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Category : Design Inspiration

Turn an ordinary room into an office with blinds or shutters

Working from home can be a challenge. Whether you work as a freelancer and use your living room as your office or you work for a larger company from the comfort of your own home, you have to contend with a variety of issues and distractions. After all, your home probably wasn’t originally designed to serve as a workspace. However, simply installing blinds or plantation shutters can help turn your home into a viable working environment. It might sound a little peculiar, but blinds and shutters really can help you work from home. In today’s blog, we’ll explain how in detail.

1. Altering your environment

Do you sometimes find that your home is too bright, too hot, too cool or too dark to work in? Shutters and Venetian blinds can help you change the light and temperature levels in your house. By altering the position of the slats, you can control the amount of light that enters your home and trap as much or as little heat as you wish. This simple environmental adjustment improves your comfort and makes it significantly easier for you to concentrate on your work.

2. Reducing distractions

Are you often distracted while you’re trying to work? You may be disturbed by external sounds or simply by the things you see out of the window. Shutters and blinds can let in light while simultaneously reducing the amount of noise that enters your home and blocking your line of sight out the window. This effectively eliminates distractions. When you’ve finished work for the day, all you have to do is open the slats fully and you’ll be able to see out the window and hear the outside world once more.

3. Creating a tidy workspace

Shutters and blinds are tidier than curtains and drapes because they have a more rigid form. By replacing your curtains or drapes with blinds or shutters, you can cultivate a tidier environment that’s more conducive to diligent work.

If you work from home, installing shutters or blinds is a great way to turn one of your existing rooms into an office. Check out our range of plantation shutters, Venetian blinds or roller blinds to find a set that can help you.

Transform your home office productivity (with our easy hacks!)

Working from home can be a challenge. Whether you work as a freelancer and use your living room as your office or you work for a larger company from the comfort of your own home, you have to contend with a variety of issues and distractions. After all, your home probably wasn’t originally designed to serve as a workspace. However, simply installing blinds or plantation shutters can help turn your home into a viable working environment. It might sound a little peculiar, but blinds and shutters really can help you work from home. In today’s blog, we’ll explain how in detail.

1. Altering your environment

Do you sometimes find that your home is too bright, too hot, too cool or too dark to work in? Shutters and Venetian blinds can help you change the light and temperature levels in your house. By altering the position of the slats, you can control the amount of light that enters your home and trap as much or as little heat as you wish. This simple environmental adjustment improves your comfort and makes it significantly easier for you to concentrate on your work.

2. Reducing distractions

Are you often distracted while you’re trying to work? You may be disturbed by external sounds or simply by the things you see out of the window. Shutters and blinds can let in light while simultaneously reducing the amount of noise that enters your home and blocking your line of sight out the window. This effectively eliminates distractions. When you’ve finished work for the day, all you have to do is open the slats fully and you’ll be able to see out the window and hear the outside world once more.

3. Creating a tidy workspace

Shutters and blinds are tidier than curtains and drapes because they have a more rigid form. By replacing your curtains or drapes with blinds or shutters, you can cultivate a tidier environment that’s more conducive to diligent work.

If you work from home, installing shutters or blinds is a great way to turn one of your existing rooms into an office. Check out our range of plantation shutters, Venetian blinds or roller blinds to find a set that can help you.

Working from home - shutters to boost productivity

Dress for success: get your windows energy-efficient

Modern homes need to be more than just stylish. Amid spiralling energy bills and a push towards a greener and more sustainable future, how you choose to dress your windows can be a significant step towards doing your bit for the planet.

Dress your windows for energy efficiency

Awnings

A window awning can help keep your property cool in the summer without energy-eating fans or air-conditioning. Properly fitted, awnings can reduce solar heat gain by up to 65% if your windows face south, and 77% if they look to the north. Custom awnings can be engineered to your specific colours or other requirements, and choosing a light shade will reflect the most sunlight to keep you coolest. Looking ahead to the winter months, you can make use of adjustable or retractable awnings which will let the sun warm the house, reducing the need for extra heating.

Awnings Croydon

Interior blinds

Interior blinds will rely on being paired with good double glazing in the winter, as their slatted design isn’t ideal for trapping heat loss. However, in the summer their flexibility is ideal in allowing for adjustments to control light and ventilation. To give you a sense of how effective they are, if completely closed and lowered on a sunny window, a good-quality reflective blind is said to be able to reduce heat gain by 45%. It’s also possible to position them in a way that will block and reflect direct sunlight on to a light-coloured ceiling. This is great for those days when the house heats up on a summer’s day.

Enhance your vision with Venetians

Shutters

Window shutters, either inside or outside of your home, will help keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. As with window blinds, louvered shutters will serve you best for shading during the summer. They allow natural daylight into the room and offer ventilation, but block the heat of the direct sun. During the colder months, solid shutters will decrease heat loss if properly fitted by a professional company. Properly done, the tight fit between your shutter and the window behind will create an insulating air space to keep heat in.

Whatever the season, there is a blind, awning or shutter that will help you get your home greener. So stop throwing your hard-earned cash out of the window, with a little professional advice it can stay where it belongs – in your pocket!

One final suggestion, if you’re after shutters but want to stay away from classic white designs, consider our coloured paint finishes. They’re perfect if you want to make a break from the norm and use your windows as talking points in your room designs! Remember – our ultimate upgrade offer to Teak shutters (you only pay for MDF!) is still available, until 28th June 2016…

Clay coloured tier on tier Shutters

Window frames looking tired? Try these on for size!

Replacing the windows in a modern house can be a massive expense – and that’s before you get to the time and inconvenience that goes with it. It’s a major undertaking that you might just not want to go through.

So, if your windows are starting to show their age and affect the aesthetic appeal of the house when you look out your window, but they’re still structurally intact, interior shutters could be the most cost-effective way to fix the problem.

Bespoke fitted shutters can change the whole look and feel of your house, they can even increase the value if you’re looking to sell or rent and don’t want to invest the time and money into a complete window replacement that you’ll never notice the benefit of.

A set of plantation shutters can convert a rather tired looking lounge into a dramatic vista that frames the garden to perfection and helps turn your house into a dramatic, theatrical looking version of its former self.

Plantation Shutters in Blackheath - Designed and installed by Bromley Blinds

Classic Venetian blinds, meanwhile, will fill the window frame to perfection and these days you can choose from a vast array of finishes, from UPVC through to real wood, which will go with any colour scheme. Not only that, they fit flush and will gracefully conceal any signs of age in the window frame so well that the problem simply disappears.

You’ll also be able to control the light that comes into the house to effectively ‘stage’ your home. Of course, you can determine the right amount of light, but you also tastefully conceal any issues, or at least show that they are easily tackled. If a neighbour can see right through your kitchen window, a simple Venetian blind can take care of that right away and a major obstacle to the sale can simply fade into the background.

arena-white

Of course you might have other reasons to fit the blinds, but when you’re selling a house then you need it to look its best for a sensible outlay. A set of blinds could change the whole look and feel of your house. In fact, you might not want to leave….

 

Easter’s hottest interior design trends

Spring is a lovely time of year. It’s now light for longer than it is dark, the daffodils are out and we’re starting to see a bit more of that sunshine, which puts everyone in a good mood and gives us all an energy boost. But what about your home? Is that sunshine showing up grubby paintwork and tired furniture? The Easter Bank Holiday weekend is the perfect time to start tackling some of those interior design projects that you’ve had at the back of your mind for a while. Or, if you’re totally committed to relaxing (and frankly we don’t blame you!), apply pen to paper and start planning them…

Here are a few tips on this Easter’s trends to get you started:

Elegant simplicity

The trend for decluttering continues. Although minimalism might be the ultimate goal, it isn’t always a realistic one, so think about installing some chic, streamlined storage solutions. Painting cupboards in the same hues as the walls will give you a really clean effect. The same is true of window dressings; according to current style guides, fussy curtains are out. It’s all about Venetian blinds, simple voile panels and elegant plantation shutters.

Easter interior trend: Painting cupboards in the same hues as the walls.
Natural colours and accents

As well as streamlining, the trend for simplicity continues in the colour palettes that are popular at the moment. Natural shades such as stone browns and greys are very modern, while giving just enough softness to make a room feel welcoming. Team these hues with a stronger feature wall, still in natural tones such as a spring meadow green or a teal ocean tone. Keep the woodwork simple too, with an off-white satin finish giving a really fresh finish.

Easter Interior Trend - blending naturals with statement walls, as found on Blog'lovin

Accessories

Lighting remains funky and modern, with a lot of metallic finishes. For furniture, natural textures and soft shapes add to the relaxing, welcoming feel of a room – and never underestimate the importance of a good sofa to flop into at the end of the day! If you feel that you would like a burst of colour then choose a couple of key accessories: a rug, cushions and picture frames are an inexpensive way to bring a splash of interest into a room without overdoing it, and are simple to change for something else when you fancy a new look. So, dust off your paintbrushes, make the most of the sunshine and enjoy your interior design project. Happy Easter from all the team!

Easter Interior Trends- Metallic Light - via remodelista

A beginners guide to designing your home according to Feng Shui

Your home is your sanctuary – a place which makes you feel safe and comfortable, and reflects your specific tastes. But according to the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, your home also has the power to affect your wealth, health and happiness.

As we usher in the Chinese New Year on 8 February, we take a look at how you can transform your interior layouts to comply with Feng Shui – and hopefully attract good fortune in the Year of the Monkey!

STEP ONE – De-Clutter

When you walk into your home, you should feel relaxed and inspired…but it’s hard to do that when the place is a mess. In order to improve the Feng Shui in your home, you first need to de-clutter. And be brutal about it. Anything you don’t use any more, get rid of it – its only gathering dust and blocking up space in your room.

A clean and tidy house will instantly lift your spirits and you will be motivated to keep it looking good day after day.

STEP TWO – Find a place for everything

The core principle of Feng Shui is that everything has an energy (or ‘qi’), and the flow of energy is affected by the positioning of different things around the house.

In layman’s terms, that means that everything should have a place, and that place should make logical sense. For instance, you wouldn’t store your slippers in the garage, or keep your cooking utensils in the bedroom.

STEP THREE – Choose the right colours

Different colours represent different elements in Feng Shui. Calming colours (blue, grey) are recommended for almost every space in your home, but others (purple, red) should be used with caution.

Most Feng Shui masters advise against using purple or red on your walls, as they can drown out the other elements in the room. However, a splash of passionate red or royal purple can add vibrancy to your home – choose richly-coloured fabric blinds in communal areas of the home to bring a bit of excitement to your evenings!

STEP FOUR – Harness the power of nature

Light and air are essential components of Feng Shui, so open your blinds, keep windowsills clutter-free, and add lots of plants around the house to improve the air quality. Bamboo is considered to be particularly lucky in Feng Shui, so add a few bamboo plants around the house to bring good fortune and health.

You can bring even more nature into your home by installing wooden and plantation shutters in every room, creating the perfect canvas for your Feng Shui home.

For more tips and visual inspiration, check out our new Pinterest board!

Beginners Guide To Feng Shui

Introducing Pantone’s Colour(s) of the Year 2016!

PANTONE Color of the Year 2016 - Rose Quartz & Serenity Tiles

Seeing as we’re pretty much interiors-obsessed here at Bromley Blinds HQ, we always look forward to Pantone’s annual colour of the year announcement! However, we were a little taken aback by their shock decision to break with tradition and announce two pastel colours for 2016. Until we saw them of course (since then we’ve just been swooning…)

Pantone’s colours of 2016

No one knows colour like Pantone, so when they announce their annual ‘colour of the year’, anyone into home decor pays serious attention. Past Pantone colours have ranged from the earthy (Marsala and Honeysuckle) to the bright and bold (Tangerine Tango and Turquoise). This year’s Pantone Colour of the Year presents two pastel shades: the light pink Rose Quartz and the silvery blue Serenity.

Over the coming year, you can expect to see some combination of these colours adorning plantation shutters (we’ve already had an order or two and it’s not even February yet!), or smudged into an ombre infusion on the most stylish of walls. There’s no doubt. These two shades create a sophisticated colour palette that looks amazing in interior spaces and promotes a feeling of relaxation in the home.

So how do you add Pink Quartz and Serenity to your décor?

Delicate shades such as Serenity and Rose Quartz really come to life when teamed with side lamps and cosy candlelight, when they emit a romantic glow and bathe everything in a flattering natural filter. They also look fabulous during the day as they allow a lot of beautiful light into a room and keep it feeling airy whilst really homely (you can’t beat an injection of warmth from a beautiful pink shade!) Choosing pastel tones for your décor means that you will have a dusky backdrop for all those beautiful pieces of furniture, whether you’re a fan of dark oak, or the white gloss, minimal look. Alternatively you may just want to team white walls with blinds or shutters that adopt these colours – or statement accessories that inject subtle accents that salute Pantone’s colours of choice but don’t overcommit to current trends.

Here’s the official statement from Pantone:

PANTONE Color of the Year 2016 - Rose Quartz & Serenity

Love these colours and seeking some interiors inspiration? Check out our Pinterest Board which should provide plenty of food for thought. Happy shopping!

 

Happy New Year! Here’s a freebie from Sainsbury’s Bank.

Sainsbury's Bank Guide to Improving Your Home

Happy new year to you all! Hope you had a wonderful festive period! Now that January’s here we are back in the office and things at HQ are quickly hotting up to be another mad month – no doubt due to the fact that we are currently offering our ‘LOVE’ offer – which, if you’re planning home improvements – you need to get involved in NOW! (It’s readily available until Valentine’s Day – yup, that auspicious date in your diary…)

To start the new year with a bang – we’re offering you a quickie this week. Some people have a very clear idea about how they want their home improvements to run – from the basics of renovation, to every stylistic detail. Others may need a bit of advice when planning interiors changes – or at least a helping hand in deciding whether your jotted down ideas are really going to work in reality. That’s where our friends at Sainsbury’s Bank come in. They got in touch with us so that we could offer you a first look at their new guide to improving your home this Winter.

The guide includes useful tips on improving all areas of your home, and ways to create living space. If you’re  thinking about making your home more comfortable and attractive with some new blinds or shutters – this one’s for you. Take a look at the guide here.

Happy reading!

Considering black walls in your home? Here’s the magic formula to make it actually work

Black walls used to be reserved for teenagers going through a Gothic phase(!), but now they feature widely as a luxe interiors trend. Using a dark colour in any space is a bold decision because if you get it wrong, you are looking at a DIY disaster (for one thing, you will struggle to cover up the colour, no matter how many paler tones you layer on top of the black).

However, get it right and you will end up with an elegant, grown-up, Pinterest-friendly interior look which makes a major style statement. You just need to know the magic formula…

1. Choose the right finish

As a general rule, you should probably avoid a high gloss finish for interior walls, as you will end up with a distracting, mirror-like sheen. Instead, choose a matte eggshell finish or even a blackboard paint, which will add a lovely, soft texture to your walls.

2. Choose the right colour

There is no such thing as plain old ‘black’ when it comes to paint – the darkest colours tend to be variations on blues and greys. While extra-dark grey is a relatively safe choice, deep navy blue/black brings a lovely glow to dark rooms. When you patch-test the colours, pay particular attention to the spots on the wall where the natural light falls, so you can see all the undertones shining through.

3. Get the location right

Black walls should be used in moderation, otherwise you risk turning your home into an homage to the Addams family. A splash of black can have a big impact in a white and bright kitchen.

Black Walled Kitchen - Found on Apartmenttherapy.com

While a black feature wall adds drama to a minimalist bedroom. Black walls also work better in rooms with high ceilings and plenty of space, where the bold colour can really speak for itself.

Black minimalist bedroom - http://www.zulily.co.uk/
4. Let the light in!

It may sound contradictory, but black walls actually work best in well-lit areas. The natural light really brings out the textures and hues of dark walls, while statement lighting holds its own in a dark space.

Well-lit bedroom. Found on sketch42blog.com

Wall-mounted up-lighting works particularly well against a black wall, as the little pools of light break up the darkness and bring a glamorous Gothic feel to the room.

5. Accessorise properly

A black wall is an amazing canvas for just about anything: from black and white prints

Black and White Prints - Found on etsy.com

…and bold paintings to quirky accessories.

Found on calebandersondesign.com

Black Wall - Found on decoholic.org

It works especially well with contrasting colours – think bright white, gold and neon pink – but don’t overdo it. Choose just one striking colour, and let it really stand out against the drama of a dark background.

Time to let Boo & Maddie do all the talking…

A very quick update from us this week, just to say that we’re thrilled to have had our work feature on the lifestyle blog, Boo & Maddie. Over the summer, we designed and fitted Plantation Shutters at a home in Grove Park, South East London. This 1930’s 4-bed semi  is currently being lovingly restored by its new owners. There are lots of great interior details planned  – it’s going to be a true work of art when it’s completed!

You can read the blog post that features our contribution to this home renovation project here…and marvel at plenty more Boo & Maddie transformations – here!

Boo & Maddie Blog post - featuring Bromley Blinds

Like the look of these shutters? You can currently make an order of MDF Plantation Shutters and we’ll give you a free upgrade – to designs crafted using white teak, from our elite range. This offer runs throughout the Autumn, and will expire on the 30th November. Considering battening down the hatches as the cold weather sets in? There’s been no better time to order plantation shutters!