‘People-Keys’ when Choosing Window Furnishings
Choosing Good Help for your Window Furnishing Journey
Choosing furnishing fabrics, styles and features can be daunting. You need to balance a range of often competing factors and the list of considerations seems endless. Having help is great; having help from people that are helpful is key. To help with this process, we explain three key people who can unlock the potential, beauty and savings you’re looking for. Enjoy!
At Stella Curtains & Blinds, we know we’re the sort of people you’ll benefit from, but we figure if we give you truth and equip you to journey with anyone, you’ll likely choose us anyway. What’s more, there’s a reason we’re confident – lots of reasons actually – and that will become evident as you learn about these key people in your window-furnishings journey.
If at any point you have a question, or you’d like to dive into the journey, call 0411 557 622 and we’ll do everything we can to give you long-lasting and heartwarming satisfaction.
Be Furnished With Facts
It’s easy to overwhelm: this is the challenge when providing comprehensive and authoritative information. As a result, we’ve simplified a lot of great information by grouping it under three people groups. Basically, we’ve taken our service model and chopped it into sub-categories.
These people ‘types’ include your:
- Supplier (and their product)
These people will either help or hinder you as they provide information, products and services. If you invest in a one-stop holistic service provider (such as Stella Curtains & Blinds) there should be seamless integration between them. If you choose to manage the project yourself, the demands on you will be more significant.
We make it straightforward and painless – as it should be.
Your consultant is the first VIP (very important provider) you’ll meet. They’ll help with issues of design and selection. They’ll also explain issues pertaining to other stages and various services that might prove helpful. Your consultant really is a key person in your journey.
A consultant you can trust becomes both a priceless ally and creative friend. Ensure your confidence is founded on good reasons though. Whenever you can, ask for client reviews, testimonials and examples of previous work whilst probing on any issue that stirs doubt. This is not an “I really like them” moment; this is a time you want to say, “I’ve checked these people out, I know I can trust them and I value what they have to say”.
When your confidence is grounded and substantive, it feels as though all that lies before you is opportunity – and that is a very nice feeling.
But how do you get that confidence?
To begin with, look for a consultant who:
- Possesses an eye for style and trends,
- Has designed in varied styles of home,
- Asks good questions so you can better identify your wants,
- Has a history of supporting many customers for many years, and
- Is genuinely devoted to providing you with quality service.
Essentially, you’re looking for a consultant similar to the best school teacher you ever had:
- They care,
- They hear you,
- They seek to understand you,
- They know what you need to know, and
- They don’t mind disagreeing with you.
You want a consultant who will deliver informed and professional advice, without falling prey to the temptation of telling you only that which you want to hear. A consultant who is focused on the sale will not always tell you what they see. A consultant who is focused on your welfare won’t mind pushing back on you a bit.
Look for a window furnishing professional; not a sales rep!
Your Product and Supplier
The second key person will be your supplier (and of course, the product they sell). As already stated, a purchase with Stella Curtains & Blinds is an investment in simplification. We are consultant, supplier and installer – all in one! But let’s take a look at what you should look for when selecting your product and a supplier.
It might seem obvious, but make sure you take product samples home. You want your choice of fabrics and features to blend with the existing furniture, walls, carpet, floor coverings and other environmental factors. All of them! You won’t know there’s a problem until you take samples home.
Be aware that colours can be deceiving; even to a trained eye. What might look spectacular in a photograph or showroom, might be very different in your home. Scrutinise those colour samples, look up close and also step well back; cover all your angles.
This level of home-based testing also allows you to better assess your window furnishings for feel and quality issues. It’s also during this phase that clients who made a mistake when initially measuring find the error. Sometimes it is a very significant difference.
Remember, you want to make a selection that you won’t outgrow in a couple of days or months, and if your supplier who doesn’t remind you to do this testing, they’re too focused on the sale and not focused enough on you.
When we encourage you to exercise a discerning eye for product quality, we’re talking about seeing beyond surface appearances. It’s one thing to feel that your fabric and pattern choices are beautiful, it’s another thing altogether to scrutinise the workmanship.
Look closely at the fabrics and fittings, test the feel and suitability of the fabrics and look for evidence of strength and function in fittings. Poor workmanship usually becomes evident with a little bit of probing – and if you discover it, you should run!
Asking about warranties can also be an avenue worth pursuing. Flippant or dismissive answers should send shivers down your spine. Vague explanations or reluctance to provide documentation should do the same.
This isn’t a size moment either; this isn’t about the length of the warranty. Some suppliers know, for example, that after two years, you’re unlikely to come back. With that number in mind, they add a decade to look impressive, even though their intention, if you do make contact, is to run you in dizzying circles until you give up.
A warranty that is comprehensive, rather than lengthy, is what you want.
You want a warranty that demonstrates:
- The supplier’s confidence in their own product,
- A commitment to supportive action (if it should be needed),
- Clarity in language (so there’s nothing shady going on), and
- Haste and thoroughness in response.
You’re essentially after a warranty that is thin on exclusions and thick on care. You’re more likely to get that from a supplier who has a face in the marketplace (like we do). A third-party product usually comes with third-class support.
Stella Curtains & Blinds are first-line suppliers who provide first-class support; though it’s rarely called on because we get it right from the start.
Supplier Credibility and Sustainability
When considering your window furnishings supplier, you need to also maintain a view to credibility and sustainability.
Inspect their portfolio and look for the testimonial evidence of prior satisfied customers. If they have a showroom pay it a visit. If you are feeling unsure about the people you’re dealing with, a short drive-by can ensure you won’t become their victim.
It’s also wise to be aware that some companies operate by a fold-and-rebirth model. They can sell dodgy products and offer ludicrous warranties because they know they won’t be around by the time problems arise. They’ll have re-birthed themselves under another name by then. Fraud and shonksters are a clear and present danger.
In Australia, most businesses in this industry stand firm after they cross the five year mark, but there is an abundance that haven’t reached that mark. You don’t need a 50 year legacy, but you do need a reason to believe they’ll still be there five or ten years from now.
Some suppliers outsource their installation responsibilities. At Stella Curtains & Blinds, that is not the case. We supply and fit; that means if there’s a problem, you deal with us. If you do choose to use a separate installer, or you choose to use a supplier who outsources their installation, here’s an idea of what to look for.
Be aware that installation is a process that calls on very specific skill sets. Certainly, it’s a job that an above-average ‘handyman’ can accomplish (I told you I’d be honest) however a non-specialist will take far longer to achieve what is more than likely, a less than premium result. Our installers are both professionals and specialists. You’ll like what they do!
You might be surprised to learn that there is a variety of legislative compliance issues for internal window furnishing installers. Most of these relate to safety rather than effectiveness, however it is worth knowing that it’s a professional job that needs to be taken seriously. If it interests you, some examples can be found here and here.
A good installer will be knowledgeable, experienced and skilled, with evident professionalism and an enthusiasm for delivering a job well done.
A Consultant-Supplier-Installer Combo
We’ve been saying it all along. These three people are key in your decision making and purchase process. They’re people decisions that are worth getting right. We also believe we’re those right people.
It is our sincere belief that we can help you journey in a way you’ll love. Our past clients have enjoyed the way we truly empower their best creative-self. We help you produce the most beautiful outcomes. In selection, supply and installation, we’re all about what’s best for you and your home!
We give you well-grounded confidence. We liberate you to explore options and discover the best in available solutions. We provide seamless consultant, supplier and installer transitions. We provide ongoing support.
We enable you to discover the brilliance that otherwise remains hidden.
We’ll give you that confidence and be the people you need. Call Stella Curtains & Blinds on 0411 557 622 or complete the form to request a call-back. Whatever works for you is best. It’s a philosophy we pursue from start to finish, because our focus really is about you.