Across the huge landmass that is Australia, trends in custom curtains may vary slightly according to local demand, but overall they seem to unite the nation, primarily, it seems, due to the huge influence of TV shows such as The Block! Key among the demand trends are a keen interest in insulation and solar protection and a tendency towards neutral colour palettes.
One retailer in coastal Victoria confirms cooler local temperatures are impacting sales. “Drapes have certainly picked up in the last 12 months. Insulation is a big part of this and people are seeking out heavier drapes with pelmets to fend off the cold in winter. Tastes tend more to the conservative, with customers choosing natural and neutral colour palettes that will stand the test of time.”
“At the same time, sheers are also very much on trend due to the influence of TV shows like The Block, and we’re busy trying to keep up with demand.”
A retailer in Melbourne says he is catering to the rapid growth of new apartments and display homes, typically with eyelet grommet custom curtains that are both simple to look at and economical, as well as easy to install.
On the west coast, a retailer in Perth says curtains are among the strongest sellers in the company’s portfolio. “We tend to cater to a residential clientele who are quite selective and not necessarily influenced by price. Curtains are making a comeback for aesthetic reasons but one of the things we’ve noticed is that acoustic insulation is becoming increasingly important, in light of the growth of industrial harder edged looks and finishes in homes.”
Meanwhile in regional New South Wales, one retailer says the local cold winters and hot summers have created demand for custom curtains that offer both block out and insulation properties, creating highly versatile window treatments that serve homeowners well throughout the year.
There’s also a fashion element to it too, with many homeowners opting for the recessed look that’s seen in new builds and hotels, where there’s a bulkhead and the curtain is hung behind it. And if that isn’t achievable, they’ll invest in the next best thing, which is to install a sleek slimline pelmet to achieve a similar contemporary, pared back look.
Indeed while drapes are essentially a ‘traditional’ window furnishing, many homeowners are finding ways to inject them with new life and modernity. That’s one reason why S-fold hangs for custom curtains are a sought after look that’s also significantly cheaper to achieve, requiring a lot less fabric than other types of curtain hang.
One high end retailer in Queensland echoes widespread sentiment about the market influence of certain TV shows. “People are indeed watching The Block and it’s definitely led to more curtain sales,” he says. Given Queensland’s warmer climate, lighter looking custom curtains such as sheers are a particularly strong seller, although homeowners will often opt for another block out curtain behind the sheer for added protection from solar glare when needed.