• enquiries@bromley-blinds.co.uk
Happy Bank Holiday - Bromley Blinds

How not to ruin a great bank holiday weekend.

According to the One Poll stats, home improvement #DIYFails cost an estimated £727 million every year to fix.

Whilst 45% of the British population fully intend to spend their precious bank holiday break on doing DIY – 58% of them have little or no previous DIY experience. 65% opt to seek advice from the internet, friends and family, in their quest for home improvement success. Just 11% consult a professional tradesman.

The motivation by many is to save money by doing your own DIY.  However, the disruption of ‘normal service’ at home is often forgotten, as tasks you’re unfamiliar with can take forever…not to mention the risk of injury (endured by 21% who attempt DIY). There’s also those who create disaster situations at home (think collapsed ceiling, huge water leak behind all your plastering…) These are the sorts of things that create severe headaches, ruin your home harmony – and require a lengthy home insurance claim.

You’re probably thinking (just like I did, until I dug a little deeper on the topic!) that people encountering DIY disaster on an epic scale MUST be engaging in the madness of constructing  a summerhouse, boarding the loft themselves, or perhaps installing a new kitchen.Not so. In fact, it’s the simple act of hammering a nail into the wall to hang a picture that is the TOP bodged job, listed by home insurance company Zurich.

How?! Well… plaster breakage can cause destruction – and even worse, the presence of a water pipe or electricity cable can cause nightmares that would leave even the most hardened DIY’ers admitting defeat and retreating outside, to the pub (or an ambulance – if they’re less lucky).

The fact is, simple DIY jobs can go really wrong. The message is this; if you’re unsure about exactly how to execute a DIY job effectively – DON’T ask Auntie Nora or rely on amateur advice from the internet – YouTube videos DON’T have all the answers and the advice given certainly isn’t regulated by tradesmen.

If you’re still really keen to do some DIY and not totally clear on how to action it, it’s far more advisable to ask a home improvements professional for advice. Paying for an hour of their time could easily save you thousands of pounds, plus a shed load of bank holiday stress.

Arched Window on Bromley Blinds Instagram - recent job by Bromley Blinds

This picture has been a hit on the Bromley Blinds Instagram account…

It doesn’t matter what shape your windows are – the more interesting the better! Here are some natural wood #PlantationShutters we designed and installed for a #London home.

This week’s blog post showcases the return of our real home recent projects! We featured this one over on the Bromley Blinds Instagram account this week – and it went down a storm, so we thought we’d share it over on our blog too!

The Location | A private home in Dulwich, London SE22.
The Project | The installation of light control solution dual aspect windows in the bedroom – one of which is arched.
The Brief | The intention of this more unusual project was to provide a light control product that would suit both styles of window.  The archway featured is a design feature of the property; therefore it was essential that the product selected would not obliterate its unusual shape or block out natural light. Needless to say, curtains were a total no-no.
The Solution | Plantation shutters were designed for the dual aspect windows, which would incorporate a perfect fit product for the archway space. Design trends are dictating a comeback in natural wood and sustainable materials. These shutters feature natural wood finish and feature 60mm louvres.  A mid-rail features in the design, meaning that the upper arched section is separated from the lower. This enables a ‘window space’ to create a different look and feel to the plantation shutters when the louvres are opened and those on the lower tier remain shut. The shutters on the ‘straight forward’ sections have bi-folding doors, which minimises the space taken up when they are fully opened.

The majority of sizing up jobs we see are straight ‘up and downs’, or bay windows (which are a traditional favourite for plantation shutter installations as they present otherwise awkward-to-dress 90 degree angles). Truth is, we love a challenge and can make plantation shutters work for you, whatever the size and shape of your windows and/or the number of awkward angles you want to throw at us. You can see a ‘live feed’ of our recent jobs by following the Bromley Blinds Instagram account. We’re looking fwd to seeing your pretty pictures too!

Waking too early? We’ve got a summer discount for that…

Whether your home features curtains, blinds or shutters, light control products are always important, particularly in bedrooms where maintaining a calming environment is the main priority for a good night’s sleep. The good news is that we now offer ALL of these products as blackout options for your home – with a 20% discount until 31st July 2015!

Blackout Blinds summer discount 2015 - by Bromley Blinds

Enjoy complete rest and relaxation this summer

Black out blinds, plantation shutters and curtains give such good coverage that you need a torch to be able to see around a room. They offer up to 98% coverage from light and provide the ultimate result of completely undisturbed sleep – whenever you’re choosing to slumber. This is especially useful if your house is home to young children or night workers – or you’re simply looking to enhance a feeling of rest and relaxation.

How do these blackout products work?

Black out roller blinds and curtains are made of special fabric to block out light, whilst our plantation shutter options incorporate a blackout blind which is neatly fixed into the inset of the window pane behind your shutter fittings. This completely obscures them from visibility, unless in use. All of our blackout blinds feature a Child safe guarantee. This is an essential element of the product specification which you should be offered – by law, if you’re making a blinds purchase. You can read more about this here.

Until then, enjoy the summer discount!



The 10 best Instagram interior design accounts

Instagram is great because you can follow whomever you like without having to be ‘accepted’ or seen, unlike Facebook. If blooms are your bag then your feed is awash with tulips and roses; if it’s fashion, well hello there stylish pointy brogues recommended by a cool hipster fashion blogger. If, like us, interiors are your weakness then we’ve found ten of the best to follow on Instagram. From beautifully styled shelves, to reclaimed stripped furniture, you’re sure to find something dreamy here:

1. @apartmenttherapy
A must follow if you want tips on how to style small spaces, you get to peek inside stylish pads and steal their successful secrets.

2. @foundandfavour
Clara posts pictures of her home that she’s renovating in the Surrey Hills, laden with painted furniture, wicker baskets and Cornish-ware on Quaker style shelves.

3. @wallpapermag
They tag themselves ‘The World’s Global Design Authority’ and they’re not wrong. Find all the latest design news and trends from around the world here.

4. @dominomag
Decorating ideas, stunning shutters, cute dogs and drool worthy food. What’s not to love?

5. @brightbazaar
This Instagram and blog account was such a huge hit it scored Will Taylor a book deal. A lover of bright things, his pics bring colour pop into your life.

6. @heynataliejean
Click under the nesting link for this New York City gals interior inspirations. Also fantastic for fashion and lifestyle.

7. @jonathanadler
His mission is to bring style, craft and joy to your life. He certainly succeeds. His snaps will have you rushing to the London store.

8. @plumandashby
This home and interiors brand not only posts pictures of their stunning home products, you also get to swoon over their adorable wire-haired fox terrier, Bertie.

9. @selinalake
Selina is a freelance Interiors and Lifestyle stylist and author. Her feed is awash with pink chairs, jam jars filled with blossoms and pastel coloured paper pom poms.

10. @sarahmoorevintage
You may recognise Sarah as the winner from Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC2. On her Instagram account she shares pictures of her beautiful home in the country and her love of quirky, pretty, vintage things.

On our Instagram we feature our press coverage,  interior design inspiration, tips and information on  current trends – plus recent fittings of your blinds, curtains and shutters. Remember – if you’re a client and would like to take a photo of our work, please tag us when sharing and use the hashtag #BromleyBlindsDesign.

Bromley Blinds on Instagram

Chalk White Venetian Blinds - Bromley Blinds

Why choose wooden Venetian blinds?

There has never been more choice when it comes to furnishing your home with light control products. Fabric or blackout roller blinds; wooden or aluminium venetians; vertical blinds, or the coveted plantation shutters – how do you know which option is right for you?

Your final decision will probably depend on cost, availability and style, but it is also worth thinking about the practicalities when it comes to your home.

If you are looking for a light control product that works in any space, wooden Venetian blinds are a safe bet. Venetian blinds are a design classic, and will work with almost any design scheme, while the wood offers a more modern and durable take on the classic aluminium slats. Think retro prints against pale wood, neutral tones in a modern living room, or dark, painted blinds over tall, industrial-style windows.

When painted cream or white, good quality wooden blinds can closely resemble plantation shutters, but at a fraction of the price. Closed, they offer all the privacy of a blackout blind, and when opened, they can let the daylight stream into your home, or peep through the slats for a romantic dappled-light effect.

Chalk White Venetian Blinds  -  Bromley Blinds

Bromley Blinds offers a huge range of wooden Venetian blinds alongside our classic aluminium Venetians; while aluminium blinds are a more cost-effective option, in the long term, wooden blinds represent greater value for money.

We use good quality wood, which is a natural insulator. The relative thickness of the wood can also act as a soundproofing device, muffling any noise from the street outside. When fully closed, wooden blinds can also help enhance your home security by keeping prying eyes away from ground floor windows. As a light control product, wooden slats are unparalleled when it comes to keeping harmful sunlight away from your soft furnishings.

Harvest Oak Venetian Blinds - Bromley Blinds

However, wooden blinds are not right for every room in the house. In bathrooms, the constant moisture can cause the wood to warp and bend – choose a matching set of aluminium shutters for damp rooms to maintain the overall look of your home.

Taped Wooden Venetian Blinds - Bromley Blinds

To discover our full range and see what sort of blinds will work best in your home, get in touch and we’ll book you an appointment with one of our surveyors. We will work out the best quotation we can offer and provide that for you in writing. After this is submitted, we will not pester you with sales discount phone calls or ring imaginary sales managers for “additional discounts if you agree to buy on the day”.  This kind of thing is simply our worst nightmare (and we imagine that’s probably the same for you too!) Our philosophy is to always be completely transparent throughout your quotation, design and fitting service. We always quote the best price for your high quality light control products first time.

Interior Trends | 3 ways to work the copper look in your home

In the world of interior design, copper is already the success story of the year. Once confined to gourmet pots and pans in the recesses of country kitchens, now it is popping up all over the place: on pendant lampshades, in frames and even woven into the fabric of soft furnishings.

It’s not hard to see why. The warm hue and bright metallic gleam can give even the most forgotten space an instant update – and when it comes to interior design, a little bit of copper goes a very long way.

Here are our top 3 tips on how to work the copper trend into your home today:

1. Pair with neutrals

Copper works best when set against warm neutral colours, such as beige, taupe and cream. Similarly, it is a trend best paired with classic décor, such as plain-coloured roller blinds and plantation shutters. The unusual colour will stand out against an almost-blank canvas, drawing the eye towards your stunning new copper floor lamp, sculpture or painting. Placed beside a window, you also have the added advantage of watching the natural light bounce and sparkle against the bold metallic.

2. Add it in fabric

If you want to incorporate a copper element without changing the whole look of your room, cushions, blankets, lampshades and curtains are the obvious place to start. This is the easiest (and cheapest) way to update your interior style, allowing you to introduce a new trend gradually, without making a huge change. Choose a fabric that features a subtle thread of copper, or opt for a pair of statement cushions finished with a strong copper pattern.

3. Update fixtures and fittings

Don’t forget, you already have a hidden copper feature in your house – your pipes! Exposed copper piping is very on-trend at the moment, although it can be high maintenance. Exposed copper should be shiny and clean looking, so be prepared to polish it at least once a week. If this doesn’t appeal, consider adding copper into your other fixtures and fittings where the tarnished effect is less noticeable – think doorknobs, taps and cupboard handles.

You can see all these ideas and many more, over on our Pinterest board. Follow us on there for visual interiors tips and inspiration for your home makeovers!

Follow Bromley Blinds’s board Copper | Interior Trend 2015 on Pinterest.

Here’s how Plantation Shutters transformed a period home

Bromley Blinds Real Home Recent ProjectThe Location | A home in SE22, South East London.
The Project Brief | We were required to select a light control product that would provide coverage to windows in a period home. The rooms in question? The Lounge, Master Bedroom, Children’s bedroom and the Nursery. The focus of this project was to design an effective light control solution that would be versatile in providing privacy to a bay window in the lounge and promote privacy, rest and relaxation in the bedrooms. The selected designs would remain sympathetic to the period features of the house and not obscure the large window designs.

Plantation Shutters finished in Pearl in a lounge in SE22 - Bromley Blinds Plantation Shutters finished in Pearl in SE22 - Bromley Blinds

The Solution| Tier on Tier bi-folding plantation shutters with central control rods were designed and fitted in this period home. Plantation shutters were selected as they would create a seamless visual across all the windows, and this light control solution was sure to perfectly fit each unique window space in this beautifully restored older property. To provide complete continuity, these bi-folding shutter designs all featured 63mm louvres with central control rods. In all rooms we finished the hardwood shutters in pearl to colour match the paintwork and highlight the cornicing details. In the lounge and master bedroom, the upper and lower tiers of the shutters were aligned with the split pane design of the bay windows.

Plantation Shutters for a child's bedroom finished in Pearl in SE22 - Bromley Blinds Plantation Shutters finished in Pearl for a nursery in SE22 - Bromley Blinds

A DIY Trend That’s Worth It? Wall Stencilling.

Home décor can seem like an impossible thing to get round to, let alone get right – if you’re tackling it yourself! Here at Bromley Blinds, we fell head over heels for these DIY décor ideas for your walls. Stencilling is right on trend and the perfect way to get an individual, character-filled home with minimal expense, time, or forward planning.

It’s back to basics: wall stencils can be made out of an old cereal box, scrap paper, or anything else you have lying about the house. Simply cut a pattern, stick it on, and paint over it. If you’re artistically challenged or have simply spotted something you like online, print out a shape to trace or cut around for an easy method. Below are some of our favourite examples of wall stencilling in action.

Paint pens are the easiest way imaginable to personalise your walls, and it really does take minutes. You don’t have to go crazy – just a simple stencilled pattern can really liven up any space.

Paint pen wall stencilling - as featured by Bromley Blinds

Wall stencilling can take you as far as your imagination is willing to venture, as this example using lace, shows! Anything with a distinct pattern will work, and all you have to do is stick down and spray over.

Lace wall stencilling - as featured by Bromley Blinds

Simplicity really is the key to great wall design, and this cute repetition of clouds for a kid’s bedroom creates fun and playfulness without adding lots of colour. It’s also completely gender-neutral, so it’s perfect for expectant mums with five minutes decorating time to spare!

Clouds wall stencilling - as featured by Bromley Blinds

I’ve included this design  just to show that DIY décor isn’t about perfection, and that’s what makes it so interesting and unique! Putting love and care into your home by hand isn’t just rewarding, it looks great too.

Wall Stencilling on Pinterest- as featured by Bromley Blinds

Are you thinking about walls as well as dressing windows in your beautiful home? We’d love to see your DIY designs in action! For more inspiration on Stencilling, check out our Pinterest board.

Follow Bromley Blinds’s board DIY Wall Stencilling for the home on Pinterest.

The Lounge Improvement You Should Be Focusing On

Bromley Blinds Real Home Recent ProjectThe Location | A home in Petts Wood, BR2, Kent.
The Project Brief | We were required to select a light control product that would provide coverage to the lounge window. This home features a large four pane window, the right side of which creates a bay. The window needed dressing in a way that would modernise the look and feel of the lounge, open up the window spaces, and maximise options for privacy. This was particularly important due to the positioning of furniture in the living room; there is seating in front of the window that would benefit from a product that enhances coverage and promotes a feeling of rest and relaxation.
The Solution |We know there’s nothing worse than feeling like a goldfish. Standard hardwood full height plantation shutters were designed for the lounge window. These were finished in Pure White and featured 63mm louvres. Unlike blinds and curtains, plantation shutters are installed within the window frame and don’t intrude into a room; an important consideration for spaces where uncluttered, clean lines are desired. The plantation shutters provide a streamlined look and lift the look of the room, injecting a modern feel. Although full height, we designed a mid rail which is separates the upper and lower sections of the shutters so that they can be independently controlled. This provides a lot of different privacy setting options. These tier sections were aligned with the split pane design windows.

Petts Wood Lounge Plantation Shutters - Bromley Blinds

Flip that furniture – five top renovation projects

Whether a gift from a well-meaning relative, or a rash online purchase, you might have been lumbered with a piece of furniture that doesn’t exactly match your home’s style. We see it all the time on our visits to homes around London and the South East. What we also see it this: a truck-load of furniture renovation projects that are truly inspirational! 

There’s no need to write off these seemingly unattractive pieces of furniture – here are five tips, tricks and ideas for your next furniture flip:

1. The pretty painted sofa makeover

A splash of colour can boost any home’s interior design, and the same goes for your furniture. A new renovation trend currently sweeping the internet is painting upholstered furniture to give it a new lease of life.

This wonderful chair demonstrates the sort of results you can get from using a pot of house paint (yes, house paint) mixed with a fabric medium and a few recovered cushions. Check out this amazing Pinterest board for more painted upholstery inspiration.

2. Rescue vintage metal furniture

Flea markets, car boot sales and the like are great places to find some vintage metal furniture gems. While some people are fine with such vintage pieces showing their age, this site shows that they do look mighty fine when refurbished.

3. Fixing up a washstand

Washstands might not seem like the most modern pieces of furniture, but an upcycled, antique washstand can lift your guest room with its unique style. This lovingly restored beauty is a great example of a loving furniture renovation project, or you can even create your own washstand in a few simple steps.

4. Sweet dreams

Changing your headboard can completely transform the look and feel of your bedroom, and it need not cost the earth either. Better Homes & Garden is a great go-to source for headboard ideas, especially if you want to do it yourself. This post features some of my favourite DIY headboard renovations that use everyday items to create a simple and chic style. Country Living also offers this adorable Birdhouse Headboard and the coordinating colours used in this design offer a timeless, elegant style.

Furniture Renovation on http://www.bhg.com featured by Bromley Blinds

Headboard Renovation featured on http://www.bhg.com

5. Chalkboard tables

We’ve seen chalkboard walls, calendars and fridges, but sprucing up a humdrum table into a chalkboard table adds an element of entertainment to any meal time. The process is pretty simple. Just sand the table, prime it and paint with a couple of layers of mixed grey chalkboard paint. Then allow the surface to cure for a few days to avoid any scratches before testing it out on a dinner party.