Melbourne is often touted as the style capital of Australia and it’s certainly the home of directional fashion. But it’s not just the fashionistas of the Victorian capital that show this off to best advantage. If you’re after stylish windows ‘wearing’ the latest blinds Melbourne homes certainly fit the bill. There is undoubtedly an element of laid back style in most Australian homes, and in Melbourne this is given extra edge.
The population of the city of Melbourne is diverse and varied meaning a huge number of products can be targeted at many different market segments. For example, the owners of a top notch Victorian terrace in East Melbourne might opt for opulent drapes over blockout roller blinds or plantation shutters to give their interiors a heritage feel, while also protecting heirloom furniture from fading or reinforcing their sense of security. Meanwhile young couples taking up residence in Melbourne’s growing number of swanky new ‘yuppy’ apartments might opt for sleek venetian blinds or vertical blinds in most rooms, perhaps with the addition of on-trend sheer drapes in the lounge and bedroom.
Many new homes in Melbourne’s outer suburbs are benefiting from the possibilities offered by much wider width blinds designed to cover the expansive windows that have become increasingly fashionable in recent years. Meanwhile with warehouse conversions still regarded as hot properties, the inner, formerly industrial suburbs of the Victorian capital are receiving makeovers with tricked up windows, finished by sleek venetian blinds, translucent roller blinds or updated vertical blinds.
In fact retailers are reporting that vertical blinds, once thought of as a rather boring product destined for use in offices, warehouses and other commercial sites, have made something of a comeback in the Victorian capital, thanks to the release of revamped versions in fashionable colours and prints. Roller blinds are also a go-to product in Melbourne because they’re simple, affordable and never go out of style. They can also be hung as dual roller blinds, which blend the benefits of two roller blinds on one bracket, creating greater control over light entering the interior and visibility to the exterior. Other strong sellers in the Melbourne market are roman blinds, panel blinds, venetian blinds and cellular or honeycomb or honeycell blinds.
“Honeycomb or honeycell blinds are a really great item, particularly in Melbourne because of their great insulating properties, which work wonders to keep homes warmer during the cooler months, but also function well in the Melbourne summer. They’re available in a wide range of colours and provide a contemporary look that works well with today’s modern décor,” says one observer of the market for blinds in Melbourne.
He adds that one of the most prominent reasons for blinds’ growing uptake in Melbourne is that many modern blinds offer light control and/or energy saving benefits. As mentioned, cellular blinds are great for controlling heat and optimising insulation, while dual roller blinds have a highly effective blockout function. Vertical blinds and venetian blinds also allow for maximum light control.
Thanks to the rise of informative online arenas in the home décor and ‘green’ and energy saving spheres, Melbourne consumers are also increasingly well educated about the fabric used in their blinds. Many of them are opting for blinds made from sunscreen fabrics that allow for the control of heat and light as well as an outside view. Translucent fabrics ensure privacy during the day while diffusing the light entering the interior of the home. Melbourne consumers also expect their fabrics to meet certain standards. For example, most good quality blind fabrics are designed to withstand Australia’s harsh climate and usually come with a warranty, fire retardant and non-flammable properties; dust resistance, stain resistance, UV and fade resistance, bacteria and mould resistance.
Motorisation and automation are also top selling add-ons for Melbourne consumers investing in blinds for their home. Blind motorisation offers numerous benefits:-
- Cost-effectiveness: Growing demand for motorised blinds has meant falling prices, resulting in a self-perpetuating situation that has seen high quality motorisation options steadily dropping in price in recent years.
- Convenience: With the touch of a button you can move your blind to any position. Sensors and timers mean your products can be operated remotely, even when you’re not at home. Most current motors are fully concealed inside the tube of the blind and operate virtually noiselessly. Also, unlike manual operation, which can damage blinds through excessive pulling and improper operation, the controlled operation of blinds ensures good function and better durability.
- Safety: This is an important issue, especially where young kids are involved, as loose cords and chains on venetian blinds, roller blinds, honeycomb blinds or panel blinds present a strangulation risk. Automated or motorised blinds generally don’t require cords, providing a much safer environment.
“People are becoming increasingly confident with the idea of motorisation and automation,” says one market watcher. “As the category experiences increased uptake, the price for the consumer is coming down, making it a much easier sell for most retailers. Busy city dwellers just love the idea of being able to control many of the functions of their home, including their blinds, at the touch of the button. As uptake has increased globally, many suppliers have increasingly invested in research and development, making these technologies increasingly fail-safe and user friendly. It’s a win-win for everyone!”
So there you have it; style, energy efficiency and touch button control are just some of the reasons why homeowners are increasingly investing in blinds in Melbourne. Add to these the ongoing buzz about home décor and design boosted by TV shows and online forums, from The Block to Pinterest, and it’s easy to see why homeowners are becoming inspired by the vast array of colours, styles and textures that the right blinds can bring to their homes.The result of all this is that there’s good reason to assume that blinds will continue to make a strong fashion statement in the houses of the Victorian capital.