Cleaning hacks for window blinds and awnings

EXPERT TIPS: How to Clean Window Blinds and Awnings (using items you already have!)

Window blinds are a fantastic feature that looks great, adds value, protects from the elements. Undercover Blinds has been providing quality blinds and awnings to Victorian homes and businesses since 2007 and in that time we have mastered the art of cleaning blinds and awnings.

Discover our expert tips on how to clean window blinds and awnings using products and items found in most households.

1. Hose Couture

If you have a horizontal awning such as the superb folding arm awnings available at Undercover Blinds, you are probably loving the look and coverage they offer. Much like a great coat, your awnings need regular cleaning to look their best. Create a mild solution of laundry detergent and lukewarm water, apply with a light bristle broom and hose off with a garden hose. Super easy! Just make sure you don’t use a high pressure hose as this can damage the fabric and protective coating of the awning.

2. Spot the Difference

Occasionally you will come across a stubborn stain that won’t simply wash away and wonder how to best clean stained blinds and awnings. A bird may have dropped a “special package” or perhaps your football skills landed a muddy ball on your awning. Spray some carpet cleaner onto a clean rag and rub onto the stain. Test the solution on an inconspicuous patch before proceeding and do not spray directly onto fabric.

3.Terrifically Transparent

Clear PVC Blinds are designed to maximise views and an atmosphere of open space within a weather-proof alfresco area. Both objectives are severely compromised if your blinds are covered in stains and fingerprints. A regular microfiber cloth attracts dust particles and is perfect when combined with a specialised cleaning solution (available from our showroom) to wipe down both sides of the fabric. Give your PVC blinds some TLC with a treatment spray that is then massaged into the clean blind to repel UV rays and condition the PVC so it stays soft, ply-able and free of discoloration.

4.Blind Blow-dry

Many internal blind models such as our quality fabric roller blinds can withstand a gentle dusting and vacuuming with a proper upholstery attachment. For visible stains, make a solution of warm water and laundry detergent and use a sponge or toothbrush to clean the spot. Remember to test it on an inconspicuous spot to make sure that it doesn’t cause the color to run.

5. Clear the Air

Does it feel like your indoor blinds are constantly collecting dust? Surprisingly, your culprit may be your couch.  The fabric in any room is a landing spot for dust and every time we sit down on it, the dust is launched into the air and often gravitates towards your blinds. Vacuum your furniture with an upholstery attachment and you will prolong the time between blind cleanings.

It only takes a few minutes of regular care to maintain the attractiveness of your blinds and awnings, not to mention the cleanliness.

Undercover Blinds is available to offer advice and product solutions to help you get the best results, contact us or visit our showroom for more information.

Retractable Roof Systems for Flexible Entertaining

Retractable roof systems turn any pergola or outdoor living area into an opportunity to entertain. Ideal for both residential and commercial use, our collection of retractable roofs and blinds allows you to host visitors and customers all year round. We’ve listed our most popular retractable pergola and blind systems below, along with some of the many reasons you will love this addition to your outdoor area.
 

Helioshade – Waterproof Retractable -Roof Awning

Helioshade retractable roof systems

The Helioshade All Seasons retractable roof system is a state-of-the-art retractable roof lining that provides protection from the elements at the push of a button. Its 100% waterproof fabric means that you can continue to entertain outdoors during the winter months, while the optional wind and rain sensors allow for automated control even when you are not at home.

This European designed retractable roof range is made from architectural grade aluminium and stainless steel fixtures available in over 120 frame colors. The high quality construction and PVC fabrics mean you’ll enjoy a 5 year warranty and many years of great entertaining.

Want to take your outdoor entertaining area to the next level? The Helioshade retractable roof system can also incorporate dimmable 360 degree LED Lighting which is installed along the cross bars and retracts with the roof.

Pacchetto – Belt Driven Pleated Retractable Patio System

Paccheto retractable roof systems

The Pacchetto is the full package of retractable roofing. This pleated shading system is ideal to use above outdoor hospitality venues, swimming pools or your average backyard patio. This unique design is essentially made up of individual sheets of fabric that are easily and independently replaced in the unlikely event of damage.

This retractable awning is ideal for all weather conditions and is motorised for simple control with the click of a button. One of the major benefits of the Pacchetto retractable roofing system is that it is packed with practical features such as a customisable water draining system and the flexibility of being free-standing or attached to your existing structure.

This retractable roof system is manufactured in extruded aluminium and is powder coated to suit your outdoor needs, as well as being available in a wide range of fabric options including Acrylic Canvas, PVC and Mesh.

Sintesi Retractable Roof System

The Italian designed Sintesi retractable awning is an elegant and practical solution designed to meet both commercial and residential outdoor area needs. These quality roofing sheets provide protection from the elements year round, while also offering the flexibility of motorised retraction at the touch of a button.

Rain, hail or shine, the Sintesi retractable pergola is a stylish and highly functional retractable roofing system that will deliver the benefits of a permanent pergola, yet allow you to maximise your space and minimise the costs of creating an outdoor living area.  With the quintessentially European attention to aesthetics, Sintesi has solved the rainfall problem and integrated a rain gutter and downpipe system fitted discreetly into an elegant mounting frame to channel water away.

The Sintesi pergola is manufactured in aluminium and finished in a choice of powder coating to blend with your surroundings or provide a touch of color for an eye-catching feature. All our awnings are custom made to suit your application, available in PVC, Acrylic Canvas and Mesh.

Undercover Blinds offer an extensive range of retractable roofing and awning systems that are guaranteed to meet your outdoor entertaining needs.

Phone us today on 03 9775 1726 to arrange a site consultation.

Folding arm awnings

Folding Arm Awnings- Your Entertaining Plans Covered.

We all know Melbourne is famous for its unpredictable weather. From harsh sunshine to sudden rainfall, it’s not unusual to go through four seasons in a single day.

Installing Folding Arm Awnings can provide the ultimate protection you need from the Australian sun. Being fully retractable, these are highly sought after solutions for any shading concerns and offers the following benefits.

Handle the Heat- Folding Arm Awnings for UV Protection

Folding Arm Awnings will protect from the sun when needed and neatly fold away if no longer required. Building permanent outdoor structures is costly and space-consuming, hence retractable awnings are a superior solution that offers more flexibility and maximises your space. Whether you are covering a single window or an entire deck, folding arm awnings are custom made and can be built in sizes up to 18 meters wide and 5 meters in projection.

Let it Rain- Outdoor Retractable Awnings

Outdoor Awnings are made of extremely durable materials that are designed to withstand some light summer rain, so your entertaining can continue uninterrupted. Window Awnings are also handy as they protect your rooms from sun damage while allowing you to let some fresh air into your home. Both have a variable pitch control options so you can alter the angle (height) of your moisture resistant awning at any time to suit your requirements and keep out the raindrops.

European Engineered- World Class Window Awnings in Australia

Undercover Blinds offers a wide range of manufacturers and solutions for all of your requests and needs. As part our extensive program, we are proud to be official distributors of Turnils and Aluxor Retractable Awnings. Turnils have combined European quality and Swedish design for state of the art engineering of Folding Arm Awnings. Their innovative features include the lightweight, yet durable Dyneema® tape which is used on awning joints for superior strength and resistance to moisture and UV.

Aluxor is another European product that is receiving rave reviews in Australia. These modern awnings are designed in Germany and perfected in every aspect from the performance of hardware elements to fabrics with self-cleaning properties. It’s safe to say that Aluxor and Turnils are the Mercedes Benz of the Folding Arm Awning segment.

Electronic Window Awnings- Covered with the Click of a Button

These Retractable Awnings can be motorised or manually operated. They can also be installed with motion sensors, wind sensors, sun sensors, timers or connection to c-bus to make your system fully automated. For an added “Wow factor”, manufacturers such as Aluxor and Turnils also create awnings with incorporated LED lighting. The transition from open-roof to undercover is as easy as skipping a song on your music player.

Retractable awnings are the modern solution for simple, tidy and reliable shelter all year long. The best part? You can make them emerge or disappear whenever you please (unlike some of the guests that you’ll be hosting).

Discover Folding Arm Awnings and enjoy your outdoor entertaining area- light rain, or sun shine!

Why Window Awnings are Essential for an Aussie Summer

Why Window Awnings are Essential for an Aussie Summer

It has often been said that “windows are the eyes of a house” and we all know how a dazzling pair of eyes can leave a fantastic first impression and become something to fall in love with. Window awnings are a stylish addition that provide the functional benefits of blinds and outdoor structures, with an aesthetically superior appearance and ideal potential for customisation.

Just as you would select a pair of fabulous sunglasses to compliment your personal style, installing awnings above your windows provides a chic feature to the look of your home, as well as all-important benefits such as protection against UV rays. The Australian summer brings many hours of harsh sunlight and window awnings are the perfect solution to protect your home, carefully selected flooring and furniture from harmful rays and spontaneous summer showers.

Unlike lower quality external blinds and outdoor roller blinds offered by less reputable manufacturers, our External Blind & awning range is constructed with high quality materials made to last. For example, some units use aluminum components to prevent rusting and unsightly stains that can damage your valued home. This is exceptionally important in areas such as Melbourne and Bayside areas, where the weather brings everything from heat waves to sporadic rainfall. Rain, hail or shine, your external window awnings must be durable enough to withstand it all and maintain a striking look.

Unpredictable weather and frequently changing schedules also create a need for flexibility. You don’t always need to wear your fantastic pair of designer frames and in the same way, awnings don’t need to be permanently set up.

The advantage of retractable awning designs such as our folding arm awnings is that they can provide protection when required and be neatly folded away when you don’t need them. Some days you may feel like sitting in a sunbathed living area, while others call for a sanctuary from the Australia sun, our awnings allow for both.

For home owners who appreciate a true fusion of convenience and style, there is also the option of motorizing awnings and even installing sensors and timers to make a fully automated system for folding arm awnings covering larger areas.

Undercover Blinds & Awnings creates fully customized window awnings, so that you can find a set of amazing awnings that will look great and serve your needs throughout the summer and all year long.

Bistro Blinds this christmas

‘Tis the Season to Entertain Outdoors with Bistro Blinds

Have Yourself a Very Stylish Christmas with Bistro Blinds.

We all love a traditional Aussie Christmas and there is nothing more quintessentially Australian than hosting your nearest and dearest for a Christmas lunch or barbeque. Melbourne’s climate is unpredictable and can surprise us with everything from a “scorcher” to a summer shower, which is why outdoor blinds (particularly bistro or ‘ blinds) are the ideal solution.

Bistro blinds are a popular feature of restaurants and cafes, however households are increasingly turning to modern patio blinds and alfresco blind options to create an outdoor living area without the cost of building.

Imagine a wonderfully decorated outdoor area in which your Christmas tree, decorations and furniture remain immaculately arranged, whatever the weather.

Why Bistro Blinds?

Bistro blinds or Alfresco Blinds will protect you and your guests from harmful UV rays on sunny days, wind, rain and even annoying insects! Your plans to entertain should never be disrupted by the elements, so we have created these bistro blinds using high quality marine grade materials that are durable enough to endure season after season.

Aside from functional benefits, aesthetics are very important. People spend a lot of time and money creating a beautiful and comfortable home that reflects their personal style. Your outdoor living areas shouldn’t be an exception!

Undercover Blinds & Awnings  strive to offer a diverse range of material options, as well as optional features to customise your outdoor blinds and create the alfresco entertaining area you have always dreamed of.

Investing into a quality set of bistro blinds means your entertaining plans are covered all through the twelve days of Christmas and more importantly, all twelve months of the year.

Gift Yourself an Outdoor Sanctuary ’tis Season

Feel like you’re dining in an upscale restaurant or resort in your very own backyard, spend your days off relaxing with a good book or let the kids play with their Christmas presents in a safe and attractive outdoor area. With options of operation from Spring, crank operation and motorization, make the most of them, Bistro blinds will add value to your property and your lifestyle. Contact us today!

roller_shutter_undercover-blinds

Roller Shutters- The Stay-Cool Summer Solution

We may love our “sunburnt country” but the great Aussie summer can lose its appeal when the air-conditioning starts increasing your electricity bill, your carpet and furniture start to fade and the dreaded bush-fire season commences.

We protect ourselves from the sun by using sunscreen and covering up, but you can’t exactly cover your windows with sunscreen. Well, technically you could, but it would be extremely messy and inefficient.  Gone are the days of flimsy plastic Venetian blinds with tangled cords and dust-gathering, and broken panels. Many owners of outdated blinds will testify to tying more knots than a sailor in attempt to tame these pesky messy (and dangerous) cords, not to mention that they offer an extremely limited color palette.

The good news is, there is a product that acts as a protective barrier, creates privacy and looks great on your home. The great Australian summer demands a superior product and Aluminium Roller Shutters are just that.

Roller_blinds_australian_summer

Motorised Electric Roller Shutters are an easily installed battery operated solution that you can control at the touch of a button. Aside from not being dependant on your home’s power, they can also save you up to 40% on cooling and heating costs because they are injected with a polyurethane foam which acts as an insulator. They offer privacy, security and even advanced features such as airflow and light control, bush-fire and storm protection as well as noise reduction.

Aluminium Roller Shutters offer you the opportunity to select the perfect color to suit your decor and create windows that look stylish inside and out. Moreover, the fact that you will save money on your electricity bill, sun damage repair or furniture/flooring replacement, means that you will have some extra cash up your sleeve to spend on other areas of your home. Perhaps some new home accessories or the ultimate cooling experience with a fancy fridge or even a swimming pool.

Summer is fast approaching and this is the perfect time to create a comfortable and stylish environment you’ll enjoy spending time in. Investing in some trendy roller shutters means enjoying your window view whether you’re looking out at your neighborhood or at your own windows from your backyard.

Imagine waking up in the morning, playing your favorite song and opening the blinds in your home from a hand-held control panel to let the sun in. Now THAT is a very cool way to start the day.

Visit our website for a glimpse at our fantastic range of roller shutters or contact us to request more information or an obligation-free measure and quote.

11 Times Aluminium Plantation Shutters Saved the Day

Shutters have definitely come a long way over the years! From a completely solid wood boarding used on the outside of windows, they’ve now become a must have designer item for the inside of the window.

Increasingly popular, aluminium plantation shutters deliver a sophisticated look that also delivers on functionality. Not only do they bring a touch of luxury to any room, plantation shutters are also private, safe and secure and also surprisingly easy to maintain.

There are countlesssituations where aluminium plantation shutters are the solution that will ‘save the day’ from a design perspective and also functionally. Here are just a few of the best

1. In A Period Style Home: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

Whether your home is a cottage, farm-house, French Provincial, Edwardian, Federation or even California Bungalow, aluminium plantation shutters will only add to the charm of your home from the inside and out. Many home owners might opt for heavy drapes, but you don’t need to settle for the fussiness of curtains with pelmets and tie backs to keep the look in character if you choose plantation shutters. Some of the more modern window treatments like venetians or roller blinds often look out of place in period homes, so rest assured plantation shutters will be truer to the period the home was built while also combining with more contemporary furnishings if that is how the interior is decorated.Plantation Shutters California Bungalow

2. In A Contemporary Home: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

It sounds unusual that a window treatment can be equally at home in a modern new build as it is in a 100 year old home, but plantation shutters are probably the only item that can claim this! Their straight clean lines are minimalist, so will appeal to those who want window treatments that don’t dominate the room, which can often happen with drapes.

If your home is beachy, ultra-modern, Hamptons-style or even a relatively new build that is starting to look dated, you will find aluminium plantation shutters can deliver that fresh and breezy contemporary feel we all love.Contemporary Aluminium Plantation Shutters

3. For Oddly Shaped Windows: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

Round windows, arches and other somewhat artistic styles of windows are great at adding character to your home. But they can also pose challenges when looking at window treatments, after all you want to celebrate the style of window and enhance it, rather than completely cover it. Because plantation shutters can be completely customised to the exact size and shape of any window, they are a great solution for those quirky spaces you may have been scratching your head about.Aluminium Plantation Shutters

4. When You Need Light But Want Privacy From Prying Eyes: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

A bright and light-filled home is what most of us are looking to achieve, but sometimes the edges of curtains, romans or other blinds can block a lot of the light. Not to mention that when some window treatments are open there is no protection from the eyes of anyone wandering past!

Aluminium plantation shutters only need a slight tilt of the louvres upwards or downwards to allow in plenty of light while also blocking the view into your home. You can also shut off the bottom half of the shutters while leaving the top half open, so only the very top of your room is visible.  Creeping passers-by and nosy neighbours will be stopped in their tracks!

Aluminium Plantation Shutters Bathroom

5. To Let The Breeze In While Providing Seclusion: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

If it’s more a cooling breeze on a warm summer’s day you’re after, aluminium plantation shutters will mean drapes or sheers don’t flap about in the wind. Position the louvres at the perfect angle and you can still catch breeze and block out the view into your home. Just close your eyes and that tropical island feeling is yours with plantation shutters!

Outdoor Plantation Shutters

6.For Outdoor Screening: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

Using weatherproof aluminium plantation shutters means you can extend the luxe look to your outdoor living area with materials that are strong enough to withstand the elements. The possibilities are endless when it comes to screening your verandah or patio from view of your neighbours or from a blustery wind with plantation shutters. You can even use them as a disguise to hide away a utility you’d rather not see, like air conditioning unit, pool filters or hot water system.

Again you can adjust the louvres to bring in more or less light, perfect for protecting an evening meal on the balcony from the blinding western sun. You’ll soon be enjoying the resort style vibe with aluminium plantation shutters!

Plantation shutters hide aircon unit

7. For A Long Lasting Solution: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

We touched on the toughness of aluminium plantation shutters above, but longevity is so important in more ways than one. Aluminium is an ideal choice of material for plantation shutters because it provides the same look but with no fading, peeling or warping, which is particularly important if the shutters will be outdoors. They are resistant to damage and so can handle a bit heavy handedness from your visitors opening or closing them.

Aluminium plantation shutters will also last many years aesthetically due to their timeless look, which we think is just as important as durability. A durable product that looks dated in years to come will only become an eyesore, so it’s important to install something that will look just as good as it functions in years to come. The best thing about plantation shutters is that it will be hard to pinpoint an exact date they became fashionable, which means they can quite rightfully be referred to as a classic.

plantation shutters

8. To Add Value To Your Home: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

Because plantation shutters are so universally popular, timeless and highly valued by property hunters, they do add significant value to the home. Buyers will know you have cared for your home when they see you have chosen to invest in the window treatments. The fact that popular renovating for profit guru Cherie Barber recommends plantation shutters for all except very low-end renovations confirms that they are a smart investment. Aluminium plantation shutters add the wow factor many buyers are looking for, and anyone looking to sell in the near or far future would be wise to take advantage of any potential to create a bidding war!

Plantation Shutters screening

9. In A Child’s Room: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

When it comes to children, safety is number one. With no dangling cords to speak of, plantation shutters are a safer option than any other window treatment. Unfortunately, even with safety improvements and cord holders being installed, children are still at risk with fatalities reported each year due to window treatments. You can never be too careful, and doing away with cords altogether is wise.

Also, because they offer an imposing visual seen from the street, your home will be perceived by burglars as more difficult to break into. Anything that makes your home look more unappealing to burglars is a plus!plantation shutters kids bedroom

10. For An Easy Clean Solution: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

Aluminium plantation shutters won’t absorb dirt and stains like curtains and blinds will. Sometimes curtains can only be deep-cleaned by removing and dry-cleaning them, whereas aluminium plantation shutters just need a quick wipe down to remove any dust or strange kitchen spills (believe us – they do happen!). Which is great news for those will allergies, as window treatments are a common haven for dust mites.Aluminium Plantation Shutters

11. When You Don’t Like Your Windows: Aluminium Plantation Shutters

The wrong colour, style or format of your windows can cause headaches when trying to create a stylish interior. When your windows still function well, replacement usually isn’t an option. But luckily there is plenty you can do to disguise them inside and out!

With aluminium plantation shutters, you can completely cover your windows so the frames are practically invisible, while still allowing in plenty of light. The view from the outside will also be much more appealing, due to the scale and lightness of the plantation shutters overtaking from the ugliness of the window frames. Your windows will become completely unrecognisable!Plantation Shutters Bedroom

So you can see, we love how versatile aluminium plantation shutters are – they really are a great solution for so many homes and windows!

Whatever your situation, we have to agree that plantation shutters are really one of the most aesthetically appealing and functional window treatments. Everyone who installs them agrees it was the best decision they could have made.

If you’d like a free measure and quote, please contact us today.

Yes, You Can Entertain Outdoors In A Melbourne Winter With Alfresco Blinds

Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you should forgo your outdoor dining. Alfresco blinds in Melbourne make it possible for you to dine outdoors, any time of the year.

Whether you entertain on your deck or patio, your outdoor space is an asset to your home. Decks and patios are protected by the sun’s rays thanks to alfresco blinds in Melbourne. Such shaded spots then make it possible for you to accommodate family and friends.

Continue reading Yes, You Can Entertain Outdoors In A Melbourne Winter With Alfresco Blinds

How to Keep Your Home Chic With 2016’s Hottest Colours In Canvas Awnings

We all know how important a great looking home is. As the saying goes, the home is where the heart is. It’s the humble abode for you and your family, so ensuring it is a reflection of you and your personality is important to you.

After all, who wants to look at a drab and boring house? No one. Not your neighbours, passers-by and certainly not you or anyone in your family.

Using the latest colour trends in canvas awnings, you can instantly add more energy and life to your home.

Continue reading How to Keep Your Home Chic With 2016’s Hottest Colours In Canvas Awnings