Shutters – The Ideal Window Dressing for Bay Windows

August 6th, 2019

Apollo Blinds recently collaborated with multi-award-winning lifestyle and interiors writer Helen Powell – aka Design Hunter www.designhunter.co.uk – to find the perfect window dressing for a curved bay window.

Unsatisfied with curtains alone, and in search of a solution to dress the five panelled bay windows in her lounge without removing the original 1930s pelmet, Helen turned to our experts for advice.

She needed something that would suit the pared-back style of their home and give her family some much-needed privacy, but without blocking the abundance of natural light that enters the room. Shutters were the obvious choice.

The pelmet was a beautiful period feature they wanted to keep, but it caused a design conundrum, as outlined in the latest Design Hunter blog post about the installation.

“If we removed the pelmet it would leave behind damage to the plasterwork which couldn’t easily be patched up, but if we left it in place then we wouldn’t be able to open the shutters. And if we couldn’t open out the shutters then we wouldn’t be able to open the windows either, which was obviously a bit of an issue!”

“Luckily our consultant from Apollo Blinds was able to come up with a solution to this dilemma. He suggested tier on tier shutters with a horizontal support post to separate the panels. With this style of shutter, the bottom panel can be opened independently of the top one. So, when we want to open the window, we just open up the bottom tier of shutters and the top one stays in its original position”

Throughout the installation, the level of knowledge and craftsmanship at Apollo blinds impressed Helen. On the Design Hunter blog, she shared her thoughts on whether a full-service measure and fit installation was better than trying to install the shutters themselves.

“There isn’t much we can’t or won’t tackle, but I am glad we didn’t go down the DIY route,” said Helen.

“Even if you measure and install them yourself to cut costs, shutters are still a big investment, and I wouldn’t have wanted to run the risk of spending a large amount of money on them only to end up with a fit that wasn’t quite right because we had tried to save money on installation costs. This is one job I’d definitely recommend getting the professionals in to do.

She continued, “Our installation was successful (and actually ended up looking even better than we’d hoped) because we were able to draw upon all the advice, skills and experience of the wonderful guys at Apollo to get both the choice of shutters and the fit just right.”

A glowing recommendation indeed!

If you’re considering investing in window shutters then why not get in touch with your nearest Apollo Blinds now to arrange a free, no-obligation home consultation.

And you can read all about the benefits of shutters in our blog post on the subject.

Weatherproof Your Outdoor Space with a Retractable Awning

June 27th, 2019

With most of the spring being a washout, it’s been a struggle for much of the UK to get out and enjoy their outdoor living areas.

Conversely, soaring temperatures in the coming weeks could leave you in search of a shady spot to hide from the sun.

Retractable awnings fitted to an outdoor wall of your property can be a huge benefit, sheltering you from the best and worst of the Great British weather.

And we’ve recently extended our awning fabric collection to now include over 200 easy to clean acrylic fabrics and a host of accessories/upgrades, ensuring you’ll be able to make the most of your outside living spaces.

Here are just some of the benefits:

Taking the Indoors Out

The emerging trend for making outdoor spaces more ‘homely’ means many homeowners are dressing their patios with outdoor rugs, lighting and comfy furniture.   Awnings can enhance the cosy atmosphere and protect outdoor furniture and furnishings from sun and rain damage – many of the fabrics having high levels of UV ratings for maximum protection.

Built-in heaters will fend off the evening chill and when the sun begins to set, integrated lighting can provide a soft glow for ambience.

Alfresco Dining

An awning means no more cancelled plans or dashing inside mid-dinner party when the heavens open.

It’s a versatile shelter that prevents soggy sandwiches and ensures the BBQ can always go ahead no matter what the forecast.

 

Totally Automatic

Who wants to spend their time repeatedly covering and uncovering outdoor furniture to protect it from the next downpour? An additional benefit of awnings is that they can be motorised and operated remotely at the touch of a button.

They can also be fitted with light and wind sensors to extend and retract automatically.

Built to Last

We’re confident that all our that are awnings are of the highest quality and are built to last, but in case there was any doubt, a 10-year fabric guarantee comes as standard on all Apollo Blinds awnings.

For more information on our awnings and to book a no-obligation consultation, get in touch with your nearest Apollo Blinds.

Four Ways to Make Your Home Greener

May 28th, 2019

Thanks to wildlife documentaries such as Blue Planet II, as well as increased awareness about how the products we buy and use in our homes affect the environment, being kinder to the planet is becoming a big priority for many UK homeowners.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to be eco-friendly in your home without spending thousands of pounds or affecting your quality of life.

 

1. Reduce Plastic Waste

 

 

Single use plastic bags, bottles, straws and cups are the biggest threat to our ocean eco-systems – causing huge damage to wildlife and turning massive stretches of water into floating rubbish dumps.

You can do your bit to tackle the growing amount of plastic entering our oceans by swapping out single use plastics for reusable versions, as well as making a conscious effort to buy products that utilise plastics recovered from the ocean. Everything from duvets, rugs and now window blinds can reuse plastic waste in this way.

Apollo’s NEW Greenscreen Sea-Tex blinds are made from plastic retrieved from beaches, remote coastlines and inland waterways, transforming it into a long-lasting high-performance roller blind fabric. Greenscreen Sea-Tex fabric is energy-efficient, filters sunlight and is fully recyclable.  It’s also PVC free.

Fifty per cent of the fabric’s weight is recovered ocean plastic, they’re available in five neutral semi-transparent shades.

2. Reduce Energy Consumption

There are lots of ways to reduce energy in the home, some are common sense, others are less so, and overall there are significant savings to be made.

You can read our brilliant energy saving tips here: https://www.apollo-blinds.co.uk/blog/index.php/2019/03/energy-price-cap-rise/

 And one of the best tips of all is to install Duette® blinds at windows. With their unique honeycomb structure, Duette® blinds can help homeowners to achieve a more energy-efficient home, saving up to 25% on annual heating costs.

Within the collection, Duette® Relife blinds are a type of Duette® blinds fabric manufactured using recycled polyester fibres from recycled textiles, scoring you even more eco-friendly points.

 

3. Recycle and Upcycle

Upcycling furniture is not only great for the environment but will create stunning and bespoke pieces for your home.  There are hundreds of tutorials that show you how to breathe new life into old furniture and we’ve collated some of our favourites for you over on Pinterest

 

Another recycling option is to create window blinds from old curtains. Curtains can become worn around the edges but if the fabric is otherwise intact, there’s an opportunity you can recycle these well-loved household textiles into gorgeous window blinds, using our You Choose window blinds making service.  It’s something we’re seeing more frequently and is great for the environment.

 

4. Harness the Sun’s Power

Apollo’s solar powered roof blinds operate by converting energy from the sun via a discreet solar panel on the window side of the blind, which charges the battery during daylight hours.

The blinds are fully motorised for ease of use, yet without any added electricity consumption.   They’re ideal for insulating windows and for light control in hard to reach areas.

Apollo has recently introduced a number of products with impressive eco credentials to its already extensive ranges.

All are delivered with Apollo’s quality assurance and the care and attention to detail that guarantees an expertly crafted window blind, fitted to the homeowner’s exact specifications.

The Ultimate ‘How To’ Cleaning Guide

April 2nd, 2019

How To Clean Blinds & Shutters

How to Clean Wallpaper

How To Clean Rugs

How To Clean Filled Duvets & Pillows

 

How To Clean Blinds & Shutters

Regular cleaning and upkeep will help to keep your blinds and shutters looking as good as new. Here is expert advice on how to clean blinds.

Know your blinds

First and foremost it’s important to learn as much as you can about your blinds (Apollo Blinds provides an aftercare document with every purchase with tips on how to care for your blinds).  Have a basic understanding of the type of washing each type of blind can withstand – some blinds are washable, where others can’t endure any water.

Little and often

As with everything, regular housekeeping is a must for keeping your blinds looking good.  A little cleaning (done often) will limit the need for a major facelift, which can be awkward and time consuming.

The right tools for the job

There are some tools that you may not have thought of, which are perfectly suited for sprucing up your blinds:

  • Baby 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.
  • 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.
  • Micro fibre cloth – lint free and gentle, it is claimed that micro fibre cloths are up to four times more effective than normal cloths.

You must dust (really you must)

Yes, there are a million other things you could be doing, but giving your blinds the weekly once-over will stop dust building up and limit the potential for stains and dirty marks, which are trickier to remove.

Deep cleaning

Vacuum your blinds every couple of months using the upholstery attachment of your cleaner. About twice a year you will need to give them a more thorough going over. Gently rub them from end to end with a micro fibre cloth.

Avoid chemical nasties

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 your blinds as this can cause discolouration and distort wooden blinds.

 

How to Clean Wallpaper by www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk

Pick washable wallpaper

How washable a wallpaper is can be found on most wallpaper websites in the ‘product summary’ section or on the packaging. Look out for vinyl/acrylic covered wallpaper as this can be scrubbed with mild detergents and is more hardwearing than plain-paper wallpaper.

Look for the labels

Before going at the walls with a scrubbing brush, check the instructions that came with the wallpaper.   All of www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk’s products are supplied with easy to follow symbols that signify how to clean them, cleaning agents to use and even how much pressure to apply (information is also listed alongside products on the website).

These range from ‘spongeable’ (only dab fresh paste off when hanging the paper when it’s still wet), to ‘highly scrubbable’ (scrub using mild detergents to remove oils and other tough stains). For more details about ‘washability’ and ‘scrubbability’ head to I Want Wallpaper’s wallpaper symbols guide.

Dust or vacuum the walls

A weekly going over with the duster will keep walls looking fresh and limit the accumulation of cobwebs and ‘dust bunnies’ (fluffy clumps of dust particles) that tend to gather on walls.  Use a feather duster with a long handle or alternatively vacuum with the cleaner attachment for hard to reach areas. Try not to press on the wall with the vacuum extension so as not to leave a mark or transfer dirt.  Always vac or dust the walls prior to washing them.

Get everything you need ready before starting to clean

Tool up with the following items before beginning:

Ladder (free standing is best so as not to damage wallpaper when leaning it against the wall)

Hoover/duster

Plastic/cloth sheet (Line the floor and nearby furniture with a large sheet (preferably plastic), in case of drips, dust or spillages)

Soft brush

Bucket of clean water

Bucket of water with mild detergent

Plain, clean sponge

Clean cloth

Small towel

Do a patch test

Find a discreet spot and test the cleaning solution to avoid costly damage.

Be sparing

Too much detergent can actually attract dirt and leave stains.  Similarly, too much water can damage the paper and leave water marks. Dip the sponge in the soapy water and wring out excess moisture until the sponge is just slightly damp.

Be methodical

Start at the top left corner and wipe the wall with soapy water using gentle downward motions being careful to avoid loosening or ripping conjoining edges.  After cleaning a strip, use the bucket filled with clean water (and the fresh cloth) to remove excess soap. Clean from top to bottom (to avoid drips) and work across the wall from left to right. Rinse the sponges and change the water regularly, so as not to just move dirt around.

Towel dry

Dry each section with a towel as you go. Using a towel will gently absorb any leftover moisture and limit the risk of water marks.

Be gentle

Even scrubbable papers need a soft touch – it’s paper after all. Avoid bleach or harsh cleaning solutions.  Similarly, abrasive products like hard-bristle brushes may be too coarse for this job.  Gentle downward motions will be effective enough to clean off the majority of dirt/stains.

And for hard to shift stains…

Try these WALLPAPER HACKS to remove tougher stains but always remember to spot-check first.

Scuffs: There are a number of methods for using scuff marks – an eraser being one of the most effective.  Baking soda/water can also be used but is slightly abrasive so always test it first.

Grease: Talcum powder can absorb grease stains on non-vinyl wallpaper (simply apply and leave for five mins then brush away)

Alternatively, a low-heat iron applied over paper towels should soak up the stain.

Food: Gently scrape away food that has stuck to the wallpaper.  For more persistent stains, gently rub with a toothbrush dipped in detergent.

Crayon: Scrape away crayon with a blunt knife.  Use the iron and paper towel technique to lift more stubborn marks.

Ink: Baby wipes should remove the ink from washable markers

Gently rub baking soda and water onto non-washable ink.

Rubbing alcohol or silver polish can be used on very durable wallpapers.

Fingerprints: An eraser should rub the stain away with minimal pressure.

 

How To Clean Rugs by The Rug Seller

Rugs are a great addition to homes, and one of their jobs is to protect floors and carpets. This also means rugs fibres can harbour millions of microorganisms – unsurprising considering they’re subject to dirty shoes, spills and in some cases pets.

Without regular cleaning, mould spores and pollen particles can collect in rug fibres, as well as dust mites (microscopic creatures that can worsen allergic symptoms). So, it’s safe to say there may be more than just a bug in your rug if left uncleaned.

Regular maintenance and these easy cleaning hacks can keep rugs fresh and looking great.

Vacuum Regularly

Running the vacuum cleaner over a rug at least once a week is important to keep it clean and fresh.  Vacuuming will prevent dirt from becoming ‘trodden in’ and stop it from working deep down into the pile of the rug, where it’s much harder to remove.

Before setting to work with the vac, give the rug a shake to remove any loose grit or dirt that is trapped within the fibres – these can then be picked up by the vacuum.

Suction only vacuum cleaners are preferable to rotary brush or upright vacuum cleaners which can sometime damage to the surface of the pile and fray the edges of rugs.

Avoid vacuum brushes as they can break up the yarns and create excessive shedding -considerably reducing the life of a rug. Vacuum brushes will also damage the whipping on the edges of the rug due to the change in height between the rug and the floor. Use the nozzle attachment to lightly vacuum the rug to remove any surface dust and loose yarns.

There are anti-bacterial powders that can be sprinkled onto rugs to rid them of germs but always test on a small section first.

And don’t forget the underside – vacuum the backing of the rug once a month to remove trapped dust, dirt, allergens and bacteria.

This video courtesy of The Rug Seller is really useful

Deal with Spillages Immediately

It’s important to soak up liquids quickly to ensure they don’t penetrate into the yarns of a rug.

Dampen a white, cotton cloth and blot the area. Repeat the process until all the liquid has been absorbed. Be careful not to rub as this will damage the surface of the rug.  Alternatively, a cloth can be placed on top of the area and left to absorb the spillage.

Always make sure the rug is completely dried (this takes about three to four hours) before placing back on your floor. There’s more advice in this video

Tackle Stains

Certain types of rugs will stand up to stains better than others. Manmade fibres are more repellent to stains.  Nylon rugs can be steam cleaned.  There are also water resistant and wipe clean rugs.

A mixture of equal parts white wine vinegar and washing up liquid and warm water should remove stains like coffee, red wine and mud.  Mud should be left to dry and vacuumed first.

Stubborn stains should be removed by specialist cleaning companies who will have the experience and knowledge of how to deal with the problem

Try a Washable Rug

Believe it or not there are rugs available that can be machine washed.  Buddy rugs are stain resistant, anti-shed and colour fast with a non-slip backing.  They are fully machine washable at 40 degrees and quick drying so they retain their shape after washing.  There’s a range of shapes, sizes and colours available.

Protect from Pets

Pets love rugs, but rugs don’t always love pets.  Animal hair, chewing, scratching and other little ‘accidents’ can ruin a rug, but there are steps to take to reduce damage from furry friends.

Choose a rug that’s suitable for animal owners.  Dogs love to dig in a high pile rug so short pile rugs are preferable (and easier to clean). Dark colours will hide stains and scratches. Soak up any ‘accidents’ with newspaper and be sure to place the soiled paper in the litter tray to signify the place where a pet should urinate.  Rinse clean with cool water and blot to remove excess moisture.

 

How To Clean Bedding

Washing bedding should be an essential part of a Spring Clean for a healthier home and a better night’s sleep.

Washable bedding has been developed to withstand regular washing, in standard domestic washing machines, even at 60oC. They don’t lose any warmth, quality or comfort.

Wash Duvets Every Six Months

The Fine Bedding Company recommends that duvets should be washed every six months, or once a year at the very least. Making it part of a spring and autumn clean is an ideal reminder to do this.  We recommend larger togs and sizes, e.g.13.5 tog king and superking size duvets, be washed in a large capacity machine (the majority of modern washing machines now have a high capacity drum as standard). Just make sure there is enough room for the duvet to move around a bit inside the drum to allow the fabric cover and fibres to agitate inside and get thoroughly clean.

Wash At 60oC

Dust mites are one of the biggest bed nasties – microscopic mites that can be present in their thousands living on the constant supply of dead skin cells. These can aggravate allergies; dust mites can easily result in irritated skin and eyes and for those with allergies and for anyone with asthma, dust mites can make symptoms worse.

Washing helps cleanse the entire product (filling and cover) of any accumulated dirt, moisture and dust. More importantly, washing at 60oC kills dust mites.

Use Less Detergent

Also it’s wise to use about one third of your usual amount of detergent.

Shake It Out

Shake out the duvet while it’s damp to redistribute the filling evenly and dry products as quickly as possible. Drying on a warm sunny day is ideal or pop into a domestic dryer.

Wash Pillows Every Three Months

No one wants to snuggle their head into a pillow that’s stained or even flecked with mildew. The Fine Bedding Company recommends that pillows are washed more frequently than duvets, around four times a year – or every three months. Most pillows that are filled with synthetic fibres can usually be machine-washed at 40oC or 60oC.

Adding a pillow protector can help to prolong the need to wash the actual pillow itself and these can be washed frequently and easily.

Always Check The Care Label

Always check the care label pillows and natural pillows typically require professional cleaning.

Natural Feather & Down Duvets and Pillows

Natural filled products can not be washed and dried at home, regardless of the capacity or capability of the machine. Most dry cleaners will launder natural fill bedding. Also it is essential that natural duvets be thoroughly dried. Even though a duvet may feel dry to the touch, the filling inside often holds on to moisture so if the duvet is not dried properly, rotting of the filling can occur.

Win a Fabulous Summertime Sleep Bundle

March 28th, 2019

It’s competition time and, as summer is on its way, we’re offering you the chance to win a summertime sleep bundle worth up to £600!

 

British summer time is officially 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 associated with bedrooms that have sunlight flooding in through windows.

We have put together a summertime sleep prize that will provide fabulous sleeping conditions during the summer months. It includes a made-to-measure BlocOut™ Blind from our collection, a Breathe Duvet and two Cool Touch Pillows by The Fine Bedding Company, gorgeous breathable Bamboo Pyjamas from Pretty You London and other sleep goodies! Check out our blog post for top tips on achieving a sleep-enhancing dark bedroom.

It couldn’t be easier to enter! Using the entry form below, simply answer this question: What can the award winning BlocOut blind help you with?”

There are also extra entries if you like and follow Apollo Blinds on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest. You can also Tweet about the competition and sign up to our email newsletter too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For the winner a great night’s sleep is on its way …. a lovely dark room, a duvet and pillow set that’s been specially designed to suit summer sleep and super comfy sleepwear.

The competition ends at midnight Sunday 12th May 2019 and a winner will be chosen at random to win the prize bundle. Terms & conditions apply – see entry app for details.

BlocOut™ Blinds 

Why not take a look at why a BlocOut™ Blind will be the solution to your summertime sleep problems in our new article all about these brilliant blinds.

Pretty You London (www.prettyyoulondon.co.uk)

Pretty You London is a premium night wear brand built on the ethos that women should never have to dress down, even when they’re staying in.  Offering a fresh take on everyday essentials, Pretty You London prides itself on delivering the most luxurious nightwear and slippers, all produced with the utmost attention to detail and exquisite finishing.

The Fine Bedding Company (www.finebedding.co.uk)

We all love a great night’s sleep and it’s no secret that the quality of our bedding plays a vital role in helping us wake feeling refreshed and well rested. The Fine Bedding Company is a brand associated with some of the most comfortable and technologically advanced bedding products you can buy, designed to ensure you get the great night’s sleep you deserve.

The Future’s Bright – Top Tips on Achieving a Sleep-Enhancing Dark Bedroom

March 27th, 2019

It’s almost time for the clocks to spring forward – meaning lighter nights and, for some, difficulty falling asleep. The total BlocOut™ Blind available from Apollo Blinds can achieve higher levels of darkness than ever before. It combines a superior quality blackout fabric with a frame (precision engineered side rails and a bottom bar) for the blind to slot into. This ensures the window is fully covered with no gaps for the light to shine through.

 

So why are blackout blinds a must-have for the home?

 

THE PROBLEM WITH LIGHT – THE UK IS GETTING LIGHTER AND IT’S BAD FOR OUR HEALTH

Matt Thomas from Apollo Blinds highlights how the UK is getting lighter, how darkness aids sleep and the benefits of BlocOut™ blinds.

“While the longer periods of natural daylight from spring to autumn can prevent people (especially children) from falling or staying asleep, as a nation our issues with ‘light entering a room’ go beyond the natural light of the sun.

Artificial light in the UK is getting brighter and more widespread, as revealed by recent images of the Earth taken from space. In fact, levels of unnatural light have reached their highest ever in the UK, with some experts suggesting light pollution is a problem on the scale of global warming.

And it’s easy to see why this is happening: Safety concerns have led us to illuminate our residential areas with street lights and security lights; there are more cars on the road than ever; and we’re becoming a ’24-hour society’ with many shops, gyms, bars and clubs open until the early hours – some never closing.

The future is bright – but there’s a dark side to our well-lit world. This ‘perpetual daytime’ is having adverse effects on our health as well as well as the natural cycles of animals and plantlife.”

The link between health and sleep is well-documented. Similarly, most people are aware that darkness helps us to fall asleep more quickly as well as improving the quality of sleep.

Studies suggests that sleeping in a very dark room has health benefits beyond getting enough shut eye.

Dr Richard Stevens, a leading breast cancer researcher highlights links between some preventable diseases such as depression, diabetes, obesity, even cancer and the amount of darkness a person is exposed to at night.

He said: “The point to emphasise is that while sleep is deeply important to well-being, so too is exposure at night to dark.” Other research has shown women night-shift workers to be at higher risk of breast cancer.

Darkness produces the sleep hormone melatonin that is responsible for repairing cells, consolidating memories and also keeping tumours in check.

 

THE SOLUTION – TIPS TO BANISH LIGHT FROM BEDROOMS

Introduce BlocOut™ blinds from Apollo Blinds – While standard blackout blinds can significantly darken a room, light can still sneak in around spaces at the edges and bottom of the blind. Apollo’s BlocOut™ blinds combine a superior quality blackout fabric with a frame (precision engineered side rails and a bottom bar) that the blinds slot into. This ensures the window is fully covered with nowhere for the light to enter.

Ban electronics Smartphones and tablets emit blue light the worst kind for interrupting circadian rhythms. Give yourself an hour of tech-free time before bed and forbid them from the bedroom.

Invest in a red light – The eyes are less sensitive to red light so fit one to a bedside lamp to limit the effects of light if getting out of bed in the night.

More about BlocOut Blinds

BlocOut™ blinds are cordless and child-safe. A highly innovative roller blind system, which combines an aluminium cassette/frame with precision engineered side-rails and top-quality blackout roller blind fabric will provide homes with an unmatched level of darkness.

Independently thermally tested by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) BlocOut™ blinds are also proven to save up to 43% on average heating costs by reducing heat loss through the window.

Available in a wide range of fabric colours and designs with a choice of three frame colours.

Prices start from £95 for a 400mm wide x 300mm drop blind

 

 

The energy price cap rise is coming – it’s time for some savvy home swaps   

March 20th, 2019

The Government’s energy price cap is set to rise by some 10 per cent from 1st April this year (Ofgem) 1, leaving many consumers facing additional costs to heat their homes. Money-saving advisers such as Martin Lewis have been urging homeowners to shop around for the best energy deals and not assume the recently-introduced price caps will automatically mean their tariff is the best one for their household usage. Furthermore, customers may be unaware that the energy price caps do not apply to those on a fixed-term tariff.2

Duette® energy saving blinds are a great option for homeowners updating window dressings as they are proven to retain up to 46 per cent more heat in a room, thanks to their unique honeycomb design. By reducing the amount of heat escaping from windows, the place where homes lose most heat, they can also reduce heating bills by up to 25 per cent.

“Alongside switching supplier or tariff, there are some clever and simple ways to keep homes warmer without increasing energy bills,” says Apollo’s Matt Thomas.“New energy caps limit the price a supplier can charge per kilowatt-hour (kWH) of electricity and gas, but they don’t cap the customer’s total bill which will vary depending on how much energy they use. With this in mind and with the cap due to rise, it’s doubly important for homeowners to consider other ways to reduce their energy consumption and save money.”

Follow these easy ways to keep the warmth in homes and reduce energy bills:

Move the furniture around. If furniture is pushed up against the radiator then that can block off the heat. Move sofas and other items around to allow warmth to circulate around the room.

Savvy Swaps. Upgrade window blinds – with Duette® energy saving blinds; rather than using a household radiator to heat up the bedroom, a heated blanket could be the answer to winter bills issues; The Energy Saving Trust also suggests that swapping a halogen bulb for an LED could cut costs by £80! Save around £25 a year by washing up in a bowl rather than using a running tap.

Don’t heat unused space. If there is a room in your house that isn’t used regularly then turn down the radiator in that particular room. Don’t turn it off completely as that can lead to problems with damp.

Unplug any unused electrical appliances, such as games consoles, speakers, DVD players etc. This will save £20-£30 a year. Households with more appliances could reach annual savings between £50 and £80. A wall timer that automatically turns appliances off can save the need for constantly unplugging and plugging in appliances.

Get used to a cooler house! Instead of turning the heating down, try not turning it up as much, acclimatising the body to a slight lower indoor temperature. According to the Energy Saving Trust, reducing heating by just one degree, could cut 10% off the annual heating bill – about £75 a year! Be careful not to go too low which could be unhealthy, the World Health Organisation states that 18 degrees is a suitable temperature for healthy people who are appropriately dressed.

Be smarter about using appliances.  Running one full load in the dishwasher, washing machine or tumble dryer, uses less energy than two half loads. When making a cup of tea, only boil the amount of water needed in the kettle. It costs on average 2.5p to boil a full 1.5 pint kettle. Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees can be a third cheaper, meaning savings of up to £52 a year.

Available in a kaleidoscope of colours and fabric options Duette® Blinds will fit seamlessly into existing decor.  They can be fitted to any window (including sash windows or bay windows) providing a non-permanent, energy-saving solution. Opting for no visible cords and motorised blinds make the investment in this energy saving solution even more appealing.

Best Window Blinds for Spring/Summer

February 27th, 2019

Best Window Blinds for Spring/Summer

All of this gorgeous February sunshine has got us thinking about freshening up interiors for the warmer seasons.  From bold and beautiful colourways and spring florals, to making the most of the natural light within the home (and blocking it in the bedroom) we’ve picked out the best blinds for spring/summer from our extensive collections here at Apollo Blinds.  And if you love what you see, why not contact your nearest Apollo Blinds now for a free home design visit.

Let in Light with Twilight blinds…

When the sun appears after a long, cold winter it’s time to throw open the blinds and let the sunshine in. Yet there’s still a need for privacy – especially for those who live in built-up areas.

Twilight blinds from Apollo Blinds offer the best of both worlds.  Alternating stripes of sheer and solid fabric protect from prying eyes while still allowing light to flood into a room.  The fabric can be lined up as a full block of colour for a fully closed position and they can be pulled right up out of the way as well – just like normal roller blinds.

Control Light in the Bedroom with Total Blackout Blinds…

It’s almost time for the clocks to spring forward – meaning lighter nights and, for some, difficulty falling asleep.  The total BlocOut™ Blind available from Apollo Blinds can achieve higher levels of darkness than ever before. It combines a superior quality blackout fabric with a frame (precision engineered side rails and a bottom bar) for the blind to slot into.  This ensures the window is fully covered with no gaps for the light to shine through.

 

Freshen Up with Florals…

Refresh pared-back, minimalist rooms with a floral flourish at the windows – we’ve got an array of gorgeous floral designs to choose from. And if you’ve fallen for a floral fabric that’s not in one of our collections, ANY material can be transformed into custom made to measure roller and Roman blinds via our You Choose window blind-making service.

Be Bold with Summer’s Brightest Colourways…

It’s easy to work with bright colour at the windows as they’re already a focal point within the room – bright blinds will simply enhance this. Inject a pop of colour at windows with Apollo’s pleated and roller blinds in gorgeous new colours for Spring/Summer which look stunning as the light shines through.

 

 

Home Décor Colour Trends for 2019

January 31st, 2019

Our Design Director Mike Stephen introduces the colours he expects to see adorning homes in 2019.

“This year colour in the home is both surprising and uplifting.  The experts at Dulux heralded a shift towards ‘positivity, purpose and transformation’ when they announced the inviting tone of Spiced Honey as their colour of the year for 2019.  Shortly after, Pantone followed suit, with a cheerful coral hero shade that’s set to bring warmth and happiness to homeowners.

“These confident statements from key trend forecasters mark a shift towards optimism within home décor.  And it’s translating as bold and unusual use of colour (think dark hues with energetic pops of colour) and rich, warming colourways – warmth will be present even at the colder end of the colour spectrum.”

Here are Mike’s colour predictions for 2019:

Dark vs Bright

“This colour combination is a tale of extremes – opposites will attract as vivid brights combine with dark, moody hues.

“Colours within this theme are intense and contrasting yet the overall look is harmonious,” says Mike. “Petrol blue, aubergine, black and deepest grey with a hint of warmth form dark monochromatic backgrounds, enlivened by pops of vibrant colour. Exotic jewel tones, spiced yellows and luxuriant metallics work particularly well.”

Coral and Blue

“I love Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year – it radiates warmth and vibrancy.  It’s a much-needed pick me up after an unsteady year and of course it looks brilliant on window blinds – especially when the light shines through.

That said, creating a room scheme around Living Coral is more of a challenge than with neutral shades.  For me it’s best as an accent on window blinds or key pieces within a room.

So what is the best colour match for Living Coral?

“Greys and neutrals all work well,” says Mike.  “A classic peaches and cream colour combination is effortlessly stylish but for me, coral and blue is the winning combination.  The colours mix beautifully and can be found in nature – think of the coral reefs set against the deep turquoise of the ocean.”

Warm Neutrals

Rich, warming colourways are a hot trend for 2019, when even the coolest of colours (blue and grey) carrying a warming undertone. Grey, it appears, has finally had its day, making way for caramel, taupe and butterscotch base colours.

Metallic vs Matt

Metallics offer an enduring look for homes and can be updated in 2019 when juxtaposed with matt finishes.  Textured surfaces are enhanced with metallic shine that adds to the multi-layered look.  2019’s metallics aren’t just limited to traditional golds, silver, brass and copper colourways – shimmering teal, pink and lilac will add further lustre to rooms.

Make an appointment with your nearest stockist to find any of the window blinds shown above.

Rugs  available from www.therugseller.co.uk, Wallpaper from www.iwantwallpaper.co.uk

Decorating with Living Coral

December 21st, 2018

Our experts here at Apollo Blinds have chosen the best window blinds for Pantone’s 2019 hero shade and offer advice on how to select colours to complement Living Coral using colour theory.

Advice from Design Director, Mike Stephen:

I love 2019’s colour of the year – it radiates warmth and vibrancy – and it works well as a window blind fabric, especially when the light shines through.  That said, creating a room scheme around Living Coral is more of a challenge than with neutral shades.  For me it’s best as an accent on window blinds or key pieces within a room.

There are some brilliant colour matches for Living Coral and there’s a reason why certain colour combinations will work better than others. The secret to getting it right lies in colour theory.

Using Colour Theory to Create the Perfect Scheme

Sometimes we stumble upon colour combinations that just go – two colours that either complement, clash to create impact, or work in perfect harmony with one another.

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.

When decorating a room it helps to know the basics as a basis for creating harmonious, tonal or complementary colour schemes within 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 affect varying tones of the same colour.

Depending on where they appear in the wheel, colours can then be described as Tonal, Complementary or Harmonious.

CORAL AND BLUE – Living Coral’s Complementary Colour

Complementary colours sit opposite one another on the colour wheel and are often seen in nature (meaning they naturally complement one another).

Coral and blue are a vibrant duo.  The colours mix beautifully because they are complementary colours that mirror nature – think of the coral reefs set against the deep turquoise of the ocean.

Duette Blinds (prices start at £163), Roller Blinds (prices start at £77), Vertical blinds (prices start at £88), Venetian blinds (prices start at £81), pleated blinds (prices start at £87).

Other Colour Wheel Combinations

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.

Roller blinds by Apollo Blinds, prices start at £77

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.

Contact your nearest Apollo Blinds to find out more or book a no obligation home visit.