• Creating a true, home cinema experience

    Posted on 19th April 2017 by admin.

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    We all have favourite films which we love to re-visit and once again, feel the magic and excitement we remember from the first viewing.

    And the continued rise of TV technologies that promise home cinema experiences is constantly making this a more affordable and realistic proposition.

    We recently experienced a demonstration of the latest Panasonic 4K UHD ‘DX’ series of televisions, featuring Ultra High Definition resolution, High Dynamic Range colour and contrast and Panasonic’s latest innovation: ‘tuned in Hollywood’.

    The clever boffins at Panasonic have incorporated a picture technology which claims to have been tuned by Hollywood experts and as such, offers a picture performance that’s ‘True to the Director’s Vision’.

    So, if you’ve ever dreamt of sinking into the dark, watery depths of The Abyss; cheating the alien atmosphere of Avatar; bringing the hills alive with The Sound of Music; or suffering the sensory turmoil of Hitchcock’s Vertigo, this new technology is the answer, right? Well, yes and no…

    While we can’t argue with the picture quality of such TV’s, the true home cinema experience is something which relies, fundamentally, upon recreating the dark, atmospheric surroundings of a real cinema, where stray light isn't able to affect the image.

    With Controliss battery powered and mains powered electric blinds, you can create exactly that, with the option of light-blocking blackout fabric available on a number of styles in our roller blinds, roman blinds or vertical blinds ranges.

    And with the practicality and sophistication of superb one-touch wireless remote control operation, you will be able to create the perfect home cinema experience to enjoy yourself or impress guests.

    This Post was posted in Audio Visual, Blackout Blinds, Home Cinema and was tagged with blackout, home cinema, 4K HDR TV

  • Oh Christmas Tree!

    Posted on 19th December 2011 by Jules.

    Whilst I embrace the idea of the whole family participating in choosing the Christmas tree, and decorating it all together by the glow of the open fire; the reality in our house is very different! I see the Christmas tree as an extension of our homes Interior décor, why would I leave the decisions in terms of colour scheme and decoration to a seven year old? Not very festive I know, however, having followed a career in Interior Design for over fifteen years, I have a reputation to consider! I do try and decorate the tree whilst the children are otherwise engaged, or take the view that I should allow them a small amount of input, I can always reposition their bauble once they have left the room! By way of compensation, the children each have their own Christmas tree in their own bedrooms, far safer, away from public view where they can express their individuality to their hearts content! For those of you who take the whole business of decoration as seriously as I do, here’s how I go about decorating our tree. Initially I would suggest deciding on a colour scheme, ideally an extension of your existing interior scheme or possibly something that contrasts well with it. There are no hard and fast rules, sometimes it is nice to incorporate the latest ‘fashion shades’ but not if it is going to ‘fight’ with everything else you have. Christmas is a time for tradition (apart from external interference on the decoration front) the classic combinations of red and gold, black and gold, black and silver are always firm favourites. Just as in an interior scheme, if you opt to use more than 2 colours, then the proportions of those colours should be varied. For example if you choose, red, something like the rich red of our Oscuro Allure Roller blinds, Oscuro Midnight and brand new Oscuro Golden Toffee Roller blind fabric; then you would want perhaps 60% red, 25% gold and 15% black. Having decided on your colour scheme, accumulate your decorations from a variety of sources, so that they are not all the same, adding interest to the finished result. Think outside the box, it is possible to utilize materials as garlands from non-related sources, as Christmas decorations. For example floristry ribbons, rolls of organza as well as the usual tinsel have been used in our house previously, or even builders hessian tape when I was going through my contemporary rustic phase! In terms of illumination, you should have plenty of lights on the tree. As a guide there should be roughly 100 mini lights per foot of tree. The lights should go on before any other decoration, taking care to distribute them evenly through the branches. I opt for white lights, but as long as lights of a single colour are used, the effect remains sophisticated. Following the lighting, should be the garland, this should overlay the lighting cable where possible. For something different try using the garlands vertically rather than horizontally. If you are using ribbon, twist it as you move downwards with it, starting from the top. Next lay out the baubles you have in terms of colour and size. The larger baubles should be used at the bottom of the tree, with smaller ones closer to the top. You may like to cluster the baubles or distribute them evenly. If you would like to try something completely different, then having baubles of the same colour in varying shades creates a great effect if you fade the baubles from the lightest version of the colour at the top to the darkest version at the bottom. An example of this colour fade can be seen within our new collection of Controliss blackout Roller blinds; from the deepest Oscuro Artisan, through Country Tweed, Yellow Ochre, Acorn, Sunburst and Pyramid to the lightest Golden Toffee! A cost effective way to create impact, is to wire 3 or 5 smaller, less expensive baubles together (odd numbers work best). Loop some fuse wire, or floristry wire through the existing loops of the baubles, at different heights to create a cluster effect. On occasion I have not used any baubles at all, but have made oversized bows with metallic floristry ribbon and graduated the sizes from top to bottom. Inserting metallic spray painted wicker decorations within a theme, be it bells, angels, reindeer or even shoes, can also work well. Once the tree is beautifully decorated, the colour scheme can be extended to your gift-wrap and ribbons for a totally designer look. A few years ago, I wrapped all of the presents in brown paper, and colour coded them according to recipient with different coloured ribbons! A step too far you may think, but Christmas is about fun after all, so express yourself and create your own designer Christmas tree. If you are really lucky you might just find a beautiful Controliss remote control blind under the Tree for you!

    This Post was posted in Interior Design and was tagged with black, blackout, blinds, Christmas, controliss, gold, interior design, red, Remote Control, roller, roller blinds, Tree

  • Lose The Snooze With Electric Blackout Blinds

    Posted on 22nd July 2011 by Chris.

    Are you a victim of the 'snooze' button on your alarm clock and have to really fight to get out of bed at the time you had originally intended? Controliss electric blackout blinds may be able to contribute towards awakening you enough to get out of bed, if not solve the problem entirely. Just as Controliss blinds can help you drop off to sleep by blocking any external light that is preventing you from doing so, at a single touch of a button, they could also help you to get up by reintroducing the daylight into the room at a time specified by you. The Air Spirit 30GMT controller can be programmed to operate all Controliss 240V mains Powered roller blinds and wood blinds at any desired time of the day, 7 days a week. So you could set your window blinds to open automatically on the weekdays when you need to wake up, and then have them open at a later time or even until you use the remote control to open them yourself at the weekend. It will be much harder for you to hit 'snooze' and go back to sleep if the sun's glare is illuminating the bedroom. If the sunlight alone is not enough to stop you from dropping straight back off to sleep, here are some other ideas that you could add to your morning wake up routine. A popular waking mechanism is the Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock. It features an alarm tone that is adjustable up to a volume of 113db, which is louder than having a high revving chainsaw in the room! On top of that, a vibrating unit is supplied that will shake under your pillow or mattress and pulsating flashing alert lights will conduct a display to give that extra prompt to get you wide awake. The Sonic Bomb may seem somewhat over-the-top, but as is often said: 'Time is money', and if this device is too much of a wake up call for you, there is an alarm clock that takes the saying quite literally. Although currently in the conceptual stage, and therefore unable to purchase right now, the darkly humorous Shredder Clock may motivate you to get up on time in the mornings. This is, in effect, a cash-note sized paper shredder on a timer, that will operate at a certain time unless you get up to switch it off. The concept is a good-looking device, backed up by a very good idea since the incentive to getting you out of bed is stopping whatever you have placed in it, be it money or even precious letters or pictures, being cut into ribbons. Your brain will often work very differently, when it is just waking up, to the way it works at any other time of the day. So if you need to get up on time in the morning, it is important that the necessary awakening stimuli are put in place before turning in, to prevent you from oversleeping.

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    This Post was posted in Blackout Blinds and was tagged with alarm, automatic, blackout, blinds, roller blinds, timer

  • 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

  • An Edwardian Revamp

    Posted on 31st May 2011 by Andy.

    After a delightful weekend spent at my brother’s house in Northumberland, I set about thinking what we could do as a bit of a surprise for when he gets back from his duties in the forces. My brother owns a very beautiful Edwardian terrace in a small seaside village, and is very intent on furnishing the house as it would have been in the Edwardian period. He has some lovely antique furniture and quite a modern kitchen which the previous owners have installed. Can you successfully mix old and new? I think sometimes you have to, although my brother does not have a television, he doesn’t believe that it’s worth having one, he has plenty of books and ahem a laptop. What I do love about the house is it feels really homely, it doesn’t feel like something trapped in time, it’s very tasteful and as a bit of a surprise, together with my brothers partner, we’re planning on giving some of the rooms a face lift. Project number 1 is the main bedroom. Currently covered in strange anaglypta wallpaper with the most hideous curtains.  Luckily it’s very on trend to find a vast array of wallpapers which copy old Victorian designs, and we have found such a paper which is beautiful and very elegant.  Because the bedroom window faces north the sun streams into the room all day long which is nice, but if you’re trying to sleep in summer its annoying getting the sun in your eyes at 5am. So I suggest blackout roller blinds, in a design of fabric that works with the house or maybe even some wooden blinds, this way you’re blocking the light out. The Controliss blinds are fab because you can lie in bed and open the blinds by remote control, plus there are no hanging parts, so the cat won’t end up playing with dangling cords. Project 2 is the conversion of the small rear garden, imagine if you will the opening scene from Coronation Street, small back yards with the original coal shed and privy. This will soon be magically transformed into a Greek Terrace, in white and blue, with lots of pot plants, furniture. There is a lot of paining to do, and a lot of moving stuff, I’m just hoping my brother will appreciate this, and not get too angry! We’ll try and be as Edwardian as possible, but I’m hoping it will be a nice surprise and he’ll appreciate the work we put in. Here’s to the Edwardian House in all its glory. Stick with the Controliss Blinds Blog to see how we’re doing with the house projects.

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with blackout, blinds, controliss, Edwardian, house, Remote Control, roller blinds

  • Even Sweeter Dreams With Blackout Roller Blinds

    Posted on 26th May 2011 by Chris.

    There is nothing like a good night's sleep to revitalise your body and mind. A lack of sleep doesn't just make you grouchy, it can have a negative effect on your metabolism, cardiovascular health and your immune system, as well as reducing your ability to learn and focus throughout the day. There are many ways to improve the quality of our sleep and the speed at which we manage to drop off, such as, reducing distractions, improving comfort, or even taking advantage of sleep assisting technology. One really cool and easily achievable step, is to remove as much light in from the room as possible. As summer is fast approaching, the days are getting longer; meaning even if you find the time for an early night, that last remnant of daylight is likely to prolong the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Controliss Blackout Roller Blinds are the perfect solution. With a wide selection of light blocking fabrics to choose from, you can pick a design that will look exceptional from the inside, as well as halt any light trying to enter from the outside. Not only that, you can lower any and all of our remote control  Roller Blinds in the room with the single push of a button, since the range of Controliss blinds Air wireless controllers can be programmed to command up to 99 remote control window blinds simultaneously. This is not the only technology out there that may be able to help you get your forty winks. There are various devices on the market that can play tranquil sounds that aim to help block out external sounds while relaxing your mind and help a lot of people get to sleep. These sounds are even available to download in the form of smart phone apps to play through your phone. Some sleep difficulties are not sourced externally, health care company, LifeWave, can offer the Silent Night sleep aid patch to help give safe relief from sleeping problems including insomnia. This patch uses nanotechnology to enhance the production of delta waves (waves occurring in our brains during sleep) to lengthen the stages of deeper sleep our bodies go through, resulting in a better quality and more consistently long night's sleep. Needless to say, you could, if you haven't already, try the traditional remedies a nice glass of warm milk to help boost your sleep pattern; but if this proves ineffective, I hope this blog has given some ideas to sleep on.

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    This Post was posted in Blackout Blinds and was tagged with blackout, blinds, insomnia, light, Remote Control, roller blinds, sleep

  • Creating An Ooh La La Boudoir

    Posted on 23rd February 2011 by yasmin.

    If your thinking of adding a touch of french chic and create a stylish Parisian boudoir inspired bedroom then imagine the flamboyance of 'Moulin Rouge', and art nouveau. Plush fabrics, velvets and silks, sensual prints and  bold passionate colours including shades of black, red and purple. Think art nouveau figurines and beautifully intricate architectural details. Think all of this together and you will be somewhere close to creating a beautiful Parisian boudoir style bedroom.

    When you hear the word ‘boudoir’ you instantly think about the Moulin Rouge style colours of black, red, or purple. Going with the risque theme of Moulin Rouge, the Antonio Citterio designed B&B ITALIA Alcova ACLE1 Bed in black oak fits the theme to perfection. Just imagine this designer classic contemporary bed sprawled with rich fabrics and colourful tones.

    The perfect neighbour for this beautiful bed has to be the stunning Luigi Caccia Dominioni designed L’Abbate 'Pole Position' armchair. This perfectly set armchair showcases Parisian flair to the maximum with its quilted design and soft fabric. The classic boudoir style is also about accentuated architecture. If you don’t already have cornicing then good quality plaster cornicing is available in a plethora mouldings and these stylish adornments really add to the overall theme. When it comes to fabrics, the traditional boudoir is all about velvets and silks in rich passionate shades. Our Seda Chianti Roller Blinds have a luxurious silk finish and the deep Chianti coloured fabric sits perfectly with the Parisian theme. The Oscuro Allure and Oscuro Midnight fabric Blackout blinds will also work great with the Paris theme and the Blackout fabric has the advantage of blocking the sun out completely. Complete the look with some ornate and classic art nouveau style accessories such as antique perfume bottles, feathers and jewels and don't forget the bottle of 'Cristal'.

    This Post was posted in Interior Design and was tagged with art nouveau, bedroom, black, blackout, classic, fabric, moulin rouge, parisian boudoir, roller blinds, style

  • Black Magic Window Blinds

    Posted on 6th January 2011 by yasmin.

    The colour black may seem dramatically dark to you, but if used in the right way black window blinds really can add a touch of magic to your home. You don’t have to paint your walls black or anything drastic like that, but there are a number of ways you can incorporate black into your home in order to add some real magic and impact to your window. Here are some design ideas and inspiration to help you accessorise your home with the colour black. The depth of the colour black gives it real power as well as a dramatic essence. Take advantage of this by 'weighting' the design scheme of a room by simply using a few small notes of black. For instance, a black rug upon wooden flooring draws the eye's attention as well as black roller blinds or venetian blinds can add drama and magic to an otherwise bland window. Alternatively you could bring black into your home accompanied with other colours or patterns. By doing this you will soften the appearance of black within your home. Why not buy fabric of which are mostly black but have other colours on as well. Or why not add pure magic to your window by adding a black and silver roller blinds. Remember less is more! On the other hand, rooms which are decorated in mostly light, neutral colours can look great with a few black accessories. The key is to use small amounts, to maintain balance in a room. A black vase or picture frame may be all you need to give the room definition and desirability. Just remember less is more, no one wants to feel as though they are walking into a black hole, only use small amounts to accentuate your room. So go on, why not conjure up some of your own black magic today!

    This Post was posted in Window Blinds and was tagged with black, blackout, blinds, home, roller, venetian, window, window blinds

  • Create A Home work Haven for Children

    Posted on 15th November 2010 by jenny.

    When we think about childrens rooms, we often think about bedrooms and playrooms. However, if you have school-aged children, it would be a great idea to design a practical work space for them to do their home work and other creative endeavours. What better way to inspire them to do their best work than designing a home work space dedicated entirely for their creative and school-related pursuits. Whether they are five years old starting junior school or 18 and ready for university, here's how to make the best home work space that will motivate your children to study hard. Work with Them The first rule is to consult your children about creating a home work space for them. Working with your children to create the ideal work space for them will motivate them to use the space and claim ownership of the work space when the time comes. Together, examine the place where they are used to doing their homework. What characteristics of the present space do they love? Which elements don’t they like? Perhaps they like to spread their stuff on a kitchen table. Maybe they like having you close by so they consult you with their homework. Make a list of what they want in a workspace and then make sure that these traits are included in their workspace. Location, location, location Now that you have a good idea of your childs likes and dislikes, it’s time to find the perfect location for this workspace. For younger kids who’ll need you close by, you may need to carve out a space near the kitchen or dining room so you can supervise their homework. Older children may be more independent and need some place quiet and away from other family members to concentrate such as their bedroom. Let them choose the space so they will be more encouraged to use the area. Child-Friendly Furniture After you have decided with the location, include essential furniture such as a comfortable desk chair that is ergonomically friendly. Include storage areas to keep the space neat and clean. You could customise file cabinets and make it more child-friendly by adding fun stencils or stickers. If space is an issue, there are many inventive ways that you can transform furniture into storage, such as using a workbench with cubby holes. The workbench can even accommodate a friend while they are working on school projects. Comfort is Key With the furniture and storage in place, you can make the place comfortable. If your children are allowed to work with a laptop or a computer, ensure that the problem of glare is addressed. Don’t risk eyestrain for your children and purchase glare-preventing child safe window blinds, such as the Controliss blackout Roller blinds in Oscuro Petal Bloom or Oscuro Sapphire. If you want a neutral shade, blackout Roller blinds in Oscuro Cream will work well in any room. A desk light is also important to complement the ambient light in the workspace location. After you have fitted your childs home work haven, allow them to accessorise their space with their very own artworks and knickknacks. Personalising their own space will help them enjoy the area more. An attractive place filled with light and colour will surely inspire your children to excel in their studies and actually look forward to doing their home work.

    This Post was posted in Roller Blinds and was tagged with bedroom, blackout, child, children, home, roller blinds, safe, safety, space

  • Drab To Fab With Confident Colour

    Posted on 11th November 2010 by jenny.

    Decorating in colour blocks is one of the trendy ways you can keep your space contemporary without having to spend too much. Blocks of colour in interior design can introduce a confident vibe in to your home and these blocks can be manipulated to suit whatever mood you want to create in each room. Here are a few easy ways you can decorate with colour blocks: Mix Neutrals with Bright Colours Earthy tones will look great as a backdrop for bright shades. Keep your walls, ceilings, and floors neutral and then experiment with bright splashes of orange, red, lime green, or turquoise in your furniture, window blinds, and other accessories. Our Liso Zest roller blind will look great next to neutral shades, bringing life to an otherwise monotonous room. Use Block Colours in an Accent Wall Instead of choosing one rich colour in an accent wall, try a series of colour blocks in complementary or contrasting shades which will really make a statement. Another way to do this is use several toning wallpapers on one wall. Use a Colour Block to Emphasise a Feature You can draw attention to a feature by placing it against a coloured wall. For example, you can paint the wall behind your bed a different shade from the other walls to accentuate a magnificent headboard.  This same technique can be replicated in your living room or dining room if you want to highlight a striking wall decor or painting. Use Toning Shades, Pastels If you want liveable colours that will last you for a long time, combine toning shades instead of contrasting ones. For example, muted tones of teal and sage are a calming combination for the walls. Introduce stencils in the opposite shade to add more interest. Toning shades are also available in our blackout roller blinds such as the Bloque Plum or Bloque Natural. A muted shade of lavender with neutral white is also very soothing in a bedroom. Use Colour on the Floor Instead of painting the walls, why don’t you apply colour on the floors? The floor is the most unexpected place for colour which will add an element of surprise, especially in hallways which do not usually receive much lighting. Use bright shades in carpeting or as staircase runners to draw the eye in and create an illusion of more light and space. There are so many ways you can use colour blocks to give a more confident vibe into your room. Try all these bright new ideas to create vivid blocks of colour that will transform your room from drab to fab.

    This Post was posted in Colour & Design and was tagged with bedroom, blackout, colours, decorating, design, interior, roller blinds, shades, window

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