Controliss Blinds News

  • Let your blinds shine

    Posted on 17th October 2013 by Chris.


    The type of fabric that you choose for your blinds can make a real difference to the look of a room. When you go for shiny or metallic materials not only do they affect the way that natural and electric light can behave in your home, but they can also create a very dynamic colour palette. For instance, when your electric blinds open and close a lot of sumptuous, velvety fabrics will shine and shimmer chameleon-like as they fold or turn. So luxurious red Roman blinds might appear to have light red and pink tones or dark green blinds can shimmer with a flash of mint. In this way even the simplest of colour choices can appear more dynamic. Alternatively, you can go for subtler effects when you choose a roller blind. A wide range of the fabrics we stock also have metallic or shiny details. So even a light coloured blind can have some detail that catches the light and brightens a corner of a room. A lot of the fabrics available for our vertical and roller blinds also have a sheen or threads of metallic fabric running through them to create texture and dynamic qualities in the light. But it’s our range of venetian blinds that really catch the light. They come in a number of shades, including metallics, and also have a gleaming finish that really shines. This makes them ideal for modern, clean spaces and particularly kitchens and bathrooms. When you add that to our remote control options, which allow for small incremental adjustments and a variety of settings, not only are you controlling the light coming into the room but also how the light hits the blind itself. To make the most of these fabrics you should consider how the lighting in your room is positioned and how it reflects of the blind.

    This Post was posted in Colour & Design and was tagged with blinds, fabrics, light, metallic

  • Raise a glass to the robot bartender

    Posted on 16th October 2013 by Andy.

    Monsieur Robot Bartender

    So you get home from a hard day at work, flop down into the sofa and push the button to lower your remote control powered blinds. But how do you relax and unwind? Well, could there be a better way than with your very own robot bartender? The Monsieur is an AI robot bartender specialising in cocktails that comes in both business and personal models. The larger model for bars, hotels and ‘Mad Men’ style offices is capable of mixing 300 different cocktails and can dispense up to 150 drinks before needing a top up. Which is certain to bring any house party to life. It can even learn your preferred tipples, make recommendations or surprise you with something new.

    There’s also an app that will monitor your alcohol consumption and warn you when it thinks your blood alcohol level is too high. And when you’re out and about the app will tell you what drinks the nearest Monsieur is serving. It will let you place your order without having to queue. While it’s not the first robot bartender in the world the Monsieur gets the concept right. However, it has still to hit its Kickstarter target before going into full production, which means you can get to the front of the line for one if you’re quick. That’s if the reported price tag of $1,499 doesn’t leave you shaken or stirred. Find out more here:

    This Post was posted in Home Automation and was tagged with app, automated, monsieur, robot

  • The end is in sight for Gaudi’s vision

    Posted on 15th October 2013 by Andy.

    It has dominated the Barcelona skyline for over a century but is still a building site, but the Sagrada Familia remains one of the world’s most iconic buildings. It was started in 1882 before renowned architect Antonio Gaudi took over a year later and began infusing it with his trademark Gothic and Art Nouveau stylings. By the time he died in 1926 the building was still less than a quarter complete. Many architects have subsequently worked on the project and to say it has gone over budget and past its deadline is an understatement. Today the work is almost exclusively funded by ticket sales and private donations but the end is finally in sight. As this recent video reveals, although a sizeable chunk of the church has yet to be built, the current architects are confident that Gaudi’s grand vision will finally be revealed in 2026.

    This Post was posted in Architects and was tagged with Antonio Gaudi, architects, building

  • The house in need of a facelift

    Posted on 14th October 2013 by Andy.


    Following on from the Gravity Free Dalston House post we recently featured that let people seem to defy gravity, artist Alex Chinneck has created a house that has been beaten by gravity. The artwork, entitled ‘From the knees of my nose to the belly of my toes’ is a three-storey house in Margate whose entire front seems to be slipping off. Chinneck adapted a derelict building in the seaside town by taking the front off it and building a new one so that you can now see into the rooms. We think it’s a great way of improving a neighbourhood while the house waits to be redeveloped next year – turning an eyesore into a real talking point for the town.

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with alex chinneck, building, house

  • Is it time to join Samsung’s multimedia Galaxy?

    Posted on 11th October 2013 by Andy.


    This month Samsung begins its assault on your living room as it rolls out its new multimedia centre around the world. The HomeSync is an HD set-top box that uses an adapted version of the Android operating system to host and stream multimedia content to multiple devices. It has a massive 1TB hard drive and can support up to eight user accounts, which allow media to be shared between multiple devices. Owners of Samsung Galaxy devices get the added bonus of an app that can turn your phone or tablet into a wireless keyboard or remote control. Moving the phone handset around will even let you use it as a wireless trackpad and you can use HomeSync to display your phone’s screen on your HDTV. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Home Cinema and was tagged with homesync, multimedia, samsung, wireless

  • Reading between the parallel lines – Venetian and Vertical blinds

    Posted on 8th October 2013 by Andy.

    Venetian Blinds

    When choosing what kind of remote control blinds you want in your home, there are a few things to consider. For instance, do you need them to be more practical than aesthetic? Do you want a single swathe of fabric that co-ordinates with your other furnishings and softens the décor around your windows? If that’s the case Roman blinds or Roller blinds would be ideal. But if you want a blind that keeps the light and prying eyes out when they’re closed, but are compact and unobtrusive when they’re open, then you’ll prefer vertical or venetian blinds. But what is the impact on the look and feel of a room when you opt for these blinds? Parallel lines are known to be slimming but when it comes to home décor they don’t necessary suit every situation. By their nature they create a stripe effect along one wall and the multiple straight edges will contrast with the rest of your room if you have traditional or soft or curved furnishings. So here are a few tips to consider when choosing electric vertical or venetian blinds: Wooden blinds come in a number of different finishes, which make them ideal for co-ordinating with other wood or natural look furnishings. Straight lines and geometric shapes suit a modern interior. These are often minimalist so keep your colour palette simple and don’t make the space too cluttered. Strong horizontal lines can make a small room seem larger, so if your window is on the shorter wall bold venetian blinds can help create a sense of space. Similarly, vertical blinds can create a sense of a room being taller. As both vertical blinds and venetian blinds can be very compact when they are open you may want to have them in a bold or contrasting colour to the rest of your room’s décor. This would allow you to change the mood and look of a room dramatically whenever you close the blinds. If you want to make the lines of the blinds a feature in your décor keep the designs on the panels simple – ideally just a single colour. If you want to break up the hard edges of the blinds choose an intricate or organic looking design. This will soften the hard edges and make them less obvious when the blinds are closed.

    This Post was posted in Venetian Blinds and was tagged with blinds, room, venetian, vertical

  • How to turn your coffee table into a tablet computer

    Posted on 7th October 2013 by Andy.

    As a number of tech companies race to be the first to create technology that can turn any surface in your home into a touchscreen it looks like Ubi Interactive has got there first. Ubi’s system couldn’t be simpler as it uses Microsoft’s Kinect motion detection hardware, a projector and an app running on a Windows 8 computer. The system even calibrates itself. So, just by connecting equipment that can be found in most electronics stores and pointing it at a suitable surface you can have a multimedia touchscreen. Any wall or table in your home can quickly become a sophisticated computer that responds to the same gestures that you operate a tablet or a smart phone with, such as swiping or double-tapping. The app is available now in the US with prices starting at just $149 for a single 45-inch projection and going up to $1,499 for a 20-user 90-inch one. Find out more here:

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with app, computer, surface, touchscreen, UBI Interactive

  • Google your way to an automated home

    Posted on 3rd October 2013 by Andy.


    Clever ways of automating your home by bringing all your technology under control are becoming more compact and easier to use. A small USB dongle called Enblink, which works via your Google TV box, is the latest tech to put you in control of all your home’s gadgets. It can be controlled via your TV or by using the app on your smartphone and can operate lighting throughout you home that are connected to special wireless modules. But it also has the potential to connect to a wide range of home devices including locks, security systems, home entertainment systems and your powered remote control blinds. Enblink uses Z-Wave technology to communicate with other Z-Wave enabled devices, letting you transform the look and feel of your entire home from your armchair. For such a small device Enblink, which is expected to be released in the US next month, can put a lot of power into your hands. At an expected $99 it is also one of the cheapest home automation solutions on the market. Find out more here:

    This Post was posted in Home Automation and was tagged with control, Enblink, Home Automation, Z wave

  • Giving gardens a new spin

    Posted on 1st October 2013 by Andy.

    Giving gardens a new spin The empty courtyard below London’s Oxo Tower on the Southbank is getting a Summer makeover in the shape of The Remix Garden Project. It takes the Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden, which appeared at the Chelsea Flower Show, and lets four gardeners ‘remix’ it in their own distinctive style. Jon Sims kicks off the remixing with Anoushka Feiler, Matthew Childs’ and Daniel Lobb following on, with their respective designs being in place for three weeks each. The aim is to create a showcase for new gardening talent and inspire the public to keep coming back to use the space and become more involved in gardening and community gardening projects. The project runs until October and you can find out more here:

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with garden, project, showcase

  • Forget your door keys and go keyless

    Posted on 19th September 2013 by Andy.


    The day when you can finally get rid of a cumbersome bunch of keys is almost here thanks to the Kevo keyless entry system from Kwikset. Much like a keyless car entry system Kevo uses an app on your iPhone to communicate with the lock via bluetooth. When it knows an authorised user is close they simply have to press the Kevo pad for the door to unlock. You can manage access through the phone or a desktop app so you can share keys with your family members and friends by setting them as administrative users, normal users, one-off entry or even specific scheduled access. It’s also clever enough to know whether you’re in or out so it won’t leave the door open simply because the phone is nearby. The Kevo system is currently available to pre-order in the US with an expected launch in late October. Find out more here:

    This Post was posted in Smart Home and was tagged with door, kevo, keyless, kwikset, security

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