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  • CES Technology 2017

    Posted on 15th February 2017 by admin.

    The recent CES Technology Show in Las Vegas was THE place to see and learn of, the very latest trends in all things 'tech'.

    The 2017 presentations didn’t disappoint; from self-balancing Honda motorcycles, through the latest TV and computer developments, to Lynx - the humanoid robot powered by Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.

    We’ve been told for years now, that ‘this will be the year of the automation of things’ and from the CES highlights that have made the news, 2017 certainly looks to be the year home automation gains credible traction.

    Whether you yearn for connected fridges, microwaves, vacuums, or robotic personal assistants that will fill your fridge, cook your food and keep the home clean, it now seems no longer the stuff of science fiction - the future is here, now.

    But if an addition to the family in the shape of a robot is one huge step too far and you’d prefer to remain very much in control, yourself, the home automation systems that Controliss battery powered and mains powered electric blinds can be integrated into, may be the perfect solution for you.

    Powered by technology from market leaders Somfy, all Controliss electric blinds are compatible with the systems that are leading this revolution in home automation.

    Whether your interest in joining this revolution comes from the security benefits of remote control blinds; the elegant practicality offered by wireless fitment; or the sophisticated functionality of programmable control, Controliss has the perfect solution to your needs.

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with automation, control, home, powered

  • 5 smart pieces of space saving furniture

    Posted on 8th November 2013 by Andy.

    Controliss electric blinds are compact and neat, which makes them ideal for apartments or rooms where space is limited. Urban living in particular is changing the way we live and so smart, space-saving ideas are helping redefine living spaces for city dwellers. These are just some of latest ideas: The Circle kitchen The Original Circle Kitchen takes a conventional kitchen and redesigns it as an all-in-one appliance. It can be easily relocated and behaves in the same way as a carousel, letting you revolve the kitchen to get to the appliances and cupboards that you need. The bottom unit revolves 180 degrees, while the top revolves a complete 360. It comes in a variety of configurations and can include a sink, hob, oven, fridge and dishwasher, as well as cupboards and shelves. It has the added bonus that once you’ve finished with it you can shut the doors and forget about the washing up.

    Original Circular kitchen

    Aquarium sink Keeping pets in a small apartment can be a real problem, but this clever aquarium bathroom sink makes the most of the smallest room to create a real talking point. It also gives you the added illusion of washing your face in a fish tank, which may put some people off, although the glass tank can also house a small zen garden to help you find inner-peace.

    Aquarium-Sink

    Pull-Down Bunk Beds The Pull-Down Bunk Bed by Italian designer Giulio Manzoni clearly takes its inspiration from the fold-down beds in the sleeper cars of European trains. A great way to free up floor space in the smallest of rooms, it also gives you additional, compact guest beds should the need ever arise.

    Giulio Manzoni Bunk-Beds

    The Open Book Library Chair Originally designed for a Grade II listed property that didn’t allow for book shelves to be installed, the OpenBook is essentially a bookshelf/magazine rack/armchair hybrid that provides a simple yet comfortable retreat where you can get stuck into a good book.

    StudioTilt OpenBook Chair

    The Living Cube The Living Cube by Till Konneker is designed to create storage and shelf space for small studio apartments. It’s essentially a TARDIS-like box that is part entertainment centre room and part walk-in wardrobe, topped off with a bunk bed. For something so compact it has plenty of room to keep all your stuff and keep your apartment tidy.

    ILLDesigns Living Cube

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with design, furniture, home, living, space

  • Finally, a smart smoke detector

    Posted on 24th October 2013 by Andy.

    Nest-Protect-Smoke-Alarm

    It seems strange to think that very little has been done to move the design of household smoke alarms along from their original form while other household technology has evolved. The Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm from Nest sets about changing that by updating the usual features and building in extra functionality to create a smarter alarm. The creation of iPod designer Tony Fadell, the Protect does away with the annoying false alarms to which conventional fire alarms are prone. It can alert you via text message, app or internet, about potential and low-level threats, offering a spoken warning first before going into a full blown alarm mode.

    It boasts a battery life of up to seven years, can work in conjunction with other Protects to isolate where a threat is in your home and also acts as a night light when it detects motion in a darkened room. It is designed to give the home owner greater confidence in their fire alarm, reducing the number of instances of it 'crying wolf'. So next time you burn the toast you won't wake the neighbours. The Protect from Nest is now available for £109. Find out more at http://nest.com/smoke-co-alarm/life-with-nest-protect/

    This Post was posted in Smart Home and was tagged with alarm, home, nest, protect, smoke

  • Keeping it all natural

    Posted on 25th July 2013 by jenny.

    If you’re after a natural look and feel to your home there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate a set of electric blinds into the design. We offer a wide range of electric wooden blinds in a variety of finishes that will complement other wooden details and furnishings in your home. Our range of electric roller blinds also feature a number of natural shades and textures that will blend with your soft furnishings to create a natural feel. A more natural environment at home can create a calm, relaxing oasis even in the heart of the city. Maybe you’re trying to produce a counterpoint to the view out of your window or complement it. So if you look out onto an urban landscape of houses and rooftops you may want to break up the grey, angular view with rough textures and natural colours. Alternatively, if you look out onto a lush garden and expansive skies you may want to bring the outside in to your home by using a similar colour palette of greens and blues.

    Textura Mist Electric Roller Blind

    Natural shades Creams and browns allow you to mix light and dark shades, and go with most things particularly similar shades of wood. Greens and yellows can be much fresher and brighter but are better used sparingly as they are difficult to complement and can be overpowering. Lighter blues work well to evoke summer skies or Mediterranean seas. Coupled with a sandy beige textured blind certain blues can transport you to the beach, while accompanied by greens can take you to bright summer days.

    Driftwood Electric Wood Blind

    Natural textures Unfinished or stripped wood, like driftwood or old reclaimed furniture, has great irregular textures. If you have a piece of furniture or decoration that has an amazing texture you can use that to suggest your room’s wider colour palette and other furnishings. Soft furnishings are an easy way to get more textures. Go for rugs, sofas and blinds that work well together in similar shades and textures. Rough, irregular textures appear more natural and work well with the random patterns you get in nature such as the grain in wood.

    This Post was posted in Electric Blinds and was tagged with blinds, electric, home, natural, textures, wooden

  • Add some colour to your desk

    Posted on 15th July 2013 by Andy.

    Kokuyo-Harinacs-Staple-less-stapler

    If you work from home and want to make your office a more fun and interesting place to be then you could start off by visiting Bureau Direct. This online stationery website specialises in quirky and interesting brands from around the globe that offer new approaches and interesting designs that make the ordinary seem fresh an innovative.

    Marks-Trip-Baggage-Tag-memo-tape

    They stock high-end notebooks from the likes of Rhodia and Whiteline and quality pens from names such as Stabilo and Lamy so writing can be a pleasure rather than a chore. They also have some things to create a stir in meetings such as the Baggage Tape memo stickies from Mark’s Tokyo Edge or the staple-less stapler from Kokuyo. See if there’s anything to catch your eye or brighten your day: http://www.bureaudirect.co.uk/

    This Post was posted in Home Office and was tagged with home, office, stationary

  • A phone that answers the door for you

    Posted on 18th June 2013 by Andy.

    Siedle-Scope

    What at first glance looks like a very smart cordless telephone is actually hiding a few neat tricks up its sleeve, as the Siedle Scope can also control a lot of your home technology.

    While it connects to your landline and works just like a regular phone, including caller identification, its other main strength is security. The full-colour screen on the handset can be used to access and control remote security cameras located about your property. So if you hear the doorbell you can look to see who it is and even open the door for them, all via the handset. It will even let you control your electric blinds, lights and garage door.

    The Scope is from German design firm Siedle, specialists in home technology with products ranging from intercoms to thumb-print scanners. Prices for the Siedle Scope start at £600.

    Find out more here: http://www.siedle.com

    This Post was posted in Smart Home and was tagged with control, home, scope, security, siedle, technology

  • Switched on windows

    Posted on 11th June 2013 by Andy.

    Sonte-Digital-Window-Shade

    A company from California is about to change the way you look at your windows – or should that be look through your windows? The firm, called SONTE, has developed a Smart Film that can be stuck on to your existing windows and can be controlled by a smartphone app via a wifi connection, allowing you to change the opacity of the glass. So you can go from crystal clear to frosted glass in the blink of an eye. The 0.4mm thick film is made up of lots of particles that are suspended in a liquid between two thin layers of plastic. Left alone they make the film appear opaque. But when a live current is passed through the film it becomes completely transparent. So you can reveal a beautiful view or guard your privacy in less than a second simply by using a free smartphone app. It will even let you adjust the settings to choose what amount of light the film lets through. The film can absorb up to 85% of UV rays, helps retain heat and only uses around 5 watts of power, so SONTE’s Digital Shade, as they are calling it, has excellent eco-credentials.

    The film that comes in one metre squared pieces is simple to install and has multiple uses around the home, from your living room to your bathroom. It’s also very affordable meaning it has the potential to revolutionise home and interior design. In homes that have a lot of glass it could prove an ideal replacement for or accompaniment to more traditional blinds. Find out more here: http://sonte.com/

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with blinds, film, glass, home, shades, sonte, window

  • The spare room office

    Posted on 15th May 2013 by Andy.

    Controliss-Visio-Lux-Roller-Blind

    In February Yahoo! surprised a lot of people when they said that its employees should no longer have the opportunity to work from home. It raised a lot of eyebrows, not least because tech companies such as Yahoo! have made it easier than ever to work from home while staying in touch with the office.

    Their reasoning behind this change was to encourage greater collaboration and effectiveness, not least because a work environment is focussed on getting the job done and has fewer distractions.

    But sometimes you just can’t avoid working from home, so here are a few tips on how to create the ideal work environment at home:

    Create a distinctive workspace - This should ideally be an office in a spare room, but could be in an alcove below the stairs or in an underused corner of the dining room. The point is you need somewhere away from the distractions that your home can create. So avoid being in the same room as the TV for example. You’ll need room for all the essentials like a computer, printer and files, plus plenty of plug sockets. Having your work space somewhere out of the way not only keeps you focused on the task at hand but when you’re done you can switch off from work and walk away.

    Make sure your work area is light and well ventilated – In order to be most productive you want a space that isn’t too oppressive or stuffy. A window or lots of good quality lighting and white or plain, bright walls will make the space seem bigger and lighter. Use window blinds that allows flexibility and control of the light to ensure the suns glare doe not effect your computer monitor. A dark, oppressive space will only put you off from doing any work and create a negative association with it so Roller blind fabrics that give protection from harsh sun glare but still allow some light filtration are ideal

    Make yourself comfortable - You could be tempted to just set up on the dining room table, but the seating probably won’t be suitable for sitting long periods of time hunched over your laptop. Take the time to have a dedicated space where the seat, desk and computer are set up to be as comfortable to use as possible.

    Keep it organised – Ensure your desk is tidy and you keep your paperwork in good order. Don’t let a mess build up around your work area as it can lead to you becoming disorganised, which can lead to stress. If you can keep most of your equipment and paperwork in a cupboard or drawer that will help you stay focused. If your workspace is also part of your living room then being able to put it away out of sight will also help you switch off at the end of the day.

    Get a pot plant – Research has found that have found that people tend to have more creative and innovative ideas when they are close to nature. So if you don’t have a window looking out onto fields or trees get yourself a pot plant and opt for a green colour scheme.

    This Post was posted in Home Office and was tagged with computer, home, office, roller blinds, room, space, Visio-Lux

  • Pink in Sync

    Posted on 5th December 2011 by Chris.

    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.

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    This Post was posted in Colour & Design and was tagged with accessories, blinds, colour, controliss, home, interior, pink, roller, room

  • Creating an Inspiration Haven

    Posted on 14th November 2011 by Andy.

    The possibility of moving house is so exciting, and creating a home to bring up children or run your business from is a fantastic project. I must admit I can get a bit carried away with design ideas and what I would like in a home. Not only homes but offices could reap the benefits of having a creative room or an area where people can sit, think, plan and create. I would love to be able to design an inspirational room, which would inspire me, allow me to work at my maximum potential and meet with colleagues, so they can work at the same level of creativity. With this in mind, I have started to plan my own brain storming haven. Firstly, the space needs to be well lit, I think natural colours are always good for a base, then you can include bright objects and pieces of art to catch the eye, make you think, let you daydream and ultimately get those creative cogs turning. Something I have wanted for ages is a black board, it sounds a bit old fashioned but I can then write up all the projects that need working on and cross them off when complete. One better than this, as a friend mentioned to me last week, is blackboard paint you can use on the walls, then you can write on them and rub it off! It sounds like a brilliant idea, it’s like creating your own artwork repeatedly. Comfort is up most, you need a good area at which to sit and work, that does not strain your neck or cause any long-term problems, and so ergonomic furniture is perfect. I love to listen to music when I’m working, just in the background, then I feel that I can switch off and tune in at will when working on a project. Plus, when a brilliant song comes on, it really gets your thoughts going. In an office, something interactive is always great to allow people to be creative and engage in a process, so giant games of jenga or Sudoku are a great way to give people a 5 minute break but feel like they’re doing something creative. If you need a room that will act as a stimulus for those creative urges, there is a huge range of inspiring wall prints, original furniture designs, and the devices you need that could  help you keep your mind focused. For example, by installing Controliss remote control blinds in place to control the light in the room; without leaving your desk you can open your blinds to brighten the room or close them to a level that makes the light less glaring and create a mood that fuels your imagination.

    This Post was posted in Home Office and was tagged with blinds, controliss, creative, home, interior design, office, Remote Control, room, window, work

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