Pantone have announced ‘Classic Blue’ as the Colour of the Year for 2020 and we couldn’t be more excited about it here at Apollo Blinds.

Describing the colour as “a deep shade that’s at once comforting and relatable”, Pantone’s expert panel say “it instills calm, confidence, and connection, highlighting our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build.”

Our experts have got heaps of window dressing ideas and top tips for using Classic Blue in every room – perfect for updating your home as we cross over in to a new decade.

Introduce ‘Classic Blue’ at windows with blinds and curtains

Mirroring the natural hues of dusk, Classic Blue is reminiscent of a dreamy evening sky, making it the ideal shade for window dressings. Extremely versatile – it can be applied as the key, block colour at a window – working equally well as a sheer Duette® blind

…or as a Duette® blind with dim out qualities.

And if it’s pattern you’re after, mix shades of soft grey and off white with this elegant blue hue…

Choose furniture and accessories in Classic Blue

Classic Blue complements a whole host of colours- think greys, teals, subtle pinks and shades of white – making it the ideal colour to add an instant update to existing colour schemes.

As a top pick for living spaces, Classic Blue can make a loud statement whilst maintaining calmness. The colour lends itself perfectly to velvety textures, providing a luxurious sheen to soft furnishings. Introduce Classic Blue into your seating with a buttoned corner sofa from Arighi Bianchi or set of quilted dining chairs – perfect alongside rich mahogany furniture, with hints of gold and brass, or rich emerald green. Or, to add a splash of colour to your current decor introduce plump blue velvet cushions and a plush faux fur throw.

Add tranquility to your bedroom with this gorgeous Elise four-panel Shaker design in indigo from My Fitted Bedroom...

Introduce a rug for an easy interior update in an instant. Add drama and a sense of energy with vivid abstract or bold geometric patterns like these rugs available from The Rug Seller.

We will be adding lots more Pantone Classic Blue inspiration over on our Pinterest profile if you want to head over there too: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/apolloblindsuk/introducing-pantones-classic-blue-to-every-room/

Window Dressings for a Tranquil Dawn

The colour trend experts at Dulux have announced the colour of the year for 2020 as Tranquil Dawn. It’s a hazy, fresh sea green that signifies new beginnings for interior design, encourages human connection and is a nod to the new decade we’re about to enter.

The great news is that if you’re looking to for Tranquil Dawn home accessories or soft furnishings, Apollo Blinds has products across all of its window blinds ranges to match the Dulux Colour of the Year.

Our design director Matt Thomas says:

“Tranquil Dawn provides a fresh twist on the greys we’ve become accustomed to in interior design.  There are plenty of gorgeous patterned fabrics from our Roman Blind, Curtain and Cushion Collection to match Tranquil Dawn that can be coordinated throughout the room.

“Shutters also look amazing with this colour, especially as Apollo Blinds operates a colour match service that can perfectly match shutters to any shade. Alternatively, a crisp white, soft grey or natural timber would beautifully complement this colour on the walls.”

Find your nearest Apollo Blinds for an in-home quote.

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.

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.”

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 our gorgeous rustic grey shutters from the wooden shutter collection.”

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.”

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.”

5) They’re just so stylish

“Quite simply, they’re gorgeous!”

Find out more about our wooden and Lifestyle shutters

Cycling fans eagerly await the Tour de France, which takes place early next month and it seems the renewed vigour for the sport in the UK is steering homeowners towards a new microtrend in interior design. From wall art, ornaments, printed soft furnishings to up-cycled furniture made from actual bikes, cycling motifs are making a big impact in homes.  In fact, the interiors experts at Apollo Blinds are pedalling the bicycle as a key trend for interiors in 2017.

Our director, Mike Stephen explains more about the trend.

“We tend see popular themes from wider culture filtering through to interior design. Thanks to the preference for eco-living, and of course fuelled by Great Britain’s success in the sport, cycling is enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity in the UK.

Industrial influence with its rough metalwork and exposed elements, means homeowners are used to finding beauty in unexpected places and incorporating ordinary, everyday objects into interior design has become commonplace.  This trend is really a progression of that, we’ve even seen actual bikes being wall-mounted and woven into the fabric of a room’s design scheme.”

Here’s how to stay ahead of the pack, including some gorgeous bespoke blinds from Apollo Blinds.

Digitally print a bike onto window blinds

Take your home style up a gear by printing high res imagery onto a made to measure window blind through our You Choose blind-making service.  But don’t worry if you’re not a bike lover, as long as you own the rights to the image, we can print any high res image onto a beautiful bespoke roller blind.

Put your feet up on an up-cycled bar stool

Once it’s riding days are over, a bike can take on a new purpose within the home.  Smithers of Stamford has re-purposed the saddles, frames, wheels, and even chains, of vintage cycles to create these funky bar stools.

Tidy up your books with bicycle book ends

These stylish black metal bookends from Melody Maison, fashioned as the front and rear of a cycle are sure to keep your books in order and they have a lovely, rustic feel to them.

Scatter bicycle cushions 

A stylish and inexpensive way to keep ahead of interior trends, scatter cushions can be easily switched out to change up the look of a room.   Nunubee on Amazon has lots of on-trend cycle designs at very reasonable prices – so take your pick and ensure your living room’s style is first past the finish line.

Slice pizza with racing precision

The wheels act as blades on this fun Fixie Bike Pizza Cutter which carves pizza to perfection.

Rest your head in bike-themed bed

If you’re not a fan of industrial style, the cycling theme can be made to look really feminine by choosing a softer, ‘shabby chic’ design like this Ambleside duvet from George at Asda.  It has a gorgeous, vintage bike with basket and flowers; a charming finishing touch for any bedroom.

Hang your bike on the wall

We’ve seen some really inventive and unique examples of wall-mounted bikes becoming an integral part of a room’s design; it’s also a great storage solution if you’re short on space. If an actual bike is a step too far then this lovely print is a more subtle way to bring your bike indoors. Or create a nostalgic feature wall with this charming wallpaper featuring sepia photographs of bike races from bygone years.

I Want Wallpaper Bikes

Personalised, Coordinated or Designer Window Blinds Made to Measure from ANY Fabric

‘You Choose!’ is our fabulous new service that offers bespoke Roman blinds or roller blinds, beautifully made to precise measurements in any fabric of your choice.

Our new blind-making service opens up an unlimited choice of fabrics, yet still allows you to benefit from our expertise and craftsmanship.

Mike Stephen, director of Apollo Blinds explains more:

“Homeowners are constantly searching for ways to put their own stamp on homes – it’s one of the reasons why made-to-measure blinds are so popular, as customers decide on bespoke blinds over the mass-produced products available from high street shops.”

And while the huge selection of 270 materials in our range of soft cloth blinds is impressive, we understand that the option to create unique furnishings that are truly individual is also very appealing; as is a desire to coordinate perfectly with existing pieces within a room.

We found that when they came to us, many of our customers had already chosen elements of the room, for example the sofa or cushions, and wanted to match their window dressings exactly to them.   So now, even if they can’t find the ideal pattern or colour material within our ranges, we can still supply blinds and offer expertise / advice every step of the way.

Through ‘You Choose!’, blinds are created in the UK then fitted and installed in homes by our craftsmen.  Mike continues:

“Window blinds aren’t easy to construct, measure and fit, especially not to the high standards that our customers are used to.  This new service allows customers access to our experts, along with the quality operating systems and the exquisite eye for detail that Apollo Blinds is known for.

“’You Choose!’ offers infinite possibilities to coordinate window blinds and opens up a world of options for customers looking to create their own pieces from designer or iconic fabrics without the worry of damaging fabric.  So if you’ve just fallen in love with a material that’s not in our range, we can still supply the blinds for you. 

“Whatever your preference – Josef Frank, Designer’s Guild, Kath Kidston, Orla Kierly – if you have the material (or even a lower cost replica to get the look) then we can make it into stunning window blinds, while also removing the fear of damaging expensive material in the process.”

Image caption above: Made to measure blinds using the Apollo Blinds You Choose! service, fabrics by Designers Guild.

Find out more about You Choose! or find your nearest Apollo Blinds and book a home visit.

Browse our Pinterest board for more fabric inspiration.

The natural beauty of wooden blinds remains a winning look for all styles and types of home – from modern to traditional decors.
Real wood and timber looks are making a huge comeback in homes as we head towards 2017.
We’ve updated our wooden Venetian blind collections with exciting new looks and materials to ensure that wood blinds continue to stand the test of time – and the products can be ordered, tailored to specific measurements and professionally fitted in homes within weeks.

Wood combined with natural textures and blue grey pastel walls makes for a simple yet chic scheme that will stand the test of time.

Wood Venetian blinds offer a contemporary look for homes, plus they’re durable and easy to clean, which makes them a great choice for family homes.
Find out more about our wood Venetian blinds. Or browse our Pinterest board for more inspiration.

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

Our colour specialist Mike Stephen explains the reason why certain colour combinations will work better than others and it’s all very scientific.

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,” says Mike.  “When decorating a room it helps to know the basics as a basis for creating harmonious, toning or complementary colour schemes in 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 create varying tones of the same colour.

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

Complementary Colours

“Complementary colours which sit opposite one another on the colour wheel and are often seen in nature (meaning they naturally go together) – think the red and green of an apple or blue and yellow of an iris.” 

“Our pick for 2016 would be Coral and Blue. This vibrant duo works together so beautifully because they are complementary colours and can form a natural pairing – think of the coral reefs set against the deep turquoise of the ocean.

“This scheme works beautifully with pastel shades, keep the colours coordinated by selecting shades of the same intensity from the colour wheel.”

Other ways to use the colour wheel:

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.”

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. “

It’s the age old interior design quandary – how to create a home that is unique and reflects the personality and distinct style of the homeowner. In 2016, personalisation is the buzz word for interiors as retailers and designers offer more and more ways of creating original and customised home furnishings.

Through our digital printing service, we can print any high res image onto a window blind. So we challenged two prolific interiors bloggers to create bespoke designs for window blinds that can be easily replicated, showcasing this year’s hottest interior design trends – concrete and metallics.

We love how both of our bloggers have taken trends that are currently big in interiors, but have adapted them with their own spin and personality to create something innovative and unique.  The ideas are new and fresh but they also translate beautifully into the home and look fabulous in situ.”

Metallics Rebooted

Looking for a window dressing to compliment the black and white scheme in her kitchen, double award winning blogger and interior stylist, Sarah Akwisombe, created a look that applies 2016’s metallic trend in a totally unique way.

This foil effect crinkle motif makes a real impact at the kitchen window. A striking image with sharp triangles and bold contrast is printed on a high shine UPVC material that adds a further contemporary edge to the blind.

Sarah said: “I created this design as I’ve always been a big fan of metallics. The crunched up foil gave a great contrasting look that was bold and edgy, yet at the same time would work in any simple kitchen due to its monochrome colour palette. This look really adds punch to a room and is effortlessly cool.

Concrete Ideas

Mike Ahern writes The Brit Décor blog, which celebrates uncomplicated and calming interiors with bright accents or creative use of textures, so it’s not surprising that Mike chose a design that brings texture to the fore.

He opted for a concrete effect graphic printed to a semi-sheer fabric that allows light through, creating a gorgeous filtered and textured effect. And to add greater personalisation, has styled it in his home with homemade semi-sheer dip-dye curtains.

Mike said: “Concrete is currently packing a powerful punch in the world of interiors and I chose this material for my blind design because it’s surprisingly versatile when applied in the home. Left unfinished, concrete delivers a raw and edgy industrial look with a wealth of texture, whilst polished concrete leaves a silky smooth surface for a modern-luxe finish. This is also a material which can be paired up with striking metallics for that hard-edged appeal, or equally as effective, I love the contrast created by marrying together this raw material with colourful textiles. It’s definitely a ‘look’ with a lot of potential for the style-conscious homeowner.”

The concrete design works beautifully as part of an all grey colour scheme with painted brickwork and geometric/angular home accessories.

Digital printing costs £119 pm² plus the price of the roller blinds, which start at £72. Find out more