Style Counsel: Serene Blinds
Sam and Rene Hardt
Serene Blinds and Awnings
How would you describe your personal style and how it translates to your business?
Sam: I would say relaxed but elegant. We try to combine the elegance of the fabrics and the products while ensuring they are also liveable and functional.
What is your most popular product right now?
Sam: We sell a lot of shutters, particularly the Polysatin range. They have the look of timber but without the high maintenance. They are mould resistant too, which makes them perfect for our humid climate.
Rene: They are also Australian made, with a 20-year warranty, so it ticks all the boxes.
What do you love most about your business?
Sam: We love the people and the fact that we live local and employ locals. It’s a nice little family business and we get great satisfaction from making our customers happy.
It’s great to have our beautiful showroom for customers to come in and see the products and how they work.
What are some of the elements that sets your business apart?
Sam: It’s all about the service really, even after we have done the installation. That’s why we have a lot of customers coming back year after year and recommending us to friends and family. That’s most important to us.
Rene: I’ve been in the industry for 18 years so there’s a lot of experience here. We have our own team of installers, so we don’t use sub-contractors. We make sure the finished product is exactly what the customer is expecting.
What are the current trends in window furnishings?
Rene: Shutters have come on in leaps and bounds from the old dark timber, which didn’t suit our lifestyle on the Coast. Curtains are back in high demand too, particularly the sheer look.
What are the latest trends in colours and fabrics?
Sam: The Hampton’s style is very popular at the moment, so there is a lot of white out there as well as charcoals. In terms of fabrics, natural fibres are in high demand. We have a great range in a natural look that’s actually made of polyester, so it’s very durable and easy to maintain. We also stock linens for those who prefer the real thing. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets.
Top tips when it comes to dressing your windows?
Light, privacy and heat are the three things you need to consider first when it comes to window furnishings, then think about the look you are trying to achieve.
What are the future trends?
Motorisation is something that has been around for a while but is becoming increasingly popular. Most of the products we stock can be motorised, which can then be connected to your home automation through Google. So for example, if you have window on the Western side of your house, you can time your blind to close in the afternoon to avoid the heat, which is great for energy efficiency too.
Whether you’re preparing for a new build or a major renovation of your existing home, early planning of your window coverings will ensure you achieve the best end result. Sam and Rene share their six top tips.
Blinds designed with both function and style in mind will provide you with the best value for money in the long term. Look for quality fabrics designed to withstand our harsh Australian climate, along with key design features that will ensure the blind performs well in terms of heat, light and privacy control.
With the focus on creating a ‘Smart Home’ on the rise, motorised window coverings can provide many benefits such as enhanced energy efficiency, child safety and convenience. They can also be integrated into many different home automation systems, both wireless and hardwired.
If you are thinking about creating a functional indoor/outdoor living area and want to shade your outdoor entertaining space with a folding arm awning, you will need to consider the structural elements early on in the building process. A structural support beam or roof rafters may need to be fitted, or the wall height extended to allow for a safe and successful install.
Internal window coverings can be fitted in one of three ways: within the window frame, which provides a neat finish flush with the wall; mounted to the outside on the wall; or ceiling fitted. Factors such as window style, handles and winders may determine the type of installation possible. For blinds and curtains that move across, consider where you want them to stack back to as this may influence the dimensions you require for your windows and walls.
With Australians typically spending 41% of their household energy expenditure managing their home’s temperature, the right window coverings can save money, all year round. Internal blinds fitted in the reveal, close to the glass with a neat, tight fit will reduce the airflow passing through and around the window covering, providing improved heat control.
Although window coverings are one of the last things to go into the house, they still need to be put in to the project timeline to ensure the product is delivered at the ideal time. Turnaround times for locally- made blinds are usually somewhere between two to four weeks and imported blinds can take up to to 12 weeks.