How to Clean Your Window Blinds

September 17th, 2018

Regularly cleaning blinds will help to rid homes of dirt and dust, keeping living environments healthier and air fresher.  It also keeps them looking newer for longer and can limit the chances of deep-rooted stains that are hard to remove.

Shutters and Venetian blinds are the easiest types of blind to clean as they don’t contain any fabric.

Roller, vertical, pleated and Duette energy saving blinds can also be easily be wiped down or cleaned, plus these types of blinds can be treated with anti-static and water-resistant coatings to repel dust, mould and mildew.

Cleaning blinds can be easy. Apollo Blinds offers the following advice:

  1. Know your blinds

Most blinds should come with an aftercare document with advice on how to care for the specific type of blind purchased. Some blinds are washable, where others can’t withstand any water, so it’s always advisable to check – there is lots of advice online if you’ve lost the care instructions. Or contact your local Apollo Blinds for more information.

  1. Little and often – how to clean blinds regularly

Frequent cleaning is a must for keeping blinds looking smart and dust free.  A little cleaning, done often, will limit the need for a major facelift or problematic stain removal, which can be difficult and time-consuming.  Give blinds the weekly once-over with a duster to stop dust building up.  Vacuum blinds every couple of months using the upholstery attachment of the cleaner.

The wand or rod that operates the blinds is handled daily, yet many people still don’t clean it.  Luckily, it’s the easiest part of the blinds to clean.  It can be cleaned with an anti-bacterial wipe or spray.

  1. When to do a deep clean

About twice a year give them a more thorough going over. Gently rub them from end to end with a damp micro-fibre cloth.

Warm water and a mild detergent should be sufficient for most types of window blind as harsh chemicals can damage delicate material.  Be careful not to drench blinds as this can cause discolouration and distortion.

Very obvious stains should be handled by a professional.

Wood and aluminium blinds are easier to wipe down with liquid than fabrics without fear of damage. You can remove and soak metal Venetians in the bath, using a non-abrasive brush to gently rub away dirt.  A hair dryer can also dry them off quickly.  It’s important, however, not to use too much water on wooden blinds as this could cause them to warp or damage the finish.

Our Duette® range of window blinds can also be washed gently by removing the product from the brackets and soaking in a mild-action detergent solution for around fifteen minutes.  Care should be taken to press the water out when folded into a fully pleated position (as if the blind were raised).  The blind should also be dried in this position.  Never iron pleated or cellular blinds.

  1. Armed for cleaning

There are some domestic cleaning tools that are perfectly suited for sprucing up window blinds:

Toddler wipes – Super soft and non-abrasive, baby wipes are not just for little ones, they work wonders with cords or tapes on Venetian blinds too.  Choose a biodegradable variety to stay kind to the environment.

Ostrich feather duster – the tiny barbules on the ostrich feathers act as fingers to collect dust without leaving static electricity behind, perfect for wooden blinds.

Microfibre cloth – an environmentally friendly alternative to wipes that are lint free and gentle, it is claimed that microfibre cloths are up to four times more effective than normal cloths.

For more advice visit www.apollo-bilnds.co.uk

So that’s it, you’re on your way to a bright and gleaming set of window blinds.  

 

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Damp Towels and Dirty Dishes Cause Most Domestic Arguments

September 6th, 2018

‘Soggy towels’ being left lying around have been voted as the number one cause of arguments relating to domesticity in UK homes.  92 per cent of people believe ‘not hanging up wet towels’ regularly cause household bust-ups.

Not far behind is leaving dirty dishes in the sink (or around the house) instead of putting them in the dishwasher or cleaning them, with 91 per cent of UK adults claiming this causes frequent domestic disputes. Not unloading the dishwasher or loading it wrong, leaving clothes on the bedroom floor and not putting the toilet roll on correctly were also in the top five.

Our research, which delved into the UK’s contentious household habits, as well as the division of labour, found that disharmony in the home is often caused by the most mundane of tasks.  It also revealed that 89 per cent of women claim they do more around the home than their male counterparts – despite our ‘age of equality’.

View the full results of the survey on the infographic below.

Venetian Blinds for a Light-Filled Living Room

July 4th, 2018

Venetian Blinds for a Light-Filled Living Room

How a combination of clean, crisp Venetian blinds and first-class customer service provided the perfect customised window dressing solution for a living room flooded with natural light.

Recently we advised Pamela Miller, the writer and creative thinker behind the popular family lifestyle blog Life with Munchers, on the right blinds to for privacy without blocking the abundance of natural light that she enjoys in the living room.

Pamela didn’t just want new window blinds, she wanted something bespoke with a quality finish.  Being able to pick the brains of an expert was another huge bonus, so the levels of service and craftsmanship that Apollo Blinds is known for really appealed to her.

“This is such a bright and airy room, with a patio door and two windows either side,” explains Pamela.  “So, I was rather precious about maintaining as much light in this room as possible.”

“The last thing I wanted to do was chop the windows in half with a Roman blind or pelmet, so the obvious option was Venetian blinds.”

Impressed with the level of service throughout as well as the wealth of options to customise her blinds, Pamela continued:

“We had a representative from Apollo blinds come out to measure the windows and every care was taken to show us the colour swatches of the wooden Venetian blinds that were available, including the tapes and drawstring.

“I have to say there was a vast selection of whites to choose from!

“We opted a shade to tie in with the off-white linen curtains that we were putting up and we weren’t disappointed when Apollo Blinds came back to install them.  They were perfect! They tied in perfectly with the space, colouring and feel of the room.

“We were talked through the safety elements of the blinds, such as the cord holder and even the fact that the cord puller itself has been designed with safety in mind.”

The service from Apollo was amazing from start to finish,” she concluded.

Read more about the Life With Munchers Living Room makeover here.

Love Pamela’s crisp white look?  Why not browse our inspiration gallery?

Win An Award-Winning BlocOut™ Blind

May 14th, 2018

Here at Apollo HQ we’re launching a brand new collection of award-winning BlocOut™ blinds, the best black out solution for the home on the market today. To celebrate our launch, in partnership with Bloc Blinds, we are giving TWO lucky winners the chance to win a BlocOut™ blind which will be installed by Apollo Blinds!

British summer time is here and so are longer, lighter evenings. Perfect for entertaining but far from ideal for young children, shift workers and light sensitive sleepers. Not to mention the overheating and excessive sun glare challenges faced in living spaces.

The award-winning BlocOut™ blind roller system overcomes the small gap between the fabric and the walls that exists with other blackout roller blinds. Although small, this gap still allows light to filter into a room, but not with with BlocOut™ blinds. BlocOut™ blinds have front and side rails which prevent that often frustrating halo of light that seeps into a room with regular blackout roller blinds. The result is unmatched levels of darkness which is unrivalled by other blackout blind alternatives currently on the market.

The BlocOut™ blind keeps more than light out too. The clever, cordless design has been independently proven to keep draughts at bay and also reduce heat loss through windows by up to 43%. The BlocOut™ blind is safe by design, meaning that they do not use operating cords or chains or have concealed or tensioned cords making them the perfect choice for kids rooms and babies nurseries.

With longer days and warmer temperatures, the summer months can mean restless and uncomfortable nights but not for the two lucky winners of our latest competition who will both receive a BlocOut™ blind which will be measured and installed by the Apollo Blinds team!

HOW TO ENTER
It couldn’t be easier to enter – using the app below, simply tell us:

• Which room would you put the award-winning BlocOut™ blind?

There are also extra entries if you like and follow the Apollo Blinds and Bloc Blinds social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. You can also Tweet about the competition and sign up to our email newsletter too. Enter in the app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. When you’ve entered get more inspiration for your home on our Pinterest boards.

TERMS & CONDITIONS
Two winners will be chosen at random to each win a made-to-measure blind (up to 1800mm W x 1500mm H)
Competition ends at Midnight GMT on Monday 2nd July 2018.
E&OE

Spotlight on Shutters

April 25th, 2018

A Guide To Choosing Window Shutters

Renowned for their timeless beauty and with practical benefits in abundance, it’s easy to see why  shutters are so desirable.  Follow our expert advice to simplify the process of buying window shutters, explaining key benefits, product options and terminology.

BENEFITS AT A GLANCE

All shapes and sizes: Shutters are an ideal window dressing for feature windows in the home. Wood shutters can be custom-made to a bespoke fit for almost any shape of window – no matter how unusual.

Let the outdoors in: Fit door shutters on a track system so they can be folded back on themselves to save space and for seamless integration with the outdoors.

Bolster security: Lockable and robust, shutters add an extra layer of security to protect the weak points in homes (windows and doors) from intruders.

Colour options: The Apollo ‘colour match’ service can produce custom colour shutters to perfectly match with any interior scheme.

Low maintenance/window dressings for allergy sufferers:  shutters are quick and easy to clean – they’re virtually maintenance-free – excellent for those with dust allergies.

Even out temperatures: the insulating properties of shutters ensures rooms stay cool in summer and snug in the winter months.

Peace and quiet: As well as insulating, they can reduce noise so they’re ideal for homes on busy roads.

PRODUCT OPTIONS

Although quite uniform in appearance, not all shutters are the same and there are considerations when it comes to cost, style, materials and finish.

Real Wood Shutters – top quality hard wood shutters are the ‘Rolls Royce’ option.  They’re incredibly hard-wearing and exude luxury. Real wood shutters can be customised to fit any window and there are a huge range of colours and finishes are available.

Mixed Hardwood and MDF –  hybrid shutters can achieve an almost identical effect to hard wood as only the frame is made from MDF.  They’re very hard-wearing and luxurious.

MDF Shutters – For those on a limited budget MDF shutters can achieve an elegant look at a lower price point.  ABS louvres (a hard-wearing plastic finish applied to the louvres) are an option for increased durability.

Lifestyle Water Resistant Shutters – Offering the appearance of wood with the added benefit that they’re waterproof so there’s less chance of warping or fading in a hot/humid atmosphere. They’re ideal for kitchens or bathrooms, easy to clean and come with a 25-year guarantee.

White shutters in the kitchen

TERMINOLOGY

Louvred panels have horizontal slats that are angled to admit light and air, but to keep out direct sunshine and noise.

Tilt rod is used to position louvres and can run down the centre of the shutter or be offset to one side for a cleaner look.

Shaped – Bespoke shaped shutter panels for any shape or size of window.

Tier on tier – two panels operate independently of each other to offer full control over light and privacy.

Café style – shutter panels are fitted at the lower half of the window only for privacy without blocking light.

Full height – panels cover the full height of the window, they’re the best type of shutters for French windows or patio doors.

Tracked – slide on a bi-fold or bypass tracking system to concertina back.

Solid panels cover the window with a panel but can be opened or folded back to allow light in.

Choose from a versatile range, made to measure for any room in the home:

Shutters in the living room, dining room and bathroom

Superb for Kitchens

Shutters are great for flooding kitchens with light during the day and creating a cosy atmosphere at night. Split level or café style panels offer privacy without shutting out light.  Access to open windows is easy for when you want to let in air and let off steam. Waterproof options will stand up to the hot, humid kitchen atmosphere.

Perfect for Kids’ Rooms

If the kids leave their mark, parents will be glad to know shutters can be cleaned in a jiffy! With no dangling cords, they are safe for children’s bedrooms.

Use Conservatories All Year Round

Stay cool in summer and snug in the winter months. Mortise and tenon joints make Apollo’s shutters incredibly strong and able to withstand movement and temperature fluctuation in conservatories. Shutters can also be fitted to French doors.

Blissful for Bathrooms

Some shutters are 100% waterproof and can withstand hot, humid atmospheres. Robust manufacturing means panels won’t bow or warp.

Brilliant in the Bedroom

Versatile for bedrooms, integrate shutters with a room darkening blind option to stop light entering the room and aid good sleep.  Combine with a curtain or voile for a softer look. Shutters can also be fitted as by-pass wardrobe doors to coordinate with window coverings.

Luxurious  for Living Spaces

Transform traditional bay windows with shutters made to fit exact specifications.  Throw open the living space to the outdoors with tracked shutters.  Watch TV uninterrupted, position louvres on each panel to avoid sun glare without blocking out light.

For your nearest stockist, more information and to make an appointment for a no obligation FREE Quote & Measure, visit www.apollo-blinds.co.uk or call 01924 413 048.

The A-Z of Window Blinds

March 13th, 2018

Apollo Blinds has put together this useful A-Z guide to window blinds to help navigate the growing number of types of window coverings and fabrics available, as well as explaining any terminology and technological advances in window blinds operating systems.

Energy Saving Blinds Get a Revamp for 2018

February 28th, 2018

We’ve got great news if you’re searching for a chic spring/summer home update.  Our stunning Duette® blinds don’t just look good, they can help to save energy and money spent on heating bills.

Who wouldn’t want these super-stylish insulating blinds? Their original honeycomb structure helps prevent heat loss at windows, and some are made from 100% recycled fabrics.

The Apollo Blinds collection just got even better, with new energy saving features and additional styles.

What’s better than one layer of innovative, insulating fabric? Two of course!

Launching for 2018, the ‘double-layered’ Duette® Architella® blind, with a pioneering ‘dual honeycomb structure’ are the most energy efficient blinds on the market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independently tested at the Fraunhofer Institut (Germany), original Duette® blinds were proven to slash heating bills by up to 25%. In the same tests, the new Architella® blind pumped this up to a huge 37% saving on heating energy.

Apollo Blinds director Mike Stephen says: “Sales of Duette® blinds have really been hotting up in recent years, as homeowners warm to heat-retaining blinds as a simple way to insulate homes.

“Now, with an extra layer of fabric within the first honeycomb pleat, the Duette® Architella® cell-within-a-cell construction performs even better.”

Stunning New Colours and More Fabric Choices

Apollo Blinds now boasts the biggest collection of made to measure Duette® blinds in the UK.

There are 170+ fabric colours, textures and designs, three width variations and a huge choice of transparencies (from blackout to semi-sheer).

Proving Duette® blinds aren’t just about function – the new range includes subtle striped and checks, plus gorgeous linen and woven looks. Great for adding some texture at windows.

Fabrics to look out for include Elan (a simple, elegant textured fabric like finely woven cotton), Batiste (a delicate fabric that resembles linen, the sheer option is akin to a linen voile) and Unix (a larger scale weave-effect fabric but still very understated).

Duotone (white on the reverse with additional heat reflecting qualities) and Fulltone (same colour on front and reverse for a consistent look) options are also available on most fabrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservatory: Batiste Elephant Duette® blinds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen/dining room – Elan Raven Duette® blinds

There’s the eco-friendly option too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caring for the planet has moved up the priority list for many homeowners when it comes to product choice.

There are three fabrics made from 100% RECYCLED TEXTILES in Apollo’s Duette® Relife® range, saving on landfill and energy in the home.

Size Matters

Apollo Blinds has also introduced three pleat sizes so there’s an option to match windows of all dimensions and no fear of scaling issues on very large or very small windows.

A 25mm pleat offers the ideal solution for smaller windows, medium-sized windows look great with a 32mm pleat, while the extra large 64mm blind offers a robust look that is especially suitable for large windows – a popular feature in modern homes and extensions.

Want to know more about Duette® blinds?  Arrange a no-obligation quote with an Apollo design consultant here, or find your nearest Apollo Blind here.

Trend Spotting – Three Must-have Looks for Interiors in 2018

January 19th, 2018

Rooms that’ll make you feel at one with nature, schemes influenced by global travel and a Japanese outlook for a more carefree approach to life and home styling, we’ve got all the creative inspiration you need to revive tired interiors and create an on-trend look this year.

TREND #1. Get The Wabi-Sabi Look

While ‘Hygge’ has dominated as an approach to interiors in recent years, 2018 is all about ‘Wabi-Sabi’, which is an easy, carefree concept to apply.

Wabi-Sabi finds beauty in imperfection.  Life isn’t perfect, our homes aren’t perfect – and that’s okay!

What’s important when following the ‘Wabi-Sabi’ way is authenticity, staying true to oneself and celebrating life’s flaws. Beds can messy and crumpled rather than primped, plumped and tucked. Homes are ‘homely’.  Natural fabrics, frayed edges, uneven surfaces and unfinished asymmetrical objects are commended and brought to the fore. Team this look with natural and neat window coverings – wood or metal Venetian blinds are ideal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trend #2. Biofilia

Biofilia describes the human need to be connected to nature. Rustic, natural and easy to live with this look takes us back to basics, unwinding in an unplugged environment that’s in touch with nature but with an emphasis on terrain rather than green foliage.  Pattern is influenced by tree bark, sand and rock formations. Layering and tactility is key to achieving this look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TREND #3. Global Souvenir

A look that celebrates a colourful mix of cultural influences, drawing inspiration from folklore and reviving long held traditions.

This is a relaxed trend, fashioned by travel and an unexpected sense of fun that comes with exploration (Latin American influences and Cuban colour codes are particularly important).  Decorate homes with bright and inspiring carnival colours with a weathered/well-travelled feel. Raw untreated wood and cacti complete this theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wallpapers available from www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk

Like our ideas on must-have looks for interiors in 2018? Make sure you check out our Pinterest board on 2018 Home Interiors Trends.

 

 

How to use Pantone’s Ultra Violet in Homes

December 20th, 2017

A ‘cosmic’ shade of Ultra Violet has been named Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2018.

Here our Design Director, Mike Stephen, has found four ways to introduce this celestial shade into homes with window blinds, wall art, furniture and home accessories that will send your home-style into orbit.

Mike says, “Ultra Violet is set to be a big hit in homes.  There’s a feeling that people are ready for change and Ultra Violet certainly brings a different perspective. It’s full of optimism for a bright future, but not only that – it translates into fantastic looking home furnishings.”

  • Dazzle with Ultra Violet Window Blinds

“Ultra Violet is spectacular on window blinds, especially when backlit with sun shining through the blind.

“Experiment with Ultra Violet as solid blocks colour on blinds and other key pieces around the room.  Alternatively incorporate with a bohemian design that reflect the colour’s spiritual/creative nature.

Both of the roller blinds pictured are available through our You Choose blind-making service which allows us to make blinds from any fabric – so the choices are limitless!”

  • Dine In UV-Style

Have an ‘out of this world’ dining experience with Ultra Violet-inspired seating that’s sure to provide a talking point over dinner! Priced at £549 from www.bridgman.co.uk/.

  • Show Off with a Space Age Stag

Reach for the stars with this showstopper stag wall art!  All over diamantes make Pantone’s Colour of the Year even more dramatic and appealing! Star Studded Stag Wall Art, £71.99 from www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk

 

  • Go ‘Glow-ball’

What’s more futuristic than a glowing orb to display your flowers? This iridescent spherical vase radiates with UV style.  £59.95 from www.annabeljames.co.uk

Like our ideas on decorating with Ultra Violet? Make sure you check out our post on decorating with Dulux’s Colour of the year Heart Wood and for more colour-related interiors inspiration, check out our Pinterest boards.

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.