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 beautiful northern beaches.
Valued at close to $5 million, this spectacular home was then offered as a national lottery prize on behalf of RSL Art Union.
Inspired by the property's modern design and ocean views, Neale opted for a contemporary and elegant style, with an emphasis on neutral colours, timber and natural fibres, with accents of rattan, seagrass and wicker.
As the property directly faces the ocean, it's also flooded with natural light, so Neale’s choice of window furnishings was crucial. Neale chose several options from the Luxaflex® range which work seamlessly with the interior style, yet offer all-important functionality and versatility.
Inspired by Neale's contemporary, coastal styling?
Here are five tips for bringing it into your own home with Luxaflex®.
1. Harness and control natural light
Light plays an essential role in styling any home, and so it’s important your window furnishings enable you to let the right amount of light in, but also control it when needed. In a home like this, where the light changes in direction and intensity a great deal throughout the day, this is big consideration.
In the living/dining/kitchen area, this home has sliding doors that open out to the view. For these windows, Neale chose Luxaflex® Duette® Architella® Shades as a base window covering. From an aesthetic point of view, the shades blend perfectly with the home's clean, contemporary style. Their innovative ‘top-down-bottom-up' feature also means the owners can control light and privacy, without sacrificing their ocean view.
As well as looking sleek, these smart shades also provide efficient insulation by trapping air within their honeycomb-like cell structure. This reduces heat loss in winter, and can keep the home cooler in summer.
"I chose a translucent fabric to screen out the harsh light and give a soft glow to the room, and a pale grey fabric to work with the natural colour palette used throughout the living area. This is a great demonstration of how layering neutrals can add texture and tone," says Neale.
He also opted for Luxaflex® Duette® Architella® Shades in the master bedroom – though here, selected a blockout fabric, as the priorities in this room were privacy and the elimination of light.
Also in the living area, and in the guest bedrooms, Neale opted for Luxaflex® Roller Blinds, which 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.
2. Go big with floor to ceiling curtains
The choices you make when styling can also determine how large – or small – a space feels, and well-designed curtains can make windows look much larger than they actually are.
In both the open-plan living space and the master bedroom, Neale paired his choice of shades with sheer Luxaflex® Curtains. Using wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling curtains created an illusion of larger window openings and also brought a touch of visual luxury to these spaces.
"The style of sheer curtains layered over blinds is visually appealing and I’ve used it in my own home. I love how the Luxaflex curtains can add depth, movement, texture and interest, even when the palette is neutral. The sheer curtains also filter and diffuse the light, creating warmth and softness," says Neale.
3. Go Sheer!
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.
The contemporary S-wave design on the curtains also adds an elegant designer feel, and its soft, continuous fabric folds allow the curtain to drape beautifully or neatly stack back to one side.
To ensure a finished and harmonious look, Neale chose unpatterned fabrics in neutral shades with subtle, textural detail.
4. Create visual 'zones'
One of the great things about Neale’s style is the way he creates different 'zones' around the home – while keeping the same overall feel throughout.
The upstairs master bedroom, which has its own kitchenette and living room, is a perfect example.
"I wanted to use the same interior styling palette whilst giving the upper floor a distinct personality of its own. Using Luxaflex LumiShade™ allowed me to do that," he says.
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.
“Once again, I needed to consider light, shade, blockout and temperature control, but with the upstairs retreat opening directly to the magnificent roof terrace, LumiShade allowed seamless indoor/outdoor living – you can walk through the individual fabric vanes whether they are opened or closed,” Neale adds.
For the fabric, Neale chose a more natural colour to complement the decorative accents in the room. He also opted for cord-free operation for convenience and child safety.
5. Think about durability
When it comes to styling, it's extremely important to choose quality furnishings that are likely to stand the test of time – especially in a home that’s as open to the natural elements as this.
It's why, in the upstairs retreat which opens directly to the magnificent roof terrace, Neale chose the durable Luxaflex LumiShade™.
LumiShade® fabric offers features such as fade resistance and UV protection, which help preserve the fabric and home furnishings from fading over time.
The sheer Luxaflex® Curtains and Luxaflex® Duette® Architella® Shades that Neale chose for the living and bedroom areas also protect indoor furniture from harsh UV rays – an important consideration here in Australia.
Luxaflex Curtains offer a range of sheer, blockout and room darkening fabrics. Available in popular styles such as Wave, Pinch Pleat, and Pencil Pleat.
Luxaflex Duette Shades
Luxaflex Duette Shades series is unrivalled when it comes to elegant window coverings, keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Luxaflex Roller Blinds
Luxaflex Roller Blinds continue to be a favorite for homeowners. They offer an ergonomic design featuring the latest patented Edge technology with a large range of fabric textures, colours available in both Blockout and translucent materials.