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Commercial Blinds

Blinds are popular for covering windows to obtain privacy, to keep heat in or out and to add a stylish look to a home. However, they are not just fitted within the home environment. Many offices also use blinds at the windows, and this article offers information about commercial blinds. When choosing blinds for an office environment you need to consider it from both a practical perspective and also from an aesthetic perspective. For example, an office that often has a lot of sunlight coming in through the windows needs to consider how light intrusion can be eliminated.  Versatile BlindsVertical and Venetian blinds are often thought of as the most versatile type of blinds, and they are particularly popular in offices. This is because they are easy to use and can be operated simply with a pull chord or chain. However, they can also be adjusted to allow differing amounts of light into the room. Vertical blinds consist of panels that stand vertically and can either separate in the middle to stack either side, or they can all slide to one side. Venetian blinds are comprised of wooden slats that lay horizontally. These are then raised and lowered, and can also be adjusted to allow differing amounts of light into the room. The LookWhen choosing blinds for your office space you will need to consider the overall look you wish to end up with. If your office space is creative and colourful you should choose something to match this. However, you could also opt for simple and subdued pastel colours. Alternatively, you can choose natural wooden blinds. The possibilities are endless, and you should consider what the office already looks like, and the look you wish to end up with following the installation of the blinds.

How to Ensure 100% Blackout Curtains and Blinds

When you are buying new curtains and blinds it is important to consider how well you need them to block out the light. If they are for a bedroom, particularly a child or baby’s room, then you may need to be able to create complete darkness even in the middle of the day. This is where blackout curtains and blinds come in. Many manufacturers of ready-made curtains and blinds now offer 100% blackout. Blackout material is usually made by coating a poly/cotton fabric with a layer of acrylic and comes in a variety of colours – not just black. The fabric is slightly thicker and stiffer than normal curtain material but not enough to prevent it hanging and draping properly. When you are buying blackout curtains or blackout blinds, check whether the seams are covered, particularly on blinds. Even a row of pinpricks can let in a surprising amount of light. Because blackout blinds and curtains prevent light coming through, they also reduce air circulation and this helps keep a room warmer.If you are not looking to replace your curtains but are not happy with their ability to keep out the light, it is now possible to buy 100% blackout linings with the added advantage of thermal insulation. They are lining curtains which can be hooked on to your existing curtains and hangs behind them. They come in a variety of colours and can be a cost-effective way to increasing the effectiveness of the curtains you already own, especially if they were very expensive.

How to Clean VELUX Blinds

VELUX blinds are designed for roof windows so they do not tend to get as dirty as other blinds around the house but they will require cleaning at some point.  The following tips should help you with the cleaning process. VELUX venetian blinds which use aluminium slats require only simple cleaning.  Wipe them with a damp cloth or use a feather duster to remove dust which will gather over time.  Do not use cleaning chemicals as it is possible that this might damage the blinds.VELUX blackout blinds should be suitable for being wiped clean which means that any dust or dirt can simply be wiped away with a cloth without worrying about damaging the blinds.  Any stubborn dirt can be removed using a warm, damp cloth.Any of the other types of VELUX blinds should be cleaned with a dry cloth or feather duster.  A damp cloth is not recommended as this might cause damage to your blinds.

How Curtains and Blinds Have Developed Through the Ages

Fashions in curtains and blinds have come and gone over the years, from heavy pelmets to fancy swags and tassels, from ruched silk to metal venetian blinds, and from headers with French pleats to eyelets or tab tops. A glance at any book about interior design and soft furnishings will give a fascinating insight into how these different styles have developed through the ages.Ever since humans started building settled communities and gave up the hunter gatherer lifestyle, they have taken pride in their homes. Windows were primarily a way to let out smoke, and often had wood or fabric coverings to keep out the wind and rain. Solid wooden window shutters were the normal window covering for most European homes until glass became more affordable. It wasn’t until the 16th century that glazed windows became widely used, and this is when the fashion for elaborate fabric curtains and poles as an important element of interior decoration really came into its own. In poorer homes, a curtain was a single, fixed piece of fabric. Fashions for more elaborate designs and rich fabrics such as velvet, hanging in pairs, started in Italy and France before being adopted in England.Internal wooden shutters became more sophisticated, and fabric curtains were influenced by the opulent style of the French King Louis XIV. During the 17th and 18th century the fashions for decorative curtains, ruched fabric blinds and pelmets to hide curtain rods, curtain rings and pulley and cord mechanisms were born. Decorative styles then came thick and fast, from Rococo to Neo-Classicism to Empire and Regency, and almost every type of curtains and blinds we use today has its origins in history, no matter how modern we think it looks.

Roman Blinds and Roller Blinds – What is the Difference?

If you are wondering what the differences are between Roman blinds and roller blinds, then here is a definitive explanation.There are many variations of these two styles of blinds, but the difference is in the method by which they are drawn up. Both roller blinds and Roman blinds hang above the window and are drawn down to block out the light. Roller blinds are always made of a flat piece of strengthened fabric which is rolled around a pole, usually made of metal. When pulled down, they unravel, and then roll back up again on a spring system, as required.Roman blinds on the other hand are drawn up using a pulley system of cord or string which gathers them up in folds. Roman blinds are made of fabric and have a fairly simple construction. They have one vertical line of cord attached on each side which draws them upwards. The fabric is strengthened with a series of horizontal dowel rods so that it folds neatly into flat horizontal folds as it goes up.There are several variations on Roman blinds, using looser fabric and without having horizontal rods. These are called Austrian and Festoon blinds and they have a more gathered or ‘ruched’ and fussy effect, rather than lying flat against the window. They often have several vertical lines of cord attached to the fabric to gather it up into ‘scoops’ as it rises.Whilst roller blinds are best bought ready-made, you can make Roman blinds yourself, with the help of instructions. Roman blinds can be made of almost any fabric and are usually lined. The horizontal dowel rods can be either hidden in pockets or tucks within the fabric, or glued onto the back. Simple metal grommets are punched into the fabric to make holes for the cord.

Wooden Furniture Restoration

A cost effective way to furnish a room is to buy wooden pieces at car boot sales or second-hand furniture shops.  It saves even more money if you are able to do the restoration on these pieces yourself. To start the restoration process, clean the piece thoroughly with warm soapy water.  When the piece is dry, put on protective gloves and coat it with paint stripper, and then leave it on for the recommended time period so that it will completely penetrate the varnish (or paint).  Use fine wire wool to take off the softened varnish, replacing the wire wool as soon as it gets clogged with material.  When the varnish is removed, sand the piece with fine sandpaper, always working in the direction of the grain.  Do this until all that is left is the original wood.Wipe the wood down with white spirit using a clean, lint free cloth; this will serve to both remove any dust and neutralize the paint stripper.  Do not skip this step because if the paint stripper is not neutralized it could negatively affect the new finish.  Next, apply wood restorer to the entire piece with a clean cloth; this should be applied using a circular motion, and will help to get rid of marks and bring back the natural look of the grain. There are a number of ways to finish off the piece including painting, staining, varnishing, oiling, or waxing it.  Which finish you choose will depend in large part on the purpose of the piece.  A piece such as a chair that will be used a lot will need a hardwearing finish, and in most cases should be varnished.  A table may only require a few coats of wax or oil.Whichever finish you opt for, follow the instructions on the packaging to the letter, and do not skimp on the number of coats you apply; along with making the piece look great, the finish helps to protect the furniture from wear and damage.

Cellular Blinds – what are they?

Cellular blinds are not as well known as other types of blinds, such as Roman blinds or roller blinds. However, cellular blinds are just as effective as the other types of blinds. The cellular blind is made from a series of hexagonal cells, which are placed side by side. A cellular blind is considered to be an energy efficient product.The energy efficiency of the product is dependent upon the number of cells contained within the blind. The greater the size of the cells making up the blind, the greater amount of air that can be trapped, hence, the larger the cells of the blind, the greater the insulation the blind provides.  Cellular blinds, also referred to as honeycomb shades, are sold by many retailers. Cellular blinds are available in a variety of colours and designs. They are designed to allow a certain amount of light to enter into the room.  In addition, they can be designed to be raised and lowered in both directions. Some retailers stock motorised versions of these blinds, allowing for the lowering and raising of the blind at the touch of a button. Blinds are becoming an increasingly popular choice for windows, they are easy to care for and take up less space than curtains. They come in a variety of colours and designs and can be easily matched to a home’s existing decor. Blinds are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Blinds are a common choice for the kitchen or bathroom, in which the window is usually found above a sink or worktop, rendering it difficult to reach. A motorised cellular blind is a wise option for rooms of this kind as the householder is not required to reach over worktops to operate the blind.

Wooden Blinds - a versatile choice

Wooden blinds are a versatile option for the home, especially for bedrooms and living rooms. Wooden blinds are made from lightweight wood that can be stained to produce the right effect and colour. Unlike wooden floors, wooden venetian blinds are known by their colour, rather than by the actual wood they are made of. For example a ‘walnut’ wooden blind will be the colour of walnut wood rather than made from actual walnut wood.Wooden blinds are typically not suitable for kitchens or bathrooms as a damp environment may have a damaging effect on the wood and may warp the slats.The fashion for wooden floors has increased the popularity of wooden blinds to match. The advantage of wooden blinds is that when the décor, furnishings or upholstery in a room is changed, unlike patterned or coloured curtains, the wooden blinds do not have to be changed. Wooden shutters create a clean, modern look so popular in homes today.The most popular wooden blinds are venetian blinds that are produced in different natural wood or wood-stained colours. Venetian blinds come in variable slat widths depending on the size of the window being covered. In general, the smaller the size of the window the narrower the slats, and the larger the window the wider the slats. Venetian blinds are hoisted up by string ladders or woven tape ladders.Roller blinds and roman blinds are also available in wood. The most commonly used type of wood is bamboo, which is light, sustainable and inexpensive and can be stained or painted effectively.

Window Blind Colour Trends

Colour fashion trends are not uncommon in relation to blinds and curtains. It is difficult to predict the most popular colours and options for blinds and curtains and it is for this reason that the majority of shops will offer a range of different options to suit homeowners’ requirements.  In recent years, elegant styles with colours such as silver, gold, almond and copper have proved popular with buyers. Homeowners typically select shades that match the colour scheme of the room in which a blind or curtain is to be installed. Bold patterns are currently very fashionable with householders who have chosen to create a feature wall in their room. Blinds are often available in the same pattern or colour as that of the feature wall. Large flower print blinds are popular, as are stripped roman blinds. Homeowners who have chosen patterned wallpaper for all four of their walls may wish to opt for a plain coloured blind in a similar colour to that of their walls. This will prevent a room from feeling “busy” and will prevent the room from appearing to be smaller than it actually is.  For kitchens, blinds should be chosen in shades that complement the colours of the walls. Blinds in a kitchen can be as bright or as pale as preferred. Blinds in kitchens need to be wipe-clean and waterproof, as steam and other cooking residues can easily mark them. Bathroom blinds should also possess similar properties as they can develop mildew when they are in a closed and damp environment.

Working with Wood Stains

Water-based and spirit-based dyes are used mainly for improving the appearance of stripped softwoods. They come in a wide range of woody shades, some of which imitate the colours of hardwoods while others are inspired by the primary colours.Stains can be mixed to obtain the desired shades of colour. However, it is important to remember that the colour of the stain on your floor will not necessary be the exact same colour as that on the can. The end result is largely determined by the way in which the stain is applied. For example, the more stain that you put on, the darker the shade will be, so it must be applied carefully and evenly. The natural colour of the wood you are applying the stain to will also influence the end result. You must allow for this when choosing a stain to use.When applying stains to wood, begin lightly and gradually darken the stain until you reach the precise shade required. You will often have to take the ambient lighting into account and live with the intermediate results before finalising the colour of your floor. Stains do not actually protect the wood, so even when the desired result has been achieved, you will still need to varnish the wood in the usual manner. Do not use the stain straight out of the can. Apply it in a thin coating with even pressure with the aid of a lint-free cloth dabbed into a sample of the stain poured into a saucer. Work to achieve an even, thin coating, wiping away any excess as you go and building up subsequent layers, gradually deepening the finish until you achieve the desired result. As staining normally causes the grain to swell slightly, making the surface feel rough, the wood should be sanded down before you begin varnishing.

The Benefits of Blinds

Window blinds have many benefits over curtains. Blinds provide privacy and help to block out potential draughts. They also allow homeowners to control the amount of sunlight entering into a room. This is particularly beneficial for rooms that have large south-facing windows.  Blinds can be made to fit any size of window. This means that each window in the home can be custom dressed to suit the homeowner’s tastes and requirements.There are many different types of blinds to choose from. Vertical blinds are a traditional choice of blind for the home. Venetian blinds, meanwhile, provide a room with a retro feel. White roller blinds are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms and are also available in other bright colours and patterns. Roller blinds are a popular choice for children’s bedrooms as they help to bring a splash of colour into a room. Blackout blinds are available to aid in completely blocking out light, granting young babies and shift workers a more peaceful night’s sleep. Blinds can be fitted close to a window and can therefore take up less space than curtains.  

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