27 MarThe Wow! Factor: On Trend Kitchen Window Treatments

We take a look at some recent trends in window fashion…skylight blinds

1) Shutters or Folding Doors.  Light or dark, shutters bring a classic look to kitchen windows and they look equally inviting whether your style is cosy cottage, shaker, or grand and traditional.

2) “No Treatment”  A huge growing trend in kitchen design is to let the windows and the natural light they bring take the spotlight and not have any window treatment at all. This simplistic choice keeps a kitchen light and airy.

A variation on the theme is to hang an architectural element or charming sign above the window for a unique and eclectic look.  This “no treatment” approach assumes a decent view and no privacy issues, but if your kitchen window – large and beautiful as it may be – looks at something less than beautiful, you may want to cover that up with one of the alternative treatments mentioned below.

3) Café Curtains.  Café Curtains originated in the 1800s in Viennese street cafes.  They are an easy idea and a perfect way to to add a little style and privacy whilst still letting in natural light – due to their hanging on only half of the window.

Custom made versions in just about any fabric, or simpler versions by searching on-line.  If you’re sewing and DI skills are up to it they are a really simple weekend project with fabric and hem tape and hung by curtain ring clips.

4) Bamboo Blinds or Woven Shades.  Whilst in the East bamboo has been a multifunctional natural resource since the dawn of time, in the west we have taken longer to jump on the bandwagon.  Oriental homes incorporate bamboo at every opportunity whether it be partitions, walls, rugs, furniture or childrens toys all made from bamboo.  Although late starters with bamboo, here in the West, bamboo blinds are now everywhere, providing a classy, inexpensive window dressing.  Natural shades will complement any décor and they are easy to find, easy to install and easy on the eye!

5) Roman Shades.  As the name suggests, Roman Shades originated in Rome where they were developed to keep hot dry street dust from entering Roman homes.  It soon became apparent that the shades also kept out the hot afternoon sun too and so a new interior trend was born with Roman blinds being used as a symbol of status and wealth.

If your kitchen needs a little privacy, then much like café blinds, Roman blinds can add color, pattern or personality and can be personalised for an infinite variety of looks.  Follow in the footsteps of those Roman women in discovering a new trend in interiors.

6) Valance or Cornice.  Not a treatment to choose if privacy is an issue for you, but a valance above your window will bring a touch of fabric to your kitchen window without sacrifice natural light. There are numerous benefits to purchasing a set of kitchen blinds.

Whether you desire a beautiful set of blinds to perfect the overall look of your kitchen or you crave the practicality that comes with this style of window dressing, there is a perfect option for every need. 

27 MarGuide to Bathroom Blinds

http://www.blindsboutique.co.uk/You only have to think about how time in the bathroom is usually spent– taking hot baths and showers in the nude, for example – to understand what is required of bathroom blinds. However, the practicalities of withstanding high humidity levels, water splashes and damp, as well as providing privacy where it’s needed, do not have to outweigh the aesthetics of creating a beautiful window aspect.

Unless you’re blessed with a luxurious bathroom space with a large surface area and large windows, you may find that your wet room doesn’t have sufficient natural light entering the room. Moisture-resistant bathroom blinds are great for maximising this light without reducing privacy levels, coming in a wide range of designs to suit any décor. So lets consider the options available for bathroom blinds.

Bathroom Roller Blinds:  Roller blinds are a great choice of window dressing for a bathroom. A teflon coating and aluminium headrails can make roller blinds both moisture resistant, rust-proof and long lasting. Your roller blind can act as an accent piece or simply blend with the décor. Roller blinds can also be neatly scrolled to the top of your window frame when not in use and fit snugly around the cassette. This will allow the bathroom to benefit from a flood of beautiful sunlight during the daytime.

Bathroom Vertical Blinds: Fashioned from PVC or Teflon coated fabric, vertical blinds can be made 100% moisture resistant for your bathroom.  Whilst they may not be the obvious choice in bathroom blinds, vertical blinds fit neatly into most bathroom window frames and can either be drawn to one side, allowing the full benefit of available light or drawn entirely shut for privacy from light or your neighbours!

Bathroom Venetian Blinds: Whether you prefer a metal or wooden look to your window dressing, a venetian blind will be the ideal design for you.  Venetian blinds are made from horizontal slats of either wood or aluminium and come in a variety of different colours and finishes.  The most common colour metal finish for bathrooms is white. They’re also 100% moisture resistant and will not rust or warp in heat or moisture.  Faux wood in your bathroom comes in a wide range of colours and slat widths. It’s specially coated so that unlike regular wood it will not warp in a moist environment. The amount of natural light you require can be easily controlled with the side located light control and the look and style created with  wooden venetian blinds is one of pure class and lavish design.

Bathroom Shutters: Shutters have seen a recent comeback in interior trends.  In bathrooms, a popular choice is white to enhance the airy feel they provide, but a variety of colours are available and shutters can also be optionally moisture resistant, steam resistant, and heat resistant, in addition to  strong and hardwearing.

Other great ways to get your bathroom feeling light and airy is to stick to a colour palette of light hues and incorporate frosted glass and mirrors where you can.Blinds are often considered to be an important part of a bathroom’s design. A key reason for this is that privacy is a vital aspect of every bathroom. Whether your window is small and frosted or large and light, a blind is always a welcome addition to your bathroom window. Available in a range of styles and designs you’re sure to find the perfect match for your bathroom.

 

27 MarDesign guide to choosing the right conservatory blinds

samples-1-563022-sSo you’ve spent all that money on the conservatory of your dreams and now you want a quality window dressing to finish off the project?  Sounds simple, but it can be tricky to decide which ones are the best with such a multitude of makes, models and designs on the market these days. These are our tips for helping you choose the right blinds and skylight blinds for your conservatory.  Compile your checklist using this guide and it will be much easier to make an informed purchase when you visit a showroom, saving you both time and money.

Firstly, what is the purpose of your conservatory? Is it a place to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon on the sofa? Is it a staging area when you have guests and parties in the summer? Or do you just need a space for your kids to play in freely?  It might not seem obvious at first sight, but your choice of blinds can offer protection from the sun, insulation in winter and safety where children are concerned, take a look at the following features:

Roller blinds = thermal protection

Vertical blinds = light control

Pleated blinds = child friendly

Wooden and Venetian blinds = stylish and adult

Another simple consideration, but one which can make or break the room, is the choice of colour. You need something which reflects the way you want the room to feel. Neutral and pastel colours are cool and calming while darker colours can make things feel more private and cosy. Pattern can be large and grandiose or minimalist.  As with many interior choices, it may be wise to make it appealing to general taste, since you may one day need to sell up and a garish conservatory may kill the deal. Alternatively if you favour a bold choice, be prepared to change it prior to any sale.

Its not just the colour, but also the style of your blind.  It’s all well and good having a sleek modern blind in the conservatory, but if the rest of your home is filled with original period features then it’s going to feel like a disjointed and confusing part of the house. You want the conservatory to be merely an extension of the building itself. Roman blinds offer some class and style, while light Venetian blinds make a room feel airy and modern.

Some people enjoy the luxury of automated blinds, and if your house is full of gadgets and gizmos then these are an ideal way to top off your conservatory. With a perfect fit blind you’ll get complete coverage of your windows, and a remote control will allow you to adjust the light filtration at the push of a button.

 

27 MarBe Bold – How to Customise Roller Blinds?

Roller window blinds are usually made of a stiff fabric rolled around an aluminium tube.  The tube is mounted at the top of the window where it can be wound or unwound to set the amount of fabric you want to use to cover your windows. You can unwind the whole blind and cover the window shutting out light, or you can completely wind in the blind and see the beautiful scenery outside your windows. The blinds come in a huge range of patterns and colours, but if you want a bespoke window dressing suitable for many uses including as  loft blinds, read on to find out how to customise a roller blind.

You will need a roller blind, either bought new or re-use an old one.  If you are buying new, make sure you measure correctly to that it fits your window perfectly.  If you are using an old one, you won’t have to do the measuring if you are satisfied with its fitting.Now decide how you want to personalise your blind; the easiest methods are painting, attaching wallpaper or using some new fabric.

To attach new fabric, measure the full length and width of the blind you are using and add 120mm to both measurements.  You will also need a piece of fusible interface material which can be purchased in high street and online craft and sewing shops.

Layer up the new material, interfacing and blind evenly over one another.  Soak a towel in water and wring out and place over the blind, flattened and smoothed making sure that there aren’t any creases which could be seen on your finished roller blind.

Iron the layers of material with the iron around two thirds of the maximum iron temperature, and in that way you will connect the materials. Remove the towel and let everything cool down, so that the fabrics can connect and stick together. Now use seam sealant to prevent the edges from fraying and if you plan to use the blind in your kitchen or a bathroom, use waterproof sealant.

Painting your blind could unleash a creative side you never knew you had, from simple spots to complex geometric designs and beyond, the options are endless.  Seen a designer blind pattern you love? Recreate it!

Acrylic craft paints come in a huge range of colours or can be mixed to get the perfect shade.  Stencilling can be an easy way of getting the paint onto the blind if you are not artistic.  Simply squeeze a dab of paint onto a paper plate, dip a stencil brush into the paint, scrub to remove excess paint and then apply over the stencil in a circular motion.  For some stencils a random design works best, for others a precise positioning will be required, which can be achieved with repositionable tape.

Childrens roller blinds. Use a plain white or light colour blinds, and let your imagination run wild.  You can draw on the blind using brightly coloured markers or crayons.  Let your children have creative input and let them decorate the blinds with their own artwork.  Be Bold!

Now you have achieved the look you required put your roller blinds back in their brackets and check if they are working properly. You have successfully customised your roller blinds and created a unique finishing touch to your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom blind!

 

27 Mar2000 years and counting – The window dressing that just keeps on going

window-748201-mToday, Roman blinds are one of the most popular varieties of window blind. But did you know that Roman blinds began life over 2,000 years ago and have not changed much in that time.  Roman blinds were introduced to The Eternal City at the height of the Roman Empire.

As is often the case with many simple household items, Roman blinds started life as a practical solution to an everyday problem.  Whilst Roman roads are known for being straight, they were not paved and the dust kicked up from them by horse-drawn carriages and carts as well as that from the countless statues and monuments being carved in the city was a source of constant irritation for homes whose open windows faced the street.

A damp cloth was used to cover the windows which not only kept the interiors free of dust, but the homeowners were also provided with protection from the heat of the day by the cloths keeping their homes cool.  Another huge benefit was that their precious wine was kept dust and sand free!

Just as the Romans elaborately decorated their homes and public buildings, so these simple cloths became more elaborate and decorated and the concept began to spread.  The idea of the Roman blind as we know it today soon evolved with the inclusion of a drawstring; utilising strings and fitted between material strips thus allowing raising and lowering of the roman blind.   This allowed better control over light and thermal conditions, heat in the summer and cold in the roman winter and the blinds became more permanent fixtures in many homes.

The common design, with cord connecting slats or dowel rods, was symptomatic of Roman creativity, and it’s interesting that this mechanism was invented before the more straightforward-seeming roller blind.

Although various embellishments and alterations to this style took place over the following centuries, the basic concept and principle of the Roman blind remains the same today with  its simple timeless nature proving as popular as it was in ancient Rome.