Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

Shutters – The Ideal Window Dressing for Bay Windows

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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

Tuesday, 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.

Best Window Blinds for Spring/Summer

Wednesday, 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

Thursday, 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

Twilight Blinds Revamped

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Apollo Blinds has extended its collection of stunning ‘Twilight’ roller blinds, DOUBLING the number of products now available.

There are now over 80 fabrics within the collection – from subtle voiles to silky fabrics and textural linen looks, as well as an array of eye-popping, on-trend colours to add vibrancy to rooms. Apollo has also increased the choice of performance fabrics, with an even wider selection of blackout and flame-retardant options.


With Twilight blinds, homeowners can enjoy all of the room darkening benefits of a roller blind, but within seconds achieve an atmospheric ‘half-light’ effect in their room.

Panels of solid and sheer fabrics allow greater versatility over privacy and light control than other types of blinds – light, dark or somewhere in between (Twilight) can be achieved, by adjusting the continuous loop of fabric around the bottom bar.

Line up the solid fabric for total darkness and privacy, alternate the solid and sheer panels for privacy while light still floods the room, or raise the blinds in the same way as a traditional roller blind for full light.


And there’s the added bonus that this changes the appearance of blinds too, with a striped or flat block of colour achievable according to how the panels are positioned. Talking of stripes – the NEW ‘Sorento’ Twilight blinds also include three different coloured stripes within one blind. Well, who doesn’t love stripes?!


Combining Twilight blinds with hardware that offers a little more for a high-end finish, Twilight blinds come with the exclusive Apollo Blinds Elegance headrail system as standard, it has an aluminium fascia which is available in six colours to match the bottom rail.

Twilight blinds can also be motorised and can even be controlled via the New Powershade® Hub– which allows homeowners to control blinds via a smartphone app or smart speaker.

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

Window Blinds Matching Dulux’s Colour of the Year 2019

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Dulux’s Spiced Honey Colour of the Year for 2019 is a sweet, spicy and adaptable shade.

It’s a colour that looks fabulous at windows in a range of settings – from conservatories to elegant period homes and sleek, contemporary properties.

Mike Stephen, Design Director at Apollo Blinds has also selected some products to match Spiced Honey from the extensive range of roller, vertical, pleated, Roman, Venetian and Twilight blinds on offer at Apollo Blinds.

 

Commenting on his selection and Dulux’s hero shade for 2019, Mike said:

“This colour has some very special qualities. It’s inviting, soothing and adds instant warmth to a room’s scheme.

“Especially true when combined with our energy saving Duette® window blinds that have an insulating layer to trap heat into homes.”

Pleated blinds are another great option, choose a semi-transparent or patterned fabric to create beautiful dappled lighting effects.”

“As Spiced Honey is an easy shade to work with, there’s room to experiment with detailing and embellishments – a top trend for 2019.  Try a scalloped edge or metallic detail to add a bit of glamour.”

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

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, about choosing the best blinds to for privacy but without blocking the abundance of natural light that she enjoys in her living room.

Pamela came to Apollo because she didn’t just want off-the-shelf window blinds.  She was searching for something bespoke, with a high-quality finish.  Being able to pick the brains of an expert was a huge bonus, so the high levels of customer service and of course the craftsmanship associated with Apollo Blinds 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 service levels experienced 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?