• 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

  • The gravity free house

    Posted on 22nd July 2013 by Andy.


    Argentine artist Leandro Erlich has been commissioned by the Barbican to install a brilliant optical illusion that makes everyone look like Spider-Man. Using a former bomb site in East London Erlich has erected a huge wall of mirrors at a 45-degree angle over a life-sized horizontal reproduction of a Victorian terraced house. Entitled Dalston House, visitors are encouraged to ‘climb’ around the installation making it appear as though they are defying gravity. The installation is free to visit and is open until 4th August. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with barbican, dalston, house, installation, Leandro Erlich

  • The Right To Protect Your Home

    Posted on 8th July 2011 by Andy.

    Last week, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that home owners would have the right to protect their homes using “reasonable force”, which would void them from prosecution. In the past decades, stories have made the headlines of innocent home owners trying to protect themselves, their families and their homes, and then coming under legal fire for using force. Now this has changed, but who would really want to be faced with that situation in the first instance? It’s an incredibly frightening thought. With this in mind, I decided to take a look at some of the top security available in today’s market for your home. ADT is one of the biggest names in security, offering a range of products including continuous monitoring and key holder response. When your installed alarm is activated, ADT will respond quickly and contact you to make sure everything is in order, they even filter out false alarms in case the cat has set it off. Packages start from 99 for total peace of mind. Wireless home security has moved with modern technology, offering you a package with remotes that you can switch on and off in any room, so if you go to bed and forget to set the alarm, not a problem, with on touch of the remote, your house is secure. As a preventative measure, Controliss electric blinds could give the impression of a home owner's presence, which is likely to deter anyone who might be considering your house as their next target for a break-in, since it is usually an empty home that they are looking for. The Controliss Air 30GMT can be programmed to operate our 240V mains powered roller blinds and wood blinds at any time of the day, on each day of the week, and so will make any room look occupied whether you are elsewhere in the home, at work or even on holiday. CCTV is another option for intruder detection, monitoring entrances and grounds, and recording every minute, you can keep the recordings for a long period of time and even control the cameras' movement from an in-house set up. High tech security at your fingertips. If you feel that none of these will quite cut the mustard, security guards can be appointed to residential properties. Guard Corps offer bespoke residential security including static guarding for the entrance to your home and security officers, plus key holder response, so someone can always be around on your property, which allows you to relax, safe in the knowledge that you are totally protected.

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with alarms, blinds, Electric Blinds, home, home security, house, residential, security

  • 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

  • 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

  • The Old Ways Are The Best

    Posted on 20th May 2011 by Andy.

    If you’ve been reading previous blogs, you may know that over the weekend I stayed in Nottingham to look after a friend’s house and dog and to visit the guys at Controliss Blinds. One morning as I got up to go and freshen up I heard some clatter downstairs. It was the cleaner! The cleaner! Which is brilliant, and I realise that people do have busy lives and children and so on, so having a cleaner come for an hour or two to spruce up the house is wonderful, and to be honest she was fantastic, I couldn’t make a work surface sparkle like she did, and how did she do it? with minimum fuss and effort. Which got me thinking about how many products there are out there that do everything from  descale your kettle to clean the inside of the oven and remove stains on the carpet. But also these are highly formed chemicals, which although do a great job could be toxic. Kim and Aggies How Clean Is Your House created a flurry of home owners going back to the good old ways of using cupboard ingredients to clean. This saved them a lot of money on costly cleaning products and the results were just as good if not better. You’ll probably have some of the essentials for cleaning lying around the home and under the sink, like Lemon, white wine vinegar, baking soda and olive oil. These products are great for cleaning tiles, wooden floors and the great thing is they’re not harmful. White wine vinegar breaks down mineral deposits, olive oil will polish your furniture to a high sheen and protect it, and lemon will deodorise and destroy grease. They are all you really need!

    So the next time you peer through your beautiful Controliss electric blinds and spot murky windows grab some white wine vinegar and a newspaper and rub the window panes until they sparkle! The old ways are definitely the best.

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with blinds, clean, cleaning, controliss, electric, home, house

  • Android@Home The Smart Device Mesh

    Posted on 12th May 2011 by Andy.

    Smart phones can do some pretty amazing things these days, people queue up to buy the latest mobile device whether it's the latest iPhone or Android based phone. The increasing functionality of these smart phones allow us can conduct business, surf the net, see where the nearest cinema is, the list is endless. Now Android@Home team at Google are creating functionality that will allow you save energy and achieve a wireless mesh home automation network that can be controlled with your favorite Android phone. Google's Android@Home is new technology that will allow you to remotely control appliances in your home from your phone. Their first project will be a remote controlled smart LED light bulb by Lighting Science and whilst some companies already do this kind of thing from phones and touch screens, sky-high pricing can make it extremely prohibitive.  Some might say it’s the lazy man’s dream but it has energy saving properties also. If you’ve left the house for work and forgotten to turn something off, you can just quickly do that from your phone. This exciting new discovery will be named Project Tungsten and it seeks to make appliances communicate with each other (like they have a life of their own? Sometimes the washing machine does) and you will eventually be able to control the dishwasher, washing machine and a whole array of products. This technology will be available on certain android phones and all you’ll have to do is download an app from the Android Market. Sounds pretty special doesn’t it. So if you would rather sit on the couch and switch the light on without having to move, or stream your music collection throughout the house from your mobile phone, the new Android@Home technology could be the answer, but what happens when someone asks you to put the washing machine on and your mum has just called? You can’t really have the excuse of “Sorry I’m on the phone”.

    This Post was posted in Home Automation and was tagged with Android, Android@Home, appliances, automation, devices, home, house, phone, phones, smart phone, technology

  • All the fun of the Fair

    Posted on 5th May 2011 by Andy.

    If you’re a home owner on a budget, which lets be honest, most of us are during the current economic climate, can be a bit of a drag when you want to re vamp the house. Unbeknown to a lot of people, for over a decade, Arthur Swallows has been putting on Antique and Home fairs in a bid to bring affordable antiques and second hand goods to the masses, and the fairs have transformed the way we shop for our homes. Over the period of a year, 6 Antique and Home shows are held across the country which thousands of specialised dealers from all over the world touting their wares from antique linens and furniture, brick-a-brack, fine jewellery and second hand goods. It’s literally a gold mine for those wanting to spruce up the home, and you could easily do up the house on a budget and get the things you really want. Arthur Swallows attracts buyers from all over the world, and is really a fantastic day out, sometimes even two days, as there is so much so see! I was lucky enough to be taken around the fair on a golf buggy and that took over an hour so you can imagine how big these events are! The fair really promotes restoration in offering salvage and recycled products. It allows people who don’t have the money to go out and buy a fully restored Victorian fireplace to find their own and restore it saving money, and creating a nice little project. Arthur Swallows has been featured in many magazines including BBC Homes and Antiques MagazinePeriod Living Magazine and on TV shows such as channel 4's “Kirstie’s Home Made Homes”. The next fair is the Lincolnshire Antiques and Home Show, on the 6th and 7th of June at the Lincolnshire Showground, take it from me, this is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for a special something whether it’s antique or a funky retro piece from the 70’s. For tickets and more information about the dates and venues of the fairs visit the Arthur Swallow Antique & Home Shows website at

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with antique, antiques, Arthur Swallow, fair, fairs, home, house, Lincolnshire, show, shows

  • From House To Home

    Posted on 14th January 2011 by yasmin.

    Getting the keys to a new home is one of the most exciting experiences for us all, however stepping through the the door for the first time often brings home the realisation that actually your new house will need a great deal of TLC to turn it into your ideal home. Sob, the tears start rolling down your face and the bank manager needs to be phoned! But there is not necessarily any need to panic, a new home should be seen as a new venture, it is exciting, fresh and new, after all you want something that you can put you own mark on and add your own character to. Let’s face facts, unless you are not constrained by small details like a budget then achieving your ultimate abode is not something that will happen overnight, no instead (as my in-laws keep telling me) it takes more than a few years to get your house to look like a home. Although this may be the case (sadly), there are a some great cost effective steps you can take to make your new house seem more like a home sooner rather than later! Firstly, a lick of paint can do wonders for any room. A fresh, new colour palette really can make a drab room appear fresh and new! Secondly, remove those moth-bitten curtains from the window and instead replace them with our inexpensively priced and super fabulous roller blinds, vertical blinds, venetian blinds or wood blinds. Dressing your window really will make a difference as it is common knowledge that people look towards a window when they enter a room. Third and finally is that old furniture and home accessories that your grandma kindly gave you (disgusting but appreciated).  All you have to do here is adopt a little imagination. Sand down and add a lick of paint to that old, dark wood sideboard, spray that distressed mirror frame black and dye those pink sheets red. Imagination really can turn something drab into something fab in no time. So, wipe away those tears, get excited about your new venture and let the process begin!

    This Post was posted in Smart Home and was tagged with Electric Blinds, fresh, home, house, new, Smart Home

  • Happy Christmas from Controliss

    Posted on 15th December 2010 by yasmin.

    In just a few days time, many of your most favourable and not so favourable relatives will arrive for the festive holidays. Yes that’s right, Christmas day is nearly here... here we provide for you the top decor tips that will impress all your guests without stretching that Christmas budget. Keep it simple - With all of those festive decorations around, it’s best to keep the rest of your house simple. Opt for low lighting such as candles in order to create that perfect snugly Christmas mood as well as softening the appearance of your main rooms with warm colours such as reds and browns. Window dressing - Dressing your window is the best way to make your house appear inviting from the outside. However, although this may be the case you don’t want the inside of your window to look cluttered. Opt for simple Christmas lights that can be adapted underneath your blinds so that the outside is inviting and the inside is simple and neutral. If you don’t want the sparkly Christmas lights to be viewed from the inside then opt for a dark coloured blind such as our Liso Jet Black Roller blind or add a touch of sparkle with our Reina Beluga blind. Deck the halls - It’s always inviting if you have the hallway of your house decorated. Simple yet classic decorations such as Christmas reefs, tinsel (but not too much) and even hung bubals look good here. If you have a large hall way, then you could always erect your Christmas tree here, making it visible as soon as you walk in the door, this is guaranteed to produce smiles. Happy Christmas!

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with controliss, guests, house, window blinds

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