Monthly Archives: June 2011

  • Perfect Blinds for Bi Fold Doors

    Posted on 29th June 2011 by Andy.

    Bi fold doors have become an extremely popular choice for properties throughout the UK as an attractive way to invite space and light into the home and open up interior rooms to external garden patio and seating spaces. Electric blinds are proving to be an equally popular companion for bi-folds as an ideal way of controlling light and privacy over these expanses. External bi fold doors open and fold away to create a marvellous expanse between the inside living area and the outdoors, where you can walk straight out into the garden or onto a terrace or other outdoor seating area. The wide variety of doors are available in a range of finishes from uPVC, to aluminium and wood and can open a lot wider than traditional patio or French doors with up to a 95% clearance rather than the 40% offered with traditional patio doors. If you have decided to install Bi Fold doors in your home and would like the option of controlling the amount of light and privacy, Controliss Blinds offer a range of remote control blinds that offer convenient one touch operation for individual or multiple blinds over the bi folds. Battery powered roller blinds can be installed with no fuss and no wiring and when raised the blinds allow the whole bi fold door area to be open without obstruction. Alternatively our range 240v electric blinds can be wired into your mains electricity, the ultra powerful integrated motors allow single blinds to cover larger expanses up to 4 metres wide and 3 metres drop. The combination of a Bi fold door system and Controliss electric window blinds will make for a supremely stylish and practical set up, opening up your home and providing effortless control over space and light.

    This Post was posted in Electric Blinds and was tagged with bi fold doors, bi-fold, blinds, doors, Electric Blinds, folding doors, home, light, patio, roller

  • The Home Cinema Experience

    Posted on 28th June 2011 by Chris.

    Worlds Largest HDTV

    Over a century ago, people all over the world began to find significant enjoyment in motion picture entertainment. Even now, the movie industry continues to evolve to heighten our satisfaction when we go out for that cinema experience. This experience is now enjoyed by many, without leaving their home, using various appliances, including  large screen high definition TV screens, cinema type seating and blackout roller blinds to darken the room and create that authentic cinema ambience. The main advantage of a home cinema set up is that your choice of movie is not limited to the latest releases, but only limited by what you have in your collection, allowing you to maximise the enjoyment of your favourite movies, any time you want. At any standard cinema, the elements that elevate your visit from watching a movie, into the cinema experience we admire, are the lighting, the sound and the screen. Modern technology allows these elements to be imitated with ease in your home cinema. Starting with the lighting. The blackout effect can be easily achieved with the single push of a button using Controliss 12V battery powered or 240V mains electric remote control roller blinds. With our range of blackout fabrics, it is easy to choose window blinds that will look brilliant while the room is lit and offer exceptional convenience when you wish to dim the lighting in your home cinema. To create the surround sound effect of the cinema, there is a huge variety of speaker sets which you can arrange around the room to allow the different sounds of the movie to come at you from different directions. Speaker sets are usually made up of 5 separate speakers that divide the sounds into left and right rear, left and right front, and a central front sound source; as well as a sub-woofer for bass frequencies. All of these are connected to a central control unit that will allow you to instruct the system with regards to how you want the sound to be delivered throughout the room. Alternatively, the room could be filled with the sound coming from a single surround sound bar. A surround sound bar, as the name suggests, is a speaker system that is able to distribute sound around the room from just one outlet. The benefit of this is that you do not need to find positions for numerous speakers. Next, of course, is your screen. HDTVs are available in many sizes which, dependant on your preference, may require a fair distance between the screen and the seating to allow comfortable viewing. The worlds largest HDTV screen, located at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the United States, boasts a width of 200 feet and a height of 80 feet. HDTVs are also available in varying resolutions, most commonly 720p and 1080p. These refer to the number of pixels in the screen that make up the over all picture, however, 1080p is considered to make very little difference in screens any smaller than 40 inches. Another possibility for showing your movie is a projector and screen. Projectors are also capable of displaying movies in 1080p quality and can project larger images, without having to invest in one of the larger TVs. And to complete your home cinema experience, needless to say, you will want to invest the necessary amount of popcorn. Although, if popcorn doesn't take your fancy, you can eat what ever you want in this cinema, after all, it's yours!

    This Post was posted in Home Cinema and was tagged with blackout, cinema, cinema experience, flat screen, home, home cinema, movie, remote control blinds, roller blinds, room, screen

  • The Home of the Future

    Posted on 27th June 2011 by Andy.

    The Grand Designs Live exhibition came to London this year in April and is set to show again in Birmingham starting on the 7th of October. One of the main exhibitions in April was The House of the Future sponsored by Virgin Media. This high tech home displayed all the latest products and innovations currently on the market from some of the biggest brands. At Controliss Blinds, we are always interested in the development of new home innovations. If you feel you need to step up your game in terms of technology, look at some of the most innovative products around now.

    Electrolux showcased a product not only needed in every home, but they were incredibly kind to the environment whilst doing it. The innovative Vac from the Sea is made with recycled plastic, that is collected from numerous plastic islands that have come to rest, or float around on our oceans, and of course come to rest on shores and beaches. There are 5 different versions of this The Vac from the Sea including a North Sea Edition.

    Everyone dreams of floating away on a cloud when going to sleep and now they can, with the Liftbed. This is such a great idea for those who have little space in the home. You may need one of your rooms as an office or wardrobe but also need a bed for guests, lift bed neatly raises to the ceiling in the day so you can use the room as normal and then, at the flick of a switch, the room transforms into a beautiful bedroom. If like my brother, you have hundreds of books lying around the home, and have nowhere to store them or don’t really want to put more shelves on the walls, what about a Long Form Library?  This incredible invention is made from plywood, with inlaid lights that change colour to create an ambient mood and the user can rock whilst reading. The inbuilt shelves can accommodate hundreds of books. It’s a real quirky innovation. So there are some ideas for the future, take a bold step and invest in something with a great story. For tickets to the next Grand Designs exhibition, click here.

    This Post was posted in Home Automation and was tagged with automatic, design, future, Grand Designs Live, home, Home Automation, room

  • Classroom Control

    Posted on 21st June 2011 by Chris.

    The Controliss collection of beautifully designed motorised window blinds with the sophistication and elegance of one-touch remote control of window coverings are a real hit with home owners throughout the UK. Although, it is not just home owners who can benefit from the smart aesthetics and practicality of our window blinds. Educational facilities also find remote control Roller blinds to be an extremely worthwhile proposition. While fitting neatly into any classroom, the blinds could serve multiple purposes in assisting the teachers with their efforts to educate pupils. A common purpose for window coverings in the home, especially properties that are close to public roads for example, is to give privacy by obstructing the view into the window. Privacy may too be one of the reasons to put blinds up in a classroom, but the barrier produced can also prevent the people inside from watching what is going on outside. This is particularly helpful in schools with younger pupils, since it is a regular occurrence that teachers struggle to maintain their pupils' attention while there is something outside that attracts interest. The other principal aim when window blinds are installed, is to gain control over the sunlight present in the room. This is where the Controliss electric window blinds bestow the top-level of convenience to it's users within a school, college or other learning environment. Projectors are a common tool used by teachers to present slide-shows, educational videos and other media to their pupils; but are much less effective when sunlight is making the projections difficult to see. The Blackout Roller Blind fabrics are available in varying colours, to comply with the décor of a room or even a lecture theatre, whilst also darkening it to give a clear view of the projection on display or any other demonstration that requires a dimmed room. And to return the natural light to the room, all blinds can be lifted again with the single push of a button. Since Controliss Roller Blinds are all remote controlled, they eliminate the need to access any draw cords or control chains to block or permit the sunlight, meaning they are ideal for parts of a building with high-level windows. The added benefit of having no draw cords is that extra safety is given to younger children who could potentially injure themselves from getting tangled in such cords. Our cordless roller blinds do not need to be confined to classrooms and lecture rooms; the stylishness and functionality of remote control blinds make them a welcome addition other areas of the facility, such as the labs, halls, canteens and kitchens. The end of the school year is fast approaching, and the school holidays may be the opportune time to get the rooms spruced up with a new set of Controliss electric shades.

    This Post was posted in Motorised Blinds and was tagged with blinds, child, classroom, control, controliss, cord, cordless, remote, roller, safe, safety, school, schools, window, window coverings

  • Kirsty Whyte

    Posted on 20th June 2011 by Andy.

    You may have been lucky enough to purchase a piece of furniture that was designed by Kirsty Whyte, without knowing it. Kirsty Whyte, a British interior and furniture designer, studied Decorative Arts at Nottingham Trent University. Due to her hard work and creativity on that particular course, Kirsty was invited as a guest to Kalmar University in Sweden, where she studied alongside some of the industry’s biggest names. Kirsty’s work has been exhibited all over the world, she was an intern for Tom Dixon and for a while, she has worked for Habitat, Dwell, British Home Stores and Next as a designer. Some of the award winning products Kirsty has produced include The Hound table, a small occasional table that can be stacked and interlocks to create a larger table. Hand crafted in the UK, using wood off-cuts that would otherwise go to waste, the Limpet Hooks are a fun and stylish way to hang your coats and bags.

    The Gordo one piece light – named after one of the first monkeys to go into space, due to it's space age appearance – is incredibly stylish and could feature in any room. Kirsty has received a lot of great press about her products and design, in magazines such as Living, Glamour and Elle Decoration. She won Liberty’s Best Newcomer award in 2009 and Most Prolific Hidden Art Member in 2010. What I particularly like about Kirsty’s designs are they are incredibly neat, and logical, bright and fun. She has been inspired by origami and she thinks about the importance of waste and recycling so tries to create pieces that have minimum wastage. She challenges herself with different shapes and style and will produce pieces from one continuous piece of material, for instance her Drew table bases are made from one continuous piece of recycled steel. If you want clever, modern design, Kirsty Whyte is definitely a designer to consider. You can see a full range of Kirsty’s products at

    This Post was posted in Best of British and was tagged with designer, Kirsty Whyte, table

  • Zen Your Space With Natural Wood Blinds

    Posted on 18th June 2011 by Andy.

    If your house is anything like mine, with random artefacts left around, people’s clothes on the back of chairs and so on, it looks like a clutter, and unbeknown to you could be creating bad energy in the home. You might, however, be fully aware of bad energy it has already created in you, such as when your children haven't taken their stuff up to their rooms. Never fear, the power of Zen is here. The word 'Zen' originates from a word meaning "meditation" or "meditative state". A lot of us have such busy lives that we need to be able to return home to a place of calm and relaxation. Turning your home into a place of serene surroundings, suitable for your routine of meditating or unwinding, does not necessitate a major overhaul. If you have Controliss Remote Control Blinds on your windows, you can create a barricade between you and any outside distractions with one effortless push of a button. Let's start on the settings by reverting back to the basics, choose neutral colours, off whites, and natural muted versions of greens. Next, if you’re choosing furniture, choose pieces with low lines, made in natural materials. This means no fancy legs or frilling, just clean, modern lines. Try to choose furniture made from natural materials every time, and avoid man made plastic and steel, our collection of natural wood blinds are perfect here. Lighting does not need to be brash and harsh, but soft and calming. If you have places in a room with recesses in the walls or pieces of furniture which could be lit from underneath, take that step to create a relaxing ambiance. If your lighting is still in the obvious places, change the bulbs to a softer tone or choose a natural lampshade of rice paper. Allow as much natural light as possible into the home, it lifts your mood immediately. If you’re thinking about accessories, candles and plants are perfect, providing light along with that connection with nature. Choose bamboo shoots which grow quickly and are incredibly green and curly, these can create an interesting focal point. If you’re thinking about flooring, again choose natural materials such as stone or wood. After all, Zen is all about creating that calm and relaxed space in your home, connecting with nature, going back to basics and un-cluttering your life. Therefore, no matter how stressful your day is, when you come home, it’s a calm sanctuary. You can promote Zen anywhere, even at your office so I'm now off to add a few Zen touches to my office at Controliss Blinds...

    This Post was posted in Interior Design and was tagged with blinds, controliss, furniture, home, natural, wood, wooden, zen

  • Human-Computer Interaction: Not Such A Long Shot For Watson

    Posted on 17th June 2011 by Chris.

    Whenever we receive a phone call or email, here at Controliss blinds, we are happy to provide answers to any questions you have about our our range of remote control electric window blinds. Many businesses receiving a large volume of calls now use interactive voice recognition (IVR) technology in order to help improve the service provided to their customers. However, the process of following instructions of pushing keypad buttons and speaking to the system, only to be directed to a meagre voice recording or to be put on hold until a real person is able to take the call, rarely feels effortless or satisfying on the customer's part. Imagine talking to a machine that shows a human-like understanding of what you are saying and responds with an answer that suggests a level of knowledge and reasoning, as opposed to responding with the same answer for different questions. American technology and consulting giants, IBM, have developed an artificial intelligence computer system that is capable of responding to questions posed to it in more natural human terms, much more effectively than other IVR systems. IBM's question answering computing system, named Watson, produces it's answers by running over one hundred simultaneous algorithms which filter through the two hundred million pages of structured and unstructured content it has access to, in just seconds. In order to test the capabilities of Watson, it's developers arranged to have it compete on the quiz show, Jeopardy!, against the show's two greatest players. The main objective in Jeopardy!, is to respond to clues given in the form of answers, with the questions that will fit those answers. The test was a success as Watson defeated both contenders and won the first prize $1 million dollars, which IBM divided and donated to two charities. Watson shows great potential in the future of areas that could really utilise it's abilities, such as the practise of medicine, where it may be used as a clinical decision support system to assist health professionals with the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Although, given the fact that Watson is made up of a cluster of ninety IBM Power 750 servers along with other hardware, it is unlikely that businesses will be appointing it to answer their customer phone calls any time soon.

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with blinds, controliss, IBM, systems, technology, Watson

  • International Creativity - Edinburgh Festival Fringe

    Posted on 16th June 2011 by Chris.

    Ordinarily, to watch to your favourite entertainers performing whichever art they do best, whether it be acting, dancing, comedy or any other form of entertainment; you would turn on your television, put in a DVD if necessary, maybe even lower the light levels with some Controliss Remote Control Window Blinds to enhance the experience. But to witness a truly unique showing of their talents, you may be able catch their appearance at the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The three week Edinburgh Festival Fringe started as a result of eight theatre groups arrival, without invitation, at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947. The groups managed to get their shows on the stage, despite not being previously scheduled, which influenced other performers to turn up in the years that followed. In 1959, the Festival Fringe Society was created to try to provide better arrangements for the increasing numbers of unexpected performers by providing information for artists, publishing a programme and creating a central box office for the Festival Fringe. The current line-up for the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe includes over 2,500 shows carried out by around 21,000 performers, so there is sure to be something for anyone interested in joining the thousands of people who buy the tickets to these shows. The talent incorporated in the line-up includes the 2009 Britain's Got Talent finalists: Flawless,  who will, no doubt, deliver a incredible dance performance; comedians Al Murray, who will be staging a live version of his Dave TV quiz 'Compete for the Meat' and Arthur Smith, who will host a show where he is sober but his guests are drunk; as well as the return of Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee. An interesting first appearance for the festival is that of Hollywood phenomenon John Malkovich, who will put together and direct a theatrical piece on the life and works of playwright Harold Pinter. Entitled 'A Celebration Of Harold Pinter', the play will also feature Julian Sands, another actor who has worked with Harold Pinter in the past. With additional renowned performers such as Ricky Gervais, Phil Jupitus, Omid Djalili, Ed Byrne and Russell Kane confirmed in the Festival Fringe programme, the box office may just be on track to beating last year's show ticket sales which were recorded to have been close to 2 million.

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with Edinburgh Festival Fringe

  • Summer Garden Dining

    Posted on 15th June 2011 by Andy.

    While the weather is like this, it really makes you want to celebrate, it lifts your mood and you want to share this with friends and family. What better way than to throw a garden party. Tea parties are all the rage again, but an evening social or barbecue is a nice way to get together, catch up and chill out with your nearest and dearest. Looking at my garden, we have a large seating area for dining out which is right next to a water feature, and has a great view across the local fields.

    When dusk breaks this area can be transformed into something that resembles a European bar, or an oriental terrace. Those little touches will get people talking and allow you to party into the evening.

    Tea parties are a great ideas for the day, including lunch or if earlier brunch. The great British Tea Party stems back to the 1650’s, when gardens were built specifically for this purpose, so ladies and gentlemen could take their tea outside and be entertained by orchestras. Today you can recreate the Victorian tea party with a stunning array of crockery from and cupcakes, which you could purchase or, to earn addition appreciation for effort, bake yourself.

    Evening parties can be where people really let their hair down, have a drink and if there are children, they can be entertained with games in the garden and playing on the lawns. But of course, you don't want your party guests to go hungry or they may feel inclined to leave early. While good food can be prepared on any standard grill, your choice of grill can also generate an interesting centre of attention.

    Weber have been creating high quality barbecues for over fifty years and have wonderfully designed products that are suitable for numerous occasions. The iconic design of the Webber One-Touch kettle barbecues is a firm favourite of mine with its classic design and traditional charcoal briquettes.

    For added fun and convenience, you might contemplate the purchase of a barbecue table. Despite being much more recently introduced into the barbecue market, Cole Henley Barbecue Tables are attracting an increasing amount of fascination. Combining stylish looks with great functionality, a barbecue table would allow your guests to cook food to their own liking on the built-in gas-fired grill, without leaving their seats.

    For decoration, oriental themed lights are very pretty and add a dash of colour and warmth to the garden, and if it starts to go a little cold, rather than handing out your old coats and jumpers, invest in a fire pit or chimnea.

    Fingers crossed this fine weather stays around, if it does, I might be throwing a little get together for the folks at Controliss Blinds!

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with barbecue, bbq, garden, home, house, party

  • Hearth and Home

    Posted on 13th June 2011 by Andy.

    It might be the wrong time of the year to start thinking about fireplaces but some of the cooler summer evenings I would love to just build a fire and sit in front of it until late in the evening. It’s probably more cost efficient and let’s be honest, there is nothing quite like the plush homeliness created by a roaring open fire. Whether you live in a modern or period property, an open fire, wood burner or stove can be a great focal point and will obviously serve a purpose when needed. And to establish a truly relaxing atmosphere within the room, placing Controliss Remote Control Blinds on the windows will, with one touch of a button, enable you to banish outside disturbances while holding in that comforting warmth. If you need ideas or want to install a new fireplace, surround or stove, you may have taken a trip to Harrogate on the 5th of June. From the 5th to the 7th of June, Harrogate became home to the Hearth and Home Exhibition, a huge event dedicated to fires, stoves, and the like with hundreds of exhibitors.  The Hearth and Home event has been running for over 15 years and attracts buyers and sellers from all over the world. It is a showcase for a variety of gas, electric, and solid fuel appliances and innovations in the fireplace industry. You might be looking for accessories to adorn the fireplace like coal buckets, companion sets and fire guards. For accessories such as these, you will find companies like Black Country Metal Works who were present at the exhibition. Beautiful surrounds come in all shapes and sizes in Marble, Wood, Tile and Stone. Therefore, there is sure to be a surround to suit your tastes and décor, even if you didn't find time to look for one at the exhibition. If you are looking for something superbly special in a modern handmade stove, take a look at the products from Firebelly Stoves. They are incredible and will be a real talking point in the home. So if you need inspiration and need to inject warmth into the home, maybe you want to try a different system and convert from electric to solid fuel, it is unfortunate if you have missed the Hearth and Home exhibition in Harrogate, but it is sure to return for it's 16th consecutive year. And besides, the exhibitors who regularly attend it can easily be found, just not all in one place. To keep yourself updated about the next exhibition and see a list of exhibitors visit

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with blinds, fireplace, home, Remote Control, stove

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