A big benefit of fitting window blinds in your home is the flexibility they provide in terms of light control. This can be enhanced further with different types of operating systems; our design team has the lowdown on the various options available from Apollo Blinds …

As well as choosing different types of blinds for their look and style, how they block out light and shade a room is another key consideration. 

Venetian and Vertical blinds, and shutters, have slats and veins that can easily be tilted to alter the amount of light entering a room. A similar effect is achieved with Twilight blinds that have an alternating solid and sheer panel which can be aligned in different ways. 

Pleated, Roller, Roman and Duette® blinds all feature a solid panel of fabric that can be moved up and down. But did you know that these can be fitted with different operating systems to provide additional options for how they shade the room?

Bottom Up Top Down (Multi-zone)  

Multi-zone or ‘Top Down, Bottom Up’ operation is exactly that – giving you the ability to move the blinds from the top down, bottom up or anywhere in between. Light control can be adjusted to exactly where it’s needed as sunlight changes throughout the day. This also maintains a clear view out of the window if desired. 

The fitting system works with Pleated and Duette® blinds.

Motorised

More and more customers are adding the benefit of operating their new blinds at the touch of a button.

A motor can be added from as little as £99 and they can also be linked to home automation and voice control systems like Google Home and Alexa, alongside a mobile app.

The adjustable rise speeds and stop positions mean that they are incredibly easy to operate. Motorised blinds are ideal for rooms with multiple blinds as the remote can raise and lower as many blinds as you require at the same time. Or if you can’t reach your blinds to operate them or have hard-to-reach roof windows adding remote operation is perfect.

Sun and timing sensors can be added which can be an added bonus when you’re away from home. This can also help to protect furniture from fading from extreme sunlight.

Intu®

Many of our systems have been specially designed for tilt-and-turn windows, folding/sliding doors and conservatories. They fit perfectly into the frames of your windows or doors without making holes in the frames for a neat and stylish finish.

Apollo’s Intu system is a great solution for neat fitting blinds. They are bead-fit so click into to the top of the window frame itself. You can raise or lower the bottom bar to the position you want the blind at. These are ideal for tilt-and-turn windows and conservatories.

Intu® Micro has been specially developed for bi-fold doors – ideal for summer when you want to fling the doors open but don’t want blinds or curtains flapping around.  

The top and bottom bar come in a variety of colours (white, anthracite and brown) to compliment the window or finish of door in your home.

They’re also classed as child safe by design as they have no chains or dangling cords.

Perfect Fit

Similar to the Intu® system, Perfect Fit blinds are encased in a screw free fitting frame, positioned in the beading of the glass and provide a sleek option. With the Perfect Fit solution you can even remove the whole blind to clean the windows.

We offer a range of frame colours, including white, brown, anthracite, golden oak, mahogany and silver, to ensure that they blend perfectly with your windows, and Perfect Fit can be used with Roller, Twilight, Venetian, Pleated and Duette® blinds. Blinds are tensioned for easy operation.

Our Apollo designers around the UK can demonstrate each system and talk through the benefits during an in-home consultation and we install all of our blinds so you can be sure they will fit and operate perfectly. And once your blinds have been installed, a member of our installation team will spend time with you making sure that you understand the full operation of your new made-to-measure blinds, pointing out any key operational features. For example, with motorised blinds, they will show you how to adjust any settings or connect your blinds to your smart speaker.

You can find your local Apollo here: https://www.apollo-blinds.co.uk/find-your-apollo/

During lighter summer nights and bright mornings, when the sun gets up earlier than you want to, blackout window dressings in the bedroom are a key ingredient to help you achieve a full night’s sleep. They’re also valuable if you work night shifts or are a light sleeper. Darkness helps us to fall asleep quicker as well as improving the quality of sleep, and blackout blinds can also help with your home’s temperature-control – keeping rooms cool by reducing warm sunlight entering via a window.

How to choose the best blackout blind for your needs.

The great thing about blackout window coverings is there is so much choice. We advise that you begin your buying journey with us by deciding the type of blackout blind that you’re after. During our in-home design consultation we can talk you through all of the various options and benefits of each.

Decide on the type of look you want at a window – whether it’s the clean and simple look of a roller blind, a fabric Roman blind, curtains, vertical blinds or a pleated blind effect, achieved with Duette® and Pleated blinds.

Even if you have an awkward shaped window, we can fit a blackout blind in most shapes – that’s just one of the benefits of made-to-measure. And because we fit the blinds in your home our experienced fitters will make sure everything is measured correctly, and fits and works as it should.  

There are also variations in the level of black and dim out that can be achieved, the best option being a Total Blackout (BlocOut™) blind and blackout fabric fitted with an Intu in-frame system.

And no – they don’t have to be black (or even a dark colour for that matter) – blackout blinds come in all sorts of colours and patterned fabrics.

Here’s the low down on the best blackout blinds for 2020.

BlocOut Blinds

While standard blackout blinds can significantly darken a room, light can still sneak in through gaps at the edges of the blind. But not with our award winning BlocOut™ blinds

These blinds combine a superior quality blackout fabric with precision-engineered side rails and bottom bar. Blinds slot into the frame which ensures the window is fully covered with nowhere for the light to enter and it cuts out any draughts. They can be spring operated, chain operated or motorised. They look really stylish offering a neat appearance at the window.

Blackout Rollers

A blackout roller blind is one of the most popular types of window covering for darkening a room. They’re available in a wide range of designs to suit every taste and can be made-to-measure to fit any size window – even large expanses of glass window. With roller blinds a key consideration is getting the measurements right and fitting the blind properly either in the recess of the window frame or on the outside to cover the edges. As experts we can help you to make the right decisions and get a snug fit.

Adding a motor to raise and lower blinds at the touch of a button is another great idea. This is really useful if a bed or furniture is in front of a window or if you have lots of windows in one room. You can also set the blinds to automatically raise at a particular time of day, which can help you naturally wake up in a morning.

Blackout Duette® Blinds

As well as offering unrivalled climate control, Duette® blinds come as a blackout option.

Also known as thermal blinds, Duette® blinds have two layers of fabric in a unique honeycomb structure and special coating. By trapping warm air, they’ve been shown to reduce up to 78% of heat entering a room.

Styling Bregje Nix

Blackout Curtains

Double dressing your windows is a luxurious way to keep unwanted light out. Layer curtains lined with a blackout fabric over a blackout roman blind for a hotel luxe look. If you already have blinds or curtains that you love, simply add an extra window dressing in a style and colour that complements it for an instant update. 

When layering blinds and curtains, you can keep it simple with a plain blind under a patterned curtain, or for a more ‘designer’ look mix different patterns. When clashing patterns, it is important to make sure that they have at least one thing in common, whether that is colour or pattern style.

In-frame System

Our sleek and uber-stylish Intu® blinds and Perfect Fit frame solutions are perfect for any room of the house and can be fitted with a wide range of blinds. There are no free handing cords, so they look neat at windows and are one of the safest options for kids’ bedrooms.

Shutters

Shutters can block out both light and noise. Choose from a selection of materials to suit your home and window style – whether it’s a bay window, full length door or unusual shape. A combination of shutters and blackout blinds – fitted into the window recess behind the shutter – will keep your bedroom in complete darkness for as long as you want to get some well-earned sleep.

Expertly fitted

We expertly fit all our bespoke blinds and shutters because it’s not enough to enjoy great quality blinds, we want to make sure they are installed correctly and work perfectly for years to come.

By precisely crafting your window dressings to the exact size and shape of your windows, we can ensure that your blinds and shutters are perfect for your needs – no more mistakes with measuring or putting up with a blind that doesn’t quite fit your window (especially if it’s a large or unusually shaped one).

If you’re thinking of blackout blinds for your home but you’re not sure where to start, let us know and our local Apollo designer will be more than happy to help you find your ideal solution.

Find your apollo

Not all windows are the same – and that’s why so many of our customers come to us. They need something that’s going to fit perfectly.

As the experts in made to measure blinds, we can create window blind solutions to suit most windows, no matter what their shape, size or functioning.

Here are some of the most popular questions we get asked by customers who have specific needs in mind.

Q. Can you create blinds that aren’t rectangular in shape?

A. Yes, absolutely. The best blinds for curves and triangles tend to be Duette® and Pleated blinds. Here are some examples of what can be created.

Shutters can also be made to fit curved and angled windows and doors.

Q. I have bi-fold doors – can I still have blinds?

A. Yes, there are blinds that are specially designed for bi-fold doors.

Our Intu® Micro Pleated blinds tend to be the most popular type and they are made to the exact size of the glass recess. Intu® Micro is a compact, pleated system that works seamlessly within the limited space afforded by bi-folding doors, while retaining the superb quality of the Intu® system. Bespoke 16mm pleated and 18mm cellular fabrics fit within the reveals of bi-fold doors, so this system can equally be used on other PVC, wooden or aluminium doors and windows.

They are mainly pre-tensioned so just pull up and down (no cords) and they don’t flap in the breeze.

They are designed to allow the doors to bi-fold back with no damage caused to the door or the blind letting you keep full functionality of the doors.

Q. What’s the biggest size of blind available?

A. The majority of our products go up to sizes that adequately cover larger than average windows, generally blinds can be made up to 4m x 7m.

We also have the Capital Roller Collection that is specifically for large windows. These fabrics can be used to manufacture blinds with widths up to 4000mm and drops up to 7000mm to cater for the trend for ‘glass expanses’ in homes.

Vertical blinds are also very popular for rooms with lots of large windows – they look great in bright colours too!

Or our newest product, the Allusion range, also suits large windows.

Q. My window tilts inwards. Do I need specific blinds?

A. Intu®blinds are the best solution for tilt and turn windows. Intu blinds fit into the frame of the window so the blind sits flush against the glass. This ensures the fabric travels with the window when it’s in a tilted position and doesn’t hang down.


Q. I have a lantern roof. Can I put blinds in it?

A. Our Elegance Skylight system is especially made for large glazed architectural features. This unique blind can cover areas up to 24m² (much bigger than other types of blinds). It’s available in a choice of sheer, translucent and blackout fabrics and operating the blinds can be motorised.


Q. I can’t reach my window to open and close the blinds, can they be operated remotely?

A. Blinds can be automated with the a number of motorised options we offer, including the Powershade Hub a system that lets you control your blinds from your smart phone, tablet or remote control.

Motorised blinds are ideal for any difficult to reach windows or rooms with lots of blinds, particularly in conservatories.

Q: Can I get blinds for a glass or conservatory roof?

A: Yes, roof blinds can be tailored to any shape.

Again, motorising blinds makes dealing with blinds in high places or multiple blinds, easy and convenient.

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.

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.

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

Ever since Dulux unveiled the dusky heather shade of Heart Wood as its Colour of the Year for 2018, customers have been in search of the latest home accessories to get the look. And of course we think the best way to introduce Heart Wood to homes is with window blinds.

Our head of design, Mike Stephen, has picked out Heart Wood window coverings from the extensive collection at Apollo Blinds and offers styling advice on the best colours to complement this hot hue.

Mike says, “This light, versatile shade can be considered as the new neutral for 2018, as it’s so easy to find colours to match with its dusky undertones.  It’s a colour that’s certainly causing a stir amongst our customers.” 

Heart Wood on a Roll

Get the Heart Wood look with abstract stripes, playful florals or plain, textured roller blinds. Mix with muted brown or purple tones or add a pop of azure blue, another great match for Heart Wood. Apollo Blinds Heart Wood fabrics for roller blinds pictured (left to right): Henley Summer Rose, Sunbrella Mauve and Rianna Rose Dazzle.

A Shutterly Fabulous Match for Heart Wood

Coloured plantation shutters look fantastic! And Apollo Blinds offers a colour match service so that its shutters can be custom-made in ANY colour. Simply provide a swatch, tester or sample pot for Apollo Blinds to create beautiful, wood shutters that match exactly to a chosen colour – like Heart Wood.

The custom colour service is available for Sumatra and Fiji shutters from Apollo Blinds.

Perfect Pleats are Hard to Beat

Heart Wood creates a blissful bathroom and looks gorgeous in the living room.  Opt for Heart Wood pleated blinds or apply it to walls and introduce pleated blinds in berry shades to bring out Heart Wood’s warmer undertones.

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