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The bathroom was once an afterthought in many houses, something that has been seen as somewhere purely functional rather than something aesthetically pleasing. That has changed in the last 20 years as interior designers have challenged, not only the size and shape of traditional bathroom furniture, but even where it is located in the home. The bathroom has since become a byword for indulgence and many new concepts now reflect that.
Take Alexander Zhukovsky’s concept for the Bathsphere for example. Not only does his crystal clear, suspended glass sphere take the humble bath and place it centre stage, but by making it entirely transparent removes pretty much any barriers (and privacy) between two spaces. Promising a haven of tranquillity accompanied by a sense of weightlessness the idea is beautifully simple. Water is pumped in through the top, allowing it to double as a shower, and drained from the bottom.
Amazing to look at and sculptural in appearance it would be great to think that you could get in an out as elegantly as the execution of the idea. Somtething, along with how you’re supposed to clean it, that will only become apparent should Zhukovsky put it into production.
Find out more: http://aizzz.com/eng/
One of the biggest interior design trends for 2013 is the use of textures. Whether it’s a rough, rustic weave, something smooth and svelte like suede or rough and rugged like natural wood, interesting textures can be a great way to break up the clean design and sharp edges of modern homes.
You can use different textures to compliment or contrast with each other, or to stand out against more minimal decoration to create a focal point in a room. Simply introduce a textured fabric in the form of a rug, a throw, cushions or as window blinds. Some textures cry out to be touched, while others can bring a sense of warmth and comfort to your home.
Some textures can add new dimensions to a space while rough and irregular textures give a more natural feel. Alternatively, regular patterns in darker shades can stay contemporary while contrasting with their surroundings. Textures can also create a sense of weight, which could change the whole look and feel of a room. In the case of electric blinds you can literally dictate how much of the fabric is on display and how much it dominates a space.
A lot of modern homes consist of clean lines and smooth surfaces. White walls, the gleaming tech of flat screen TVs and expanses of glass and tile. A rough texture contrasts with these and can break a wall or room up. If the texture is in the blinds this can change the feel of a room between daytime and evening.
Many modern furnishings and accessories also come in bold, primary colours. So a texture could compliment these colours or contrast with them so that they catch your eye more. A patterned texture offers the greatest opportunity for contrast but try to keep things simple and not to have too many colours fighting for your attention.
Pick the right texture and use it sparingly or mix it with the latest fashion for handmade materials. Knotted rugs, big knits and embroidered furnishings may sound more like your Gran’s cup of tea, but in 2013 they have a more of a contemporary spin.
The right combination of textures can create a sense of a distinctly individual home rather than one that is ubiquitous and industrially produced, so that it becomes a space that is uniquely yours.
How do you make remote control roller blinds disappear?
The epitome in a sleek minimalist design theme for your home or workplace is created by housing your Controliss powered blinds, fixing brackets , roller tube and integrated motor within a concealed cavity or pocket.
When operated, the Controliss powered blinds appear magically from within the concealed structure creating the magical appearance that the blinds are appearing from a part of the structure of the property. This adds even further impact to the wonder of motorised blinds!
This effect can be achieved easily, particularly if consideration is given to its inclusion, early on in the development, ideally at pre-plaster stage.
METHOD 1- CEILING CONCEALMENT
The ceiling if the room is lowered by 120mm, and finished 120mm short of the window wall x length of the blind to be fitted.
This creates a recess of 120mm sq x length of blind to be fitted to house the cassette or tube of the blind.
100mm sq is applicable to most average size blinds (up to 2.4m wide x 2.5m drop) allowing sufficient space for the installation brackets blind tube plus fabric and allow ease of fitting.
For blinds greater than this the core tube diameter of the blind may need to be increased, thus the housing would need to be increased accordingly. We are happy to advise on housing dimensions for larger blinds.
METHOD 2 - STUD WALL CONCEALMENT
The window wall can be built out in its entirety, creating a 120mm cavity to house the blind mechanisms.
This method allows the blind to be over-sized and overlap the edge of the window reveal. The blind then operates from ceiling to floor within the recess created, providing the ultimate blackout facility.
METHOD 3 - RETROSPECTIVE CONCEALMENT
When wanting to conceal the blind mechanisms retrospectively, when the building is completed; it is simple to create a surface mounted pelmet or lambrequin, constructed in a material to co-ordinate with your interior, or indeed upholstered in a soft-furnishing fabric of your choice.
The Controliss team is liaising on a daily basis with architects, contractors and clients to achieve cutting edge solutions for discretely integrating powered blinds systems within residential and commercial properties, help and advise is on hand for your individual project.
Whether it be luxury homes, quality hotels or dynamic conference venues, motorised curtains are becoming a standard requisite in this type of high-end project.
Our exquisitely designed remote control tracks are extremely robust, yet discrete and can even be concealed within a ceiling recess. Nothing creates greater visual impact than beautifully crafted curtains moving virtually silently, across a span of up to 10 metres, at the touch of a single button!
The sophistication of Controliss electric curtain tracks is reflected in the simple form and sleek lines of the powerful motor and rail. The motor is covered neatly, housing an integrated power supply; having the capability to offer a large range of control options, with adjustable limits to allow the curtains to fall naturally.
Just like our electric blinds ranges, the curtain tracks are operable either individually or as groups of tracks, just by varying the choice of remote control handset. Installation is a simple operation with a basic electrical connection; ensuring the experience of an electric curtain track and all the associated benefits, could not be easier.
These electric curtain tracks are so versatile, they incorporate Touch Motion functionality, to open and close the curtain by lightly pulling on the fabric, without the use of a remote control. The motor drive shaft disengages automatically to permit use of the Touch Motion function. The curtain tracks can also be personalised; to stop at preferred levels of opening, even the speed of operation is adjustable, with all tracks having soft start and stop as a standard feature.
We can not only guarantee our tacks with a warranty for 5 years, but more importantly, we guarantee that any visitors will not fail to be impressed by the power of motion; so for any projects scheduled for 2013, where that ever important 'wow' factor is vital, then the simple solution is a Controliss electric curtain track!
CONTROLISS BLINDS GRAND DESIGNS PROJECT | SERIES 9 | EPISODE 5 |
THE WATER TOWER | KENNINGTON, LONDON
Controliss blinds were excited to be tasked with supplying and installing remote control blinds for Channel 4’s 100th Grand Designs episode, the fabulous Grade II listed Water Tower renovation in Kennington London.
Liaising closely with client Leigh Osborne and the project architects from the early stages of the project. Our brief was to integrate a number of wireless 240v mains powered electric blinds that could be effortlessly controlled as independent zones within the building or as whole groups of blinds.
Contemporary minimalism was the order of the day and the clean and sleek lines of our hand made pure white Roller blinds collection were the perfect companion to accompany the projects minimalist design theme. The Controliss fabric of choice in the various locations throughout the project was our Oscuro Frost white blackout Roller blind fabric.
One of the greatest challenges was to seamlessly integrate the remote control blinds over the colossal two storey minimal profile glazed sliding doors that spanned an entire elevation of the cube. The doors which were installed by Fusion Glazing Systems in Notholt, Middlesex are amongst the largest ever installed in Europe. Controliss were able to manufacture and install three Roller blinds at over 2 metres wide and 6 metres drop to ensure the blinds visually maintained the architectural integrity of the doors.
You can visit Channel 4's Scrapbook for Grand Designs to view some of the fantastic products involved with the project including bathrooms, kitchens, furniture and Controliss blinds.
Controliss automatic window blinds can help you to get the most out of the weather while you are at home or away. When it is a beautiful day and you want to be energised by it's glorious ambience from the comfort of your lounge, you can open all of your blinds simultaneously with one touch of a button. Or if you are irritated by the glaring sun or want to cover the dreary sight of utterly grey skies, you can operate the blinds, together or individually, to cover the windows you want to cover, as much as you want them covering.
Many other products can help you harness the diverse climates that your home may be subject to throughout the summer and make good use of the varying conditions.
One device in particular, the Hydreon RG-11 Rain Gauge, is a maintenance-free rain sensor that could be used to send a signal to an automatic control system to close any skylights on the home as soon as it starts to rain. Because it is optical, it is more sensitive and reliable than other rain sensors. Therefore, it can be set up for other uses, including switching off a garden irrigation system to save water, frost sensing in a refrigerator or for collection of meteorological data.
Another great weather-based sensing device is the Controliss Sunis Indoor WireFree RTS blinds sensor. This Somfy indoor sun sensor will communicate with Controliss battery powered and electric blinds, such as a roller blind or wood blind and would control the blind automatically upon sensing the sunlight. The huge advantage of this is that it reduces the necessity for an air conditioning system to be switched on. On the hot days of summer, the blind can be rolled down automatically to block the sun's heat, and in the winter, a roller blind can open up to let the sun warm the house through the windows or doors. These superb wireless window blind sensors can be turned off at any time and the sensitivity of it's sunlight detection can be adjusted using an internal dial.
Since the British weather, especially, can often only be relied upon to be unreliable, it can very much be beneficial to get the systems in place that will help you to utilise each situation and deduct from some of the disappointment that the weather can provide.
Although our Winter so far has been relatively mild, it will not have escaped
your notice, that the wind has been unprecedented! The wind chill factor has made it seem much colder than the thermometer might suggest. So as temperatures drop and fuel bills inevitably increase, just imagine if half of your precious heat was escaping through your windows!
From my years as a practising interior designer, I would have banked on fully interlined curtains in a heavyweight fabric having greater insulation properties than a roller blind, I would be wrong! In mind of keeping warm, I read an article recently that I found quite surprising; curtains can cut heat loss by 14% whereas roller blinds are double that at 28%. wooden venetian blinds offer a very impressive 50% reduction in heat loss, as wood is a natural insulator.
The key to energy efficiency, is the ability to control the energy either created or consumed. Thoughtful use of solar shading is a highly efficient way to achieve such control. Remote control blinds create a minimalistic method of trapping a layer of still air between your windows or doors, and the internal room space; reducing heat transfer in both hot and cold conditions. Opening the blinds during the day in Winter, allows natural warmth from any available sunlight to warm the interior; this is known as solar gain. Closing the blinds at night, reduces the possibility of that heat escaping.
At the other end of the scale, the blinds repel the sun's heat in Summer, preventing unwanted solar heat gain and maintaining a more consistent temperature internally. These very simple steps can reduce the need for heating and air-conditioning, in turn saving you money.
This control process is known as the "shading coefficient"; careful choice of window treatment greatly influences the shading coefficient value, thus lowering your heating and cooling expenses. In fact, adding wooden venetian blinds to your window is comparable to installing double glazing in terms of heat conservation!
Controliss Blinds are available in a vast array of fabrics and finishes, whether they are mains powered or battery operated. Not only do they make an impressive interior design statement, combined with the ultimate convenience of remote control; they can ultimately save you money by increasing the shading coefficient of your home.
At Controliss, we have all solar reflectance and transmittance values for all of the fabrics and finishes we use. We can offer an additional stage to increasing your thermal shading requirements, by incorporating a programmable remote control, this facility permits 6 user programmable timed operations per day. The benefit of this programmable feature actually simulates occupancy in an empty house, and will enable the thermal properties of the blinds to utilised even when you are away.
For the ultimate in window blind shading control our wireless Somfy Themosunis indoor sensor will raise or lower the shades automatically according to sunlight levels or sunlight and room temperature. The wirefree easy to use sensor is compatible with all Controliss mains powered blinds and a single sensor can operate up to four Controliss Roller blinds or wooden Venetian blinds.
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!
13 DAYS TO GO…..
With only 13 days left before Christmas, time is getting very short for Christmas shopping, tempers are getting short, feet are getting sore and wallets are becoming lighter! So before its too late, why not shop on-line?
Although our order books are heavy, Controliss Blinds are miraculously still offering a made to measure remote control blind service, with FREE delivery in time for Christmas! This offer is only available until 5pm tomorrow, 13th December 2011; so if you would like the luxurious experience of motorised blinds in your home for Christmas, delay no longer!
Our revitalized website was launched last week, showcasing lots of fabulous new collections, put together by my good self! We are now offering superb motorised curtain tracks, capable of spanning 10 metres; which as an Interior Designer, I appreciate how special this facility is!
We have a fully stocked Somfy Shop, for all of your gadgets; intelligent hand held remote controls, wireless wall mounted switches with interchangeable face plates! In fact everything you might need to accompany a Controliss blind, whether it is battery powered or 240V, either as a stocking filler or an extra special treat!
The Controliss customer service team are fully experienced and are always on hand to help with your fabric choices, and any queries you may have with measuring.
When your new blinds arrive, if you need a little extra help there is no need to stress, our technical support team can guide you through installation and programming, so all that is left for you to do: is relax! Sit back and enjoy the beautiful, whisper quiet motion of a Controliss remote control blind.
Having told you how we can improve your festive experience and relieve your stress, our tech support are currently still working on an effective cure for indigestion!!
For most people, using the colour pink in the home would only seem appropriate for a girl or woman's room, but pink has positive psychological effects that make it well worth incorporating into a home for any gender. In the early 1900s, pink was actually considered to be the preferred colour to dress young boys because of it being a tint of red, which was regarded as an aggressive and, therefore, more masculine colour. Blue was believed to be the suitable colour in which to dress young girls, but, since the 1940s, this practice has been inverted.
While pink can be used to create an amazing bedroom or other space intended for use, in the main, by a young girl/girls, it could equally be used to establish a powerfully soothing area in the home. The colour's advantageous influences are that of physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth and love. It has even been proven to be capable of encouraging friendless and discouraging aggression, with numerous uses in prison holding cells – including the inmates' clothing - generating positive results.
When used with creams and hints of charcoal or black, a pastel pink can impart a more opulent character, instead of giving a room a more effeminate look. Controliss remote control Roller blinds are available with varying shades and textures of pink and cream coloured fabrics, that would provide the ideal finish in the continuation of a cream-based décor and also as a luxuriously convenient accessory to grant more privacy in the room.
Harlequin's Vine Pink Rug or the Sultana Table Lamp by Currey & Company are just two examples of products that would subtly incorporate the necessary pink colour into a more classically themed room without being too overpowering.
If the room you wish to introduce the colour into has a more contemporary trend, the Ligne Roset Confluences Sofa Group is available as a 4-seat settee, in assorted shades of pink, that can be disassembled and put back together in an utterly original, puzzle-like style. This design could prove more functional than a standard settee, and of course, it is unlikely that you know anyone who has anything similar.
For those who cherish all things pink, there are innumerable home wares and accessories that are available to bring all hues of the colour into your home, from the soft, baby pinks to the bright and sickly. Whereas, for those who have aspiration to make use of the colour, but do not want it to be overwhelming, products can be bought that blend it with more neutral colours to allow the pink to modestly sweeten the mood created within a room.