If there's one thing the events of 2020 have taught us, it's the importance of feeling happy and content in our everyday living environment. It's why so many Australians have taken advantage of the lockdown period to do a thorough clean-out of their home, or kick-start a new styling or renovation project.
And with international travel off the cards for the conceivable future, 'staycations' are certainly on the rise. We have found an increasing number of customers wanting to create a 'holiday' feel in their everyday home – an escape, without the travel.
When it comes to creating this relaxed holiday feel, new window coverings are a great place to start – helping you create ambience, sophistication and control the flow of natural light.
So here are six ways that you can use window furnishings to create a holiday oasis - without having to leave home.
1. Embrace Natural Light
There's nothing like natural sunshine to lift one's spirits and create an immediate sense of relaxation.
This is something that Simone Matthews, interior Designer and Co-Owner of Soul Home, is intently focused on. In her recent project, The Pause at Gerringong, it was an extremely important part of the overall design.
"We really wanted to champion light without using too many lamps or overhead lights so, unfiltered natural light was a goal for us. Sheer curtains are a great way to achieve a soft light and provide a certain mood to a space," she says.
"We used the S-Wave Curtains from the new Luxaflex® Curtain Collection to create our look. The Luxaflex curtains create a light show; moving against the concrete floors, combined with the morning and afternoon light, it really creates a magnetic energy," she adds.
2. Turn your bedrooms into 'Zen' zones
When we think of holidays, we often think of having blissful, uninterrupted sleep. As such, creating tranquil bedrooms in which this can occur is a key part of creating that 'holiday' feel.
Earlier this year, interior design expert, TV personality and Luxaflex brand partner, Neale Whitaker, was invited to style an oceanfront property in Freshwater, on Sydney's northern beaches.
In the master bedroom of this home, he opted for Luxaflex® Duette® Architella® Shades in a block-out fabric – as the priorities in this room were privacy and the elimination of light. In the guest bedrooms, Neale opted for Luxaflex® Roller Blinds, which also offer a sophisticated, clean and effective way of controlling light.
"To control light and add privacy, I chose the translucent fabric for the living room and blockout fabric for the guest bedrooms. For extra ease of use, I chose the LiteRise operation – a cordless operating system that offers smooth and simple, child-safe control," he says.
For the ultimate block-out solution, Luxaflex® offers an extremely clever LightLock System, which has been precisely engineered with room-darkening technology that lies within the unique LightLock side channel design. The patented U-Shaped side channels feature rows of specially shaped microridges which are optimised to trap, absorb, block and deflect all incoming light from seeping into the room. This meticulous design of the side channel restricts light leakage and eliminates the "halo effect" that is common with most blockout shades.
3. Go neutral and natural
Another way of creating a holiday feel is to opt for neutral, coastal-inspired tones and hues in your home.
According to Simone Matthews, Australians are simplifying the way we live, and a key factor of this is integrating nature into our lives and appreciating how nature makes us feel.
Speaking about her latest property, The Pause at Gerringong, she says: "To create an atmosphere that feels like a calm oasis from the outside world, we used a 'less is more' approach with colours and materials. Using a base palette of coastal white against natural timbers and brass, the key is to mix the materials, natural fabrics and textures in similar colour palettes to create the final look."
"From the textured timber in the furniture, to the smooth finish of the timber doors as well as incorporating rattan, wood and linen into the interior design and accessories we have merged the indoors and outdoors," she adds.
Layering curtains with other window treatments is another smart way to balance functionality, performance and style – while gently diffusing light to bring a relaxed mood to the home.
"We layered the curtains with Luxaflex® Duette® Shades to create a cohesive and functional combination. The balance of light control, privacy and the energy efficient qualities the Duette Shades provide makes it perfect for an Australian home," said Simone of the way they used layering at The Pause.
This layering is also a technique used by Neale Whitaker in the Freshwater home.
In both the open-plan living space and the master bedroom, the combination of Luxaflex® Duette Shades and sheer Luxaflex® Curtains allowed Neale to create an interesting interior look, while balancing style and functionality.
"Layering window coverings with a soft sheer curtain adds a beautiful softness, movement and texture to the room, not to mention depth and warmth. I also love how they filter and diffuse the light to bring a relaxed mood to the décor," he says.
Another way of getting soft, filtered light into a room is the Luxaflex LumiShade. A contemporary take on a classic window covering, Luxaflex® LumiShade™ combines the versatility of a vertical blind with the elegant appeal of a soft window furnishing. Featuring the premium Luxaflex EDGE Vertical Track system and soft LumiShade™ fabric, the new Luxaflex LumiShade™ collection provides the perfect balance of style, durability and child safety features to make any home feel like a holiday getaway.
5. Indoor/outdoor living
Of course, nothing says 'holidays' more than alfresco dining – and having an outdoor area in which to entertain, play and relax.
Outdoor awnings can maximise your living space and give you a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, as well as offer advanced sun protection and airflow for a more enjoyable entertaining space.
"We spend so much of our time outdoors, so it's important to have a space that can function, no matter what season it is," says Simone.
"Ideally, you want an awning that blends with your home and doesn't detract from the overall look and style, and while you need the awning to protect and work with the elements, you don't want it to be an eye-sore but rather complement your overall aesthetic," she says.
"When we saw the Luxaflex® Evo MagnaTrack Awning and chose to install them, it had a huge impact on our design. We removed our dining space from the internal living plans, and allowed for a larger kitchen and communal area. The Evo MagnaTrack enabled the outdoor dining space to transform into an indoor space as needed; which was a serious game changer in our design."
Folding Arm Awnings are also a great way to create a resort feel in your outdoor area – providing important protection from the harsh UV rays and enabling you to use your outdoor areas in all types of weather – whether it's perfect holiday weather or not!
6. Choose ease of maintenance
Being on holidays is all about switching off from everyday tasks around the home. For this reason, the 'holiday feel' is also about creating low-maintenance interiors that require very little active upkeep.
Luxaflex® PolySatin Shutters are a great option – offering beachside cottage vibes all year round. They are also perfect in wet and dry conditions, and are made from polyresin which means they can get wet and hot, but won't warp or bubble.
To find out more about the Luxaflex® range, visit our website or get in touch with us to discuss the options that are right for your home.