• The Convivial Kitchen

    Posted on 25th January 2011 by yasmin.

    Whether you have a large family busily rushing around the kitchen of a morning or love to throw lavish dinner parties for an abundance of friends and family, your kitchen is the heart of the home and a magnet for formal and informal occasions alike.

    It is essential that your kitchen is up to the challenge here and it takes some careful planning to create a kitchen space that can double up as a living space, so here I provide for you my top tips on how to do exactly that!

    Low noise levels - Choose energy efficient appliances with low noise levels like the near silent AEG diswashers, this will ensure that conversation carries on, even when you are cooking.  It also means that you can put your dishwasher or washing machine on when you are entertaining friends, after all its never nice to wake up to the washing up the morning after the night before now is it?

    Welcome light - Try to ensure that your kitchen area is light and welcoming; this in turn will ensure that your family and guests want to spend time in the kitchen. The key here is to not make the space appear too dark so ensure that you stay away from dark colours on your walls unless they are in blocks. Window dressing is also important here as you want to ensure that the room gets as much natural light as possible, this can be achieved by making sure that your blinds allow light to gently filter through into the room such as our Liso Wickerware roller blinds. Venetian blinds are also a great choice for the hi-tech kitchen as the metal slats can be rotated with a wireless remote control, allowing complete control over ambient light levels in the room. The Controliss Silver Venetian blinds powered with household batteries are definitely worth a closer look as the popular metallic silver finish offers a great back drop for stainless steel appliances.

    Make the space fun - If you have children in the house then ensure that the space is fun for them as well as serving its purpose for the rest of the household. Whether you have lettering magnets on the fridge, funky furniture or fabulously colourful art on the walls, what surrounds an individual really can have an impact on that individual’s mood.

    So go on, transform your kitchen into an attractive and welcoming space!

    This Post was posted in Interior Design and was tagged with silver, blinds, kitchen, light, space, sun, sunlight, Venetian Blinds

  • Energy Saving - Interiors Advice

    Posted on 2nd November 2010 by jenny.

    For most of us, the idea of renovation often entails some new pillow cases, a fresh coat of paint, or new flooring. However, renovation does not only mean transforming your home into a visual haven; you can actually shave off a few pounds from your annual electricity bill in the process of your interior makeover. According to energy-efficiency experts, a few changes in your lighting and window coverings can lead to significant energy savings. We let you in on a few of these cost effective and do-it-yourself energy-efficient secrets. 1.    Install blinds with good quality light efficient fabrics on windows that are vulnerable to the sun. The sun’s hot rays during summer will drive air-conditioning bills sky high so install new window blinds that will help block out the sun. The Controliss blackout roller blinds including Estrella Acorn and Estrella Ice in luxurious fabrics are great neutral-coloured remote-controlled blinds that will also help prevent unwanted heat loss during the winter months. 2.    Choose suitable bedding to keep the thermostat stable. Some of the best bedding available allows adjustable layering so that you can adjust according to the room’s temperature. Experts recommend that thermostat should be set from 28-30 degrees during the day in autumn or winter months. For warm months, keep your thermostat setting at 20 degrees or slightly higher, the mid-day sun will soon heat the house up after a brisk morning. Maintaining the thermostat at a low setting can save you up to as much as £200 per year. 3.    During winter, look for ways you can warm up your home without turning up the heating. For example, you can drape your sofas or chair with warm soft throws that can keep you warm. Adding a few plush area rugs to a cold floor made with any type of material can save you some money from your heating bills. 4.    Fans can keep people inside a room three or four degrees cooler and use no where near as much electricity compared to air conditioning. To decide on the size of fan you'll need consider the room size. A room that is around 50 square feet needs a 29-inch fan. For a 75-square feet room, you need a 36-inch fan. Look for an Energy Saving Recommended seal in your fans to find the most energy-efficient product. 5.    Efficient lighting should be foremost in your renovation plans as 10 percent of your energy bills goes to lighting. Consider localised lighting so that you don’t have to rely on overhead lighting for small jobs. Use compact fluorescent bulbs for all your lighting needs as they use 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs. CFL bulbs are more costly than ordinary light bulbs but they can last 10 times longer and don’t heat up like halogen lights. CFL bulbs can save you around £45 during their life cycle. 6.    Try not to block heating or air conditioning vents with furniture or soft furnishings. Choose window blinds over curtains to prevent fabric from covering air vents. 7.    Energy-efficient appliances with Energy Saving Recommended badges are highly recommended by experts. Consider replacing appliances that are 10 years old (such as a CRT TV) as these appliances cost about 50% more to operate.  If you opt for these old appliances, you may add around £37 a year to your electricity bills.

    This Post was posted in Blackout Blinds and was tagged with blackout, blinds, efficient, electric, energy, green, interior, roller, sunlight

  • Make the Most of Natural Light with Sheer Vertical Blinds

    Posted on 24th August 2010 by Lee.

    Sheer Vertical Blinds

    For most of us, large airy windows are a must in a perfect home. After all, nothing is as relaxing as basking in morning sunlight while sipping your coffee and reading the newspaper. However, direct sunlight especially in the summer may not be as inviting as you would imagine. Direct sunlight can be harsh to the eyes and creates unwanted contrast in a room. Parts of the room that do not receive too much sunlight can appear darker, while bright spots can appear glaring and harsh. Another disadvantage of allowing direct sunlight into your home is the weathering of furnishings due to the UV rays.

    Diffusing Natural Light

    To help diffuse natural light, Controliss has included sheer vertical blinds. While white window blinds can do a good job at reflecting and redirecting sunlight, Controliss vertical blinds in Haze and Verso sheer fabrics can draw the light into the room while diffusing it. These sheer vertical blinds create a translucent voile effect that softens light entering the room. Because the harsh sunlight is evened out, the soft light transforms colour, making it warmer and creating a homely atmosphere.

    UV Protection and Solar Heat Gain

    A great bonus of using sheer vertical blinds is the UV protection it provides to your room and furnishings. Banish the worries of finding sunspots in your carpet or hardwood floors with our sheer blinds. Aside from letting in soft light, sheer blinds can also reduce the solar heat gain. Solar heat gain coefficient is a number from 0 to 1 which measures the percentage of solar energy that actually enters your home through the windows. A lower number is more ideal. Standard double-pane windows have a solar heat gain of 0.76. This means that 76% of solar energy comes into your home. Adding light-coloured window treatments, such as sheer blinds, can reduce the solar heat gain coefficient.

    Sunlight in Winter

    While it may be great to help diffuse sunlight during summer, winter time is a different experience altogether. Let the sunshine in to get the most of the free heat energy. Raise your blinds every time direct sunlight hits the window. This means that you should raise it in the mornings for windows facing east. Blinds in west windows should be raised in the afternoons while the blinds in south-facing windows can be left open most of the day. You can safely lift up your blinds without breaking a sweat using remote-controlled sheer roller blinds in Vero Ivory.

    Controliss Sheer Vertical Blinds

    Aside from the sheer roller blinds, Controliss sheer vertical blinds are also available in two kinds of fabrics, verso and haze. Verso fabric has a soft vertical weave that has a translucent design. Verso vertical blinds come in white and dairy. Haze vertical blinds are available in neutral shades of white, brulee, and sage.

    This Post was posted in Vertical Blinds and was tagged with blinds, home, light, sunlight, vertical binds

  • Reduce Screen Glare and Save Your Eye-sight

    Posted on 19th August 2010 by Lee.

    Reduce Screen Glare and Save Your Eye-sight

    How long do you spend staring at a screen everyday? The latest Ofcom report suggests that people spend half their waking lives using digital devices! If you work in a bright office or have sunlight pouring on to your TV at home then you may be damaging your eyes through screen glare. The sun may hit your computer screen or monitor from many sources, sometimes even a glass wall or badly-positioned mirror can reflect the sunlight into your eye-line.  This is sometimes unavoidable and modern offices and expensive homes usually have a lot of large glass windows to make the environment more inviting and more positive. Many workers in the UK spend hours working in an office environment with a computer monitor and then go home and watch TV or play computer games for a prolonged period of time.  It is important for these heavy users to not only ensure the sun's harmful rays are not glaring into their eyes but also to keep a good posture and move around often. Some houses suffer from the the position of key windows in relation to the sun.  When the sun is at it's lowest it can easily enter into lounges and bedrooms, if this happens at the time of the day when you usually watch TV then it could produce massive amounts of glare and annoyance.  If only you could rotate your house and avoid this issue! There are many ways to reduce glare on monitors including the monitor itself; old CRT monitors usually have a glass front which has a high reflective index, i.e. it reflects lots of light.  Cheap LCD monitors are made out of a plastic compound which is perfect for reducing glare but beware they may also strain your eyes if they have a slow refresh rate making them blurry. Curtains and blinds are perfect for blocking out the sun but can sometimes make the room too dark; the best option for glare reduction is using vertical blinds as they can block direct sunlight whilst still allowing in diffused sunlight from reflections of the material.  Fabric is the best material for this blind purpose, it doesn't reflect the light as a metal blind would and also helps absorb sound in the room.  Remember that the sun will move position in the sky so you need to keep rotating the vertical blind to be perpendicular to it. Saving your eye sight could be the smartest move you've ever made, if you have screen glare at work then speak up, if you have screen glare at home then invest in some thick curtains or some decent blinds.

    This Post was posted in Vertical Blinds and was tagged with eye sight, sunlight, Vertical Blinds

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