Behind the Blinds with Harlequin Blinds
Georgia Beard lifts the curtain on the local blind manufacturer furnishing windows to enhance our home comforts while meeting the demands of life in the subtropics.
The climate is capricious on the Sunshine Coast.
Hidden in the mountainous hinterland, my Maleny home welcomes molten sunsets from the west and cool moonlight from the east.
Mornings grant us the most clement weather we will ever see in one day. By mid-afternoon, the sun peers through our windows to overheat our living spaces and temporarily blind us.
By evening, bitter draughts replace the balmy breezes flowing through our flyscreens.
All this unpredictability should have us complaining like Melbournians. But adapting to the weather’s impulsive whims doesn’t take much effort – it’s simply a matter of pulling the blinds.
Since establishing their homegrown company in the 1990s, Harlequin Blinds and Security have manufactured window dressings and security screens that tailor to both the climate and their clients’ conditions.
Owners Marilyn and Julian Black understand our desire to let the natural environment into our homes while keeping out prying eyes; to soften the sun against our furniture; or to create total blackouts during naps and movie marathons.
To determine the custom needs of a client, Harlequin Blinds visit homes to test the look and feel of products and offer styling advice with their free in-home Measure and Quote service.
Marilyn and Julian’s dynamic, tight-knit team then produces an extensive range of long-lasting blinds, curtains, awnings, shutters, security doors and windows from their factory in Kunda Park on the Sunshine Coast.
Aluminium and timber Venetians, cellular blinds, panel glide blinds, roller blinds, Roman blinds and sunscreen blinds offer diverse results for interior styling, privacy, sun protection and light filtration.
The same can be said for roller and plantation shutters, which also improve ventilation, security and protection against extreme weather.
These blinds and shutters are often paired with blockout, sheer or decorative curtains, softening hard edges and enhancing an interior with subtle elegance.
Marilyn says neutral colours – whites, greys, blacks and gentle blues – will always be the first choice in fabric, outlasting seasonal trends and allowing bold furniture to still make their statements in the room.
As a member of Fashionline Australia, the nation-wide association of blind manufacturers, Harlequin Blinds and Security gains access to high-quality Australian and imported suppliers such as Ricky Richards Fabric, Ziptrak and ScreenGuard.
Recently, the company has integrated Maurice Kain’s Recycled Polyester into their supply of curtains.
Every metre of the Deserts and Forests Collection contains 81 one-litre plastic bottles, shredded and spun into sustainable drapery to reduce landfill.
When exploring options for blinds and curtains, the team considers the window orientation and effects of weather in bedrooms, media rooms, lounge rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.
According to Marilyn, west and east-facing windows benefit from solid fabric to reduce glare and control heat, while north and south-facing windows benefit from soft, sheer fabric to filter light into dark spaces.
“Windows can certainly hold heat from the sun and cold from the night air,” Marilyn says. “As soon as you add a blind or a curtain, you change how the room will feel temperature-wise. For example, shutters can block out 60% of the heat and cold.
“In the kitchen, it’s good to have sunscreen blinds to block out the sun but still keep the window’s outlook.
“In the bathroom, I look at products that are going to resist an even dampness from the shower, the bath or the heat.
“All fabrics generally have mildew resistance, but I will put in a fabric you can wipe over and dry out quickly.”
Moving into media rooms and bedrooms, the edges of blockout blinds can be sealed inside tracks using Ziptrak technology, immersing rooms in complete darkness for entertainment, privacy or sleep.
Ziptrak Awnings and Zipscreen Blinds are also available for patios and verandas, reflecting heat and harmful UV rays with spring-based or motorised operation. Gone are the days of crank-operated systems!
As technologies and trends widen the world of home improvement, Marilyn and Julian keep personal experience at the heart of their services.
Family-owned and locally-manufactured so, when we unfurl the window furnishings, we can take comfort in the spaces we inhabit.