Blinds and Window Coverings for Spring and Summer

We have already seen temperatures rise to high 30s and it is only the start of Spring, it looks like it is going to be one scorching Spring & Summer season. The hotter it is outside, the hotter it is inside your home. Your air conditioner works in overdrive and your electricity bills sky rocket. The more you try to save money by not running the air conditioner, your living space becomes stuffy and uncomfortable and your children become irritable. How can you beat the summer heat, conserve energy, and save on utilities? The answer is simple: window coverings.

On a hot day, heat will transfer through the windows, and even though you may have the air-conditioning on, up to 50% of that cool air will be lost through the windows and doors if they are not protected by window coverings. So, how do you know which window coverings are best?

Here are some tips:

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The kitchen. Think about ease of cleaning, window coverings such as wood blinds and faux-wood blinds are easier to maintain than pleated blinds or curtains.

The bedroom. For a more restful sleep, an opaque blind is a good choice. It can be concealed behind a valance or dressed up with attractive curtains. Block out blinds and curtains are also a good alternative, as the will keep the room dark to allow longer sleeping times.

The living room. The common choice is horizontal blinds or louvered shutters, as louvers can be inclined based on your preference for shade or light. This way you can control the amount of light that is entering the room. It is also recommended that you choose white or light coloured blinds in order to reflect the heat, rather than absorb it.

The bathroom. Horizontal blinds are a sound choice here. However, select a waterproof material (faux wood, for example), particularly if the space is poorly ventilated or the blind is close to the shower.

Exterior. Window coverings with reflective backing are an excellent choice. Some varieties have white backing, which reflects hot air and You don’t have to sacrifice style for energy efficiency and heat protection. Insulating and reflective shades come in hundreds of colours, cuts, and fabric selections, so you’re sure to find some to fit your décor.

Then you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your respite from the summer heat.sunlight. As an added bonus, these shades make the exterior of your home look fresh and cohesive. For maximum reflectivity, you can find window coverings with a thin, subtle layer of aluminium backing. All varieties provide excellent UV protection, which preserves your homes interior while keeping it temperate.

For a free measure and quote contact Andersens, or read more

Getting your garden ready for Spring entertaining

Sometimes all it takes is a bit of sunshine to give us a bit more energy and bring us outdoors. But you may find as you venture outside, you will notice that the weather has also had a great impact on your garden. Not only is the garden over grown and budding with new growth, winter has left its mark leaving you with broken and dead branches, bare patches in the lawn, and a bit of clean up all round that needs to take place. I bet you thinking, you really don’t know where to start, let alone have the time!

So, with a little motivation and hard work on your part and some helpful tips and ideas on our part, your yard will soon be ready for entertaining and enjoying this beautiful weather.

Here are some tips to get you started:

The lawn

Gardening

Usually after the harsh Winter weather, you will find your lawn not only is in desperate need of some attention but it is

covered in dead leaves, dry patches, covered with clover or weeds  and really not enjoyable for the kids to play on. So, to prepare your lawn for Spring and Summer here is what we recommend:

  • Rake all the dead leaves and dead grass to encourage new growth
  • Re-seed or re-turf areas that are bare
  • Apply lawn food, or slow release fertiliser and keep people off until it has taken off with some new growth.
  • Mow the lawn once the new grass is established, but be sure not to trim it too short as with the warmer weather it may burn

Adding a little colour to your outdoor area

Here are some great ideas on how to add a splash of colour to your outdoor area:

  • Flowers- If you want to add a splash of colour to your garden for Spring, we suggest you plant flowering spring annuals for an instant lift, but if you want to plan ahead to make it easier next year, look into bulbs that will flower in particular seasons.
  • Furniture- Add a bright feature chair, feature pot or ornaments. Update your wall hangings, outdoor cushions or for a more dynamic approach re-tile with feature tiles.
  • Artwork- Cast iron, sealed canvas art, mirrors, hanging planter baskets and chimes all make the area feel finished and decorated.

Prune & Weed

A job nobody really wants to do but essential for new growth. Prune back all your hedges & bushes, remove any dead palms or branches, clip those flowers, remove all the weeds from pebbled areas and those pesky spots. As tedious as it can be, weeds in your garden beds can spread and take over.

Vegetable Garden

Spring is a great time to start a vegie garden, and these days you can turn them into a real feature. Whether it is planting a new garden or just a few feature herb pots, you can create a tasteful feature for your outdoor area.

Clean and Mend

With the warmer weather meaning you will be spending more time outdoors, relaxing and entertaining it is important to make your entertaining area clean and safe for guests. Here are some must do’s:

  • Check outdoor furniture and outdoor sitting areas; wooden furniture may need to be repainted or re-oiled. Nuts and bolts should be checked and tightened.
  • Clean the pool and test the water, it may have been a long time since you went for a swim so again, make sure it is safe and clean for guests and family.
  • Clean the barbecue and replenish gas bottles, especially important if you are the host.
  • Paving and other hard surfaces may benefit from a vigorous sweep or hose to remove accumulated leaves and dirt.

Renovate or Upgrade

 

If you really want to create a comfortable outdoor space for entertaining, consider all the options. Look at paving or tiling an outdoor area for a purpose built sitting area, perhaps put in that decking around the pool you have always wanted. Look at pathways in and out of the house, shade such as outdoor blinds, shutters to make the space useable throughout the day. Lastly think of lighting, can you see the bbq area at night while you are cooking, can you see the kids in the pool when they go for a night swim and so on.

If you need some advice on outdoor flooring, contact Andersens for a free measure and quote on 1300 116 726 or contact us via email to arrange a time.

Brighten up your home with some new Spring décor

Spring is here, and moods are instantly lifted with the sunshine. So why not add a little life to your home as well? Celebrate spring with the right home decor. Here are five ideas that will bring spring to you, brightening your home while simultaneously lifting your mood.

1. Add pops of colour to your home

Nothing says spring more than bright colours, and adding it to your home is an easy way to transition from winter to spring. However, that doesn’t mean repainting your walls meadow green or lavender (unless you want to, of course); instead, simply add a pop of colour. It’s an easy solution without sacrificing results and will give your home a fresh, spring look without transforming it into a giant Sunflower. Try adding some bright throw pillows to your living room couch or hang an elaborate picture frame.

2. Plants and flowers

Who says spring has to be left outside once you close your front door?  Take a literal approach to spring decor by bringing the outside in. Adding flower arrangements throughout your home will allow you to savour every minute of spring that fades all too quickly. For an extra touch of luxury, add spring flowers to your bedroom and leave your windows open overnight for fresh air. You’ll think you woke up in your garden the next day. Plus, flowers are another fun way to add your pop of colour.

3. Spring in the kitchen

Bring spring to your kitchen by placing spring-inspired desserts on display. For example creatively arrange a fruit platter or glass display stand of seasonal fruits and vegies, this will add masses of colour to the kitchen. Also, try displaying some fancier desserts like spring-coloured cupcakes, iced lemon biscuits, or strawberry shortcake. Not only will this brighten up your kitchen, you will have provided your family and friends with yummy treats.

4. Scent your home

Scenting your home for Spring & Summer – from September to December – fragrances can transport you to the best times of the year or to a special place – like citrus rinds, strawberry, and tropical to remind you of summer, floral to remind of a beautiful spring garden, herbs & spices that remind you of Christmas, all this is an inexpensive ways to spice up your home and improve your mood

5. Fabrics

Rather than changing out your entire décor change your blankets, quilt covers and curtains. Replace wool and velvet with cotton, chenille or linen. Hemp, canvas and bamboo fabrics also help create a natural look and feel to coordinate with a room’s natural decor.

Choose pastel colours or other colours inspired by Mother Nature to really make your home feel refreshed, airy and truly delightful. Bold colours, such as bright orange or hot pink, will also add a lively flair. Floral and spring-themed fabrics are also a welcome addition for the season.

With these tips you can create a happy, fun Spring environment to your home, your family and friends will love it.

For ideas on colours and fabrics visit Andersens and speak to one of their colour experts today!

Carpet colour trends for Spring 2013

Home decor trends normally align themselves closely with the likes of clothing fashion trends and what colours and fabrics are in season. So, when it comes to deciding what colours are in for your home, you will most likely have already seen these colours hit the market in your favourite clothing stores.

In fact, according to this great colour trends article by House Beautiful some of our favourite colours like Pink, Mint, Yellow and Blue are hot this year! If you want a bold statement colour in your home try these options:

Aqua & Teal

Known for its soothing and calming effects, aqua has evolved beautifully from its early days, enjoying long-standing partnerships with chocolate, lush greens, creamy whites and silvery greys. A great pop colour for soft furnishings, ottomans, feature rugs or for the more bold approach, carpet. 

Persimmon Orange

This colour bring happiness, excitement and energy to any interior space. Orange is often used as the signature colour for key pieces of furniture or accessories. It is especially stunning when dropped strategically into an all-white interior. 

Pink

Pink is another colour that is going to be around for the long haul. As a colour that works well with any styling, Pink can soften the look of your room and add a touch of elegance. This is a great carpet choice for kids rooms, country living, modern elegance, & French provincial. 

Purple

The colour purple of today is regal when blue-based, and spiritual and mysterious when red-based. This colour is great for cinema & media rooms to make your room feel more dark and glamorous and in bedrooms for a dark cosy and relaxed feeling. 

What if the above colours are too bold?

When it comes to carpet, you want to pick a colour you can live with and look at every day so if the brighter colours do not appeal to you perhaps you would like something such as:

Ivory

Today we are seeing different influences on our neutral palette such as camel, linen, damask, and calico which are the new Ivory. The whites and off whites still continue to expand and grow as they remain a great base colour to add any new pop colour trend to and really brighten your home with a fresh look.

Grey

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Grey is a perfect colour when it comes to choosing a subtle modern carpet colour, look for hues either cloud grey, silver, charcoal, or warm grey. This colour will add warmth & a sophisticated feel to your home and is rarely boring. We have seen this colour emerge over the years in fashion and saturate the market place and lets’ just say, we think it is here to stay. 

Taupe

Classic taupe emerged as the colour between the old trending brown and the new grey, often described as a greyish brown or brownish grey. Taupe can be found in most fashion items and is definitely evident in the home furnishing markets today. When the taupe trend is translated into furniture, it offers the very popular reclaimed look. Nice for coastal, minimalist, Bali and French provincial styling. 

Black

No interior or wardrobe is complete without a touch of black. Black creates a much needed sense of depth and gravity. Black is basic and easy while being elegant and timeless. 

If you are ready to update your home with the latest colour trends in carpet, visit you local Andersens store to view their complete collection for Spring 2013.

Spring cleaning your home: Top tips to get your home into shape for Spring!

The weather is heating up, flowers are starting to bloom and the birds are singing, all signs that Spring is here but are you still stuck in the Winter blues? It is tradition that when Spring arrives, we get into cleaning mode and start to get our homes into tip top shape and focus on those areas of the house that have sat dormant for the past few months. After reading this blog on tips to get your home Spring ready, you may just feel the urge to get started in your home.

Step 1- Get your family involved

You will need help on your Spring cleaning endeavour, so get your family involved. You are probably thinking to yourself, you can do it quicker on your own but when it comes to lifting, cleaning and sorting especially the kid’s rooms, you will want their input as to what stays and what goes – not to mention that many hands make light work!

Work together and make it fun.

Step 2- De-clutter each room

One of the biggest parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don’t need. This involves going through cupboards, drawers, sheds, garages and storage and making tough decisions as to what to keep.

Here are some tips to de-clutter your home:

  • Plan a garage sale, this can be fun for the kids
  • Sell unwanted items on eBay or gumtree to make a few dollars
  • Box up items you don’t need but want to keep such as family air looms and place in storage
  • Donate items to charity, schools, friends that are taking up space that you think you can’t sell.
  • Clean and wash items as you go, you don’t want to have to come back to this later.

While you may have a tendency to hoard and hold onto items that you feel you may just use sometime in the future, if you have not used them in the last 2-3 years, you are not likely to use them this year either so get rid of it.

Cleaning will be a lot easier when the clutter is gone, plus you may be able to make a few extra $$ to buy something new for your home or a gift for the kids as a reward for helping.

Step 3- Organising

Organising your home will make your life so much easier. Not only will you be able to put things away properly you will know exactly where everything lives and you will know exactly what you have. You can stop wasting money buying items you already have but couldn’t find at the time and can start buying new items that you thought you did not have room for.

Tip: Pull everything out of the cupboards, clean the cupboard, sort items into piles of “keep, chuck, donate, or store” and whatever you are keeping put back neatly.

Don’t move onto the next room until the first room is complete, trust me you want feel like going back to it later. When it is done properly the first time it is easier to maintain and the whole process will be quicker.

Step 4- Cleaning

A dusty refrigerator top and an oven that smokes every time you bake are not the components of an ideal kitchen not to mention the dusty skirting boards, blinds, flyscreens, or the dead flies and dirt in the door tracks and windows, these are not signs of a clean inviting home.

Here are some tips for Spring cleaning:

  • Get all your cleaning products and a bucket together before you start
  • Do the floors last, you will only make mess along the way
  • Try to use products that are environmentally friendly
  • Ensure each room is well ventilated as you clean
  • Don’t forget to dust the photos and pictures on the walls
  • Clean the ceiling fans and exhaust fans, as these can be the causes of allergens
  • Pick a sunny day to wash your curtains, drapes, bedding and rugs

You may even decide to invest in a professional cleaner once you have de cluttered to save yourself sweat and tears.

So what are you waiting for? Pick a room of the house to start on and go for it!

The weather has been perfect so you have no excuse and you will thank yourself later when you can sit back and enjoy a clean and fresh house for the Spring and Summer.

As always, feel free to visit our website for any tips on choosing the perfect floor or window coverings for your home now that it’s been officially made ready for Spring!