Get Ready for Autumn with Duette® Blinds

July 27th, 2017

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September may seem like it’s way off in the distance but, before you know it, the kids will be back at school and it’ll be time to crank up the heating. So now is a great time to start thinking about how to prepare the home for the colder months and how to save some money when it comes to heating homes again.

The stunning range of heat-retaining Duette® blinds are now available in the hottest colours for autumn/winter – including Elan Raven (pictured), a gorgeous inky blue that’s set to have homeowners swooning.

Chorlton House Collage

Duette® blinds are the most energy efficient blinds on the market. Designed with effective insulating properties to keep homes warm, Duette® blinds can help to reduce annual heating bills by up to 25%. With between 20%-50% of domestic heat loss escaping through windows, insulated Duette® blinds are a great way to keep homes snug and fuel costs down.

 

With Duette®’s superior operating systems, adjusting numerous blinds in rooms with large glass expanses couldn’t get much simpler. Eliminating dangling wires, the Smartcord system features a retractable pull cord that effortlessly positions the blind with one simple tug.

Blackout versions are available but the semi-opaque fabric option allows light to ripple through during daylight hours, whilst still conserving heat at the window. Semi-opaque fabric also offers exciting colour projection, allowing beautiful hues of dappled light to flood the home.

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When considering heat-retaining window blinds, consumers are often concerned that in closing blinds to conserve heat, views of the great outdoors and natural lighting can no longer be enjoyed.
However, Duette® offers a top-down/bottom-up design, where blinds do not have to be fully closed to conserve heat. Blinds can be moved to various points in the frame to enjoy the best of worth worlds, whilst also gaining total privacy control.

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They look stunning in the bedroom and kitchen, and Duette® blinds are also a great choice for conservatories – rooms that can get unbearably hot in summer and too cold during the winter months, draining domestic heat via their large glass expanses.

Find out more about Duette® blinds or find your nearest Apollo Blinds and make a FREE, no obligation home visit appointment now.

Wimbledon Inspired Windows

July 3rd, 2017

Raquets and Ball

Despite the rain and Rafael Nadal’s early exit, there’s still lots to cheer for in this year’s Wimbledon tournament.  And for those with a tennis obsession that stems beyond the two weeks of Wimbledon, we’ve put together the perfect guide on how to bring a tennis theme to your windows.  Alongside strawberries and cream and grass court greens, the design team has also picked three ways to style Wimbledon whites.

Strawberries and Cream

The annual championships wouldn’t be the same without a tasty accompaniment of strawberries and cream. With ravishing reds and fruity florals, indulge your cravings by adorning your windows in this mouth-watering colour scheme.
Strawberries and Cream Collage

Grass Court Greens

Create your own Centre Court and bring the outside in with grassy greens at your windows.

Grass Court Greens Collage
Wimbledon Whites

Wimbledon and white go hand in hand and there’s no better way to create a bright and beautiful room than using an all-white colour scheme.  So whether your whites are classic like Federer, edgy like Nadal or modest like Murray, keep colour to a minimum and create a crisp, clean finish with our made-to-measure blinds and shutters.

Achieve a winning look in your home with classic white shutters from Apollo Blinds that offer a style that’s traditional, timeless and refined.

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Be brave, modern and minimalist with an all white scheme. Contemporary and confident, these Duette energy saving blinds offer an edgy twist to traditional whites in the home.

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Made with panels of solid and sheer materials, these Twilight blinds provide the winning combination of privacy and light control, creating a delicate contrasting pattern that’s subtle and uncomplicated.

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Game, set and match.

Been inspired by this post?  Why not visit our latest summer offers or find your nearest Apollo Blinds and book a free home consultation.

Get ‘On Your Bike’ with this year’s hottest interior trend

May 31st, 2017

Cycling fans eagerly await the Tour de France, which takes place early next month and it seems the renewed vigour for the sport in the UK is steering homeowners towards a new microtrend in interior design. From wall art, ornaments, printed soft furnishings to up-cycled furniture made from actual bikes, cycling motifs are making a big impact in homes.  In fact, the interiors experts at Apollo Blinds are pedalling the bicycle as a key trend for interiors in 2017.

4691_34_AisslingerImage caption: A bike looks right at home against the backdrop of industrial styled kitchen.
Embossed Cream Wallpaper by I Want Wallpaper

Our director, Mike Stephen explains more about the trend.

“We tend see popular themes from wider culture filtering through to interior design. Thanks to the preference for eco-living, and of course fuelled by Great Britain’s success in the sport, cycling is enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity in the UK.

Industrial influence with its rough metalwork and exposed elements, means homeowners are used to finding beauty in unexpected places and incorporating ordinary, everyday objects into interior design has become commonplace.  This trend is really a progression of that, we’ve even seen actual bikes being wall-mounted and woven into the fabric of a room’s design scheme.”

Here’s how to stay ahead of the pack, including some gorgeous bespoke blinds from Apollo Blinds.

Digitally print a bike onto window blinds

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Take your home style up a gear by printing high res imagery onto a made to measure window blind through our You Choose blind-making service.  But don’t worry if you’re not a bike lover, as long as you own the rights to the image, we can print any high res image onto a beautiful bespoke roller blind.

Put your feet up on an up-cycled bar stool

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Once it’s riding days are over, a bike can take on a new purpose within the home.  Smithers of Stamford has re-purposed the saddles, frames, wheels, and even chains, of vintage cycles to create these funky bar stools.

Tidy up your books with bicycle book ends

Bicycle BookendsThese stylish black metal bookends from Melody Maison, fashioned as the front and rear of a cycle are sure to keep your books in order and they have a lovely, rustic feel to them.

Scatter bicycle cushions 

Nunubee bike cushion

A stylish and inexpensive way to keep ahead of interior trends, scatter cushions can be easily switched out to change up the look of a room.   Nunubee on Amazon has lots of on-trend cycle designs at very reasonable prices – so take your pick and ensure your living room’s style is first past the finish line.

Slice pizza with racing precision

Fixie Bicycle Pizza Cutter - DOIYThe wheels act as blades on this fun Fixie Bike Pizza Cutter which carves pizza to perfection.

Rest your head in bike-themed bed

Asda Bike Image

If you’re not a fan of industrial style, the cycling theme can be made to look really feminine by choosing a softer, ‘shabby chic’ design like this Ambleside duvet from George at Asda.  It has a gorgeous, vintage bike with basket and flowers; a charming finishing touch for any bedroom.

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We’ve seen some really inventive and unique examples of wall-mounted bikes becoming an integral part of a room’s design; it’s also a great storage solution if you’re short on space. If an actual bike is a step too far then this lovely print is a more subtle way to bring your bike indoors. Or create a nostalgic feature wall with this charming wallpaper featuring sepia photographs of bike races from bygone years.

I Want Wallpaper Bikes

 

Ten Ways to Keep Your Home Safe Whilst You’re On Holiday

May 25th, 2017

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It’s the time of year where we jet off to far-away places and escape the worries of day-to-day life. The safety of your house should be the last thing on your mind as you relax by the pool, so made-to-measure blinds specialist Apollo Blinds has put together its top tips on how you can keep your home safe whilst you’re on holiday.

1) Don’t Broadcastshutterstock_489003646

Be honest. Would you trust everyone on your social media feed with your most valuable possessions?

We all want to share our holiday snaps but if you want to protect your home when you’re abroad then keep the social media posts of you on the beach to a minimum.

Once you have published something on social media, it is in the public domain, meaning you no longer have control over who sees it. Try to resist checking into the airport or hotel with Facebook or flooding your news feed with excited status updates about when you are leaving the country. If you must share then keep it vague and don’t give away details of your travel dates, where you are going or how long you will be away.

And whilst you’re being careful in the virtual world, it’s also an idea to watch where and who you talk to about your trip in the real world. You never know who is listening so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2) Install Window Blinds

According to the Metropolitan Police, windows are one of the most common entry and exit routes for burglars, as well as being a showcase for your valuables. Fitting window blinds is a cheap and easy way to add an extra layer of defence to your home, especially if they are made of a noisy material like aluminium that could help to raise an alarm. Venetian blinds, made up of numerous wooden slats held together with cords or tapes, are also easy to become tangled in when trying to get through a window. Just the sight of a noisy venetian blind can be enough to put off an opportunistic burglar.

“Blinds can be a great home security hack” – Apollo’s Mike Stephen explains how drawing your blinds can be a simple way to deter intruders.

Green-venetian

3) Add A Motor

Mostly security is just common sense but there are gadgets available that can help to make your house looked lived in, giving the impression that somebody is home even when it is empty.  If you really want to ramp up the security, then add a motor to your blinds. Apollo Blind’s Somfy® automation systems allow motors to be controlled via a timer or light sensor meaning they can open and close dependent upon the time of day.

Motorised-blinds

4) Fit A Good Burglar Alarm

Protecting your home is all about making life harder for criminals; if they spy a potential obstacle it could be enough to make them move on to the next (easier) target.  A good burglar alarm is an investment in the safety of your home and family, even if it may seem like a lot of money initially.

There are different types of alarm to choose from including, bells only, speech diallers, wireless and non-wireless, so do your research before you commit to paying any money. Always buy from a reputable and use an installer that is affiliated to an inspectorate, such as National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or Security System and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).  For more information on comparing burglar alarms see the Which? website.

shutterstock_2744640955) And Use It

It’s surprising how many people have burglar alarms but don’t use them.  Did you know that some household insurers won’t pay out if you have a burglar alarm fitted that’s not been set?  They see this as failing to take reasonable steps to protect your property, so make sure you’re covered and set the alarm before you jet off!

6) Check, Check And Check Again

Sometimes it pays to be paranoid.  It sounds so simple but open or unlocked windows and doors are an invitation to burglars. Check and double check that you have shut all of your doors and windows before you leave the house.  If you are leaving in the middle of the night, do it the night before when you are less likely to miss something.   Studies have also shown that burglars are more likely to break into your house if the front gate is open, so don’t forget this vital detail.

7) You’ve Got Mail

There’s no better way to signify that a house is empty than a growing pile of unopened post behind the front door.  Cancel any regular deliveries and don’t order anything to come whilst you are away. Ask a friend or relative to call in and pick up your mail or use the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service, which can hold on to letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them when you return.

8) Neighbourhood Watch

Having somebody to watch your house whilst you are away can really help to protect your home. Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on things or hire a professional house sitter.  Use a reputable company such as Homesitters, which guarantees its service because it directly employs and vets its 1,000 plus sitters.  If this is too costly, then try a matchmaking service like TrustedHousesitters.com.  It takes a little more leg work because the onus is on you to vet a potential sitter, however, many of them work for free in return for a break away.

9) Vary Your Routine

It may sound neurotic to think that somebody is watching you but it pays to try and vary the times you leave the house so that it’s less obvious when you’re not following your normal routine. Get up early and walk the dog rather than doing it when you come home. Perhaps drive some days and walk others or take an alternative route to work so that you leave at a different time.

10) Give Your Valuables A Holiday

Leaving everything on show is an open invitation to an opportunistic robber.  Hide your high-worth items around the house or better still ask somebody you trust to look after them whilst you are away.  We’re not talking bulky goods like televisions but smaller portable items that you can’t live without, such as jewellery or tablets. Finally, hide your car keys rather than hanging them on a hook behind the door.

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For more information about Apollo’s made-to-measure blinds and shutters visit www.apollo-blinds.co.uk or call 01924 413 048

Sources

Which? comparison site – http://www.which.co.uk/

Metropolitan Police – http://content.met.police.uk/Site/crimepreventionbumblebee

Royal Mail – http://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/keepsafe

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2011/jul/15/find-housesitter-for-free

http://www.homesitters.co.uk/

http://www.TrustedHousesitters.com

How to Make the Most of Your Conservatory

May 1st, 2017

Not quite indoors and not quite garden, but filled with natural light and boasting the best views in the house; the conservatory is one of the home’s most relaxing and enjoyable spaces. Here’s how to help your conservatory reach its full potential with expert advice from Apollo Blinds.

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1) Select the right blinds
Deciding on which blind is right for a conservatory or summer room is dependent on a number of factors; each type of blind offers different light and privacy control, and Duette® blinds offer temperature control too. The choice also comes down to the look it achieves along with fabric preference.

The most popular blinds types for conservatories and garden rooms include:

• Duette® blinds – energy efficient blinds to keep cool in summer and warm in winter
Pleated blinds bring a chic, neat look to conservatories and are available in a choice of colours
Vertical blinds bring subtle shade and variable privacy control, whilst still allowing light and air to flood through.
Venetian blinds create a stylish and contemporary look, whilst offering great privacy and light control.
Roller blinds come in a huge range of prints, designs and colours and when open give clear views of gardens and the great outdoors.

Popular operating systems include:

INTU® (available with roller, Venetian and pleated blinds) fits neatly into the bead of windows and doors with no hanging cords or screws needed. Allows tilt and turn or pivoting windows and patio doors to move freely without damaging the blind.

• Motorised roller blinds can be operated in groups via a remote control.

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2) Set the Temperature for year-round use
Gone are the days of cold unusable conservatories in winter and unbearably hot rooms in summer. Installing Duette® blinds will keep the temperature on an even keel all year round. The unique honeycomb design of ensures that rooms are kept at a comfortable and consistent temperature–where an abundance of glass can make temperature control challenging.
A room that’s usable all year round means you’ve room to contemplate the function of your conservatory. It’s no longer an abandoned space or dumping ground so why not use it as a dining room, introduce a day bed for a versatile guest bedroom or even install a bright and airy kitchen that’s filled with natural light.

See our conservatory Pinterest board for more inspiration:

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3) Focus on furnishing
With only one or two items of furniture, lots of exposed brick, hard flooring and an abundance of glass, conservatories can feel cold and unloved. But there’s really no reason to leave the room looking sparse when just choosing the right furnishings conservatories can serve as an extra multifunctional space in the home. The addition of curtains and a statement rug makes this conservatory feel lovely and cosy. And an air of opulence is achieved with surprising design elements like the solid wood table, fuchsia pink display cabinet and chandelier.

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4) Merge with outdoors

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Although probably not achievable in your average household, we love the way this conservatory come greenhouse, with its climbing foliage and rustic picnic table, fuses indoor/outdoor living.

Indoor plants to your conservatory can have significant health benefits as well as adding to the ambiance, plus the extensive glazing can help to cultivate seedlings in the same way a greenhouse would.
For a Mediterranean air citrus plants will flourish in the conservatory. To expand the space be bold and introduce taller plants such as palms that will thrive even in adverse environments.

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5) Don’t forget the Roof
We have made-to-measure roof blinds and other speciality products for conservatories and garden rooms.

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Introducing You Choose!

April 25th, 2017

 

 

you-choose

Personalised, Coordinated or Designer Window Blinds Made to Measure from ANY Fabric

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‘You Choose!’ is our fabulous new service that offers bespoke Roman blinds or roller blinds, beautifully made to precise measurements in any fabric of your choice.

Our new blind-making service opens up an unlimited choice of fabrics, yet still allows you to benefit from our expertise and craftsmanship.

Mike Stephen, director of Apollo Blinds explains more:

“Homeowners are constantly searching for ways to put their own stamp on homes – it’s one of the reasons why made-to-measure blinds are so popular, as customers decide on bespoke blinds over the mass-produced products available from high street shops.”

And while the huge selection of 270 materials in our range of soft cloth blinds is impressive, we understand that the option to create unique furnishings that are truly individual is also very appealing; as is a desire to coordinate perfectly with existing pieces within a room.

We found that when they came to us, many of our customers had already chosen elements of the room, for example the sofa or cushions, and wanted to match their window dressings exactly to them.   So now, even if they can’t find the ideal pattern or colour material within our ranges, we can still supply blinds and offer expertise / advice every step of the way.

Through ‘You Choose!’, blinds are created in the UK then fitted and installed in homes by our craftsmen.  Mike continues:

“Window blinds aren’t easy to construct, measure and fit, especially not to the high standards that our customers are used to.  This new service allows customers access to our experts, along with the quality operating systems and the exquisite eye for detail that Apollo Blinds is known for.

“’You Choose!’ offers infinite possibilities to coordinate window blinds and opens up a world of options for customers looking to create their own pieces from designer or iconic fabrics without the worry of damaging fabric.  So if you’ve just fallen in love with a material that’s not in our range, we can still supply the blinds for you. 

“Whatever your preference – Josef Frank, Designer’s Guild, Kath Kidston, Orla Kierly – if you have the material (or even a lower cost replica to get the look) then we can make it into stunning window blinds, while also removing the fear of damaging expensive material in the process.”

Customers Own Kids Room Collage

Image caption above: Made to measure blinds using the Apollo Blinds You Choose! service, fabrics by Designers Guild.

Find out more about You Choose! or find your nearest Apollo Blinds and book a home visit.

Browse our Pinterest board for more fabric inspiration.

 

 

How to Style Spring Florals in 2017

March 28th, 2017

Spring is the season to revive the home with a fresh new look and with Apollo Blinds’ gorgeous range of floral window blinds, an interior revamp has never been easier.

Bright, fresh and beautifully botanical, Apollo’s stunning range of floral designs are bang-on-trend for 2017.  Here are three ways to introduce some flower power into your home this spring.

Fifty Shades of Green

Green Floral Window Blinds

Evolving the trend to ‘bring the outside in’, spring florals in Apollo’s roller blinds collection are greener and more organic than ever. Encompassing delicate prints, mossy leaf motifs and bold blooms, green is a key colour for 2017 (well Greenery is Pantone’s choice for the colour of the year) and florals are the perfect way to bring the great outdoors into the home for a fresh natural look.

Vintage Rose

Vintage Rose Floral Window Blinds

Vintage blooms transcend floral trends year on year. Perfect for creating a country classic feel, Apollo Blinds’ range of pretty rose prints are vintage and beautifully British on Roman and roller blinds, a classic look for all homes.

Dusky Pastel Blooms

We’ve moved away from candy shades to duskier pastels which will are ideally suited to floral Roman blinds.

Pastel blue floral window blinds

 

Has this post inspired you to add some beautiful blooms to your home?  Then why not book a free quote and measure now.

How to Style Spring Florals for 2017

Or browse our Pinterest board for more blooming marvellous inspiration.

 

 

Decorating with the colours of the year: Greenery and Denim Drift

January 26th, 2017

Every year industry experts at the world’s leading colour authorities and home interest brands make predictions about the trends they expect to see in homes.  And arguably, the most influential of these are Dulux and Pantone.  Where both have cited colours seen in nature as inspiration, they’ve each picked very different shades for 2017.  Read on to find out more, along with some ideas from Mike Stephen on how to use these colours in the home.

Pantone recently announced Greenery as it’s colour of the year.  A youthful, rejuvenating shade of spring green that looks stunning on window blinds.

  • Spring Greens

Blurring the lines between home and garden, green is making its way indoors for 2017.

 Spring Green Collage

“Green is a brilliant shade for homes, it’s a colour that signifies renewal and can restore depleted energy levels, so it’s ideal for a spring makeover,” says Mike.

“Interior fashion has been swaying towards a green revolution for a few years now, with many homeowners attempting to open up their homes to the outdoors, as well as bringing the outdoors in with houseplants that provide uplifting colour and natural health benefits.  Simply introducing green window blinds can create this indoor/outdoor effect with a hit of lush, revitalising colour at windows

 Find more green inspiration here:

  • Chalky Blue and Earthy Neutrals

Blue is the colour favoured by the trends forecasters at Dulux, who hailed Denim Drift as the colour of the year for 2017. This translates as a chalky mid-tone blue with warm undertones for spring/summer, a colour that blends naturally with neutral earthen shades.

Mike Stephen, said,

“Dusky mid-blue is incredibly versatile, allowing us to drift effortlessly into spring and summer. On window blinds, natural tactile fabrics like linen and cotton weaves add to the hand-crafted feel that completes this look, where coloured shutters (another big look for windows next year) in rustic grey will add warmth and a homely feel.”

Chalky Blue Collage

Fallen for Denim Drift?  See more here:



 

2017 Colour Trends for Windows

January 25th, 2017

 A new year brings with it the ideal opportunity to change up your interior. And where it’s always wise to decorate according to your taste, with colours that bring you happiness, staying ahead of the latest trends in interior design can give you inspiration to try something you’d never have thought of.

Here’s some of Apollo Blinds director, Mike Stephen’s top picks of the hottest colours for homes this year.

  • Ink Blue and Clay

Pastel blue makes way for an inkier saturation as 2017 progresses, yet the natural themes we’ve seen are still prevalent.

“Combining blue with terracotta as well as hand-made, organic and crafted materials lends a relaxed Mediterranean vibe to interiors. Introduce hand-woven fabrics, leather features, living ornaments, carved wood, handmade clay pots, earthenware and terracotta elements for a laid-back bohemian scheme.”

“This look celebrates sustainable living, making energy saving Duette® blinds by Apollo Blinds the ideal window dressing to complete the look.”

Iink Blue Collage 

See more ink blue and clay home ideas here:

 

  

  • Sunrise and Seascape Pastels

Carrying through more natural themes, a calming palette of pastels inspired by sunrise and the ocean will see peach, lavender, sky blues, aqua-marine and blush pink mixed or combined with deeper shades.”

Sunrise Pastel Collage

Enjoy some seaside escapism with our sunrise and seascape pastel Pinterest board:

  • Deep Purple

As we progress into autumn winter mysterious shades of deep purple will bring warmth and depth to interiors. Metallic silver highlights or jewel tones will lift the scheme, keeping it dark and decadent rather than gloomy and overcast.

Paint and colour specialist, Benjamin Moore selected a deep amethyst shade as its colour of the year, which can be introduced at windows with aluminium Venetian blinds in a rich shade of purple by Apollo Blinds.

Deep Purple Collage



 

Decorating tips for a happy home in 2017

November 30th, 2016

During the colder months, factors such as illness, reduced intake of light and fresh air and Christmas stresses can start to make many of us feel down in the dumps.  Often it’s dark when we leave home for work and we return home in the darkness, which makes it even more important that our houses are warm, happiness-boosting hubs. Try these easy tips to welcome the new year and make your home a joyful shelter to keep the winter blues at bay.

Use mood enhancing colours

When the weather is grey and gloomy, what better to give you some winter cheer than a home decorated in glorious technicolour?   Warm reds, oranges and yellows will evoke feeling of optimism, happiness and energy. Try introducing a pop of colour at the windows with pleated blinds in Raspberry or red floral roller blinds for an instant pick me up.

red-collage

Decorate with what you love

Trends will pass, but decorating with items that encapsulate your memories will endure, ensuring your home reflects your personality and the things you hold dear.   Create a photo montage and memory wall, frame the cover of your favourite album, film or book, or invest in some wall art with a printed lyric from a much loved song. Personalised blinds can be created through our digital printing service utilising anything from a holiday snap to a poem that holds special significance – find out more here.

personalisation-collage

Images Adobe Stock: © mamako, Apollo Blinds and © Tatyana Gladskih

Let in daytime light and dim the evening lights

Morning daylight will mean you feel more alert and energised throughout the day, while dimmer light at night cues the mind to fall asleep. Wake naturally with motorised blinds that automatically open with a light sensor.

Hygge for happiness

The Scandinavian concept of Hygge (pronounced hue-gar) is an entire approach to life that urges us to indulge in activities that make us content.  It’s often translated as cosy and is particularly applicable in the colder months.  Home furnishings like throws and scatter cushions can make the home feel snug and inviting, where energy-saving Duette blinds in a beautiful deep plum shade will lock in heat, encouraging us to relax and enjoy time spent with family and friends.

hygge-collage

Make a home for house plants

House plants are a multi-talented addition to homes, not only adding to the aesthetics of a room but purifying the air, boosting healing and even limiting the transmission of air-born diseases.  They assist us to breathe, absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, whilst also improving memory and concentration.  What more could you ask for?

Houseplants, books, pile of journals and watering can arranged on the wooden shelf

Image Adobe Stock By  inats

Visit our Pinterest board for more happy home decorating ideas: