Blindcorner: Blog

What can I replace?

9th October 2019

I often have customers call the office enquiring whether it is possible to replace broken blind components. The answer is "YES". We manufacture our own blinds which means we have spares for everything. From rail components, to the materials. If you break a carriage in your rail you can either bring it in for repair or we can send it out to you, we are also on hand to talk you through how to replace components. Vertical blinds are possibly the easiest to accommodate replacing parts. Slats, weights, link chain, cord, control chain, carriages can all be replaced if broken and are inexpensive with slats replaced as cheaply as £1 per slat.

We also recover roller blinds. You may be redecorating and need to change the colour of your blind. No need for a whole new system, just pick a fabric and we will take care of the rest. Cords and chains are easily replaced for both verticals and rollers.

Want to update an old Roman blind. We refurbish old Romans on the drawstring operation to the new Cassette system which is a superior operating system and more in keeping with the child safety guidelines.

As well as replace we also upgrade as already mentioned above. The main upgrades happening at the moment are all to do with motorisation and creating smart homes.

Got a question on any of the above, give us a call and let us see if we can help.

Conservatory Blinds

2nd October 2019

Selecting a shading system for your conservatory, have you looked at honeycomb pleated fabric? Sales of the honeycomb pleated material are steadily increasing as customers become aware of the benefits. Homes are becoming more energy efficient and the honeycomb material is designed with this in mind. Let us look at the benefits on offer:

  • Light filtering/Light blocking
  • Superior insulation
  • Noise reduction
  • Reduction of energy costs throughout the house
  • Cordless options
  • Top down / Bottom up

There are various systems that use the honeycomb pleated material. Perfect fit and Intu can both be fitted with honeycomb. Both of these systems fit straight onto the window frames, so no need for drilling or fixing.

There are also free hanging versions of the honeycomb blind but these are not conducive to a conservatory. The free hanging blinds work better in a recess window frame as they operate from a cassette that needs fixing into the recess.

If you're planning on fitting out your conservatory with new blinds it if definitely worth looking at the pleated honeycomb. Come on down to the shop and have a look through all the different variations on offer.

Automation and Home hub

20th September 2019

A few weeks back I blogged about the roll automation is now playing in the blind industry, with the price lowering many more are ordering them. As I like to keep you informed, this week I have been trying to familiarise myself with the world of automation. Let us start with motors, blind corner uses three suppliers for motors, Eclipse, Louvolite and Somfy.

Somfy is great for continuity and ease. They supply everything needed in a full home automation system. Their hub system is TaHoma, you can access the interface from phone, tablet or computer. If a customer was looking to automate their entire house from scratch this would be a good option. Somfy is easy to use and set up, it all comes from the same company so there are no compatibility issues.

Next there is Eclipse. Eclipse motors are great because they fit standard slotted tubes used for rollers. Which means if you had a blind made 2 years ago and decided to have it automated, we could literally sell you the motor and that would be you sorted, yes that simple. At present our customers have us set up their blind systems, but once you understand how it is done there is nothing stopping you adding more in the future without the expense of a fitter. The hub system Eclipse use is Neo smart blinds and the interface like the Somfy system can be accessed via phone, iPad or computer as well as Alexa. Yes, this one is voice activated. Neo integrates with Alexa with ease, you give your command and watch. For us Eclipse is versatile, you can have up to 15 blinds on one remote control and the fact you can use the motors on pre-existing tubes allows us to keep the cost down.

Louvolite is next up, their system one touch also links into the Neo smart blinds hub. Both interact with Alexa, both use the same hub system, but you have to sign into either eclipse or louvolite to access your control interface. The big bonus with Louvolite is that you can activate vertical blinds, this is not yet offered by any other company. Louvolite are the only suppliers at present that offer vertical motors. The only downside for the one touch system is roller tubes, we have to get specialised tubes in to fit their motors, obviously this has a knock-on effect with costs.

All three systems are good and there is not a lot to separate them from each other. Each is straight forward to set up and use. The hub systems are pretty generic so again easily understood even if you are not used to it. The cost for each motor is around the £40 mark so not a big difference their either. It comes down to preference, if you are thinking of going automated definitely have a look around and do your research. A lot of blind shops will have automatic blinds set up so you can go in and have a look at how they work.

Safety First

20th September 2019

In the past few years there has been many improvements in blind safety regulations. Domestic blinds are no longer sold with cord weights, instead they have a cord tidy, this is attached to the wall and holds the control cords flush to the wall keeping them away from children. You also have the option of getting rid of the cord all together, many households with children will opt for a wand mechanism instead. Control chains now have easily breakable connectors. If any pressure is put on the chain the connector will break straight away lowering the risk of choking. For roller blinds you can have a spring action system, pleated blinds have literise and smardcord.

Some households have even opted for no chain or cords and stepped into the world of automation. Leaving them to control their blind system from their phones. When purchasing blinds ask about the safety features, and the options open to you. You do not have to have the same as everyone else so look at what best suits your needs.

How dark do you need it

5th September 2019

Throughout the summer we have lots of enquiries about Blackout blinds. The common mistake is to assume if you are buying a Blackout blind this alone will stop the light. Blackout materials stop the light getting through the material, but they do not stop it filtering out at the sides or wherever else it might find a way through. A blackout vertical or roller blind will dim the room, but there will always be a leakage of light around the edges.

Blackout Roman blinds provide the best room darkening at an economical price. You may have a small amount of light still making its way around the edges, but it is far less than with verticals and rollers. And provided your blind fitter is good they should be able to make the blind with a tight fit to the recess.

However, if you want the room to be as dark as possible, you need a room darkening system. These offer the highest amount of light reduction. This style of blind has a head box to cover the fabric roll, side and bottom channels to help prevent light from entering the extremities of the blind. Providing a light tight seal. But this comes at a cost, you would be paying a lot more for this system than any of the others. So, before you go buy decide just how dark you need it.

Go BOLD

27th August 2019

Decorating and looking for inspiration. Not sure what to do to make a statement in the room. You could go for a feature wall, but if you want to mix it up go for a big print roller blind. Whether you want a city view, peace full trees or a geometric design we got you covered. With a lean towards monochrome colour schemes it is easy to add a splash of colour into the room using the blind. Our illuminat8 collection has some gorgeous leaf prints, beautiful glitter effects, as well as some textured geometric designs which are particularly satisfying to look at. A lot of the designs use a base pallet of at least 3 colours, this in itself will give you the option of adding other colours to the room, through colour matching soft furnishings. So if you want to unleash the inner designer in you, come see us. You will not be disappointed with our vast collection of materials.

Roman Blinds

22nd August 2019

Every blind has its advantages, some more than others. Our Roman blinds are the most time intensive when it comes to production. Each one is hand stitched by the lovely and talented Mary.

It is a premium product so is at the more expensive end of the price scale. So why choose a Roman?

For the interior designer in you. With Romans you can source matching materials for the blind and soft furnishings for the room. Because of the wide variety of materials available you can really use the blind as added decoration as well as it fulfils its function. And when it comes to function Romans are ideal for keeping out the light. They are more effective than both verticals and rollers. Because of the way they are designed and made there is less light leakage from the sides and top.

I asked Stephen and Mary what they liked about Romans over other blinds. Both were in agreement that unlike verticals and rollers, Romans had the ability to soften the window and bring a sense of warmth to the room.

How do I measure for a blind, and what is a recess?

15th August 2019

You want a blind but only need one. And you do not have time for a measure up appointment.

Arm yourself with a metal measuring tape. Cotton, elastic, rubber bands and string are not ideal measuring tools.

Then decide whether you want the blind to hang in the recess or on the outside of the recess. What is a recess? This refers to the hole in the wall that the window sits in. If you have a window sill then you have a recess. If there is no sill you do not have a recess and would instead need to measure the window frame instead.

Let us assume you have a recess how do you actually measure it?

Start by measuring the width of the recess. You need to measure in three places, top, middle and bottom. Hold the measuring tape clasp flush against the wall, pull the tape across to the other side of the wall. Take an accurate reading, to the nearest millimetre. Once you have your three measurements use the narrowest of the three as your width measurement. Repeat this for the length, otherwise known as the drop. Hold the clasp flush to the top recess wall, pull the tap down and measure where the tape meets the window sill. Taking three measurements and using the shortest as your length measurement.

Most blind companies are happy to take measurements in either Imperial or Metric style. If you prefer using inches leave the converting to the professional. The most mistakes we come across are when people convert from imperial to metric and forget the extra zero. 100mm as opposed to 1000mm, such an easy mistake to make but one we constantly come across.

When you have your two measurements and have picked a material you are ready to order.

Please refer to our measuring guide for more info.

Why Motorise

7th August 2019

Automated interior blind systems are becoming increasingly popular in the domestic and commercial market due to them becoming more affordable. In the past the motors had to be hard-wired, causing a significant amount of electrical and cosmetic work to be done on installation. With the emergence of battery-operated systems this cut back on some of the added costs. But the batteries were not cheap, and still outside the average person's budget for window dressings.

In recent years changes in child safety standards really focused attention on blind operating systems and how to improve them. When trying to make blinds safe, using a motor rather than cord and chain is a no brainer. There are also solar charging battery motors, these save you having to remove the battery for charging. But child safety is not the only benefit, this technology really helps those with limited mobility. You can control each window with a remote controller or can control all the windows in your house by linking them into your home hub system. Meaning you can pre programme times for the window systems to open and close.

For some this may still be a luxury, but for those who really need the help it can be life changing.

HEATWAVE

25th July 2019

With temperatures set to soar this week I wanted to know what products we supply to keep homes cool. Luckily we have our own in house smart solar shading advisor - Richard Tomalin. My question to Rich was "of all the products we supply what is the best for this weather" His answer "The best on the market would be Thermal Blinds. These keep cold out in winter, and then in summer they keep the rooms cool. By harvesting the light through correct use of solar shading it helps to naturally light spaces, reducing the cost of artificial lighting and overall energy consumption". So there you have it. If you want to keep cool and reduce energy cost get yourself some Thermal Blinds.

Grey is the colour

19th July 2019

Vertical blinds are a traditional favourite of customers, due to both their flexibility and functionality. Customers are getting creative with verticals by pairing different styles and textures of vanes. Contemporary styles can be created by combining textured or printed designs with plain vanes. We at blind corner have definitely noticed a trend to get more daring, moving away from traditional colours and patterns. Monochrome tones juxtaposed against colourful tones. The increase in the amount of grey slats we now produce has gone up from one customer per week, to being the vast majority of enquiries. To keep up with the trend we have sourced a large range of greys and colours to suit all needs. Feel free to stop in at the show room, or order samples to be sent to your home.

what sort of blinds are there?

19th July 2019

So the most often asked question here at blind corner from our customers is 'what sort of blinds are there', which makes sense if you do not work in the industry. Before I worked here I probably knew about the existence of two types of blinds, verticals and rollers. To be honest it wasn't a subject I really gave much thought to. Since working here my mind has been blown, there are literally loads of options. Lets look at rollers you have the option of, Plain bottom or scalloped, Perfect fit, Skylight, Solar skylight, Motorised, Cassette, Vision, Day and Night, Blackout system and double fabric. And that's just what I remember, I have probably missed a few. So how do you know what is best for your needs, well that's where our fitters Steve and Richard come in very handy. Together they have over 50years worth experience in the industry. They are here to help you in making practical decisions. They are not salesmen, they will advise you on advantages and disadvantages of using the various different systems. The more you know about your needs the better they can help. Ordering things on line is great but nothing beats the ability to get some sound feedback from professionals. So if you are in need of help get in touch.