Types of Indoor and Outdoor Blinds

Have you had more than enough stress of making decisions for your home makeover? Get ready for more choices when it comes to window coverings. The reason that they are so important is that blinds and shades make distinctive statements about your personality and your home. If you make a good choice, then your home will feel more like an expression of you. If you make a mistake, then your home will always make you feel like something is just a little “off”.

In addition to making a statement on the decor of your home, blinds and shades are also very practical. They provide different functionality to allow you to control privacy, darkness, and light. The difficult part is that once you begin shopping for the right window treatments, you will start to realize just how challenging of a decision it is.

If the blinds are being purchased for a patio area then you will need to ask different questions as Brad from Design Outdoor Blinds says “Outdoor Blinds need to stand up to direct exposure to the elements – sun, rain and wind, so they have to be much tougher than indoor blinds.

The reason this is so is that you will have to choose what materials, functionality, and the brand of blind or shade to purchase. Look at the overall room itself along with the size of the windows. Take into account the house’s overall architecture and the room’s design, as well as the purpose of both the room and the window.

In other words, consider whether the window is almost exclusively for decoration, as in just adding some natural light or if it is to allow in air. Consider whether the window will be pulling double duty, such as having to allow in air and stop prying eyes from inviting themselves into your home.

Narrowing Down The Options For Window Shades

Whenever you are shopping for window shades, always take note first of the shape and the size of your windows. Window treatments of one type are made to work well say with double hung windows but would be roughed up by the interaction with a casement window. The function of the window will lend itself to defining and determining what window shade is the best as well.

For instance, in a bedroom where the resident works all night and needs to sleep during the day, blackout shades are a necessity. Though, maybe the overnight nurse would like to lighten up the room otherwise and keep it happy. For that reason, they may add on a pretty set of curtains or a gauzy curtain to fit over the blackout shades.

Yet, in the main sunroom, homeowners want and expect plenty of sunshine will be in the home. Yet, sometimes it can become overwhelming. Some shade is necessary. For the dining room and living room opt for function shades that suit the decor.

The next question is whether to buy the window treatments ready-made or to purchase them custom made. You are in luck if you have a standard size window. Then you can just check and see if there are window treatments that fit your needs in the size you require.

While non-standard window sizes are the main reason people need to place an order for custom-made shades, there is another great reason. Those who prefer to have window treatments made from specific materials are also going to need to look at buying custom-made window treatments.

For most people, ready-made window coverings are best. They may not have all oft the dimensions for length and width or materials that you may want, but they will still work well. They will also be more affordable this way as well. Otherwise, if you have an older home that requires a period look, do consider making the big financial investment in specific lengths, widths, and exotic fabrics. You will be glad you did.

1. Roman Shades

The reason these remain very popular is that they are one piece of fabric, with a pretty visual appeal. They are easy to operate because the horizontal folds allow easy raising and easy lowering of the shades. They can be a great addition to many different styles of homes.

2. Pleated

Similar to the Roman shades, a pleated shade is crafted just from one continuous swath of fabric. Though, the draping is different on these when compared to the Roman shade. The pleated shades are pulled more tightly and will appear to look like slats because they contain many more horizontal folds.

3. Cellular Or Honeycomb Shades

These shades are more energy efficient and have quickly become more popular. The fabric is crafted into honeycomb cells that trap air between the window and the room itself. This makes it act like a type of insulation. It is called heat gain during colder months of the year. During the hot months, the cellular shades allow the room to stay cooler by giving off air.

4. Motorized Shades

Many people prefer the methodical approach to raising and lowering shades and blinds to avoid breakdowns. Who has not ended up entangled in the old fashioned blinds? Right, and most people would prefer a more sophisticated look that lasts for years to come. That’s why many homeowners these days are opting for motorized shades more often. Simply push a button to get the blinds opened or to close them.

5. Solar Shades

Many households are taking the efficiency matters to a whole new level with the help of shades and blinds. Solar window shades filter the sun’s light. They block sunlight without blocking out the outdoors, much the way sunglasses work.

6. Roller Shades

Roller shades are popular because they are available in many types of fabrics. There are also many kinds of lifting systems as well. These window treatments take well to drapes and also valences. For that reason, you will often see them in combination other window treatments. The roller shades are effective at blocking and filtering sunlight.

7. Sheers And Semi-Sheer Shades

Next up consider the sheer and semi-sheer shades for your windows. These are great where privacy is not much of a concern. These options allow in a good degree of natural light. The fabrics for these shades brighten up a room while boosting the decor of the space as well.

8. Bamboo and Bali

Similar to a sushi rolling mat, bamboo and bali work great to cover a window effectively. They also add a distinctive decorative element as well. The idea is that the window shades take well to natural inspired Asian, and African designs. They also take well to casual but stylish spaces as well. Bamboo is very sturdy, versatile, and usually much less expensive than other types of wood shades.

9. Natural Woven Shades

For a more organic or casual element, the natural woven shades are a great option. In general, they are crafted from reed, grasses, and other sustainable materials. They are fantastic because they are also stylish without a lot of the hassle of fabric. They provide a great deal of privacy. In general, having a liner or roller beneath them is a great combination. Look for a great deal of fabrics and patterns as well.

10. Panel Track

Love vertical blinds but hate how they look? Try something call panel track shades instead. The multiple panels are enclosed in fabric. Slide them around to cover up or reveal the windows. They are great for allowing in light and for providing privacy. These generally require custom made unless you find a ready made in a fabric you want.

That rounds out the top 10 window treatments and shades of this era. They are not your mama’s blinds and curtains, thankfully. Enjoy better functionality and more custom options.


New Product Range

Hello Everyone. I hope 2020 is treating you well (as well as could possible in 2020).

We are launching a new product in our designer range.

It is, drumroll please…

Outdoor Blinds.

These are the most amazing products you have ever seen – they basically turn your patio into a 4-season entertaining area. The new range is coming in December – just in time for Christmas, so keep an eye out as we will be posting here with some stunning picture in a week or two,


Removal of Asbestos in the Mining Town of Witenoom

Wittenoom was a small mining town located 1400 kilometers northeast of Perth. At one time, this was the only area in Australia where blue asbestos was produced.

The presence of blue asbestos was first recorded in 1917 by the Mines Department. Located in the Hamersley Ranges, Wittenoom Gorge on the Mulga Downs property was discovered by Langley Hancock in the early 30s.

witenoom asbestos mining

In 1944, dust issues at Wittenoom were reported by Inspector Adams. He discussed the need to reduces the dust levels in the mine. In addition to this, the Assistant State Mining Engineer reported that the dust generated in Wittenoom was dangerous. It wasn’t until 1946 that the first case of asbestosis occurred. However, asbestosis was not conclusively diagnosed until several years later.

The mining operation shut down in 1966 as health concerns over the dangers of asbestos began to emerge and the demand for asbestos began to decline.

It took another 10 years until health authorities realized that the blue asbestos dust that had swept through the town was hazardous to the residents’ health.

Additionally, it was another three years before the WA government declared Wittenoom as a contaminated area.

At the height of production, the population in Wittenoom was approximately 20,000.

The population consisted of 7,000 mill and mine workers and 13,000 family members and workers who worked int he town.

Blue asbestos was used in the production of a number of products, including ceiling insulation, pipes, fire resistant spray coating, and concrete.

Blue asbestos is a hundred times more dangerous than white asbestos due to the small size of the fibers.

Wittenoom’s sporting fields, roads, car parks, and playgrounds were built using mine tailings from the area.

More that 150,000 tons of blue asbestos was extracted in Wittenoom while the mine was in operation.

So far more than 2,000 residents and workers have died due to asbestos-related deaths. Dozens more have sought legal action against the mining company that was founded by Lang Hancock and then purchased by CSR.

After the mine was closed, most residents left the area. However, a small number of residents remained in the town.

The government began phasing down activity in Wittenoom in 1978. The phase down policy was the most appropriate course of action that the government could take due to the widespread crocidolite contamination in the town.

The policy requested that the residents voluntarily relocate out of the Wittenoom area. The government purchased homes, businesses, and properties in the area and contributed to the relocation expenses of the residents. Many local residents, along with the Shire of Ashburton, opposed the closing of Wittenoom. They lobbied to have the town cleaned up and used as a tourist attraction.

Nowadays, when people even suspect asbestos is in there home they call a contractor that is licensed to complete asbestos removal in Melbourne to come in and assess the job and dispose of the asbestos safely.

In 2007, the government cut off the electricity and the mail service to the town.

Wittenoom is not longer part of the Shire of Ashburton; however, there is still three residents who pay rates.

The former town of Wittenoon is now a 470 square kilometer contamination zone.


One of the highest contamination risk areas is the Wittenoom Gorge. The mouth of the gorge is more than one kilometer wide.

A number of feasibility studies on cleaning up the area have been done over the last decade. Additionally, a new study will take place next month.

The Department of Lands reported that contractors will travel to the Wittenoom in June to do a number of test pits to determine how to handle the contamination in the area.

Three high-risk areas have been identified. Geotechnical work will be done to see if they are suitable to help secure tailing from the Wittenoom Gorge.

Besides the health risks involved in the area, the government is facing the task of affording the cost of completing the clean-up efforts.


Mineral Exploration in Australia

Australia is one of the leading producers of minerals, worldwide, with over 400 mines producing 19 minerals. All of the Australian states, Christmas Island, and the Northern territories produces minerals. However, there is no mining in the Australian Capital Territory, although they do have quarries for mining construction materials, like aggregate.


Minerals accounted for 10 percent of Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012-2013, making it an important part of the country’s economy. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the mining industry employed 260,000 people directly as of June 2012.

According to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE), the mineral industry, excluding gas and oil, exports are estimated to be worth $107 billion in 2012-2013, which makes it one of Australia’s largest exports. Minerals account for about 71 percent of merchandise exports and 59 percent of good and services exports. Mining companies trade on a global scale, exporting goods worldwide, with the principal markets being Japan, India, South Korea and China.

Australia has the world’s largest resources of certain minerals. It has the world’s largest resources of uranium, zircon, iron ore, zinc, rutile, nickel, lead and gold and the second largest in niobium, tantalum, ilmenite, silver, thorium, cobalt, copper and bauxite. Australia is ranked in the top five of the world for its resources in rare earth, brown coal, lithium, vanadium, manganese ore, magnesite, black coal, and tungsten.

Production and Resources

Every year, Geoscience Australia creates a report on the national inventory of minerals. The report compiles information from publically released documents from Australia’s Mineral Resource Assessment and Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources. Along with the report, a national scale map is released showing endowments and mineral deposits, by region, for a number of mineral commodities.

Australia’s Mineral Resource Assessment was compiled by Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics. This report contained information on mineral exploration, identification of mineral resources, new mining projects, and mineral production.

Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources provides estimates of Australia’s mineral resources for all major and some minor commodities. This report is based on published company reports of mineral resources and oil reserves. This report seeks to provide a long-term view of the mining industry. The figures in this report are generated by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics and compiled by Geoscience Australia.

Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics reports each quarter on mineral productions and exports in the Resources and Energy Quarterly. This report also contains an outlook for consumption, trade and supply and commodity prices.

Mineral Usage

Many of the minerals produced are essential to modern lifestyles and have various applications. For example, coal can be used to generate electricity, but it also needed to produce steel. Mineral ores are needed to produce many metals and mineral products, including iron ore. Iron ore is used to produce steel which can then be used to create ships, machinery, motor vehicles or in construction projects. Bauxite is used to make aluminum. Copper is needed for electrical wiring, plumbing and in the creations of various alloys. Nickel is used for stainless steel. Many of the metals and minerals produced in Australia are used to create many of the items that you use in your everyday life. That is one reason the Australian mineral resources are essential to the international mineral commodities market.

Minerals Pipeline

There is a standard sequence used to extract minerals. It starts with the exploration of an area using geophysical, geochemical and/or geological tools. The area is then drilled in order to find and evaluate mineralization. If the area looks promising, more detailed testing is done to estimate the quantity and size of the mineral resource.

A pre-feasibility study is performed in order to assess the economic potential of the resource. All testing, evaluations, and studies must be complete before moving to the next step. If any of these findings are not favorable, it is unlikely that a mining project will begin, and exploration will begin again.

If the study if favorable, a feasibility study is undertaken to assess the resource’s commercial viability. This might include mine planning so that the commercially recoverable part of the deposit can be evaluated. This includes the value and market potential of the ore, the metallurgy, the cost of financing, mine closure and rehabilitation and the cost of mine development which includes mine milling, the recovery of the ore and infrastructure.

If the feasibility study is not favorable, then the project will not proceed. Though this is a long process it is necessary in order to ensure that the minerals being mined are commercially viable. Since mining is such as important part of the Australian economy, the process of determining when and where to start a new mining project is essential. A favorable feasibility is the first step in creating a new mining project.

International Trade

Japan, India, South Korea and China are the biggest importer of Australian minerals. The European Union is one of the largest consumers of non-ferrous metals. Generally, Australian coal and iron ore are traded between suppliers and consumers, based on contracted prices which are negotiated quarterly using various benchmarks.

International trade is important to the Australian mineral industry since a large percentage of its resources are exported. With over $107 billion in exports, in 2012-2013, it’s important for the Australian mining industry to maintain a good relationship with their international trading partners, while developing new relationships with other international commodity markets.