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.
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.
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.
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…
Blinds and shutters are highly practical under most circumstances and wonderfully stylish in all situations. However, what you may not realise is that they can also have powerful psychological benefits. It may seem bizarre that window-coverings can help improve your state of mind (regardless of how sophisticated and well-crafted they are). Nonetheless, it’s true. In fact, there are three distinct psychological benefits to installing these types of window-coverings, which we will share with you here.
1. Cultivating mental balance through physical minimalism
Blinds and shutters are both very tidy window-covering options. Because they are more rigid than curtains or drapes, they are also neater. Obviously this can make them look more refined and stylish, but it also endows them with a hidden psychological benefit. People tend to feel more at ease in tidy, uncomplicated environments. By lending the room they are in a sense of simplicity and neatness, blinds and shutters can help you feel more peaceful and mentally balanced in your home environment. You might be surprised at the extent to which this can improve your psychological wellbeing and general outlook.
2. Promoting relaxation through privacy
As we mentioned in our previous blog entry, a sense of privacy is necessary for a person to remain psychologically healthy. Shutters and blinds can block out the world almost completely, thereby giving you the privacy you require to properly de-stress and recharge your mental energies.
3. Generating a sense of autonomy through environmental control
Shutters and blinds can be adjusted to let in as much or as little heat, light and noise as you wish. This isn’t just convenient and practical, it’s also beneficial to your state of mind. We humans need to have a sense of autonomy in order to feel comfortable and confident in ourselves. Shutters and blinds subtly evoke this feeling by allowing you a high level of control over your environment.
Have you recently moved into a new home? If so, you may be wondering whether you should choose curtains or blinds for your windows. This may seem like a minor decision, but it can have a huge impact on your new home’s aesthetic and on how quickly you are able to settle in. Here at Bromley Blinds, we believe that blinds are the ideal window covering for individuals who have just moved into a new home – especially if you’re seeking a super quick solution to fill your empty windows. Our rollers, verticals and venetian blinds offer many practical and aesthetic benefits that curtains and other soft coverings simply can’t match.
1. Ease of cleaning
Blinds have a smoother, more solid structure than curtains, which makes them far easier to keep clean. If you have just moved into a new home, you will probably need to spend most of your time and energy on unpacking and getting used to your new environment. As such, it can be advantageous to install window coverings that require very little time and effort to keep clean and tidy.
2. Decorative versatility
You may not have decided how to decorate your new home if you haven’t been living there long. Consequently, it is important to choose window coverings that are versatile enough to work well with whatever décor you ultimately decide on. Blinds are stylish yet unobtrusive, which means they can be integrated seamlessly into any home. Whether you choose to give your new home an ultra-modern look or a more rustic one, you can rely on blinds to fit smoothly into your chosen aesthetic. If you are sure what colour schemes you’re going to commit to, blinds can be a perfect introduction to setting your chosen theme right from the start. Adding a splash of your chosen colours to neutral decoration can really makes your house feel like a home all the more quickly.
3. Light control
Moving into a new home can often mean adjusting to a new environment. Even the amount of light that gets into your home and the angle at which it enters may different. Blinds are very effective at controlling the amount of light that gets into a room. If you opt to install blinds you will be able to adjust the light-level in your new home until you are comfortable with it, thereby making it easier to adjust to your new environment.
If you’ve recently moved into a new home and wish to install blinds over the windows, contact us today. Our express service offers a quick solution!
Plantation shutters are back in fashion and it’s not hard to see why; they’re less expensive than custom curtains, stylish and practical – and what’s more, they can actually increase the sales appeal of your home.
Here are 3 ways you can use plantation shutters to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
1. Impress viewers
Not that long ago, plantation shutters were only seen installed at luxury homes. These days, despite now being affordable, they continue to offer would-be purchasers a feeling of opulence when browsing. Spending money on first impressions can add value, and buyers like them because they don’t have to do any work or spend any extra money on window dressings.
2. They’re included as part of your home’s offered fixtures
Shutters are the only window dressing that can be financed with the purchase of a new home; this is because they are custom made and typically stay with the home, rather like a permanent fixture. Like fixtures, plantation shutters add value to your home because they are considered in the future sale price, should the home owner decide to put their property on the market. Highly desirable to purchasers, plantation shutters offer the sort of curb appeal that will get buyers through the door.
3. They are energy efficient
Not only do they make financial sense from a house value perspective, shutters can offer great temperature control as they offer insulation which can lead to energy savings, which is particularly important for larger homes and families dealing with large fuel bills. Doors and windows in a home can account for as much as 20% of the heat loss in your property, however you can reduce this loss by as much as 50% with a closed shutter. Conversely, curtains only reduce heat loss by around 15%.
Suitable for inside or outside recesses, bay windows and patio doors (our designs can easily include walk-through doors), plantation shutters are incredibly versatile and can even be used as a means of dividing up open plan areas of your home.
So, like the idea of a window dressing that can reduce your yearly energy bills? If you’re also after one that makes your property quicker and easier to sell – at a price that takes into consideration the value of your permanent fixture window dressings – plantation shutters may well be for you.
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.
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.
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….
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:
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.
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.
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!