When choosing window coverings for your home, start out by walking through the house or plans and ask, "What function does the window covering need to perform within each room?"
Most likely you will need light block and privacy for bedrooms, night time privacy for living spaces, there may be heat and glare issues, perhaps security, and breeze could be required for hot nights. Almost top of the list is being easy to clean.
Our region has had an enduring love for plantation shutters because they tick so much of the functions list. They are great for a clean uncluttered look, privacy at any time and the one window covering where a breeze won't cause a rattle.
It is hard to beat the smart look of plantation shutters along the front of a house. Dark timber is out and white is firmly in, although black shutters in bathrooms are a current twist.
Most shutters are made from materials other than timber. Look for locally designed and made that will ensure they will cope with our maritime climate and fluctuating temperatures. Expect good quality plantation shutters to last the life of the home.
For master bedrooms we are introducing softness and glam with an S wave sheer curtain, often in a linen look and feel fabric with a motorised block-out roller blind behind.
Blinds can be controlled with a bedside remote, phone apps or google home, programmed to go up or down according to schedule. The sheer curtains provides day time privacy with the roller blind blocking out much of the light for sleeping.
Sliding doors are generally left uncluttered with free access into alfresco areas or outdoors. Roller blinds are very useful to provide night-time warmth and a cosy feel when in use or just simply out of the way when not needed. Often a sliding door is the only source of ventilation in apartment bedrooms. Plantation shutters set up as sliding panels deliver unrivalled privacy and silent ventilation.
Roman blinds allow an indulgence in a fabulous fabric without the expense or space consumption of curtains. It is possible to combine with another window covering, for example a sheer roller blind behind the roman for day time privacy with the roman providing block out at night. Occasionally I've seen romans under curtains in very formal rooms. On the whole I prefer roman blinds to look fabulous on their own. Add rechargeable automation for a next level luxurious finish.
If budget allows, add window coverings to bathrooms. Many people skip this finish as glass is opaque and there are no privacy issues, but our bathrooms have evolved well beyond function. It is hard to beat a simple white plantation shutter for a smart finishing touch and ease of cleaning. We have installed a few floaty curtains in wet area fabric, not quite as practical but worth considering for sheer indulgence.
We have updated the Housing Industry Association (HIA) House of Inspiration with on trend window coverings and it is worth a visit for ideas and inspiration. Classic Blinds and Shutters staff will be available during the HIA Building and Renovation Show on September 7 from 10am to 4pm where there is an excellent opportunity to win $5000 worth of custom window coverings for your own home.
- Bev Fidler is director of Classic Blinds and Shutters