Win The Hottest Home Accessories For 2018

December 7th, 2017

 

Win the hottest home accessories for 2018

Here at Apollo HQ we’re excited about the arrival of 2018. A new year brings new design trends and inspiration.

We have our finger on the pulse of what home decor trends we should expect to see in 2018 and we’ve invited top interior writer and stylist journalist Laurie Davidson to pick her top accessories for the home in 2018. So with a budget of £500 to spend what did Laurie chose?

Here’s Laurie’s must-have list of the hottest home accessories of 2018.

An Icelandic sheepskin to add texture, cosiness, style and comfort.

Add more tactile materials in the form of velvet blush cushion by Niki Jones from Amara.

And a delicious luxury scented candle from Heal’s for even more relaxation. 

Metallic touches are still really on trend for next year, introduce some glamour with a statement Black & Gold Bottle Vase by Kelly Hoppen and a stunning Gold Celio table lamp from Oliver Bonas.

And don’t forget the walls, add some personality to a blank space with an Ampersand Art Print by Yeah, That, King & McGaw.

Living space is for enjoying so you can invite your friends over to enjoy a set of four beautiful wine glasses in assorted shades from LSA and a marble and wood serving board from Habitat. And it wouldn’t be a 2018 home without some on-trend tech, enjoy the benefits of an in-house assistant that’s always on duty with an all-new Amazon Echo smart speaker.

Hottest Home Accessories 2018

The team couldn’t resist and with a flush of Christmas spirit the team went shopping to create the most fantastic competition prize for you! One lucky winner will be able to add all of these perfect finishing touches to their interior by winning Laurie’s selection of the hottest home accessories for 2018. Bring your living space right up to date for 2018 with designer vases and home fragrances to decorative cushions, sheepskins, wall decor and smart speaker

HOW TO ENTER
It couldn’t be easier to enter – using the app below, simply use our store finder and tell us where your nearest Apollo Blinds store is.
There are also extra entries if you like our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Houzz. You can also Tweet about the competition and sign up to our email newsletter. Enter in the app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition ends on Wednesday 31st January 2018 at midday. We will draw and notify the lucky winner by email and will also announce on our Facebook page so make sure you’re connected with us there. Good luck!

One lucky winner will receive all the Home Accessories picked out as being the hottest must have items of 2018 worth over £500.

The prize consists of the following home accessories:

  • All-new Amazon Echo smart speaker
  • Genuine Icelandic Long Wool Sheepskin, from Rockett St George
  • Black Rose and Walnut Luxury Scented candle, Heal’s
  • Kelly Hoppen Black & Gold Bottle Vase, QVC
  • Ampersand Art Print by Yeah, That, King & McGaw
  • Niki Jones Velvet Linen Blush Cushion, Amara
  • Polka Assorted metallic wine glasses (set of four), LSA
  • Marble and wood serving board, Habitat
  • Gold Celio table lamp, Oliver Bonas

Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Apollo Blinds reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to substitute prize of equal or greater value if the specified prize is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason.

Five Reasons Why New Window Blinds Should be Top of Your Christmas List

November 28th, 2017

Amongst the Christmas mayhem, installing new window blinds in your home for the festive season might seem like just another thing to do on an ever-growing list.  But there are some really compelling reasons why brand new blinds should be a top priority when prepping your home for the big day.

1) They Can Help You Think ‘Hygge’

Especially relevant in the lead up to Christmas, the Scandinavian concept of ‘Hygge’ (pronounced hoo-gar) encourages us to indulge a little.  For interiors, it’s all about creating an inviting space that makes us feel comfortable and content.  Window blinds, especially with a blackout lining, can really enhance that cosy feel, helping to insulate a room and shut out the cold weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) They’ll keep you calm (and cool) and get your room temperature just right 

It’s freezing outside so you need your heating turned up fully, yet in the kitchen, with pots and pans bubbling and the turkey in the oven, the atmosphere is stuffy and unbearable. If you’re struggling to find a balance, the addition of Duette® energy-saving blinds can restore a constant temperature to your home. The honeycomb structure of the blinds traps air in an insulating layer, lowering the amount of heat lost through windows by up to 46%, plus they also reduce external noise coming into a room – an added bonus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) They can step up home security

As homeowners fill their homes with expensive Christmas gifts, window blinds can help shut out prying eyes, making winter a great time to invest.  A simple set of blinds can be an added deterrent against burglary, as explained by Mike Stephens, Director at Apollo Blinds.

“Winter is an optimum time for break-ins, with longer nights providing more cover, families travelling away to visit loved ones for Xmas and of course festive goodies stored in homes,” says Mike. “And homes where items are on view are more exposed to theft than those where window coverings are fitted.”

Blinds prevent intruders from being able to see what they can grab quickly and Venetian blinds have the benefit of being noisy – an added deterrent,” he added. “While shutters can be locked for an extra layer of security.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4) They Can Help Get the Guest Room ‘Guest Ready’

 Where most overnight visitors aren’t expecting hotel-like accommodation, a few some simple updates can make all the difference to creating a ‘hometel’, rather than a ‘grotty B&B’ experience for seasonal houseguests venturing into the realms of the “spare room”.

A set of new window blinds can completely transform a room, so it’s time to ditch the tatty, dated or broken blinds that are dragging your décor down. Plus a simple blackout blind can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a great night’s sleep. Preventing morning light from streaming into the guest room at the crack of dawn can make a huge impact on your guest’s experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) They can add a touch of sparkle

Every blind has a silver lining with shimmering metallic finish roller blinds.  Geometric patterns, stripes, damask and leaf designs are all given the wow factor with a metallic makeover. Metallic blinds will help you enjoy windows that shimmer and shine all year round but they look especially fabulous at Christmas time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Find more festive inspiration on our Pinterest board dedicated to getting your home ready for Christmas.

Create a year-round conservatory

October 18th, 2017

The addition of blinds can transform a cold conservatory into a comfortable climate-controlled year-round space.

It’s a multi-functional room that can be somewhere to eat, a place to lounge or an inspiring space to work from, but it’s often underused in UK homes.

Here, we show how Duette® blinds can significantly improve the ambience of your conservatory; and demonstrate how to apply the latest home interior design trends – from industrial chic to totally tropical – to this fantastic room.

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Duette® Shades are a practical and stylish solution for the conservatory. Thanks to their innovative honeycomb construction, they retain heat during the cooler months and provide exceptional shade during the summer.

With between 20%-50% of domestic heat loss escaping through glass windows, fitting Duette® blinds can make a huge difference to this valuable extra space within a home. In fact the figures speak for themselves – research has shown that Duette® blinds can prevent 79% of solar heat entering the home and can also reduce heat loss by up to 46%. In the winter, this could reduce heating bills by up to 25%.

Made-to-measure Duette® and pleated blinds can be custom-made to any shape or size, and be fitted to windows, doors and roofs, so covering the triangular or irregular shaped windows often found in a conservatory is easy.

Another great tip is to motorise blinds, so that all blinds can be raised or lowered at the touch of a button.

Apollo Blinds is a specialist in Duette® blinds and pleated blinds, with hundreds of colours and patterns to choose from.   So why not find your nearest branch of Apollo Blinds now? {INSERT LINK TO STORE FINDER}

GET THE LOOK – Two conservatories, six fantastic interior designs

Head of design at Apollo Blinds, Mike Stephen took two types of conservatory to show how they can be styled in six very different ways, applying 2017/18’s hottest interior design trends.

Industrial Chic  

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“The industrial trend is still a huge influence in interiors and perfect for conservatories featuring exposed brick walls, steel window frames and slate floors.  Continue the theme with reclaimed wooden tables and stools/chairs. Windows, doors and roof are dressed with made-to-measure Duette® blinds in Elephant Batiste.

Organic Dwelling

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“This eclectic look celebrates earthen colours and textures found in natural materials like plaster, clay and putty, contrasting them against lux, comfortable fabrics.  Cosy furniture, chalky neutrals, and blush pink velvet accessories are juxtaposed against the rough, rendered plaster feature wall. Linen-look window blinds are perfect to accompany this look.” Blinds shown are made-to-measure pleated blinds in Linen White.

Vibrant Scandi

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“Key ideas found in Scandi interior design are given a playful makeover when paired with vivid lime green window blinds and graphic wallpaper.  This look is a great way to brighten up homes in the spring.” Blinds shown are made-to-measure pleated blinds in Selina Fresh.

Luxe Deco

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“Duette® blinds in stunning Brittany Blue provide a statement backdrop on which to build this glamourous scheme. Indulge in key pieces and soft furnishing fabrics that represent ‘classic glamour’ such as art-deco inspired prints and beautiful jewel-coloured velvets to add to the decadent feel.”  Blinds shown are made-to-measure Duette® blinds in Brittany Blue.

Totally Tropical

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“What better place to incorporate the tropical/botanical trend than in the conservatory! Create a lush, indoor paradise with vibrant teal, turquoise and lime green colourways and spice things up with warm highlights of gold or turmeric. Indoor greenery, both real houseplants and printed on fabrics/wallpaper, are a must for this look, which also incorporates a contemporary take on traditional rattan ‘conservatory’ furniture.  Textured turquoise blinds are an invigorating finishing-touch to bring the scheme together.” Blinds shown are made-to-measure pleated blinds in Turquoise Crush.

Whiter Than White

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“White is still a classic colour scheme for the conservatory. Layer up tactile fabrics and chunky knits in dove grey and winter white colourways for a cosy, traditional and timeless look.” Blinds shown are Duette® blinds in Swan White.

There’s lots more information on conservatory trends over on our Conservatory Trends Pinterest board.

Feeling inspired?  Find your nearest Apollo Blinds to book a free measure and quote home visit consultation or call 01924 413 048.

‘Heart Wood’ Window Blind Inspiration

October 5th, 2017

Ever since Dulux unveiled the dusky heather shade of Heart Wood as its Colour of the Year for 2018, customers have been in search of the latest home accessories to get the look. And of course we think the best way to introduce Heart Wood to homes is with window blinds.

Our head of design, Mike Stephen, has picked out Heart Wood window coverings from the extensive collection at Apollo Blinds and offers styling advice on the best colours to complement this hot hue.

Mike says, “This light, versatile shade can be considered as the new neutral for 2018, as it’s so easy to find colours to match with its dusky undertones.  It’s a colour that’s certainly causing a stir amongst our customers.” 

Heart Wood on a Roll

Get the Heart Wood look with abstract stripes, playful florals or plain, textured roller blinds. Mix with muted brown or purple tones or add a pop of azure blue, another great match for Heart Wood. Apollo Blinds Heart Wood fabrics for roller blinds pictured below (left to right): Roseanna Mauve, Henley Summer Rose, Sunbrella Mauve and Rianna Rose Dazzle.

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A Shutterly Fabulous Match for Heart Wood

Coloured plantation shutters look fantastic! And Apollo Blinds offers a colour match service so that its shutters can be custom-made in ANY colour. Simply provide a swatch, tester or sample pot for Apollo Blinds to create beautiful, wood shutters that match exactly to a chosen colour – like Heart Wood.

The custom colour service is available for Sumatra and Fiji shutters from Apollo Blinds.

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Perfect Pleats are Hard to Beat

Heart Wood creates a blissful bathroom and looks gorgeous in the living room.  Opt for Heart Wood pleated blinds or apply it to walls and introduce pleated blinds in berry shades to bring out Heart Wood’s warmer undertones.

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WIN The Ultimate ‘Cosy Home’ Bundle

September 12th, 2017

Win the ultimate cosy home bundle copy

Here at Apollo HQ we love Autumn. As a transitional season, Autumn is a natural time to change up interiors to create a warm, inviting, cosy home.  In addition to Duette blinds that will help to prevent heat loss at windows, and gorgeous Autumn inspired made-to-measure window blinds, we have launched a new competition with everything you need to create a cosy home.  

One lucky winner will receive The Ultimate ‘Cosy Home’ Bundle of home technology and cosy home accessories worth over £750.

Transform your rooms with our prize of luxurious faux fur throws, sparkling and sumptuous cushions, scented candles, soft mood lighting and a selection of gorgeous on-trend seasonal accessories. Curl up in front of the fire with The Little Book of Hygge, and submerge yourself in the latest films and gripping TV dramas with an Amazon Fire Stick that’s sure to keep you entertained all through winter. An Amazon Echo will help to organise your life, play music and even do your shopping without even having to get up off the sofa.  Plus we’ve also thrown in some comfort food with a huge box of delicious treats from Hotel Chocolat. In fact, this prize is so good you might not want to leave the house this autumn/winter!

WIN The Ultimate ‘Cosy Home’ Bundle Collage

HOW TO ENTER 

It couldn’t be easier to enter – using the app below, simply tell us what is your favourite Autumn inspired colour for the home?  

There are also extra entries if you like our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, Tweet about the competition and sign up to our email newsletter. Enter in the app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition ends on Friday 10th November 2017 at midday. We will draw and notify the lucky winner by email and will also announce on our Facebook page so make sure you’re connected with us there. Good luck!

The lucky winner will receive The Ultimate ‘Cosy Home’ Bundle which consists of the following prizes worth over £750: 

Amazon
Amazon Echo – hands-free, voice controlled speaker
Amazon TV Fire Stick – streaming media player
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
Hotel Chocolat Luxe Chocolates

We’ve selected the following prizes from Homebird
Faux Angora Throw
Sheepskin Rug
Platinum Sequin Cushion
Crystal Pom-Pom Cushion
Metallic Silver Tall Lamp
Mirrored Wall Clock
Wooden Lantern & Candle
Gisela Graham Wicker Hanging Heart
Silver Birch Candle Pot
Silver Birch Fragranced Room Diffuser
200 Silver Wire LED Fairy Lights
Tall Ceramic House Candle Holder
Double Silver Heart Bowl / Decoration
Grey Wood & Silver Photo Frame 4×6”
Grey Wood & Silver Photo Frame 4×4”

WIN The Ultimate ‘Cosy Home’ Bundle

Five reasons to choose window shutters

August 9th, 2017

Shutters are one of the most coveted window coverings with benefits that go way beyond their obvious aesthetic appeal. Apollo Blinds‘ interiors expert Mike Stephen offers five reasons why shutters are first choice for modern living.

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1) They let the outdoors in

“Our shutters can be fitted on a tracking system meaning they can fold 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 fresh air and 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 home then shutters are the ideal window dressing solution. Wood shutters can be fashioned to a bespoke fit for almost any shape of window – no matter how unusual.”

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4) They’ll bolster security

“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

Get Ready for Autumn with Duette® Blinds

July 27th, 2017

Duette Elan Raven smaller

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.

Duette Elan Raven kitchen 3 smaller
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.

Duette Duotone Bone 2 smaller

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.

Apollo Blinds Elegance Twilight - Neutral small

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

Apollo 15304 ROLLER BIKE small

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.

Hang your bike on the wall61cpitbOGcL._SY500_

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