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Make your home stand out this summer with an exterior makeover

As homeowners, we tend to focus our design efforts on the inside of our homes. However, refreshing the exterior of your house can help make your home stand out, and give a good first impression to visitors, neighbours or even potential buyers. With summer round the corner, now’s the perfect time to invest in simple upgrades to give your home some extra curb appeal.

Add blinds or shutters

As a popular alternative to curtains, many people choose to install modern roller blinds or venetian blinds on their windows. However, blinds aren’t just functional, they can also change the way your home looks, from the inside and the outside. A set of beautiful shutters can really open up a window, and give your home a unique, stylish quality, while if you add vertical blinds to your conservatory or bi-fold doors, you can enjoy better insulation during the colder months and added privacy all year round. Best of all, as well as being one of the most cost-effective ways to give your windows a facelift, when you invest in beautifully-designed blinds you not only make your home look good on the outside, but on the inside too – it’s a win-win!

Fix-up your front door

Along with your street-facing windows, your front door is the one of the first places most visitors will see, so it’s important to make a good impression. Make sure the door itself is clean and stylish by giving it a fresh coat of paint every few years. You could also add a quirky door knocker, a patterned blind for a peek of colour (if your door has glass panels) or some potted flowers either side of the entrance to brighten things up.

Tidy your garden

A neat garden will always look inviting. If you don’t enjoy spending a weekend outside, simply invest in a low-maintenance solution such as paving, gravel or a lawn. Just make sure you mow the grass on a weekly basis, or, in the case of paving, pressure wash it once a year to remove marks, moss and mildew. If you have a patio on the side or back of your house you could even convert it into a shaded, café-style eating area by adding a stylish awning.

Get out your paintbrush

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, painting your house is a great way to change its appearance. Neutral colours such as white or cream can really freshen things up, while in some areas, lilac, green or pink are popular. Just make sure you check in with your local council before you grab a paintbrush, to find out which hues are considered acceptable.

The power of blinds and shutters in the property market

Here at Bromley Blinds, we understand that blinds and plantation shutters offer an astonishingly wide range of advantages. They can create a more comfortable home environment by allowing you to control the amount of heat and light that gets through your windows; they can help block out irritating and distracting noises from outside your home; they can even help bolster your psychological wellbeing by giving you greater levels of privacy. However, they also offer another, less obvious advantage that you may find surprising. If you’re currently trying to sell your home, installing shutters or blinds can help you do so more quickly. They can even help you get a better price. But how exactly do shutters and blinds accomplish such an amazing feat?

1. Light control

Each room of your home looks best when presented in a particular light. Shutters and Venetian blinds allow you to control the amount of natural light that enters your home, thereby allowing you to ensure that each room is lit in a way that makes it looks gorgeous. This can impress prospective buyers on a subconscious level when they come to look at your property. This naturally gives you a better chance of selling the property quickly for a good price.

2. Tidiness

Unlike curtains and drapes, shutters and blinds are made from solid materials, instead of loose-hanging fabrics. This means that they look tidier, which makes a good impression on potential buyers. Remember: it’s easier for prospective homeowners to see a property’s potential when it’s nice and tidy. Shutters and blinds can help you achieve the ideal level of neatness.

3. Neutrality

Shutters and blinds can look stylish without standing out: they possess a graceful aesthetic neutrality. Because they are so unobtrusive, they make it easy for a prospective buyer to envisage how your property will look when they buy it and decorate it in their own preferred style. Being able to envision your property as their own makes prospective buyers more willing to commit to a purchase.

Simply put, installing shutters or Venetian blinds in your home is a great way to make it look great for potential buyers who might wish to view it. Of course, once you’ve installed blinds or shutters, your property may look so wonderful that you choose to go on living their yourself instead.

Get a better sleep with blackout blinds

The longer hours of daylight during the summer months are always welcomed, yet they can have an adverse effect on our body clocks. Anyone who has ever tried to persuade a toddler that it is bedtime when it is bright and sunny outside will appreciate this dilemma! Likewise, sunrise at 4.45am may not be the ideal time to wake up, but with light or transparent window coverings, a light-flooded room is almost bound to stir the sleeper. Centuries of evolution have programmed us to respond to the shift from day to night, but too little sleep can cause health problems. The solution is to learn to love the dark. Blackout blinds in the bedroom can extend a natural night’s rest considerably, and may be of particular benefit to babies and young children.

Our lives are more brightly lit than ever before, with or without the extra hours of summertime sunshine. Many of us have electronic gadgets, emitting blue light, plugged in overnight, and these can interfere with deep restorative sleep. Street lights, for those in urban areas, are impossible to control, and all the light sources inside the home can be damaging our internal rhythms, without us even realising. Dimming lights in the evening can help the mind and body prepare for the wind-down that is the precursor to a decent sleep.

Blackout blinds are supremely effective at creating total darkness, which is the ideal condition for bodily processes such as production of melatonin and other hormones. All sorts of tasks, like muscle repair, consolidation of memories and regulation of metabolism, take place in those hours of blackness. We all know how well-being is improved after a refreshing and decent night of slumber, and losing just 30 minutes every night can cause damage to these essential patterns of recovery. Blackout blinds are also ideal for anyone who needs to take a nap in the daytime, like shift workers and nursing mothers.

Blackout blinds are available in all colours to suit a room’s décor, and are simple to fit and install. By guaranteeing a long, natural and healthy night’s sleep, whatever the time of year, they are a great investment for quality slumber.

600 x 400 blackout 2

 

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

Enjoy your summer with an awning

Awnings have been around for centuries. Have a look at some etchings from Ancient Egypt, and you’ll see Cleopatra reclining under one, although hers was made of silk. As time has gone on, awnings have been a great multi-purpose item, spotted on everything from commercial settings like markets and cattle buildings, right through to royal palaces. These days, an awning is made from the latest materials – Kevlar, extruded aluminium and strong acrylics have replaced wooden poles and straw mats, meaning that today’s awning purchase is one which will last you many happy years.

With the introduction of decking, we’ve seen a real boost in interest in our awning products. And why not? Decking and an awning make perfect partners in the summer, providing shade over your solid deck floor. The same goes for having an awning over your patio. It’s like having a room outside!

An awning will also save you money if you want to stay cool. Once you’ve had your awning installed, the shade it will provide will give you an area of cool, comfortable space. If you’ve got air conditioning installed, it won’t have to work quite as hard, keeping your electricity bill right down. Over the space of a few summers, this will provide you with a significant saving.

Your awning’s shaded space also stops the sun’s rays from getting into your house through windows and patio doors. Your furniture and upholstery don’t get exposed to the sun, so there’s no bleaching effect, and no drying out. Your curtains and blinds will thank you for saving them, while your awning, designed to deal with the intense rays from the sun, does exactly the job it’s designed for.

Retractable awnings are the most seen type of awning on the market. There are still a few non-retractable types, but they’ve fallen out of favour as they’re constantly out, exposed to bad weather. A strong gust of wind can damage a non retractable awning quite easily by simply tearing its fabric. A retractable awning can be wound back into its casing when it’s not in use, protecting it from strong winds or heavy rain. Even prolonged exposure to the sun can be too much for a non retractable awning. We’d always recommend a retractable awning, whether you choose a manual or electric mechanism.

Ready to talk to the experts about awnings? Get in touch today – our awnings may keep you in the shade, but we won’t.

Awning for a Croydon Home - by Bromley Blinds

How shutters and blinds can soothe your mind

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.


2016-05-05

Just moved in? Here’s why you should choose blinds for your new home

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!

Why shutters and blinds are ideal for life in the city

Living in a major city isn’t always easy, due to a lack of privacy and security and an excess of external stimuli. There’s no doubt that London is hectic. With a full on work schedule and the pace of life in general, you may have difficulty relaxing and finding peace of mind when at home. Luckily, you can help yourself simply by installing blinds or plantation shutters. Blinds and shutters are ideally suited to homes in cities and can aid city-dwellers in a number of ways.

1. Light blocking

At night, you may have to put up with disturbing and intrusive lights. City-based shops and office buildings are often left lit up overnight, and their light can penetrate homes such as yours. If your house is near a busy road, the headlights used by passing cars may also cause a problem. However, shutters and blinds are very effective at blocking out light at night. They cover windows far more completely and effectively than curtains and can totally shield your home’s interior from external light sources. If you find it hard to relax or get to sleep because of your city’s constant illumination, investing in shutters or blinds could help you.

2. Noise reduction

There’s no denying that cities can be incredibly voluble places: the noise and excitement can even be part of their charm. However, if you are trying to unwind and recharge yourself at home, external sounds can be irritating and distracting. Shutters are particularly effective at providing sound insulation and reducing the amount of external noise that enters your home.

3. Improved privacy

In a highly populated area, it can be hard to feel truly alone. Even when you’re at home, the sheer number of people passing by close outside can create a feeling of social claustrophobia. You need a certain amount of solitude to remain psychologically healthy, so the lack of privacy in your city can be very damaging. Investing in shutters or blinds can help, however, because they can block out the outside world, prevent prying eyes from seeing into your home and restore your sense of privacy.

4. Crime prevention

Cities tend to have higher crime rates than smaller towns and villages. Installing blinds or plantation shutters can deter prospective burglars and other criminals simply by preventing them from seeing into your home. Plantation Shutters can be particularly off putting to potential burglars. They can’t be easily manoeuvred – and they also block the view into a room – which significantly reduces the appeal of attempting a forced entry!

Living in a major city is exciting and rewarding, but it can also be difficult. Installing shutters or blinds is a straight-forward way to make your life easier; check out our extensive range today.

Selling your home? Here’s how to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

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.

Here's how to attract more buyers: Install Plantation Shutters. These were designed for a home in Chislehurst Kent - Bromley Blinds

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….