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Hit 'em for six... latest trends in blinds
8 June 2014
Hit 'em for six... latest trends in blinds

1) The perfect bedroom

The UK's upmarket Telegraph newspaper claims bedrooms are taking their inspiration from high-class hotels with designers seeing them more as a "retreat and sanctuary" than simply a place to catch a good night's sleep.

But as well as the five-star treats such as desk areas, minibars, fridges and coffee-makers, noise-absorbing foam walls, hand-stitched silk-embroidered headrests and Egyptian cotton sheets, there's a voice of reason from TV home-makeover queen Sarah Beeny.

“The whole point of a bedroom is that it is your domain, to treat however you like. What you have to remember, at all times, is that no one who cares about you gives a hoot whether your bedroom is tidy or messy. It’s your space, no one else’s,” she says.

The article says blackout blinds are a must for city-living types, who crave privacy and quiet away from the rush of the streets below.


2) Freshen up your bathroom

As part of an article on how to spruce up kitchens and bathrooms in, Blythe Wren of Wren’s Tontine Shade & Design pushes the practicality of updating your widow treatments rather than going the whole hog over a makeover.  "There's no mess," she says, as well as pointing out that fitting blinds can add functionality as well as style.

But Wren's fresh theme for blinds is a new "Bottom-down, top-up" style which allows for privacy as well as letting in the light and giving views of trees and sky.


3) The illusion of space

Interior designer Christine Brun in San Diego's Daily Herald gives up all the tricks of her trade to create the appearance of space around your home.

Her top tips with blinds are to keep functional blinds the same shade or colour as attractive window casings so the blinds "tend to disappear" and give the appearance of more space.

Christine says that valances and cornices at the top of a room can be used to introduce colour and pattern, while the "trim and tidy" look is maintained by choosing spring-controlled blinds over "unsightly cord controls".

"Often there is a battle waged between the type of window treatments you like, the physical reality of your room and other practical issues. Wide blade shutters are the Rolls-Royce of window coverings, but they are bulky and can eat up views with frame thicknesses," Christine says.

"Wood blinds are handsome, but in very wide windows they are heavy to operate, and on sliding doors they require a good deal of energy to operate."

4) Official business

In the world of industry, time is money and the productivity and health of workers is of paramount importance. The experts at Progressive AE have given their top tips to make office workers more productive... and top of the list, unsurprisingly, is lighting.

The quickest and easiest way to ensure your workers aren't working in cave-like surroundings is to make sure they have plenty of natural light, but that brings in the need for using sunshades so that natural light doesn't lead to glare on computer screens.

Also on the list of what makes for a better workspace is aesthetics. Their advice? "Keep it simple, yet inspiring." So what better way to provide a simple, clean and professional environment than to customise your office's roller blinds with a company logo.


5) Working with animals and children

The Boston Globe is focusing on kitting out your home for kids and pets. Although designers admit that muddy paw prints and the occasional crayon mark might lead you to reconsider high-end furniture and drapes, there's no reason, says, interior designer Alicia Ventura, to give up on good design.

"“You just need to take into consideration who you’re designing for and work around that. You need to adapt a little,” she says.

Blinds come in for the usual warnings about low-hanging side-winder cords, which can be a health hazard for young children and adventurous kittens, with designers pushing the new-style spring controls.

Along similar lines, interior designer Emily Henderson at makes over an animal shelter and guides pet-owners well away from curtains. "Cats love to climb and claw at them, so go for blinds or shades."


6) Love your man cave

The Financial Times in London took time away from tracking the markets and counting cash to focus on what British men really salivate over: their ultimate man cave.

What used to be satisfied by a humble shed with a small radio to keep tabs on the cricket score, has been replaced by cigar humidors, bespoke pool tables, DJ booths and wine fridges.

Muso Lawrence Bray, who has teamed up with designers, artists and other musicians to create man caves through the company PYLON, tells the paper "Cushions or pillows represent rules. They’re always perfectly placed in your aunt’s house, there’s no room for them in a man den."

But where cushions bite the dust, the perfect man cave is fully automated... which of course means blinds on windows which can be controlled by the flick of a switch.