Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

How to Clean Your Window Blinds

Monday, 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

Thursday, 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

Wednesday, 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?

Spotlight on Shutters

Wednesday, 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.

Five reasons to choose window shutters

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Shutters are one of the most coveted window coverings with benefits that go way beyond their obvious aesthetic appeal. Apollo Blinds‘ interiors expert Mike Stephen offers five reasons why shutters are first choice for modern living.

Apollo 6

1) They let the outdoors in

“Our shutters can be fitted on a tracking system meaning they can fold 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 fresh air and sunshine flood in.”

Apollo 1

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.”

Apollo 2

3) They fit all shapes and size of windows

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

Apollo 3

4) They’ll bolster security

“Shutters are lockable and robust, adding an extra layer of security to protect the weak points in homes (windows and doors) against intruders.”

Apollo 4

5) They’re just so stylish

“Quite simply, they’re gorgeous!”

Apollo 5

Find out more about our wooden and Lifestyle shutters

Get Ready for Autumn with Duette® Blinds

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

Duette Elan Raven smaller

September may seem like it’s way off in the distance but, before you know it, the kids will be back at school and it’ll be time to crank up the heating. So now is a great time to start thinking about how to prepare the home for the colder months and how to save some money when it comes to heating homes again.

The stunning range of heat-retaining Duette® blinds are now available in the hottest colours for autumn/winter – including Elan Raven (pictured), a gorgeous inky blue that’s set to have homeowners swooning.

Chorlton House Collage

Duette® blinds are the most energy efficient blinds on the market. Designed with effective insulating properties to keep homes warm, Duette® blinds can help to reduce annual heating bills by up to 25%. With between 20%-50% of domestic heat loss escaping through windows, insulated Duette® blinds are a great way to keep homes snug and fuel costs down.

 

With Duette®’s superior operating systems, adjusting numerous blinds in rooms with large glass expanses couldn’t get much simpler. Eliminating dangling wires, the Smartcord system features a retractable pull cord that effortlessly positions the blind with one simple tug.

Blackout versions are available but the semi-opaque fabric option allows light to ripple through during daylight hours, whilst still conserving heat at the window. Semi-opaque fabric also offers exciting colour projection, allowing beautiful hues of dappled light to flood the home.

Duette Elan Raven kitchen 3 smaller
When considering heat-retaining window blinds, consumers are often concerned that in closing blinds to conserve heat, views of the great outdoors and natural lighting can no longer be enjoyed.
However, Duette® offers a top-down/bottom-up design, where blinds do not have to be fully closed to conserve heat. Blinds can be moved to various points in the frame to enjoy the best of worth worlds, whilst also gaining total privacy control.

Duette Duotone Bone 2 smaller

They look stunning in the bedroom and kitchen, and Duette® blinds are also a great choice for conservatories – rooms that can get unbearably hot in summer and too cold during the winter months, draining domestic heat via their large glass expanses.

Find out more about Duette® blinds or find your nearest Apollo Blinds and make a FREE, no obligation home visit appointment now.

Wimbledon Inspired Windows

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Raquets and Ball

Despite the rain and Rafael Nadal’s early exit, there’s still lots to cheer for in this year’s Wimbledon tournament.  And for those with a tennis obsession that stems beyond the two weeks of Wimbledon, we’ve put together the perfect guide on how to bring a tennis theme to your windows.  Alongside strawberries and cream and grass court greens, the design team has also picked three ways to style Wimbledon whites.

Strawberries and Cream

The annual championships wouldn’t be the same without a tasty accompaniment of strawberries and cream. With ravishing reds and fruity florals, indulge your cravings by adorning your windows in this mouth-watering colour scheme.
Strawberries and Cream Collage

Grass Court Greens

Create your own Centre Court and bring the outside in with grassy greens at your windows.

Grass Court Greens Collage
Wimbledon Whites

Wimbledon and white go hand in hand and there’s no better way to create a bright and beautiful room than using an all-white colour scheme.  So whether your whites are classic like Federer, edgy like Nadal or modest like Murray, keep colour to a minimum and create a crisp, clean finish with our made-to-measure blinds and shutters.

Achieve a winning look in your home with classic white shutters from Apollo Blinds that offer a style that’s traditional, timeless and refined.

image013

Be brave, modern and minimalist with an all white scheme. Contemporary and confident, these Duette energy saving blinds offer an edgy twist to traditional whites in the home.

Picture 002

Made with panels of solid and sheer materials, these Twilight blinds provide the winning combination of privacy and light control, creating a delicate contrasting pattern that’s subtle and uncomplicated.

Apollo Blinds Elegance Twilight - Neutral small

Game, set and match.

Been inspired by this post?  Why not visit our latest summer offers or find your nearest Apollo Blinds and book a free home consultation.

Ten Ways to Keep Your Home Safe Whilst You’re On Holiday

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

shutterstock_314101745

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.

Green-venetian

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.

shutterstock_363552245

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.

red-collage

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.

personalisation-collage

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.

hygge-collage

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: