Archive for the ‘Blinds’ Category

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.

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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

 

Introducing You Choose!

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

 

 

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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

Tuesday, 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.

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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

Thursday, 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

Wednesday, 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



 

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

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

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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!

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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.

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 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 our Pinterest board dedicated to getting your home ready for Christmas.

A Walk in the Woods

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The natural beauty of wooden blinds remains a winning look for all styles and types of home – from modern to traditional decors.
Real wood and timber looks are making a huge comeback in homes as we head towards 2017.
We’ve updated our wooden Venetian blind collections with exciting new looks and materials to ensure that wood blinds continue to stand the test of time – and the products can be ordered, tailored to specific measurements and professionally fitted in homes within weeks.

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Wood combined with natural textures and blue grey pastel walls makes for a simple yet chic scheme that will stand the test of time.

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Wood Venetian blinds offer a contemporary look for homes, plus they’re durable and easy to clean, which makes them a great choice for family homes.
Find out more about our wood Venetian blinds. Or browse our Pinterest board for more inspiration.

Colour Codes – Use colour theory to create the perfect scheme

Wednesday, 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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A* Blinds for Study Success

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, 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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