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2 Sep

Purity and simple styling is often associated with an Asian decor and as the windows of a room usually take up a substantial part of the wall or walls, then curtains or blinds made from an Oriental themed fabric design will quickly infuse the room with this style of decor.

asian style blinds and bedding

A Cool, Calm and Collected Bedroom Decor

Neutrals are very well suited to this look and can be dressed up or down accordingly.

Vintage romanticism or the Country cottage look is completely at opposite ends of the design spectrum to the chic minimalism of this style of decor.

curtains and blinds in an asian style of fabric

Curtains and Roman Blinds in Matching Fabrics.

Black and/or red fabrics are always popular, the warmth of the red mixing well with the mystique of the black, but if you are going for a floral fabric, then make sure it is relevant to the look, a garland of roses tied up with ribbons for example would be a definite no.

Our roman blinds will be available this autumn in a range of matching curtains, either with pencil pleat, pinch pleat or eyelet headings. This will open a whole new gambit of inspirational ideas for your windows, being especially significant in rooms that have windows of varying sizes or perhaps a window with a south facing aspect that could benefit from having a layered window treatment to help with controlling the heat and light levels in the room.

The crisp formality of a pencil pleat heading will be best suited for an Asian style of decor, the eyelet heading, although very chic, is better suited to a modern western style of home and the pinch pleat heading again is too formal and indeed too western.

circular mirrors are very typical in an asian decor

A Large Circular Mirror On A Feature Wall is very Synonymous with an Asain Style of Decor

Various other colours are making their way into this decorative style, but usually they are bold colours working away from light coloured wall finishes with of course black being introduced wherever applicable.

cream roman blinds

Modern Living room with a Free Flow of Movement

Wooden venetian or bamboo blinds are great for spa styled bathrooms, but are perhaps only suitable for small windows in a bedroom or living room – a large window will call for something a bit more impressive.

voile curtains

Sheer Panels for the Looks used with Various Types of Window Blinds for the Mechanics

A spa inspired bathroom is bliss to the senses but to benefit fully from this style of bathroom in your home, you will need almost guaranteed seclusion – there is no point wafting away with flickering candle light and luxury bath oils only to be brought back to life by a raucous yell from the kids in the kitchen.

relaxing bathroom decor

A Spa Styled Bathroom will Relax the Senses

A few well chosen items such as lava stones or some bamboo canes in a bathroom will add character and a bit of mystique to the natural look which this style of decor is renowned for, but in a living room you can afford to make more of a statement with a large piece of artwork or ornaments. Keep any floral decorations to twiggy or bamboo types of arrangements, orchids for example are great and they are readily available in very realistic looking artificial versions.

Asian Decor

15 Aug

Fabulous Silks are the Epitome of Asian Decor – Ideal for Curtains, Blinds and Bedding

This style can be achieved very easily, maybe with just a woodweave blind and an orchid in the bedroom or a wooden venetian blind, an ornament of Buddha and an arrangement of bamboo plants in the bathroom; it’s just a question of degrees.

oriental decor

Asian Decor-Simplicity by Design

I think personally that in the West a hint of Asia, perhaps with your furniture placed in a feng shui arrangement with Zen spaces, related decorative art and modern furniture with the merest suggestion of the Orient is stunning in a modern home, but sometimes people can get carried away with the theme and it becomes a total jumble of collectables which is not at all in keeping with the minimal theme which is so important with this style of decor.

Chinese home accessories

Characteristic Simplicity With a Few Well Chosen Accessories Will Tastefully Complement The Look

Neutral coloured walls, but definitely not white, will set your decor off to perfection, particularly if you accompany it with dark wood flooring and patterned rugs.

Japanese, Chinese and Thai influences traditionally paved the way for our attraction for this style of decor, but now it is also being influenced by many Eastern cultures, the whole look mainly drawing inspiration from history and nature. Dark woods, red, brown and of course black are the dominant colours, with minimal simplicity being the ultimate goal.

asian style decor

This Fabulous Minimal Look is Ideal for a Modern Home

Solid black or dark brown furniture is the epitome of Asian decor, but as this style of decor is so well suited to the contemporary minimal look, it has evolved a trendy chic style of its own, modern but with an exotic Asian feel about it.

contemporary furniture

A Stunning Mix of Classical Oriental with Modern Formality

Wood or bamboo blinds were the usual choice for window decorations so if you wish to try to emulate the look, then there are plenty of types and colours of blinds to choose from, especially in the rich hard wood colourings of the tropics. Textured and silk curtain fabrics were also widely used and the same still applies.

woodweave blinds

An All White Decor Instantly Gains Humanity with a Simple Orchid and a Touch of Contrast – No Matter How Small

Curtain tracks work well with curtains made from wafty sheers and muslins as well as more conventional curtaining,  creating a perfect balance of unencumbered elegance.

bendable curtain tracks

Curtain Tracks Give a More Informal Look to Your Curtain Arrangement.

Swathes of light muslin or silk fabric draped around a modern four poster bed or a curtain pole will capture the exotic theme, but keep the pole simple so the fabric and its drapes will be the main feature of the window dressing.

Although being  more widespread nearer the tropics, it  is a testament to when it would have been unthinkable to go to bed without the protection of a mosquito net. This brings to mind a friend who stayed in a luxury garden style hotel in Thailand who sensibly called reception when an unfamiliar bulge appeared in the roof canopy of the bed – it turned out to be a Cobra which had also settled down for the night.

Small rooms such as a home office or bathroom lend themselves well to this elegant yet minimal style of decor.  Dark wood furniture will overpower a small room, so open shelves and furniture in glass, metal and light wood will be perfectly acceptable, it’s just a question of maintaining the relevent styling.

wooden window blinds

White Window Blinds Increases the Sense of Space and the Flow of Natural Light

Contact Poles and Blinds – For all your curtain poles and window blinds.

Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660

Email: info@polesandblinds.com

The Scandinavian Style Opened the Door

4 Aug

A modern decor seems to exude a sense of calm even in the busiest of city apartments with the use of light both natural and artificial being the key to success by helping to create a feeling of openness and therefore space. This style of decor is based predominantly on blinds for the windows and chalky white or soft grey palettes for the walls and furnishings. This style of decor blends beautifully with classic surroundings as well as a modern town or rural home.

white roller blinds

Bring In the Modernist Materials – Glass, Metal, Stone and Tiled Floors

It all began with the arrival of Ikea  to the U.K.in 1987 which started the march into modernism,  but it wasn’t until the mid-90s that the company really started to make an impression on the look of our home interiors. In the early days Ikea apparently ran a very high-profile advertising campaign called “Chuck out your chintz” which opened the way for the contemporary look with the key note being immaculate and minimal (tidy) with everything having its place and that means out of sight so plenty of drawers and cupboards were and still are essential.

white leather upholstery

Bright Blues and Greens are a popular Scandinavian colour as they will brighten the short winter days.

Out went the polished mahogany and yew furniture, reproduction or otherwise and in came fibreboard (MDF), metal and glass. Fibreboard furniture is easy to keep clean and comes in various shades of natural wood colouring, white and black, but the jury is still out as to whether it is carcinogen to humans.  MDF furniture is however very environmentally friendly as it is mostly made from recycled wood and also from sustainable forests. Manufacturers have now begun to eliminate the use of formaldehyde which is the toxic binding agent which was one of the main toxic worries.

modern bedroom furniture

MDF Furniture is Relatively Cheap yet Can Achieve Very Striking Effects

Certain types of homes and loft apartments in particular really look good with this style of decor as the exposed rafters or beams can be left exposed and stained in a light pine colour so synonymous with the Scandinavian look. Simple vertical blinds may well be the answer to dressing odd shaped windows especially if they are large and south facing as the modern materials used for making blinds often have special properties that include heat and light resistance.

vertical blinds

Scandinavian Influences such as the Light Pine Wood Finish ensures the Effect is Light and Gives a Clean Lined Finish Coupled with the Vertical Blind

Individual rooms such as a teenager’s bedroom will absorb this style very well particularly as their rooms are usually full of computers, games consols, games etc., that will need a place to be stored in the unlikely event of a “tidy up”

There are all sorts of subtle ways you can add interest to an otherwise bland decor such as in a kitchen or bathroom that has plain white or neutral coloured tiles, by introducing grey or brown grout as this will really make the tiles stand out adding a tab of interest without spoiling the chic minimalism by making it fussy and overpowering.

white roller blind

A Combination of White and Metal will instantly Create a Sense of Order

Roller blinds particularly suit the slick streamlined finish of the Scandinavian look.

modern bedroom furniture

A Well Balanced Scheme flows through the elements with a vibrant colour being only used for Accessories or Art

This style of decor looks great punctuated with a few punchy Asian accessories – more about that in the next blog, but always be aware of the wise old saying “the devil is in the detail”.

Worth mentioning is the fact that in spite of obviously achieving great wealth, the Swedish founder of Ikea is apparently notoriously thrifty, still using public transport complete with his pensioners discount card and flying economy class. The company motto incidentally is “Happiness is not reaching your goal. Happiness is being on the way”  which is quite inspirational and I personally think that if you are as happy as you can be with your home, then happiness in the rest of your life will not be far behind.

French Connection

7 Jul

Modern French decor is often a combination of tradition elegance and modern minimalism.

French decor can take a mix of types and periods of furniture without looking disjointed

Grey and white walls and minimal curtains or blinds and Cabriole legged Louis XV style furniture for me is the epitome of a French decor and the great attraction of this type of design is that it will add a touch of glamour to modern efficiency making even the most ugly computer recede into relative obscurity.

There are many ways to give a French flavour without having to change too much and the quickest and easiest way is to introduce a Toile fabric into the room, but take care that depending on the degree of toile print used that there is not too many other design details in the room. It is very much a standalone type of fabric due to the intricate detailing, but definitely does not need to be confined to the windows.

The Toile design is the most easily recognisable of all French designs and therefore most associated with the “French Look”

Toile fabric design is available in everything from a pair of oven gloves to a complete bedroom but whatever colour toile you go for, traditionally it needs to remain the same colour throughout the scheme, combined with plains either in a matching primary colour or a complimentary neutral colouring.

As for the walls, brightly coloured curtains, bedding and blinds are more easily integrated into a neutral background, but in the case of a Toile, one feature wall is acceptable in a matching wallpaper, with stunning results.

The liberal use of Chunky Cushions and Large Statement Ornaments make very much a Continental Statement.

Comfortable chunky traditional seating is a must with lots of large yet simple ornaments grouped in a table or mantel scape. Perhaps a trip across the channel to a French flea market could be a good source for your accessories as us Brits are often a little more conservative with our ornamental displays.

This delightful furniture Says it All

A large armoire wardrobe or cupboard and an oversized decorative mirror will also give a French feel – but shop carefully as the French style of furniture is making a comeback, being reproduced, often rather badly which can cheapen the look, moving the room from having a sophisticated elegance to having a gaudy overdone feel. 

metal curtain pole

A Sizeable Room with a High Ceiling can take a Large Statement Light

  

Choose what is to be the main detail and in this case, it is clearly the intricate detailing of the light, so keep the curtains simple, perhaps complimenting the metal finish of the light with a similarly coloured metal or wooden curtain pole.

Cameron Fuller Curtain Pole

Box pleat headings on curtains will give an informal feel especially if the fabric is a natural linen or a softly textured neutral fabric and there are plenty of metal or wooden curtain poles that can be decorative in their own right such as the Cameron Fuller curtain pole, without stealing the limelight. 

Blinds are relatively popular in France, but of course it is very common to have shutters at the windows which are shut fast often quite early in the evening giving the feeling as you drive through a French village that everyone has gone to Mars.

 

Contact Poles and Blinds – For all your curtain poles and window blinds.

 

Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660

 

Email: info@polesandblinds.com

 

Embrace your Dented Walls and Scruffy Furniture

27 Jun

One very obvious look for a Mediterranean house is the use of lots of wrought iron both inside and out, but unless you live in California or indeed the Mediterranean, fancy wrought iron bars at the windows, whilst they may seem appealing in the current era of household theft and are ideal for keeping unwanted intruders out, will look ridiculous in the U.K.

decorative curtains

Swags and Tails offer a Timeless Elegance Anywhere

Curtains on this type of window are often rather decorative to draw the eye away from the metal bars, which can give the feeling to the overseas visitor that you are being “detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure”. Swags and Tails are still used quite extensively for a more formal look, but usually dressed from a wooden curtain pole.

Plain wooden curtain poles can be jazzed up a bit still using a simple curtain treatment such as a skirted heading, but with the use of a matching fringe edging the skirt and possibly matching curtain holdbacks.

Curtain pelmets with decorative fringe

The Art of Interior Design is to Carry a Theme or Colour Effortlessly

Wrought iron or black painted curtain poles are a great way to introduce this kind of look and will compliment the Moorish lights and accessories.

And with todays innovative design ideas, you will not be restricted to a Shepards Crook or Fleur de Lys finial.

black curtain poles

There is sure to be a Finial Shape to Tempt the Most Discerning

Arches, alcoves and niches also feature highly in this style of home and can make a useful space or feature design detail out of the smallest of areas. This often rather fanciful decor can be used to make a fun feature out of perhaps the cupboard under the stairs that used to house the vacuum cleaner, paint tins and cleaning “stuff”. Painted in a contrasting colour to the hallway, a small wash basin, perhaps a loo where the slope of the stairs makes standing impossible and an exotic Moorish ceiling light will make an invaluable addition to the house, with not too much expense.

Work around the natural light levels of the room. If it is dark, then warm it up with a lovely yellow stucco effect wall finish and if the room is already light and bright, then embrace it and go for white. This could be a great look for your home if your walls are badly plastered, chipped or dented – the distressed look. Special paint effects such as sponging or dragging with a colour wash will turn a disastrous wall into one with a rather aged attractive finish, the play of light over the different surfaces offering an appropriately textured finish. A miss-match of old furniture is also perfectly acceptable, but unify them with some common feature such as matching cushions or throws.

As with all decor decisions, more is not necessarily better.

Careful Thought to What Matches

And What Looks a Jumbled Mess Is Important

Don’t despair, if your heart is set on this type of decor but the finances are a little stretched at the moment, then simply changing your window treatments perhaps to a pair of curtains or a new roller blind will inject a little sunshine into the room – the rest can come later !!!!

sunny coloured roller blind

Light and Bright Colours are Ideal – Avoid Muddy Clouded Colours

There are many Spanish-style chandeliers and secondary lighting readily available and in most home furnishing departments and shops there is always an absolute abundance of Moorish style lanterns and candle holders featuring quatrefoil cut outs which will always be guaranteed to add a sense of romance – particularly relevant in dining rooms and bedrooms.

Moorish Themed Lights and Accessories Can Cross the Bounderies between Modern and Traditional

Choose your accessories wisely and a theme can be set merely by your choice of artwork and ornaments – lighting also of course plays a large part in setting the scene.

Themed Artwork can Take you There

Contact Poles and Blinds – For all your curtain poles and window blinds.

Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660

Email: info@polesandblinds.com

Keep it Simple

17 Jun

Wooden curtain poles and plain wooden blinds are the obvious choice for a rustic type of Mediterranean decor and the simpler the better.

dark wood curtain poles

Dark Wooden Curtain Poles Look Particularly Outstanding in a Room with Beamed Ceilings

Dark wood colours will also look more authentic, the light pine coloured poles being more akin to an English Country Cottage look and they can also be used to create a more original type of headboard, just a couple of cushion pads with tab tops posted on the pole is all it takes – fancy upholstered headboards would have been a definate no in this style of decor.

An ideal pole for this situation is the Rolls Woodline Curtain Pole

dark wood stained curtain pole

Rolls Woodline Curtain Pole

Some windows have a decorative finish painted around outer edge, so clearly curtains would not be appropriate.

wooden blinds

Decorative Window Surrounds

Apart from this sandy colour which is still widely used, the original paint colour being made from the sandy pigment in the soil, a deep blue is also a very traditional colour to paint around the window surround, the colour said to deter flies and mosquitoes – personally I would rather not take any chances and fit a fly screen.

A wooden blind, ideally in a similar colour to the window frame can be used as fitting wooden shutters to a house in the U.K. would be totally out of place.

A wooden venetian blind such as the Redwood  blind is ideal

dark wooden blind

Metal or Wooden Venetian Blinds

but if the window dimensions are rather tight, you may prefer to fit a Metal Venetian Blind as the slats of these blinds are finer so the blind will pleat up tighter than a wooden blind, leaving more of the window opening exposed.

wood effect metal venetian blind

They Come in Any Colour You Like – But Go Natural Wood Finish for an Authentic Look

Metal Venetian blinds are available in a huge selection of colours, but to keep with the theme, go for a natural wood finish.

In sunny climes with all this happening outside the window, its also clearly on view from the inside.

An Explosion of Colour at the Windows All Summer Long

but you could be forgiven with our weather for introducing a similar effect from the inside looking out with brightly coloured floral curtains or blinds.

Introduce a Sunny Summer Feel to the Room No Matter What the Weather Outside

floral roman blinds

Brightly Coloured Blinds will Quickly and Easily Introduce a Relaxed Summer Ambience

This look is also attractive for bedrooms where you can afford to go floral with a total disregard for the rest of the decor in the house.

floral co-ordinating decor

Matching Floral Curtains, Cushions and Accessories are Perfectly Acceptable in a Bedroom without being considered OTT (over the top)

Contact Poles and Blinds – For all your curtain poles and window blinds.

Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660

Email: info@polesandblinds.com

Pink for Girls and Blue for Boys or is it ????.

21 May

Playing safe and going white or lemon for the nursery is a thing of the past as if only to get the colour choice for the nursery correct, we can ask the sex of the baby.

transparent roller blind

“Playing Safe” for the New Arrival

Plain white blinds, curtains and curtain poles are all readily available, but as children love bright colours, I do think it rather a shame to have such a bland nursery.

Fun Nursery Prints for Any Eventuality

There are plenty of childrens blinds or brightly coloured plain blinds such as venetian blinds, curtains and bedding to make a nursery fun for any baby.

Decorating the nursery is your chance to really have fun as anything will work, especially as the vast array of multi coloured soft toys showered on the new baby will bring a chaos of colour to whatever colour theme you have planned.

Stereotyping colours into gender preferences is not a current trend, but interestingly the pigeonholing of colours such as pink for girls and blue for boys has only been since the mid 20th century.

pink girls curtains

Contrast Headings for Curtains Allows for a Band of Colour to Theme Through the Rest of the Decor

This bright pink and lilac bedroom is definately for the girls …….

roller blinds for bedrooms and bathrooms

This Smart Roller Blind will Grow with the Baby – It’s All a Question of Accessories and Age Group of the Toys.

And this smart blue for a boy roller blind will not embarrass an older boy, but will suit a baby too.

Before that pink was for boys as it was a dilution of red, which was thought to be a masculine colour and blue for girls as it was a pretty delicate colour also associated in the Western world with the purity of the Virgin Mary.

Serious amounts of money is clearly spent on marketing research, targeting children and for that matter, all of us with colours relating to product types, hence for example the sea of pink packaging in the girls section of the toy shop.

nursery blackout roller blinds

Blackout Roller Blinds are often Essential for Everyone getting a Good Nights Sleep

Blackout blinds are becoming an important consideration when planning your nursery or revamping your child’s bedroom as they will give you total control over the level of daylight in the room, often a prerequisite for daytime naps. Everyone, no matter how small, will find it difficult to settle for a lunchtime nap with the sun blazing through the window. Also in the modern techno world, often even the tiniest little fingers are used to operating a tablet and may need a slightly lower level of daylight to see the screen to its best advantage.

wooden curtain pole

A Simple Plain White Wooden Curtain Pole is all the is Needed to Dress the Nursery Curtains – overly fussy poles will compete with the Rest of the Decor

If you are feeling very creative now’s your chance to get stuck in. There are wooden curtain poles available that are left untreated, so you can customise your curtain pole to match the wall colourings.

paint your own curtain pole

An Unfinished Wooden Curtain Pole will allow you to Get A Perfect Match with the Walls.

I used to love the vast choice you could get with wallpaper borders. They allowed you to bring the walls together with the window treatments and as an Interior Designer were ideal for View Homes where the simple addition of a border would take the plainess from the walls, often a problem in an unfurnished unit.

Borders are slowly making a comeback, adding in the case of a nursery a fun finish to the walls without the effort of wallpapering.

wallpaper borders

A Playful Border will Instantly Add Fun to Any Decor

And while you have the paint pot out, why not get the sewing machine out, make a few cushions and dress up the dollys to match the blinds – just give us a ring and we can supply you with the fabric to match your blinds.

Contact Poles and Blinds – For all your curtain poles and window blinds.

Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660

Email: info@polesandblinds.com

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