Sustainable Solutions For Your Window Dressings

We should all be aware by now that our climate is changing faster than predicted and as a result, householders are making their own decisions regarding the liveability of their properties. Rooftop solar panels continue to be installed across the country to lessen dependence on coal-fired power generation, and consumers are aware of their ability to influence change with their purchasing decisions.

Materials and Insulation – Two Options for Sustainability

For example, sustainability can be applied to major projects or to buying new window dressing for the home. In the latter example, there are two ways that a consumer can have an impact when searching for environmentally responsible blinds and curtains. Firstly, these products are now available in sustainably produced materials and secondly, these materials can also be effective, energy saving insulators.

Reduce Energy and Transport Costs by Buying Locally

Mounting blinds within the window frames is ideal for effective insulation, which saves on energy. Finding a supplier offering blinds in quality fabrics that meet GreenGuard international standards is one option for practicing sustainability. Another is to source locally manufactured goods rather than imported ones. This reduces freight and fuel costs and stimulates the local economy.

Spare Parts Available for Locally Made Blinds

Low-cost blinds damage the environment by ending up in landfill within a couple of years because they are easily damaged and need replacing. Locally made blinds offer ready access to a range of spare parts and many local companies are able to repair broken blinds and extend their useful life.

Insulated Curtains Save on Energy Costs

Along with double glazing, carefully chosen curtains can reduce the loss of heating energy by 40% in winter and prevent almost 80% of heat entering the building during summer. Curtain materials with insulation backing have been available for some time, but they lose much of their effectiveness unless they are installed properly.

Take Care When Installing for Best Results

For optimum insulation in cool climates, curtains should just touch the floor, touch the wall on either side and have a pelmet at the top. Modern pelmets are visually attractive and non-intrusive, and made from a range of timber, recycled plastic and other sustainable materials. They reduce the likelihood of the rising heat being drawn down between the curtain and the window, cooling the space and creating condensation.

Keeping your window dressings clean and free of dust and bacteria is another easy way to practice sustainability. At Blind Concepts, we have been in the business of cleaning blinds long enough to know that regular cleaning extends the life of window dressings. By using our ultrasonic cleaning process, you are keeping blinds out of landfill that will still have a useable life.

Window Treatments for Every Situation

Getting the right window treatment for any environment, whether it be an office building or a home, is an important decision and one that, done well, not only unifies the décor, but also affects the liveability of the premises. Choices include shutters, blinds, and curtains, with many variations available depending on current trends.

Blinds are Perfect for Versatility

Blinds in both office and residential settings are a popular choice, as they have some qualities in common. In the home, blinds may be required to give residents privacy from prying neighbours, to screen out noise from a busy street, and to control the amount of light that enters, both day and night.

Plenty of Styles to Choose From

In this situation, the style of blinds chosen could include Venetians, Hollands, roller blinds, verticals, or roman blinds. Some of these are more suitable for high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Roller blinds, for example, are perfect for a home where there are young children and pets as they are easy to adjust for light and shade, and easy to clean.

Blinds in a home can be used by themselves or in conjunction with curtains, usually in more formal areas such as a lounge/dining space or even bedrooms. The addition of curtains adds extra privacy protection and is an opportunity to include more texture and colour to the ambiance of the room.

Screen Glare a Nuisance

In an office situation, similar to a home, blinds are used to control light and shade, and to create a peaceful and inviting space for staff and customers. However, there are several other important considerations. Too much light entering an office space is disruptive for staff using screens, so office blinds are essential to minimise screen glare.

Energy Savings and Protection for Office Furniture

Correctly fitted commercial blinds save on energy costs as the blinds insulate the windows, reducing the amount of both heat and cold that enters the building. Air conditioning units are then more efficient, saving money. Office furniture and fittings are expensive, so with less sunlight entering, these items will be protected from fading over time.

Regular Vacuuming will Keep Blinds Clean

Blinds in both office and home settings are also easier to keep clean than curtains, which tend to attract more dust than blinds. A cleaning schedule, where vacuuming the blinds is included regularly, will keep them dust and pollution free for some time before they need to be taken down and thoroughly cleaned.

Our ultrasonic cleaning process at Blind Concepts gets into every nook and cranny of your blinds, whatever style they are, and removes dust, grime, and bacteria. We also repair damaged blinds to near-new condition, saving money for both householders and businesses.

Why You Should Ditch Your Cleaning Cloths and Get an Expert

Most householders would agree that they choose their furnishings and accessories to create a comfortable and inviting living space. These are moved around or replaced often to keep the overall look fresh, but this usually does not happen with their window treatments. They are more permanent parts of interior design, so they tend to become background features.

Busy People Don’t Have Time to Clean Blinds

When it becomes obvious that the blinds need cleaning, some people tackle the task themselves. However, others ignore the problem because they are busy with work and other responsibilities and avoid looking at the blinds when they get home. Unfortunately, this only avoids the problem when the solution is to have them professionally cleaned.

Clean Blinds Prevent Illness

Apart from the fresh look of clean blinds, there are several other reasons for handing them over to experts. One of the most important motives is to prevent illness in household members and visitors. Blinds attract dirt and dust, and if they are not cleaned regularly, the pollutants and allergens in the dust are released back into the air. Dust attracts microscopic creatures called dust mites, which multiply quickly and cannot be seen by the human eye.

Dust Mites and Bacteria Love Dirty Blinds

Allergy flare-ups and asthma attacks increase in interiors where dust is allowed to settle and where dust mites breed. This dust, especially in humid conditions, then gets damp and over time, becomes hard grime that settles into any small crevice. Bacteria can develop in this grime and cause illness, especially in people with underlying health conditions.

Dirty Blinds Deteriorate in Quality

There are sound financial reasons to hand blind cleaning over to professionals. Blinds and curtains are an expensive investment, and to get the best return, they should be kept clean. Dirty window treatments not only detract from the value of the home but also deteriorate in quality. This means they need to be replaced more often, costing the homeowner considerable time and expense.

Professional Cleaners Use the Right Products and Methods

Finally, professional cleaners have a wide range of processes, tools, and cleaning products available to them. They know which of these should be used for the many different materials now available in the production of window blinds. It is not unusual for a householder to use the wrong method or cleaner on a window blind, causing expensive and irreversible damage.

Here at Blind Concepts, we have a team of people fully trained and experienced in the use of our ultrasonic cleaning system. This method removes all hard to remove dirt, stains, grease, bacteria, and grime from window blinds, restoring their quality and sparkle. We also offer a repair service for blinds that need a little more attention. Call us for a free quote.

Styles May Come and Go But Good Blind Design is Permanent

Trends in interior design are no different from fashion trends in clothing. They both become the “in thing” for a time, with demand for certain shapes, colours and textures desired to the exclusion of all others. However, trends are transient. We become bored with what was once new and exciting, and it becomes tired and uninteresting. This prompts us to look for something else.

Blinds need to be Resilient in our Harsh Climate

This applies just as much to curtains and blinds as it does to furnishings. However, blinds have the advantage of having a more permanent presence than curtains, probably because they are much more resilient. Our climate is harsh, so our window treatments need to withstand extreme weather events, but at the same time, be stylish and attractive.

Current Buying Guides Highlight What is Popular This Year

There are different styles of blinds, some more popular than others. It is also interesting that some of our most favoured types of blinds, such as the Venetian, have been around for hundreds of years. This year, current buying guides used by interior designers have flagged several styles as being the “must haves” for the modern dwelling.

Venetians on Top of the List Again

It is no surprise that, even after hundreds of years, Venetian blinds are still the most popular. The original idea is still practical, featuring a number of horizontal slats joined by cords or strips of cloth.

This arrangement is so versatile that just by changing the width of the slats, and using different materials such as timber, plastic, and UV-resistant fabrics, all now available in an array of colours, this style reinvents itself every season.

Vertical and Romans Still Loved

Vertical blinds are still on the current style list, and although less popular now for formal settings like lounge rooms, they are the perfect product for large windows and even larger patio doors. Roman blinds are still popular, and available in various materials and colours as well as linings to suit different temperature zones.

What’s not to like about Roller Blinds?

Roller blinds never go out of fashion, especially if your budget for window dressings is limited. The basic models are perfect for wet areas, but these days, the more stylish up-market styles feature valances that hide the roller mechanisms, as well as double blinds which are installed on the same bracket and feature block-out and UV-resistant capabilities, in a range of materials and colours.

These are just a few of the choices available this year, but no matter how good they look when they are new, eventually they will need cleaning or repairs to keep that sparkle. Here at Blind Concepts, we are professionals at cleaning different types of blinds. Our ultrasonic cleaning method will gently remove dirt, stains and bacteria. Don’t trust your precious blinds to anyone else.

DIY Blind Cleaning or Experienced Professionals – Your Choice

There are many tasks that as householders, we all perform regularly, and some of them we look forward to as we test our skills at gourmet cooking, painting and gardening, to name a few. Cleaning our blinds is most likely not one of these tasks, so most of us avoid it for as long as possible. As a result, when we do start cleaning, it is hard work to remove the built-up dust and grime.

Ever Considered Using a Professional to Clean Your Blinds?

Many householders with busy lives think nothing of paying service providers to mow lawns, tidy gardens, wash windows, clean carpets and do other common household tasks. Why, then, when it comes to our blinds, do we immediately assume that the only way to get them clean is to do the job ourselves? Is it just that we have never previously considered having them professionally cleaned?

The Job is Bigger than What You Think

There are a few compelling arguments against DIY blind cleaning. First, there is the magnitude of the task. The average four-bedroom home could have up to twenty windows as well as sliding doors. Various blind styles could include Venetians, roller blinds, verticals, Roman blinds and others in different materials and fabrics. This could take a householder not hours, but days.

If You DIY, Are you happy with the result?

Second, is that the effectiveness of the cleaning methods used and that the possibility of using the wrong cleaner could ruin the entire look of the blinds. For badly soiled blinds the usual combination of warm water and household detergent will get them partially clean but may not remove the grime embedded in tight spaces. To get a poor result after hours of hard work is neither cost-effective nor efficient.

At Blind Concepts , we offer a comprehensive professional blind cleaning services that uses the latest ultrasonic technology. This cleaning method is both environmentally responsible and gentle on blinds, as there is no hard scrubbing involved. Instead, high frequency sound waves create millions of tiny bubbles that gently remove all the dirt, grease and grime as well as the bacteria living there.

Think About Your Own Safety

A final important argument when comparing professional cleaning with do-it-yourself is your safety as the DIY householder. Considering variables such as your age, health and fitness levels as well as the suitability of the equipment you are using, such as a step ladder that has been in the garage for years, your task could be described as hazardous.

In a workplace, a risk assessment would be required for this job, the hazards assessed, and a safe system of work put in place to protect anyone required to clean the blinds. A professional cleaning service would already have this in place but a householder most likely would not. Now which option would you prefer?

Too Scared of Ruining Your Blinds to Clean Them?

Householders who take pride in their homes know that getting the right window treatments for each room is the final touch in creating a comfortable space that welcomes them home each day. A regular cleaning regime is also part of this feeling of comfort, and while blinds don’t need cleaning every day, they should be on the cleaning schedule of every well-kept dwelling.

Cleaning Methods for Different Blinds

Window blinds are also expensive, so no householder wants to damage theirs during cleaning. Using different types of cleaning methods for diverse styles of blinds is one way to avoid accidental damage, especially if you are cleaning them on the window.

Cleaning Venetians with Care

Aluminium and plastic venetians, for example, can be safely cleaned using warm water, a soft cloth and an all-purpose household cleaner. Taking the time to clean each slat individually will give the best results, with no patches of dust or grime left behind. A gentle touch is best to avoid damage, and when one side is cleaned, flip the blind to the other side and repeat.

Go Easy on the Water

Wooden venetians need a little more care, as using too much water as part of the cleaning process may cause the slats to warp. The first step is to tightly close the blinds, leaving no gaps and gently wipe over with a microfibre cloth to remove any traces of dust, then repeating the process on the other side. This may be all that is needed, but if not, wipe with a slightly wet sponge for a final clean.

We understand how important clean windows and blinds are to house-proud people. Keeping your blinds in excellent condition is what we do at Blind Concepts. We use ultrasonic cleaning methods to get your blinds spotless and because our process uses very little water and chemicals, it is also environmentally friendly.

Too Scared to Clean Your Roller Blinds?

Many householders are afraid to tackle roller blinds, especially plastic ones, in case they use too much force and tear them from the roller. Have no fear.

  1. Place a mild cleaner, even dishwashing liquid, in warm water and using a sponge, start at the bottom of the fully extended blind.
  2. Wipe across gently, gradually moving upward until the entire blind has been cleaned.
  3. Do both sides and leave them open to dry.

However, if you don’t have the time or energy for any of this, remember we are blind cleaning specialists. We will take your blinds back to our workshop, clean them and have them back to you in no time. Give us a call for a free quote.

New Or Refurbished Blinds – Which one is for you?

window blinds

How often in our busy lives do we walk past something in our dwelling that needs cleaning or even replacing without noticing it? Experts tell us that this is common behaviour simply because we become familiar with things that are around us all the time. This causes us to give them just cursory glances until we have reason to look more closely.

Often, the first time we notice the issue is when we are preparing our home for a party or some other social event. It is almost like we have suddenly looked through a magnifying glass and seen everything clearly. This usually sets off a frenzy of activity to rectify the situation.

Check behind the Curtains

Window blinds are often the most overlooked item, especially when they are hidden by curtains. Even when running the vacuum cleaner over the curtains to keep the dust at bay, how often do we stop to really examine the blinds behind them? If we did, we might see signs of wear that could be repaired to prolong their usefulness.

At Blind Concepts, extending the life of your blinds is the core of our business. Our clients save hundreds of dollars when they entrust their blinds to our cleaning and repair processes. Our ultrasonic cleaning technology removes built-up grime while our repair and replacement services restore the quality of your valuable blinds.

Are Your Blinds a Hazard?

There are some signs you should look for when checking to see if your blinds are at the replacement stage. Blinds not only should look good, but they must also be practical and suit your situation. If you now have very small children or pets living with you, blinds with cords that were no problem for adults are now a choking hazard.

Is there Irreparable Damage?

Over time, humidity, along with sun and water damage can cause the slats on timber Venetians to warp. While we can replace these slats as part of our service, there may come a time when so many are damaged that you may choose to replace the blinds with new ones.

Old Blinds Don’t Suit New Decor

If your blinds are very old, it may simply be a situation where they no longer suit the décor. Perhaps you have repainted the interior in modern colours, installed new floor coverings or replaced key furnishings and light fittings. This may leave the window blinds and curtains an unsuitable match for these major changes.

Before you make the final decision to replace your blinds, give us a call. Our repair personnel can examine your damaged blinds and possibly offer an alternative solution.

Do You Make These Mistakes When You Clean Your Blinds?

Peeping from blinds

Window blinds are a popular and fashionable way to protect your home and its furnishings. They offer versatility of style, options for the control of light and heat, and they are available in a range of materials and types to suit all budgets.

Simple Cleaning Mistakes to be Avoided

The simplest way to look after blinds is to take care when cleaning them. A simple mistake doing this basic task can spoil the appearance of your blinds, perhaps break some of the working mechanisms or in the worst case, render them unusable.

We know a lot about cleaning all types of blinds. In fact, Blind Concepts have been in the business of repairing and cleaning blinds for 20 years. We use an ultrasonic cleaning process that uses minimal amounts of chemicals and water, restoring older blinds to look like new.

Keep Water off Timber Blinds

One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning timber blinds is using too much water. Unless they are a timber-look synthetic or have been made waterproof during manufacture, genuine timber blinds absorb water, thus causing them to warp or split when they dry out.

Don’t Close Slat Blinds Completely

It is surprising how often this mistake happens. With aluminium and vinyl slat blinds, people often just close them completely and wipe them over. The blinds look clean, but once they are opened, the parts of the slats that were hidden when closed are revealed, still with dust and grime on them.

Don’t Start with a Too Wet Cloth on Fabric Blinds

Roman and cellular or honeycomb blinds are very popular but look difficult to clean. Many householders make the mistake of trying to remove dust and stains by wiping over with a very wet cloth. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite effect by rubbing the dust into the fabric.

Don’t Start on Roller Blinds without a Plan

Roller blinds generally respond well to careful cleaning if you start with a plan. The most common mistake is to start on the worst stains first. If the blind is very dirty, it takes ages and many people just give up, instead of starting at the bottom and working upwards in sections. Dry them before rolling back up.

Remember to Vacuum all the Dust Away First

The number one mistake to make when cleaning your blinds is to not use your vacuum cleaner first. If you move the brush attachment gently over your blinds on a low suction it removes most of the dust. Any left-over stains can be easily removed with a damp (not wet) cloth and some mild dish-washing liquid.

For busy people without the time or desire to clean their own blinds, we will pick them up from your premises and return them to you within 24 hours, clean and ready to hang.

Blinds Suit for Each Window Type For Optimum Light

peeking through the window blinds, sunshine

Have you ever entered a residence that had great kerb appeal from the outside, only to find that while the interior décor was modern and stylish, the rooms were rather dark and gloomy? Homes like this often need artificial lighting on an overcast day, when the lighting should be adequate, especially in a modern home with large windows.

Perfect Windows need Blinds to Suit their Shape and Aspect

Often, the cause of this lack of light is that the window blinds are the wrong type for the shape of the window or for the aspect of the room. Many people, when choosing window blinds, opt for the same type for every room, thinking that consistency is the goal. However, this approach means that some windows will be perfect, and some will exhibit a varied range of design flaws.

This is something we see quite often when we are picking up blinds for cleaning from clients’ premises. At Blind Concepts, we offer a cleaning service using the latest ultrasonic cleaning technology. This is a very effective way of removing ingrained dirt, grime and grease on slats and hard to reach corners. What we also see are rooms outfitted with blinds that block light and air.

Bedrooms Need Natural Light

Bedrooms are a perfect example. Most homes have at least two smaller bedrooms for children, while the master bedroom and perhaps a guest bedroom have fixtures and fittings designed for adults. Having the same blinds in every bedroom is a missed opportunity. The adult rooms need something elegant that offers privacy but still allows in light, while the children’s rooms, also needing both privacy and light, must not have dangling cords or anything that can cause a hazard.

Blinds that Let in Light can Still Protect Privacy

Moving now to the family room, this is an important function space where much of the family interaction takes place, but often it is visible from the outside. While Venetians may not suit other rooms in the house, they are very versatile for this type of room where lots of light adds to the atmosphere, but a quick adjustment of the slats ensures privacy.

Kitchens Need All the Light they can Get

The kitchen is the heart of the home and needs every fixture and fitting to be practical and contribute to the overall efficiency of the space. Blinds on kitchen windows need to be easy to clean but also allow enough light into an area, which most of the time is busy.

There is no ‘one style fits all’ when it comes to window blinds. Each room should be assessed on its own merits, with function, aspect, need for privacy, climate control and the mood enhancing benefits of light all considered when choosing a suitable window blind.

How to Clean and Maintain Wooden Blinds

Dining room with utensils, glasses and bowls and wooden blinds in the background

Most of us like our home to be a place where we can relax and be ourselves at the end of a busy day. When we step over the threshold we want to feel comfortable, and a big part of that is living in a clean and tidy environment. While most times a routine cleanup will get everything spic and span, at some point, window dressings such as curtains and blinds will need a more thorough cleaning.

Use Care When Cleaning Genuine Wooden Blinds

If you have genuine wooden blinds, there are a couple of things we recommend you take into consideration before subjecting them to a vigorous cleaning technique. Even though these blinds are made of wood, they are not robust, and can be easily damaged. They should not be dipped in a bath of soapy water like plastic blinds, as the timber absorbs the water, then swells and cracks.

We consider ourselves to be experienced at cleaning all types of blinds. Here at Blind Concepts, we offer a blind cleaning service to customers who would rather outsource this task to professionals. However, if you are careful, you can do them yourself. To help you out, here are a few suggestions.

The Vacuum Cleaner is the First Step

First, close the blinds up and gently go over one side and then the other with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This should remove most of the surface dust, especially if you have been regularly dusting them as part of your weekly cleaning routine.

Clean Each Individual Slat as the Second Step

Second, open the slats and with a damp cloth, gently wipe each individual blade. A quick way to do this is to put a damp sock on your hand, carefully hold the slat between thumb and forefinger and run your hand along its length. Do this with each slat in sequence and you are cleaning both the front and back at the same time.

Final Step is a Wipe Down with a Dry Cloth

Follow this up with a wipe down with either a dry cloth or a dry sock, using the same technique. This is important because it will remove any remaining moisture that if left, can damage the wood over time. A good rule is to treat your wooden blinds just like wooden furniture and use only mild wood cleaners. Always check that your cleaners do not contain bleach, as this will cause discolouration.

There is Always a Professional Alternative

If your wooden blinds need cleaning and you prefer a professional touch, we will pick them up, put them through our cleaning process and return them to your home ready to hang, usually within twenty-four hours. Our ultrasonic cleaning technology uses high frequency sound waves to remove dirt and grime gently, even from those tiny hard to get at places. Your blinds will look like new and they will last much longer.