Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

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 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.

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 tips for a happy home in 2017

Wednesday, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

 

Summer Competition Winner Announced

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Did you enter our competition to win some beautiful Duette® energy saving blinds? If so, read on to find out if you’re our lucky winner…

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Thermo-regulating Duette® blinds will keep your home deliciously cool in summer and insulate your windows as we head towards winter.

Duette® blinds are ideal for conservatories or any room in the house that struggles to maintain a constant temperature, making rooms useable all year round. Their unique honeycomb structure traps air in an insulating layer, which can help to reduce heating costs by up to 25%.

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

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

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Our lucky winner, who will recieve £1000 worth of these beautiful and very clever blinds for her home, is..

Emma Dormer from Leicestershire.

Congratulations Emma!

If you didn’t win but you’d like to find out more about Duette® blinds then visit our website for more information.

How to jump on “the cactus” micro trend

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Forget the pineapple or the stag, the latest trend for homes is THE CACTUS.

Group of three cactus plants

This prickly little plant has been making a huge style statement in homes and on the catwalk too.

A great way to embrace new micro trends like this, and make your home totally individual, is by using our window blind digital printing service. As long as you own the image rights, we can print any high res image onto a window blind.

Here we’ve shown how to embrace the cactus trend with these fun digitally printed blinds.

Apollo Cactus Blind smaller

Looking for other ways to introduce this fun cacti trend into your life? Why not pull on a cactus sweater, sleep under a cactus design bedding set, plump up some cactus cushions or illuminate your home with a cactus shaped light.

And if all else fails you can get some real cacti.

Teenager's room interior

Find more cactus inspiration over on Pinterest:

Image credits: Adobe Stock © lukesw, © Photographee.eu

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

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

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

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

 

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

Gold window blind

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

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

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

Going for Gold

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

Find more golden inspiration on our Pinterest board below:

 

 

 

 

 

Five reasons to choose shutters this summer

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

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

1) They let the outdoors in

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

 

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2) They’re not just neutral

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

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3) They fit all shapes and size of windows

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

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4) They’ll bolster your security

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

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

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Find out more about our wooden and Lifestyle shutters

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

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best of British – Patriotic Looks for the Home

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

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

005 Union Jack roller blind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Bespoke crystal embellished roman blinds from Apollo Blinds – POA.

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Red, White and Blue

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

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

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Get the London Look

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

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

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

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Home Is Where the Heart Is

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

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Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and we’re in the mood for love, so we’ve been busy pinning the best  romantic inspiration that Pinterest has to offer.

Whether you have an exciting date night planned or you’re spending an intimate night at home, there are literally thousands  of ideas on Pinterest to help you devote some quality time to your loved one and make them feel special.

We’ve also included some blinds you’ll love, from passionate pink and purples colour schemes to bright and ravishing reds, we’ve selected our favourite window treatments to make sure your home is as ready for romance as you are.

So why not visit our Home is Where the Heart is Pinterest board below.

Follow Apollo Blinds’s board Home is Where the Heart Is on Pinterest.