Tag Archives: vertical blinds

Making Visual Sense of It

6 Nov

When moving house or going for a total make-over, starting again with a blank canvas can be really exciting and is your opportunity to bring together your relationship with you, your family, how you wish to live and your belongings.

Which way to Go and What to Do ???

interior design

Which – Why – How ???


Most homes are basically living rooms downstairs and bedrooms upstairs.  Although the ground floor living rooms are adjacent to each other, they have clearly defined functions and can be decorated to create the relevant atmosphere and to reflect the purpose of the room.

Dedicating a room to a specific task such as a dining room that is only ever going to be a dining room is a luxury most modern homes can ill afford, but if you enjoy entertaining or indeed cooking and prefer the family to sit down together, spend quality time together and appreciate your efforts, then a separate dining room is well worth the sacrifice of space.

roamn blind in a bay window

The Stunning Bay Window is Fitted with a Roman Blind in Keeping With The Black and White Furniture and Accessories.

The colouring of more a modern looking dining room can be cool, chic and understated – and for a more traditional look, the warm colours are better suited.

modern living room and dining area

Open Plan Interiors Need Not Be Restricted to Modern Homes – This Traditional Setting Looks Every Bit the Part

For a greater feeling of space which nowadays is what most people strive for in their living areas, a very large hammer will be required to knock down a few walls. I can remember as a child pre the “internet sensation”, the first thing my father did as did many others when moving house was to knock down the wall between the lounge and dining room. A great success unless it was the weekend when everyone was at home and he hogged the television with wall to wall sport and there was no getting away from it – no retreating with a lap top to a remote corner of the house.

That trend quickly passed as everyone realised that individuals needed their own space. It is back again however with a vengeance as you can now immerse yourself with your smart phone or computer if the main television has been commandeered by the alpha whoever.

wooden venetian blinds

This Fabulous Open Plan Area is Sectioned with a Double Sided Feature Fire Panel

Space should be enjoyed for what it is, so if you are a hoarder, then this look is not for you unless you can bring yourself to have plenty of storage then store it and do not overload every available surface with your treasures.

navy roller blinds

Tidiness is Also a Bit of a Requisite for this Style of Interior – the Stylish Minimalism of this Modern Living Room is Somewhat Overshadowed by Piles of Magazines and Old Coffee Cups

In order to create a unified scheme you will need to make sure that continuity of decoration and atmosphere flows through the various areas. They will however need some kind of minimal demarcation even if it is just a large piece of furniture or a screen to section off the various areas or acoustically and psychologically one large undefined area may be a little harsh.

For a really successful open-plan scheme you will need to balance the two contrasting elements in the space, horizontal lines which are more relaxing and vertical lines which are more formal – they both are equally important but need to work in harmony. The horizontal lines of the venetian blinds of the scheme above flow with the top of the room dividing screen and the straight backs for the furniture, whereas the vertical lines are bought into play by the upward lines of the spiral stairs and edges of the room divider. This screen incidentally is a wonderful asset to the room as it can be moved to create more room when the dining area is in use, or likewise more space when the living room is the main area.

Different wallpaper or paint is a great way to create a divide between the areas, the space will still flow if you get the colours of the paint or wallpaper to co-ordinate.

wooden polished floor

This Beautifully Polished Wood Floor Unites the Separate Areas and Also Brings Into Play the Vertical and Horizontal Elements in the Room According to Where You Are in the Room

The wallpaper used for the feature wall of the dining area is strongly vertical picking up the flow of the lines of the wooden floor boards – had the floor boards run in the other direction, then to maintain harmony a wallpaper or window treatment favouring the horizontall line would have been a better choice.

vertical curtains and horizontal wallpaper

This Stunning Decor Suits All Aspects of the Room

Wherever you stand in this open-plan space, the aspect ratio is correct. The flow of the lines of the wooden flooring looking towards the window covering is vertical as is the design detail of the curtains, whereas looking towards the dining area, the wallpaper is horizontal to mirror the direction of the floor boards.

For all your Curtains, Poles and Blinds

Tel: 0845 4650101 International: 00441243 586660    Email:info@polesandblinds.com


It’s Just an Illusion

5 Oct

Although the phrase trompe-l’œil has its origin in the Baroque period, when perspective illusionism was at its height –

Fake domed ceiling

It’s Just an Illusion

a fabulous this example of this being painted by Andrea Pozzo in 1703 on a low vaulted church ceiling to give it the impression of an awe inspiring domed ceiling, the use of trompe-l’œil dates back much further. It was and still is often used in murals with fine examples of this being found in ruins from Greek and Roman times such as in Pompeii.

A typical trompe-l’œil mural might depict a window, door, or hallway, intended to suggest a larger room. This art form is still used today particularly by stage set designers and requires a keen eye for perspective as well as a large helping of imagination.

In our own small way in our home decor, the clever use of colours even if it is just the window treatment, will alter the dimensions of a room, light cool colours such as blues and greens make an area feel light and spacious whereas dark warm colours such as browns and reds make a room feel cosy and intimate.

The horizontal slats of a venetian blind will give width to a window

kitchen blinds

Venetian Blinds Look Stunning Looking Out as Well as Looking In

and the vertical slats of a vertical blind will give height to a window.

bay window blind

A Vertical Blind Can Fit both in a Bay Window or a Straight Window.

The same principal applies to curtain fabrics, wallpapers, upholstery and rugs, so check the overall design of the pattern to ensure that the detail is influenced in the same direction or in the direction you are trying to emphasize or it will become a muddle.

modern patterned wallpaper

Designs at Opposite Ends of the Spectrum Attract as long as they have the Same Directional Overtones.

Colours are highly personal so while you may wish to steer away conventional colours, they have been time honoured and tested – a dab of colour from a pot of tester paint is a completely different story to a whole room. If in doubt just paint a feature wall in your chosen colour and see what the reaction from the rest of the household is like before you steam ahead with the whole room.

We are more inclined to be happy on a sunny day and more likely to be sad on a dull day, so bear this in mind also when you are choosing the colours for your scheme and this is every bit as important when choosing new blinds or curtains as it is for a complete redesign of a room.

kitchen roller blind

Sunny Warm Colours Lift the Mood of a Room

If you are decorating a whole house from scratch, then use the hallways and landing as a transitional buffer zone, leading you from one colour to the next. Keeping the same colour flooring throughout will also help to allow a free flowing feeling throughout the house.

Windows with a special view will also need careful consideration.  Views of the sea for instance will be stunning on a bright summer’s day and can take the visual impact of a modern decor based perhaps on silver and steel, but the windows will definitely need a touch of warmth for the winter or on a dismal dreary summer’s day as the sea and sky can also quickly also become cold and uninviting.

curtains and matching cushions on a neutral bedding

A Bold Highlight Colour on a Grey Background Looks Absolutely Stunning

There are plenty of colours that are adaptable and can go “cool” or “warm” just by being punctuated by a cool or warm colour.

One of the most successful combinations in my opinion and is one that I often use is silver and steel. It is basically a grey decor where a strong red or blue for example, used with extreme care with just perhaps a splash of the feature colour in a blind and accessorised with a few relevant coloured cushions scattered about and a piece of artwork with a highlight of the main colouring.

Grey colours or indeed non colours are the current stand-in for creams and will give a spacious feel with a touch of interest to even the smallest of interiors.

In this digital era it is so easy to “capture the moment” and have it framed professionally by your local picture framing shop for what is usually the same price as a standard picture in a retail shop.

When dressing a show home, I usually visit the local framing shop and ask if they can recommend a local photographer who may have some images that can be mounted to add some relevance to the decor. My current favourite is in a show home I have just finished which has fabulous views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight which is where this photo was taken by Sally Armstrong.

Round the Island Yacht Race

Framed in a Modern Chrome Frame – How Fabulous

Even the most avid couch potato could not help but be inspired by images such as this decorating their living room walls.


20 Sep

There are many Trompe-l’œil ideas and indeed items available for the modern home as it is a great means of providing decorative impact. This French term is used for imagery, imitation and the use of colours or paintings to trick the eye into seeing an optical illusion to create often more depth or height to a room or just to blatantly copy the real thing if the real thing is not suitable for the purpose, prohibitively expensive or socially unacceptable, a great example of this being the use of faux suede and leather for furniture and blinds.

modern stone walls

Today you can buy anything from a wallpaper depicting floor to ceiling bookshelves full of books, to  stunning murals of the Manhattan skyline or a palm lined beach in the Caribbean and the quality of faux fur, leather and suede makes it virtually impossible to tell the difference from the real thing. The use of contrasting light and dark colours in your decor will certainly visually increase the dimensions of a room, but will need careful planning as colour has the ability to induce feeling of joy or gloom, making you feel “at home” or feel like bolting for the door.

Why not take the leap and change the entire look and feel of your home, it makes a great alternative to moving. There are so many possibilities available to you especially if you use modern innovative materials such as the special finishes which will enable you to use concrete to imitate stone, not only for the floors but also for the walls, or sections of wood paneling to mirror your wooden flooring. Take care though, too much can be an overkill and you could end up feeling like you are living in a log cabin, or worse still a cave.

Stone has been around for millions of years so enjoy it –the smooth surface and varied colour tones are restful on the eye making it a highly desirable finish for many kinds of surfaces, really having been built to last – and what a decorative detail it makes. Modern methods of mining make real stone, slate and granite within many peoples budgets, but watch out for wee foreign beasties lurking such as the lady the other day who captured one of the worlds deadliest snakes with her salad tongs that had been stowed away on the ship that had imported the slates from India.

modern stone feature wall finishes

A State-of-the Art Entertainment System.

A statement wall or even just a fireplace makes the perfect spot to embrace modern technology with style. A state of the art entertainment system is now so often the main focal point of the room, so embrace it but try to ensure it tastefully blends with other details in the room such as with this fabulous concrete feature chimney. I thoroughly recommend the involvement of a specialist fireplace company for this kind of project before installing your new HD smart flat screen in case all is not well and you cook the tv.

Keep this type of on trend decor to the minimum with bearly there window treatments such as a neutral coloured venetian blind

neutral vertical blind

A Vertical Blind Creates an Appealing Mellow Hue of Light when used during the day and Complete Privacy at night

metallic finished venetian blind

A Modern Metallic Venetian Blind Blends the Right Control of Light with the Right Innovative Look for a Modern Home

dark wooden venetian blind

The Natural Wood Finish of this Venetian Blind makes a perfect backdrop for a Modern Minimal Decor

Thankfully in the modern world we have moved on from particularly the Victorian passion for killing animals for display. I cannot think of anything more unsettling when settling down for a relaxing evening in front of the telly than to have a dead tiger complete with its head flattened out on the floor snarling at you.

I can remember as a very small child visiting an ancient Uncle who proudly showed me his prize possessions which were an ashtray made from a Gorillas hand and an umbrella stand made from the foot and leg of an elephant – can you imagine the horrific impression it made on me and I definitely avoid buying anything furry from China.

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

Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660

Email: info@polesandblinds.com

Masculine verses Feminine decors.

14 May

Should it be blinds in Autumn and Winter colours….

modern curtains

Mixing a slightly “Old Fashioned Look” with A Contemporary Decor Gives a Comfortable Feel Inviting You to Linger Longer

 leather furniture and wooden floors ???

modern roman blind

This Modern Grey Roman Blind Contributes to the Masculine Feel of the Decor

Or should it be curtains and blinds in Spring and Summer colours, cosy neutral coloured furniture and carpets –

neutral coloured furniture

A Living Room with a Sense of Drama

It could be just a question of gender preferences.

It’s well known particularly amongst professional people that if you ask 10 different people the same question you will get 10 different answers. The same applies to interior decor, you may think there is hardly a difference between masculine and feminine ideas on a perfect decor if both parties basically like the same colours and style of decor, but from my experience, you would be very wrong.

Modern men often seem to have a preference for autumn and winter colours, seemingly to prefer solid, functional furniture and furnishings. Deep colours such as burgundy, rust and terracotta often based around a decor with plenty of black included, with heavily textured fabrics and feature walls in bold colours or bold patterned wallpaper which seemingly introduces a quality of strength to the home.

Window blinds such as roller, vertical or venetian blinds are often the favoured choice in a masculine decor, the formal lines of the blind very much in keeping with the more minimal, no nonsense look.  

See through blinds

Blinds with a View – Modern Blinds Made From a Transparent Fabric Offer Privacy, Style and Light Control Without Blocking the View

Vertical blinds as above will always make a perfect finish for a masculine brief, along with black and white photography or indeed black and white anything especially large screen tvs and computer “stuff”.

contemporary bedroom

The Black and White Image Creates a Stunning Visual Distraction

Most women strive not only to look beautiful, but also to feel beautiful. Luxurious fabrics such as velvet, damask and silk are not even on most men’s radar screen.  Women seem to favour the spring and summer colours, their soft freshness better fitting the more romantic detailing preferred by women.

It really does matter to us that things co-ordinate wherever possible, even if it’s just the candles and cushions, with tender floral designs often with a nostalgic traditional feel being particularly popular for a feminine bedroom decor.

pinch pleat curtains

This Stunning Bedroom Decor is a Haven of Period Feminine Charm

Interlined curtains with decorative headings will possibly call a curtain pole to complete the ensemble which is where something such as the Byron and Byron Florentina Wooden curtain pole will make a stunning partner.

hand finished wooden curtain pole

Made to the Highest Standards in the U.K.

In a partnership men seem mostly to give the woman a free hand in the bedroom, gracefully accepting defeat, but for the main areas such as the kitchen and living room, a compromise needs to be reached.

If you live in a traditional country cottage opr period home, then dramatic pink florals, even if its just a roman blind with matching cushions as above, can still be the order of the day without affronting the male occupants pride, especially if the furniture is pine or antique, talking of which, if you are furnishing a traditional home, then go to the local auction rooms first, you will be in for a surprise. A lot of people do not want all that “old stuff” anymore, the modern home being minimal with Ikea furniture or similar fitting the bill perfectly. You can buy beautiful furniture at the auctions for the same price or often less than current prices for new furniture.

Incidentally this is not a criticism of the modern decor, I personally prefer the openness created by modern furniture, especially by glass topped tables, but as we live in an old barn, happily we can mix modern furniture with “hand me downs” from my Great Grandmothers house, which not only gives a comforting feeling of belonging, but also compliments the style and period of the barn.

pink roller blind

Blinds can be Elaborate, Elegant, Striking or Plain – Its all a Question of Choice.

Today blinds are available in an infinitesimal choice of colours and styles, with many also having special properties to help to control the temperature and levels of light in the room, so you can be sure a compromise can be reached, maybe a few floral cushions and a pretty blind will suffice.

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

Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660

Email: info@polesandblinds.com

Colours, Climate and Culture

21 Mar

Colours mean different things in different cultures. White is the colour of mourning in China for instance and would be synonymous with death, so would therefore not necessarily make a welcoming pair of curtains or blinds.

white decor

Basically White Decors to the West is the Epitome of Freshness and Light giving the room Space to Shine

White for people of the northern hemisphere is synonymous with ice and snow, therefore a symbol of purity, innocence and freshness, ideal in particular for bathroom blinds and brides dresses.

contemporary cream living room

Themed Decors Influenced by our Travels

As island dwellers our décor has not been influenced so much by our European neighbours as by our large empire around the world.

If you decide to theme your decor around a collection of artwork or ornaments then keep the background colours to the minimal, you cannot have two or more items competing for attention, it will be overwhelming and the result will miss the point.

john lennon image

Such a Powerful Image Needs to Breathe - I can only imagine what John would have said about this decorative disaster

but the most influential source of inspiration for our quintessential English décor has always been nature and its changing seasons.

spring coloured bedding and curtains to match

Spring Colours Look their Best based around a White Decor

Spring Colours are soft light colours, definitely NO dark colours allowed. These colours by virtue of the fact that they have plenty of white in the mix will make a room feel more spacious and the wall colourings ideally should be white to maintain the cool appearance.

Blinds and curtains of various descriptions make a quick and economical way to change your décor in harmony with the changing seasons with just a few tweaks being made by altering the colour of the home accessories in harmony with the change of window treatment.

metal venetian blind in lime green

Metal Venetian Blinds make a wonderful contemporary window treatment.

Green is the colour of life and represents perfectly the freshnesss and tranquility of a spring decor. It is a colour that can be used for walls and window treatments especially for living rooms and bedrooms where a calm and restful atmosphere is most welcome.

Metal venetian blinds are available in a vast array of colours so you will be able to find the perfect colour match for even the trickiest of colour schemes.

Harmonious Colours for bright spring greens would be yellow, lime and blue.

Contrasting Colours would be fuchsia, pink, red and brown.

compliment your roller blind with matching accessories

Bright Green and Fushia is the Epitome of a Fresh Spring Decor

Very pale pink or peach is a lovely spring colour which can be used anywhere in the house.

Pink makes a warm welcoming window treatment

Kitchens do Not Always have to be based around a High Energy Colour

Kitchen blinds, curtains and accessories do not always have to be bright energising colours particularly if the kitchen is in a pretty English country style home. This charming roller blind looks warm and inviting as there is the merest hint of red in the make up of the colour.

Harmonious Colours for pinks are lilac, blue and grey.

Contrasting Colours are green and brown.

Pale pink kitchen accessories are not quite to easy to find as the norm is for high impact colours, but do not despair, they will be out there somewhere.

yellow vertical blind

Pale Yellow Is Particularly Useful for Introducing a Fresh Look to a City Home

This fabulous vertical blind if it is used during the day to protect the furnishings and carpet from the harmful rays of the sun will fill the room with a soft glow as the sunlight is filtered through the blades of the blind.

Pale yellow is particularly attractive in a family living room as it is a happy colour which exhudes warmth and inspiration. It is also a colour that is great for blinds in kitchens, dining rooms and north facing rooms.

Harmonious Colours for spring yellow is lime, orange and brown.

Contrasting Colours are blue, aqua and lilac.

Contact Poles and Blinds – For all your curtain poles and window blinds. Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660 Email: info@polesandblinds.com

Mallow – A Mellow Colour for Blinds and Curtains

10 Mar
cushions curtains and blinds in mallow

Mallow is a colour that is closely associated with nature

Mallow is a colour that is particularly attractive to base your decor around. It can be easily introduced with blinds, curtains, bedding and cushions, which will offer just a hint of this lovely colour without creating a decor that the National Trust would be proud of.

It is actually a pretty little flower that can be seen growing on waste land such as the sides of motorways as well as in cultivated gardens. It is officially a colour in the English language, but can be anything from a light to a dark pinky mauve as the petals are very obviously two tone.

a versatile colour for home decor

Mallow - More Punchy than Pink

As with any colour that is favoured by Mother Nature it is also a great colour to use in our homes as it will blend with so many other colours, being particularly favoured in a combination of colours for floral designs.

Floral cushions with matching wallpaper and curtain fabric.

Mallow is a great colourway for bright floral fabrics and blinds

Mallow can be used as the main colour or just as an accent colour in any room and for any period of décor.

Shades of pink are often seen as a soft feminine colour and restricted to bedrooms, particularly for little girls. The mix of pink and magenta which is the basis for Mallow is a more serious colour that can be used for all kinds of things including the colour of the underwear for the inmates in some American prisons (not got a photo of that you´ll be pleased to know), to the colour of the seating in public places as the colour has proved to be extremely effective in promoting feelings of calm and relaxation.

Mallow colouring creates a fabulous venue for clubs and theatres

Mallow has an underlying confidence due to a degree of red in the make-up of the colour.

Vertical blinds such as the Acacia Mallow vertical blind

Mallow Vertical blind

Acacia Mallow Vertical blind

Vertical blind in Mallow

Acacia Mallow vertical blind - a beautiful colour by any standards

or roller blinds such as the Acacia Mallow roller blind

Acacia mallow roller blind

Mallow window treatments can be Sophisticated or Cottagey.

make fabulous window treatments for living rooms and kitchens, so don’t do this colour a grave injustice by confining it to the bedroom.

Metal venetian blinds are very popular in kitchens, especially for a cutting-edge stainless steel kitchen as the chic lines of the metal blades of the blind are perfect, curtains would look ridiculous.

If you are fitting a metal kitchen and are thinking about carrying the metal coloured theme through to the blinds, then before you get too carried away and end up with a very industrial finish, consider enlivening the look with a compromise, a metal blind in a warm colour such as this fabulous Mallow metal venetian blind, the intensity of the deep energising colour will give a visual focus which will lift the intensity of the metal units.

venetian blind in mallow colouring

A stunning metal blind that gives visual focus

If you prepared to really get down to it, you can find some fabulous home interior accessories that will introduce an accent of this appealing colour that can be followed through in a few other selected items such as cushions and bedrunners.

The Galeria Mosaic metal curtain

metal curtain pole trimmed with mallow finial

A mosaic of mallow glass fragments decorate this fabulous metal curtain pole

The Integra Lustre Zara metal curtain pole

black metal curtain pole

Black and Pink - partners through eternity

Mallow can be extremely attractive twinned with dark colours

Mallow can be partnered with dark brown or black for a moody, chic finish


Contact Poles and Blinds – For all your curtain poles and window blinds. Tel: 0845 4650101 International Calls: 00441243 586660 Email: info@polesandblinds.com


7 May

Whether you are working around existing blinds or curtains or starting from with a blank canvas, you should always consider the effect you are introducing with a vertical striped fabric, wall covering or paint effect.  Every room has vertical lines by virtue of the fact that the “bones” of the room are formed by corners, so it’s just a question how vertically inclined you want to go.

white venetian blinds

Accentuate the Vertical Lines of the corner

Vertical lines introduced to a room will balance the unavoidable horizontal elements of the room particularly in a living room which has dark coloured furniture or horizontally inclined window treatments such as Venetian or Roman blinds.  Bedrooms and living rooms especially need harmony and unity to create a relaxing atmosphere, often essential for a good night’s sleep or for unwinding time after a busy day before trying to get a good night’s sleep.

Curved vertical lines on the blinds, curtain fabrics or wallpaper will soften the effect adding a feminine feel particularly to a bedroom by counteracting the harshness of the vertical stripe.

Wallpaper with vertical lines

A subtle introduction of vertical lines

Although the dimensions of the room may be limited there are a few principles of interior design that may well help you to maximize the look of the existing space by using vertical lines to add height to the room but going back to the corners of the room, if your house is badly built or old, then the corners may not be that suitable for striped wallpaper in particular, as the stripe will “run out” in the corners and consequently look dreadful.

bathroom blinds

Stripes give a clean cut finish ideal for bathroom windows

A small bathroom is the ideal situation for a roller blind and will benefit from a striped window treatment, especially if the stripes are vertical, as it will add height to the windows.

If you a seeking the illusion of space, if the main decorative colour of the room is dark, if the walls are covered with pictures, if you have too many home accessories or too much furniture in a room, then no amount of help with vertical lines in the decor will help. Less is more for a minimal decor whereas lots of “bits” is more suited to a traditional home, although these days not many of us could cope with the excesses of a Victorian style decor, our lives are too busy to also have a busy looking home, not to mention fitting in the time for all the dusting.

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