Has Team GB’s gold rush inspired you to ‘go for gold’ in your home?

August 18th, 2016

If, like us, you’ve been glued to the Rio Olympics then you’ll have been celebrating Team GB’s amazing achievements and daily influx of gold medals.

But gold isn’t just for our triumphant athletes, it’s also a winning look for homes too.  Here’s how to emulate Team GB and introduce this must-have metallic into your interiors…

 

A matt gold roller blind teamed with Union Jack accessories combines what we’re all enjoying this summer – Great Britain and gold!

Gold window blind

There are so many tones of gold that mixing and matching different shades and finishes can make a room look packed with features without the worry of colours clashing.

Gold shines through on roller blinds and is so versatile, it works when presented as stripes or patterns.

Try mixing high shine and matt in a single blind, add a touch of gold within semi sheer stripes or a gold leaf design will create a beautiful multi-layered effect on roller blinds, mirroring the natural world as we head into autumn.

Going for Gold

However you want to work it, there’s only one colour we’re coveting this summer and that’s gold!

Find more golden inspiration on our Pinterest board below:

 

 

 

 

 

Five reasons to choose shutters this summer

July 19th, 2016

Shutters are now one of the most talked about types of window coverings. Apollo Blinds‘ interiors expert Mike Stephen offers five reasons why shutters are first choice for summer living.

1) They let the outdoors in

“Our shutters can be fitted on a tracking system meaning they can be folded back on themselves to save space and for seamless integration with the outdoors. When fitted to a ground floor with patio doors or large windows this will really open up your home to let the sunshine flood in.”

 

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2) They’re not just neutral

“Shutters needn’t be white or cream. In fact, we’re seeing increasing demand for colours to coordinate or make a statement at windows, like these gorgeous rustic grey shutters from our wooden shutter collection.

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3) They fit all shapes and size of windows

“If you have feature windows in your house then shutters are the ideal window dressing solution. Wood shutters can be fashioned to a bespoke fit for almost and shape of window – no matter how unusual.

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4) They’ll bolster your security

Summer is a time when many homeowners go away for a long summer break and leaving homes empty. Shutters are lockable and robust, adding an extra layer of security to protect the weak points in homes (windows and doors) against intruders.”

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5) They’re just so stylish “Quite simply they’re gorgeous!”

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Find out more about our wooden and Lifestyle shutters

Colour Codes – Use colour theory to create the perfect scheme

June 22nd, 2016

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Sometimes we stumble upon a colour scheme that just works – two colours that either complement, clash to create impact, or work in perfect harmony with one another.

Our colour specialist Mike Stephen explains the reason why certain colour combinations will work better than others and it’s all very scientific.

Trained artists and interior designers learn the many multi-faceted strands of colour theory, so they understand how to place colours together to create mood or impact,” says Mike.  “When decorating a room it helps to know the basics as a basis for creating harmonious, toning or complementary colour schemes in the home.”

The Colour Wheel

The colour wheel is a visual representation of how the three primary colours are mixed with one another to create secondary and tertiary colours, along with how white will create varying tones of the same colour.

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Depending on where they appear in the wheel, colours can then be described as Tonal, Complementary or Harmonious

Complementary Colours

“Complementary colours which sit opposite one another on the colour wheel and are often seen in nature (meaning they naturally go together) – think the red and green of an apple or blue and yellow of an iris.” 

“Our pick for 2016 would be Coral and Blue. This vibrant duo works together so beautifully because they are complementary colours and can form a natural pairing – think of the coral reefs set against the deep turquoise of the ocean.”

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Image source: wwf.panda.org

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“This scheme works beautifully with pastel shades, keep the colours coordinated by selecting shades of the same intensity from the colour wheel.”

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Other ways to use the colour wheel:

Tonal Schemes – “Using one colour from the wheel in varying tones throughout a room.  My tip here would be to introduce pattern into the room on window blinds or soft furnishings to add depth and interest.”

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Harmonious Colours“These colours sit next to each other on the colour wheel.  Choose colours of similar intensity from the colour wheel to balance this look and ensure that one colour does not dominate the room. “

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Summer Competition – Win Duette® Blinds Worth £1000

May 24th, 2016

Summertime is fast approaching, which means it’s competition time and we’ve got a fantastic prize on offer for anyone who’s looking to update their home in the coming months.

You could win £1000 to spend on Duette® energy-efficient window blinds, which will keep your home wonderfully cool this summer and create a cosy and warm atmosphere in the winter.

Competition To Win £1000 Duette Blinds

If you can’t stand the heat…install Duette® blinds at the windows

When heatwaves hit and with hobs, ovens and other household appliances adding to rising temperatures, kitchens can become unbearable in summertime, but thermo-regulating Duette® blinds at the windows will keep your kitchen deliciously cool.

Duette® blinds are also ideal for conservatories or any room in the house that struggles to maintain a constant temperature, making rooms useable all year round.  Their unique honeycomb structure traps air in an insulating layer, which will block up to 78% of the sun’s heat and 99% of UV rays.

With no cords or hanging ropes, they’re extra safe for children’s rooms; by regulating the temperature and with blackout options available, they can help your little one sleep soundly all year round.

Available in a kaleidoscope of colours from soothing pastels to summer brights, there is something for every taste and colour scheme.

Enter below to be in with a chance of winning £1000 towards beautiful Duette® blinds.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Window ‘Pains’ – Our guide to the best blinds for ‘tricky to dress’ windows

May 17th, 2016

Glazed features in homes provide uninterrupted views, bathe homes in natural light and create a feeling of space in smaller rooms or those with low ceilings. Yet they bring their own challenges when it comes to window dressings, so we’ve handpicked the best solutions for tricky to dress windows in the home.

Elegance Skylight Blinds: Best for lantern roofs, glazed roofs and orangeries

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Our new tension fabric operated skylight system is especially made for modern glazed architectural features.  The unique blind is designed to operate under tension with a smooth and sophisticated operating system, meaning it can cover much larger areas than other types of blind (up to 48m2).

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Intu Micro Blinds – best for bi-fold and tri-fold doors

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

They’re difficult to dress because they need a window blind that won’t get damaged when doors fold back on themselves, so Intu Micro blinds have been designed to sit neatly against the glass in the door frame and are made to fit the exact proportions of this type of door.

They are also tensioned with no cords, meaning they are child and pet friendly.

Intu Blinds – Best for conservatories, tilt and turn windows and pivoting patio doors

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Apollo’s innovative Intu system is a unique design that fits neatly into the bead of windows and doors. It’s ideal for conservatories because blinds can be fitted in areas where it’s difficult to drill holes and use screws. This also means no hanging cords, which is not only a safety feature, but is much more practical in an area with lots of glass or glazed roofs.  Because the blind sits inside the frame, tilt and turn or pivoting windows and patio doors can move freely without damaging the blind.

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Motorised blinds: Best for hard to reach windows and multiple windows

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Our motorised system offers simple, convenient and easy to use operation for blinds. Blinds are operated by remote control from anywhere in the room, making them ideal for areas that are ‘hard to reach’. Up to five blinds can be controlled from one remote which removes the need for mains wiring.

Duette® Energy Saving Blinds – Best for awkward shaped windows and to retain heat 

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The unique honeycomb design of Duette® blinds delivers impressive climate control benefits ensuring that rooms are kept at a comfortable temperature all year round.

During summer months an innovative cellular design of Duette® blinds means that as much as 78% of external heat is blocked, whilst in winter heat loss from the windows is reduced by as much as 46%. Duette® blinds also have a top-down, bottom-up function that allows homeowners limitless options for positioning the blinds to control light.

A* Blinds for Study Success

April 27th, 2016

Revise Word To Do List Make Change Improvement Fix Problem

As exam time approaches, thousands of students across the UK will be taking to their bedrooms to spend hours preparing for their exams. And research shows that the right kind of learning environment can be just as important as hours of swatting when it comes to successful study.

Window blinds not only add to the aesthetics of a room, they also have practical properties and can control light, aid air circulation, support a constant room temperature and limit glare, whilst still allowing natural light to flood into a room; all of which can bolster brain power and make the difference between an A Grade or a B.

Here’s our guide to how the right blinds can aid healthy and productive minds.

Colours for Concentration

Gentle shades of green and blue help with attention, memory and emotional composure.

Soothing blue is the colour of the mind, stimulating clear thought and aiding concentration. Blue is also motivational which boosts creativity.

Green is the colour of balance and harmony and is helpful in times of stress. The colour green is also restful for tired eyes.

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Keep calm with fresh air and light/temperature/noise control in one solution

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Duette® blinds are ideal for boosting brain cells – offering a light, sound and temperature control in one window dressing.

Reduce exam anxiety by allowing fresh air into the room.  Serotonin levels increase with oxygen levels and can significantly promote a sense of wellbeing, easing stress and creating a relaxed atmosphere.  The top-down, bottom-up function of Duette® blinds means you can open windows to let fresh air in but still shade screens, prevent too much heat entering the room and avoid a stuffy, confusing atmosphere.

Noise distractions are also reduced with Duette® blinds. The honeycomb structure acts as a sound-proofing layer, giving students the chance to concentrate with peace and quiet.

Sleep soundly for success

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After a hard day of studying, the one thing that will help the brain recover fully is having a good night’s sleep.  To create the ideal sleeping conditions, we need it to be dark because this supresses the production of cortisol, which keeps the body awake and alert.

As exam time falls when the evenings are lighter, investing in blackout blinds can be the key to optimising sleeping conditions, resulting in well-rested, rejuvenated students who are ready for a new day of revision.

Plus research from Neuroscientists in Edinburgh shows that a brief rest after learning something new, or having a nap during the day, helps the brain consolidate information.

Natural light for brighter brains  

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. The hypothalamus is connected to almost every other part of the brain, and involved with the regulation of hormones involved in motivation and reward. As a consequence, light has an effect on our basic drives and biological functions.

Motorised blinds with a light sensor will raise automatically in the morning – allowing students to be woken naturally by daylight.

And they now come with a ‘student-friendly’ price tag – with motorised options available from just £75!

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Why Choose Intu Blinds from Apollo Blinds

April 19th, 2016

Vacuum cleaners, drills, radios and phones – they’re all better when they are cordless. And it’s no different in the world of window dressings as homeowners are embracing the cordless window blinds trend with our innovative Intu blinds.

Duette® Pleated, roller and Venetian blinds all look sleek and uber stylish when fitted with the Intu system which, as well as its many practical benefits, looks sleek and neat at windows.

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Intu Explained

Our innovative Intu system is a unique design fits neatly into the bead of your windows and doors. The ‘Click-to-Fit’ system blinds push into the brackets without using screws and a unique tension system prevents the blind from rattling against the glass when the window or door is opened.

What are the benefits of Intu blinds? 

  • Neat and simple control options
  • No need for free-hanging cord loops
  • Designed to fully integrate with all modern windows including ‘tilt and turn’ and glazed doors.
  • Blinds can be clipped in place in minutes.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Choice of Roller fabric, Venetian slat, Pleated and Cellular fabric, in an extensive range of colours, designs and finishes.

Above: Brown Intu Venetian blind starts at £72.

Cool for Kids‘ Rooms 

“The fact that there are no hanging cords means it is one of the safest ways to install a blind on the market, making them a popular choice for children’s bedrooms,” says Mike Stephen.

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And Conservatories 

Designed to fit seamlessly within the frames of most modern windows, bi-fold doors, tilt and turn windows and conservatories, the blinds won’t flap around like ones fitted at the recess of the window and they won’t get damaged. The snug fit of Intu blinds reduces drafts and minimises light gaps. 

Due to the fact there are no hanging cords and they’re an ideal choice for conservatories, as the blind fits directly into the window frame, there is no drilling, screwing or mess on installation.

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Perfect for Pleated

Intu Duette® and pleated blinds start at £72.

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A Tangle Free Choice for Venetian Blinds

Intu Venetian blinds start at £99.

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Embrace Pattern and Colour with Intu Roller Blinds

Intu roller blinds start from £72.

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Back to Blackout

March 30th, 2016

Woman suffering from sleeplessness

Our clocks sprung forward this weekend, meaning lighter evenings and the promise of sunshine and warmer weather. It can however take time for our bodies to adjust to Daylight Saving and one area that is nearly always affected is our sleep – especially for the 25% of us who have trouble sleeping and little ones who are set in a bedroom routine.

We’ve put together our top five tips to ease the transition into British Summer Time:

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  • Create the illusion of night: Blackout blinds are the obvious choice to make the room as dark as possible. This limits confusion for children who are used to the idea that dark equals bedtime.  It also helps to increase levels of melatonin, the ‘sleep’ hormone.
  • Keep cool. No warmer than 17oC for a comfortable night’s sleep. Duette® energy-saving blinds have a patented honeycomb structure with thermo-regulating properties, that will keep rooms at a constant temperature all year round.

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  • Make comfort a priority. Investing new bedding will work wonders for your sleep patterns. A lighter tog duvet will stop overheating in the summer months, or try ‘smart’ bedding such as The Fine Bedding Company’s Breathe duvet, which has a unique climate control action.
  • Reduce ‘blue-light’ exposure. Commit to turning off any screens at least 30 minutes before bed, or better still, ban them from the bedroom altogether.
  • Seek out light in the morning. A ‘daylight’ alarm clock will work in harmony with the body’s natural rhythms and mimics the sunrise. Or for natural daylight exposure as you wake, motorised blinds, which are set to a light or time sensor, will open automatically with the morning sunshine.

A good night’s sleep will deliver results almost immediately, with the following benefits:

  • Increased productivity. Sleep helps boost creativity, memory and aids learning.
  • Improved Mood. Emotions are easier to balance and we deal with stress more effectively.
  • Healthy weight. Better sleep staves off cravings for sugary carbohydrates, which in turn keeps energy levels consistent. Only clocking up five hours sleep or less can make you 50% more likely to be obese.
  • Wellness. Kick bugs into touch and say goodbye to sick days. Lack of sleep suppresses the immune system and is also linked to high blood pressure and anxiety.

Metallic and concrete master pieces for windows

March 17th, 2016

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It’s the age old interior design quandary – how to create a home that is unique and reflects the personality and distinct style of the homeowner. In 2016, personalisation is the buzz word for interiors as retailers and designers offer more and more ways of creating original and customised home furnishings.

Through our digital printing service, we can print any high res image onto a window blind. So we challenged two prolific interiors bloggers to create bespoke designs for window blinds that can be easily replicated, showcasing this year’s hottest interior design trends – concrete and metallics.

We love how both of our bloggers have taken trends that are currently big in interiors, but have adapted them with their own spin and personality to create something innovative and unique.  The ideas are new and fresh but they also translate beautifully into the home and look fabulous in situ.”

Metallics Rebooted

Looking for a window dressing to compliment the black and white scheme in her kitchen, double award winning blogger and interior stylist, Sarah Akwisombe, created a look that applies 2016’s metallic trend in a totally unique way.

This foil effect crinkle motif makes a real impact at the kitchen window. A striking image with sharp triangles and bold contrast is printed on a high shine UPVC material that adds a further contemporary edge to the blind.

Sarah said: “I created this design as I’ve always been a big fan of metallics. The crunched up foil gave a great contrasting look that was bold and edgy, yet at the same time would work in any simple kitchen due to its monochrome colour palette. This look really adds punch to a room and is effortlessly cool.

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Concrete Ideas

Mike Ahern writes The Brit Décor blog, which celebrates uncomplicated and calming interiors with bright accents or creative use of textures, so it’s not surprising that Mike chose a design that brings texture to the fore.

He opted for a concrete effect graphic printed to a semi-sheer fabric that allows light through, creating a gorgeous filtered and textured effect. And to add greater personalisation, has styled it in his home with homemade semi-sheer dip-dye curtains.

Mike said: “Concrete is currently packing a powerful punch in the world of interiors and I chose this material for my blind design because it’s surprisingly versatile when applied in the home. Left unfinished, concrete delivers a raw and edgy industrial look with a wealth of texture, whilst polished concrete leaves a silky smooth surface for a modern-luxe finish. This is also a material which can be paired up with striking metallics for that hard-edged appeal, or equally as effective, I love the contrast created by marrying together this raw material with colourful textiles. It’s definitely a ‘look’ with a lot of potential for the style-conscious homeowner.”

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The concrete design works beautifully as part of an all grey colour scheme with painted brickwork and geometric/angular home accessories.

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Digital printing costs £119 pm² plus the price of the roller blinds, which start at £72. Find out more

 

Best of British – Patriotic Looks for the Home

February 17th, 2016

With the Rugby six nations already underway, and the Queen’s 90th birthday, the Olympics, Euro 2016 and St George’s Day all just around the corner, there’s certainly a lot to feel patriotic about this summer so Apollo Blinds is celebrating its British heritage and has picked out key looks in red, white and blue, along with decadent interiors worthy of royalty.

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Apollo Blinds’ digital printing service allows customers to print any high res image onto a roller blind.

Through our Digi blind service homeowners can create a window dressing that is uniquely personal to them.  We’ve opted to stay with the patriotic theme and fly the flag with a Union Jack design (left), but they could choose a British bulldog, a picture of their hometown or a favourite British holiday spot or landmark.  They could even print a picture of the Queen.

Digital printing costs £119 pm² plus the price of the roller blind (prices start at £72).

Alternatively create a room fit for a 90 year old Queen!

“These handmade crystal decorated blinds are the crown jewel of Apollo Blinds’ roman blind collection and certainly fit for the Queen on her 90th birthday.”

Bespoke crystal embellished roman blinds from Apollo Blinds – POA.

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Red, White and Blue

Red, white and blue can look simply stunning in homes – either as a pop of colour on window blinds, furniture and soft furnishings or as a full wall of colour with patterned blinds in a matching or contrasting tone.” Mike Stephen, Apollo Blinds.

Glamour roller blind in ice (prices start at £72), red roman blind (prices start at £158), blue roller blind (prices start at £72), blue pleated blind (prices start at £75), Duette® energy-saving blind in blue (prices start at £100).

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Get the London Look

“Those who love Queen and Country can take the look one step further with one of Apollo Blinds’ cityscape blinds.

“Featuring the iconic red London bus and landmarks from the capital such as The Gherkin, The Houses of Parliament and The London Eye, this very British scene is a must for patriotic homeowners.”

Landscapes from Paris and New York are also available in the range. Prices start at £72.

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