or Venetians – Your Choice

For a touch of elegance, roman blinds offer a tailored look that suits a living room where curtains would be too overwhelming. Ever-practical venetians never go out of date, and their versatility suits almost every room in the home.
Choose whatever style of blind suits your windows without worrying about how to clean them. We will be here to do that for you when the time comes.