Photography Competition #MyApolloView

May 14th, 2015

Here’s your chance to win a luxury weekend away and Apollo Digi blind – simply give us a window into your world

Maybe it’s because summer is almost here that we find ourselves dreaming of a change of scenery. Whether that’s blue skies and sandy beaches, green rolling countryside or the familiar face of a long distance family member or friend.

What’s your favourite view? That is your photography challenge. We want a window into your world.

Share with us a photo(s) of your favourite view(s) – it could be a view out of your window or a glimpse into your home if your favourite view is your home; a pic of your favourite countryside vista or a holiday snap taken beachside; it might even be a nostalgic view that is special to you, or just something or someone you look forward to seeing.

Your view could be a person/pet as well as a place. The choice is yours! However it must be a photograph that you have taken.

We have a fantastic prize worth more than £600 up for grabs. We’ve teamed up with Carden Park Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort near Chester and our winner will enjoy a change of scenery for the weekend, to take in beautiful views of the Cheshire countryside, plus we will digitally print your winning photo on to an Apollo Digi blind made-to-measure just for you.

Apollo Blinds Competition

The prize includes:

  • A weekend away for two at Carden Park Hotel worth £350 including:
    • Two night stay in a golf view bedroom with views over the Nicklaus golf course and Cheshire countryside
    • Full English breakfast each morning
    • Use of leisure facilities including the brand new hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and tepidaroum beds plus swimming pool and gym
    • 10% discount voucher for Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
  • A digitally printed roller blind of the winning photograph worth up to £250

Share your photo(s) with us via our Facebook page or Twitter profile @ApolloBlindsHQ using the hashtag #MyApolloView and our clever Tagboard (below) will capture all the entries (to be entered your entry must be posted with the words #MyApolloView).

Our panel of judges will review the entries (and any accompanying words/descriptions) and the most compelling photos will be selected as the winner. The competition ends at midnight on Tuesday 30th June 2015 and the winner will be announced by Friday 17th July 2015 here on the Apollo Blinds Blog.

Terms and conditions
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO WIN

Eligibility
 – Open to all UK Residents aged 18 or over on the date of entry, except for employees of Apollo Blinds Limited, participating/associated companies, promotional agencies and any other partners of Apollo Blinds Limited and the families of any of the above. The closing date will be 11:59pm on 30th June 2015. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges from Apollo Blinds Limited and its partners after the closing date and will be notified within 14 days of the draw. If the winner cannot be contacted within 30 days, an alternative winner may be chosen.
Inappropriate Content
Obscene, provocative or otherwise questionable content will not be considered. We retain sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content.
The Prize
 – The winners prize is a weekend away for two adults at Carden Park Hotel which consists of a two night stay in a golf view bedroom with views over the Nicklaus golf course and Cheshire countryside, includes full English breakfast each morning, use of leisure facilities with brand new hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and tepidaroum beds plus swimming pool and gym and 10% discount voucher for Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. Prize must be taken within 6 months of winner being notified and is for two adults sharing a golf view bedroom. Prize is non-transferable and no cash alterative will be offered.  Particular dates will not be available including the Christmas and New Year period.
The winner will also receive a digital window blind printed with their winning image to the value of £250 this excludes any promotions or discounts. The image entered will be the image printed providing that it is of a suitable quality otherwise an alternative image will be required to be provided. The winner is responsible for providing accurate window sizes and the order must be placed by 31st August 2015. Prizes are not transferable and there are no cash alternatives.
Rights
 – By entering the contest, entrants agree to have their submitted name and image displayed on our website and other media on and offline and used by us for any purpose, at any time, without any fee or other form of compensation. We reserve the right to disqualify users, without notice, and for any reason. Acceptance of the prize constitutes consent to use the winners’ names and photos for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes. Contestants entering agree to be bound by above rules and regulations. E&OE apply.

Featured on the following websites:

More competitions at ThePrizeFinder

http://www.competitionstoday.co.uk/

www.competitionslist.com

Find our comptition listed on CrazyCompers.co.uk

http://www.loquax.co.uk/

Free to enter competitions and giveaways in the UK. Win great prizes and freebies.

www.uk.wins.co.uk

Summer Recipes Everyone Should Know From The Kitchn

May 13th, 2015

According to one of our favourite blogs The Kitchn, there are certain recipes everyone should know and many of them are perfect for the summer picnic and BBQ season.

Surprisingly some of the ‘must know’ recipes are staple foods we typically buy ready made, but homemade they prove to be very simple, much cheaper and far tastier.

Here’s our top pick of the recipes everyone should know as featured over on The Kitchn:

GuacamoleThe Perfect Guacamole via The Kitchn

Juicy BurgersReally Juicy Burgers via The Kitchn

hummous

The Perfect Hummus Recipe via The Kitchn

baked salmonBaked Salmon via The Kitchn

Balsamic VinaigretteEssential Balsamic Vinaigrette via The Kitchn

Blueberry PieBlueberry Pie via The Kitchn

What are your essential summer recipes? Will you be giving any of these a whirl in your own kitchen? Come and share your thoughts and suggestions with us over on Facebook and Twitter.

Create A ‘Brain-Boosting’ Bedroom In Five Essential Steps

May 5th, 2015

It’s revision time – thousands of students across the UK are taking to their bedrooms and spending hours revising for GCSEs, A-levels and Degrees.

Betta_Living_Bedroom_Installlation_4

New research shows that the right kind of learning environment can be just as essential to exam success as a solid revision timetable and hours of swatting. From applying the right colour schemes, clearing out the clutter and atmospheric room ambience, stimulating the brain and affecting moods has never been so simple.

Here’s five simple and easy steps to creating a brain boosting bedroom:

1. Choose green and blue in the bedroom

Brain Boosting Bedrooms

Our very own colour researcher, Mike Stephen has found evidence that gentle shades of green and blue help concentration, memory and emotional tranquillity. He says, “Strong blues help to stimulate clear thought and light soft blues will calm the mind. Blue is motivational which boosts creativity. “Green is the colour of balance and harmony and can, therefore, be helpful in times of stress.”

2. De-clutter and opt for minimalist white furniture

Betta Living Cassia White Space Saver Room

Image: Cassia space saver range, in white, from Betta Living.

According to Feng Shui experts clutter creates a low, stagnant and confusing environment that constantly drains energy. Amanda Watson from fitted bedroom furniture firm Betta Living agrees saying: “Whether it is cluttered cabinet tops or clothes shoved on shelves, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively. Clearing the clutter gives students the ‘mind space’ to take in essential information needed for cramming could see teenage brains take in the essential facts that could mean the difference between a B and an A grade!”

3. Fresh air and light/temperature/noise control in one solution

Apollo Blinds Duette - Blue 7

Fresh air is integral to a teen’s feel good factor while revising. Serotonin levels increase with oxygen levels and can significantly promote a sense of happiness and wellbeing. Our Duette blinds are the ideal window treatment for brain boosting bedrooms offering light/sound/temperature control in one solution.

4. Sleep your way to success – Eat, Sleep, Revise, Repeat

reading Brain Boosting

Sleep is imperative to revision and exam success according to mental health charity Mind. Worries can be blown out of proportion if a student is tired. Winding down before bed is key to a rejuvenating sleep and, after a day studying, the one thing that will help the brain recover fully is having a good night’s sleep. The Fine Bedding Company’s Smartfil® bedding products use innovative micro-fibre blends specially created to help induce a great night’s sleep; it’s clever technology for clever minds!

5. Let There Be Light

under_bed_plinth_led_lighting_500x333

Sunlight lifts the mood and improves energy levels, helping you to feel more focused and motivated. Light directly influences our emotions because it reaches the brain through the eyes, and is transmitted to the hypothalamus. Betta Living advises “Try introducing mirrored furniture into the bedroom to reflect natural light or introduce clever natural lighting solutions such as Betta Living’s Illuminate Box Shelf Lights and LED Plinth Lighting to brighten up dark corners. Failing that place a light box next to the bed for a light boost in the morning!” Mirrored wardrobes by Betta Living.

Will you be making any changes to your study bedroom? What interior updates have made a difference to your revision time? Head over to Facebook and Twitter and share your thoughts.

Coastal Couture For Your Home

April 27th, 2015

After a long winter and a rainy, cool spring, we can’t welcome summer into our homes soon enough. Here’s how to create an on-trend coastal theme that will bring the very best of the seaside indoors, from nautical blues and seaside stripes, to ice cream sundae shades good enough to eat.

Summer Blues
Classic blue installs calm, coolness and harmony. Fresh and clean shades of scuba blue and aquamarine lend themselves effortlessly to windows featuring pretty prints and bold seaside stripes. Sail into summer with these made-to-measure Roman blinds.

Summer Blues

Under the sea – blissful bathrooms
Marine tones of aqua and lucite green are perfect for bathrooms. Give your bathroom a new seasonal look and feel by adding a bright colour to the window and updating with matching coloured towels, summery-scented soaps and other small accessories to the bathroom. Achieve the looks below with made-to-measure roller blinds or venetian blinds.

Apollo roller bathroom blue close upBATHROOM

Seaside Stripes
Exchanging heavy fabrics for breezier ones is a quick way to lighten up any room for the summer months, take down curtains and replace them with traditional British seaside deckchair and rock inspired stripes.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 14.04.28

Ice cream sundae shades that look good enough to eat will brighten your home. Tasty yet tasteful shades of strawberry ice, creamy yellows and mint green could be the final topping to a summer look at home, achieved with window blinds and coordinating accent colours.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 14.03.35

Creating nostalgic echoes of fluffy, beachside candyfloss, our sugary range of pinks are soft and quirky. Though nostalgically childish, pinks can add real depth and style to home interiors, lifting neutral and natural finishes, such as white-washed wood, as seen below with Apollo’s Rose Print and Lipstick Pink rollers. Also below our candyfloss pink kids’ roller blind, pink vertical blind and pink polka dot roller fabric.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 14.04.06

Are you inspired to make the most of summer’s lighter, fresher mood in your decorating? Come and share your thoughts with us over on Facebook and Twitter.

Trend Watch: Fifty Shades Of Grey

April 24th, 2015

Whilst we love colour in the home here at Apollo Blinds since the release of a certain movie we’ve seen the popularity of grey soar in recent months – particularly in the bedroom! So if you’re a fan of the on trend neutral shade of grey, then you are going to love this blog post.

TREND WATCH 50 shades of grey

We are not alone either, our friends over at Betta Living tell us that all the fitted bedrooms shown on their website styled with shades of grey are selling like hot cakes too.

Betta Living_Adela Bedroom_GraphiteImage: Adela Graphite Bedroom by Betta Living 

Additions of a new statement piece of furniture are great modern way to add the shade of the moment to your home. We love the curvaceous arms matched with grey fabric of this unique Cherry Ives chair.

Cherry Ives Grey ChairApollo Blinds Mr GreyWe have even seen requests for images of Christian Grey himself, aka Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan, printed via our Digiblinds service…

Waking up to Mr Grey in the bedroom, what’s not to love!

Are you inspired to add a shade or two or more of grey to your home?

Come and share your thoughts with us over on Facebook and Twitter.

A neat new idea for bi-fold doors – New Micro INTU range

April 7th, 2015

Bi-fold and tri-fold doors are on the property wishlist for many perspective buyers and are fitted to nearly a third of all ground floor refurb projects at the rear of a house.

 

Their popularity is largely down to their ability to connect rooms seamlessly to outdoor living spaces and to allow light to flood into the home.

Our new range of made-to-measure blinds, deliver the final, practical touch to a bi-fold door investment.

The new INTU Micro blind offers a clean fitting solution for light control and privacy into the home. The system sits in the door frame, not the recess of the door area, so when doors are open and in a concertina format the blind is attached to the door – delivering a neat look without blinds flapping around in the wind.

Intu-grey & orange

The snug fit also reduces drafts and minimises light gaps. To raise or lower blinds simply move the bottom rail up or down. Safe by design, safety features are integral to the blinds – no free hanging looped cords

There are two colours for the INTU Micro hardware to match the most popular colour of door frames offered by the main bi-fold door manufacturers.

A selection of SIX Micro pleated fabrics compliment a room’s décor – from white through neutrals to black all with a pearlescent coating on the back to reflect as much heat and light as possible.

The INTU Micro blinds will accommodate the range of different bi-fold doors available, and prices start at £128.40 for a 600mm wide by 1,800mm drop INTU Micro blind.

Spring Flowers For Your Home

March 30th, 2015

‘Tis the season for spring flowers. With the long Easter weekend just around the corner, we invited professional Cheshire florist, Hayley Cowell from Hayley’s Flower Studio, to exclusively share her top tips to creating pretty posies with spring flowers that will last.

Tulips

Tulips
Image via TexasEagle

Tulips are my favourite spring flowers that look simply beautiful in a vase. An old wives tale is that if you put either lemonade or bleach in the vase where you are displaying the flowers it will prolong their life. The truth is nothing beats keeping the water clean and regularly feeding the flowers with flower food. We also cut the tulip stems an inch shorter than the vase as Tulips will always grow throughout their life span and this will ensure they will continue to look great for the maximum time span.

Iris

Iris
Image via Lorises

Iris takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colours found among the many species. At Hayley’s Flower Studio we use Iris in lots of our designs as they have a great colour and texture. Iris are commonly available in white with a yellow fleck or blue with a yellow fleck. If you hold the neck between your thumb and index finger and gently flick the bottom of the head with your other index finger this will encourage the flower to open.

Hyacinth

hyacinth
Image via Brillianthues

Hyacinths are another spring favourite as they create a lovely smell through our flower studio. They are great to use in your living room as once inside a warm room their scent is really accentuated. Hyacinths are available in a wide variety of vibrant colours and bring colour to many special occasions. We use a lot of the white hyacinths in our spring wedding designs. Hyacinths can be bought as cut flowers, or in a bulb form which will stand the cold weather outdoors. They do have sappy stems so some people may find that this will affect their skin, wearing gloves when handling hyacinths is advisable.

Daffodils

Daffodils
Image via Vince Alongi

Daffodils are probably the most classic spring flower that can be purchased and because of their price they offer great value because they are so simple to display. Daffodils are grown from a bulb and seeds and once cut they have a hollow stem. This hollow stem contains a toxic sap and for that reason daffodils should not be kept in the vase with other plants as the sap is harmful to them. Daffodils are the flower of March and symbol of 10th wedding Anniversary. Paper whites and Sol’s both have a scent to them and can be purchased in a mix of yellow, white and orange tones.

We hope these tips bring spring flowers to your window sill and help you enjoy them for longer this Easter.

You can connect with Hayley’s Flower Studio​ in the following places:
• Website:  www.hayleysflowerstudio.co.uk
• Facebook: Hayley’s Flower Studio​
• Twitter:  @hflowerstudio

Top tips for children sleeping after British Summer Time clock change

March 24th, 2015

We have a guest blogger today sharing her top tips for helping children settle at night after the clocks change. Sunny, bright evenings can mean excitable children and in Amy’s case, it is sometimes only bedtime when it is dark.

Losing an hours sleep when the clocks go forward this weekend is not the most welcome idea to me, but, it does mean that the usual wake up time will be an hour later. (for one day)

The biggest bedtime issue for me and many other parents is the lighter evenings, a couple of my children believe that it isn’t bedtime until it is dark………if that is the case, it will be a very long summer.

I thought I’d share a couple of tips that have worked for me with my five children, each child is different, and my middle daughter is deaf, so helping her understand how to relax, ready for sleep with the sun still up was important.

  1. Routine – Yep, everyone goes on about it, but it is the most useful tool to help children feel confident and relaxed about bedtime. I still read a bedtime story to all mine and my eldest is ten this year, it’s a great time to get together and end the day as a family.
  2. Wind down time – As the children have got older, they have their own “wind down” time whilst in bed. This time is to read, to write, or quietly play. Hopefully this will encourage them to make their own routine to get to sleep after I have said goodnight. I set a time and when that time is up, it is light’s out.
  3. But the sun is up mummy! – Yes the sun is still up, but it is time for bed. Try to remind your children of how much they can enjoy the lighter evenings in the summer holidays, but whilst at school, they still need their sleep to grown and learn. If they are in primary school, spend a bit of time explaining why the sun stays up longer, a quick google search together and
  4. Night time comfort- The previous points were not enough for my middle daughter, she needed more reassurance to settle to sleep, the quiet of the night was scary for her and she would often wake up disorientated and upset. Nightlights are a great way to help with comfort through the night, also a favourite toy to cuddle up with, she still wakes up even at seven years old, but she is more confident to settle to sleep on her own.
  5. Blackout blinds- I use these in my younger children’s bedrooms and they certainly make a difference to the sleeping environment. They are a great investment not only for helping to set the mood for peaceful sleep but also help to reduce the very early wake ups as the sun begins to rise earlier and earlier.
  6. Early waking – One of my children was nicknamed “the rooster” due to being awake at the crack of dawn. I’d love to share a magic trick of how to avoid this scenario, but, apart from using blackout blinds as mentioned above, in my experience, my daughter hasn’t changed much as she has got older. I have managed to explain, as she has got older, that we are quiet before 7am and that does work, and she will read and play in her room. I believe that it can be explained from 4/5 years onwards. Younger children and babies often wake up early for needs such as hunger and full nappies so should not be ignored. Don’t forget some children are just natural early risers like many adults are.

I hope these have been useful and if you have any tips of your own please feel free to share. I wish you all restful nights and relaxed children……we can all dream.

 

 

Blooming marvelous spring blinds

March 19th, 2015

Spring Fresh Florals

Spring is the season to revive the home with a fresh new look and with our gorgeous range of floral blinds a Spring interior revamp has never been easier.

Bright, fresh and beautifully botanical, our stunning range of floral prints are bang-on-trend for 2015.

image003Apollo Blinds Blue FloralApollo Blinds Pink Floral Roller

 

Encompassing dense delicate prints, bold mossy blooms and leaf motifs, green is a key colour for 2015 and florals are the perfect way to bring the great outdoors into the home for a fresh natural look.

For more information about Apollo’s made-to-measure blinds and shutters visits www.apollo-blinds.co.uk

 

Win A Beautiful Spring Floral Bouquet

March 10th, 2015

As the clocks spring forward an hour and the evenings become lighter and longer what better way to celebrate than with a beautiful bouquet on your windowsill.

Spring Flower Giveaway

We’re giving Apollo Blinds blog readers the opportunity to win a beautiful bouquet from the Appleyard London seasonal collection. Beautiful spring colour ways, blooms and scents – the perfect way to say hello to British Summertime.

It’s easy to enter, for your chance to win, simply connect with us on our social platforms.

Competition will close at midnight on Sunday 29th March 2015. We’ll contact the lucky winner by email to organise delivery and the winner will be announced here and shared on our social platforms. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

With thanks to the following websites for listing & featuring this competition:

http://www.loquax.co.uk
http://www.competitionhunter.com
http://www.competitionstoday.co.uk
http://www.theprizefinder.com/