Archive for May, 2017

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

Wednesday, 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.

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

Thursday, 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.

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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

Monday, 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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