You’ve selected floor plan, bricks, tiles, done a bit of colour co-ordination; selected paint colours, kitchen laminates, carpet, combined textures and finishes.
Time to think about window furnishings. Where do you start?
You’ve been noticing readymade curtains and blinds in TV advertisements / letterbox catalogues / Sunday paper supplements. Perhaps even visited such stores to be disappointed by the range and quality. There are other limitations as well that you need to be aware of (see later discussion of tab top and eyelet headings). So, no place in the stylish home you’ve already part created. At least you know what you don’t want.
So it’s going to be custom made, to do justice to your sense of style.
Let’s take our paint colours in and match some fabric colours
Can I respectfully suggest, NO. Let’s think about treatments first, then fabric types and finally, finally colour.
So what kind of treatments are we going to have? You start to notice the interiors magazines, maybe go back to the display homes with a focused view. Your partner likes the look of those blinds, and considers the whole problem solved. You know some of those blinds might be OK for some areas, and then the room will be only half finished.
The magazines are full of interesting looking curtain and blind treatments with accessories. That picture is just the effect you like. But how would you handle the half-bay window area or those two funny little windows off the entrance? And the kitchen window needs something more practical that is still going to blend.
Where Andersons sit in the industry
Round about this time, hopefully, you discover Andersons Window Furnishings and our decorator staff. A friend or relative may have mentioned us. Most of our business comes that way. Our staff are very experienced decorators, and include qualified designers as well, but working for Andersons they specialise in window furnishings and the associated soft furnishings items that are crucial to the finished effects of a room, with no fee involved.
Consultancy only services, for overall concept design, or to assist in the selection of colours, finishes, fittings, carpet, furniture and accessories etc are also available on a fee basis from our designers. For window furnishings however, there is no fee, our consultants will guide you through the whole process to provide solutions which are individual and practical, and to any budget.
Andersons stock fabric samples from all the big ‘designer’ names, and we have access to those we don’t stock. Often for the customer with exclusive tastes, there is simply no substitute, no compromise. We cater for that. But the desire for quality and style in fabrics, does not have to take your budget off the planet.
The other major point of difference is, our consultants are backed up by Andersons’ 30+ years of experience and expertise in the design, manufacture and installation of all types of window furnishing products. They have a team of people behind them. A great deal of technical expertise lies behind those beautiful soft furnishings effects in the decorating magazines.
Custom window furnishings/soft furnishings, well done in quality fabrics, are a very satisfying personal touch for those who appreciate individual design in their homes.
So what is the process from here on?
Our website is organised around five broad categories of treatment options that we handle:
What we call soft blinds (made with soft furnishing fabrics)
External shutters & deck blinds
Soft furnishings & upholstery
We hope to present information in each area that is helpful toward your choices. This is the information our consultants will be working with in thinking about your project. So, back to your story now with the help of one of our consultants.
A tip: Think on a per window basis. Certain types of window are suited to particular treatments. You don’t have to treat every opening in an area the same way. Our consultant will show you how to tie different treatments together using fabric co-ordinates etc.
We handle everything in the way of window treatments. Consequently our advice is not limited to a particular product range. Moreover, 80% of the product we sell we manufacture ourselves in our workroom, so we know what we are doing when it comes to design and installation.
What is your style?
In the early stages, once you have decided on treatments for particular areas, you can assist the consultant by looking at fabrics from a point of view of ‘style and feeling’. Vague words, and here is another: the ‘look’ that appeals to you is a very personal thing.
After you’ve listened to everything your consultant says, taken advantage of her experience and guidance about what is going to work. You will be making the ultimate selection of fabrics based on the ‘style and feeling’ that appeals to you. Fairly early on, the consultant will be onto your wavelength though, and she will know what appeals.
In the final narrowed down search, once you are clear about the feeling you are looking for, only then does colour become significant. Please don’t obsess about matching colour. It does not have to be drop dead exact. A comfortable companionship is all that is required in most circumstances.
At this stage also comes consideration of possible trimmings and accessories to accentuate the appropriate colours in the overall scheme. Colour is something that can be massaged.
Any sort of guidance for our consultants on your budget expectations is helpful. An average houseful of custom window furnishings is $5,000 or $10,000 or $20,000 or $40,000+ depending entirely on the price of the fabrics and how elaborate are the treatments.
Top treatments, double layer treatments, decorator rods, trimmings and accessories obviously increase the price per window by multiples.
Based on their experience, our consultants are able to talk budget with you once they have seen what is involved. Let them know what your expectations are in the matter of budget so they have a basis on which to work. And remember, you don’t have to do the whole house in one hit. You can always break it down into stages.