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Innovation awards: Bloc Blinds gives new life to roller blinds

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Anyone who has ever had roller blinds installed in their home will be aware of the problems that arise when they start to age. You can’t really take them down to wash them and the only solution for worn or discoloured blinds is to replace the complete unit.

But you can’t just do it for one window, the whole house needs to be done at considerable expense.

Changing the blinds themselves isn’t an option either, the whole mechanical assembly for each one must be replaced as well.

A simpler and much more cost-effective solution is now at hand thanks to an invention by Belfast based Bloc Blinds. The company is responsible for a number of patented and patent-pending products since breaking into the window blinds market but its most striking innovation is the fabric changing roller blind.

This clever design allows the user to swap the fabric of the blind as often as they like without replacing or even removing the complete system from the window.

The barrel, fixtures and fittings of the blind all remain in situ, only the fabric is changed.

This has considerable advantages beyond simple cost savings as Bloc Blinds marketing manager Kiera Scullion explains.

“The ease with which fabrics can be swapped means that consumers no longer need to think of their blinds as stagnant pieces in their room which can only be of neutral colour so as to match all possible colours schemes over the coming years,” she says.

“This means that consumers can be as daring as they like with their colour and pattern choices, safe in the knowledge that if they redecorate or have a change of heart down the line the fabric can be quickly and inexpensively swapped.”

As well as increased design flexibility there is also the practical element with the option to replace tired or worn fabrics as needed without replacing all the other elements of the blind which are still perfectly functional. “The components used to build our blinds are extremely hard wearing so that they will last for many years, and fabric changes to come,” she adds.

The blind has been designed with simplicity in mind. Users can swap the fabric of their blinds in seconds by simply hooking off one and hooking on another.

“The re-ordering process has also been simplified. By scanning the QR code on the barrel of the blind the customer is taken to the reorder page on the Bloc Blinds website.

“The measurements from their original order are already stored so all the customer has to do is choose a fabric and wait for it to be sent out to them ready to be hooked into place.

The blind’s origins date back some years to when Cormac Diamond, inventor of the fabric changing roller blind, was working in Poland for window manufacturing firm. He realised that there was a gap for high quality and visually appealing blinds.

Easily interchangeable

“As a solution to this gap, you could say the ‘lightbulb’ moment came when he looked at other household items which were easily interchangeable such as printer cartridges and razor blades,” says Scullion.

“Cormac wanted to offer this same level of flexibility to window blinds and as a result move them into the home accessories market.”

The blind was launched in 2014 and was quickly picked up by the John Lewis Partnership. It is currently available as a category brand product throughout its nationwide network of stores in the UK and on its online platform. It is also available and selling well throughout Europe and has recently been launched on the US market.

“It has been really well received with 10 per cent of customers reordering fabrics to date as well as several recognitions for design innovation both in the consumer and trade sectors,” Scullion says.

“Given that it is an environmentally friendlier option which reduces the amount of aluminium going to landfills, the fabric changing roller blind has been particularly well received by the public sector as well as environmentally and sustainability aware consumers.”

Founded in 2006, Bloc Blinds originally manufactured skylight blinds, with a handful of people in Diamond’s father-in-law’s shed.

“We have come quite a way since then with over 100 employees and a recent move into our new, custom-built factory,” she says. “We now design and manufacture a wide range of award-winning window dressing options and deliver them all over the world.”

Continued growth is very much on the agenda for the future. A new factory was completed at the beginning of this year and the company is engaged in an ongoing recruitment drive to increase staff numbers by nearly 50 per cent over the next two years.

“We have worked hard to expand our retailer network in the UK and Irelandand will continue to do so in the coming years. We have recently opened our first office in the US, in Boston, to service our US website and customer base.

“We hope to increase consumer sales as well as exploring long-term growth plans in the market. The overall goal is to increase the number of our products in the market so that we can subsequently increase repeat fabric sales.”

BARRY McCALL

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/innovation-awards-bloc-blinds-gives-new-life-to-roller-blinds-1.2728306

Dressing oddly shaped or large windows

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If constructing or buying a house, one of the biggest decor headaches can be dressing your windows, especially since they come in all shapes and sizes. Well nowadays, this should not be a problem. A variety of solutions exist for any window type or shape. From a range of blinds, to shutters or curtains, no window is too large or too complex to get a proper cover.

Venetian blinds

These control the amount of light entering a room. Through changing the angle of the lamellaes, you can control the direction of the sunlight to create a unique atmosphere. Other than being a decorative and heat control element, these blinds also protects the room from overheating. They are ideal for roof windows.

Roller blinds

  • The standard ARS roller blind offers protection from sunlight and can also be an element of decoration in the attic. The ARS roller blind reduces the amount of incoming light, adds style to the room, and the wide range of fabric designs (plain, patterned) allows you to match or contrast the blind’s material with the decor of a room. This blind is made up of material on a roller with the spring. It has an elegant aluminium fascia which hides the roller. Three pairs of fastenings installed on the sash allow the blind to be fixed in different positions.
  • ARP roller blind : It has similar characteristics as the ARS roller blind, the only difference being that the latter has three different fixing positions.
  • ARF roller blind: gives a room a total blackout such that the inside of a room appears as if it is night time even during the day. Unlike the other blinders, they have side runners which give the room a complete interior blackout. It prevents heat loss in the winter and protects against UV radiation during sunny days.

Pleated blinds

They provide a soft diffused light into the room. You can lock this blind in any position.

Roller shutters

These are the best for those seeking a window cover that will offer extra benefits. The roller shutter protects from overheating, gives the room complete shading and the best bit about it is that it also locks out noise from outside hence keeping the room serene.

Ovation cellular slider

This cover is ideal for wide windows, over doors, wide windows and room dividers. It comes in a variety of stacking options that work for any window and room. It is child-proof, hence safer because it has no cords or wands that are exposed.

Specialty shutters

With more sophisticated house designs, comes windows of various shapes. Shutters are no longer just built in rectangular or square shape. Manufacturers have responded to market needs with new shapes of shutters such as octagon, rake, circle, eyebrow and arch, to ensure that all types of windows can get a matching shutter. If your window is shaped like a half moon or an eyebrow, arched window shutters will give these windows a streamlined look.

Window arch shades

Arched windows are stylish and give a room an elegant appearance. However, dressing them with a curtain can be very difficult. Enter the window arches which are made either from wood or faux wood. You can also choose a stationary, moveable, or top down/bottom up option to customise window arch to your needs. Installation is easy: no drill, no screws, no brackets – just peel and stick.

Curtains

Lastly, however odd-shaped or large a window is, interior designers and curtain makers are very experienced in creating customised window dressings for the most awkward shapesand styles. There may be several options – and combinations of treatments – that will work, and your designer should be able to draw up a few examples for you to consider.

Control rods

These are not a window dressing accessory but will help you manage a cover, especially if its a dressing that has to be managed manually. These rods are used for opening windows that are out of reach and can also double up as hooks for opening and closing the shutters, blinds etc that are above normal level.

 

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/02/17/dressing-oddly-shaped-or-large-windows_c1295541?page=0%2C1

 

Deva blinds launch blackout roller blinds in a cassette.

 

Deva blinds are pleased to launch our new product a blackout roller blind within a cassette.

Paul Pollard-Fraser, owner of Deva Blinds said, “Before we offered blackout roller blinds in the recess and light crept round the gaps.  It was all we had then and not very satisfactory.  We are now able to offer our customers a cassetted version that lets very little light through.”

“We launched our low cost motorised blinds early in 2015 and they have proved a huge success.  The video above shows you a sample of a cassetted blackout roller blind being operated by a rechargeable battery operated motor.  There are no wires or trailing cords and they are completely child and pet safe.  A single 8 hour plug in charge lasts between 6 and 8 months or we also do a mains powered option.”

“With British Summer time starting tomorrow, the phones will be ringing next week with mother’s of small children wanting to darken their child’s bedroom.  Our blackout roller blinds will certainly fit the bill.”

 

Motorise your blind from only £75.

Deva blinds are now offering motorised blinds that are affordable to all.

Paul Pollard-Fraser said ‘For a long time motorised blinds were only for the super rich where money was no option and only the best would do.  But now with the introduction of mass produced and sensibly priced motors, motorisation is available for all.”

“I have motorised roller blinds in my apartment, in fact the video above is one of mine.  Neat and tidy with no trailing wires, they are great.  I have tested these motors and am happy to offer them to my customers.”

Your rechargeable battery will last between 6 and 8 months between charge and when a charge is needed all you need to do is plug the charger into the wall socket and directly into the motor.  The battery pack is integrated within the motor.

We will soon be offering solar chargers and light sensors to control the opening and closing of your blinds.

100% child safe with no trailing cords, motorised blinds are the way forward.

To find out more please contact us.

 

Shuddering at California shutters

Q: My girlfriend and I recently bought a condo. It’s a two bedroom in an older building, with fairly large rooms and windows. We don’t consider it our forever address, but we will be here for at least five years. That said, we need advice on our window coverings. Neither of us are really drapery type girls, but we do require privacy from neighbouring buildings. My girlfriend has an attachment to California shutters, but I find them dated and heavy looking. I prefer roller blinds, but she thinks they’re too utilitarian. Any ideas?

A: I’m not expecting to score points with your girlfriend when I say I side with you when it comes to California (plantation) shutters. I think they have a place (a beach house or in a bathroom) but I’m personally not a fan of these shutters from a decorative perspective. I realize you and I are in the minority; plantation shutters are loved by many because they’re an easy way to cover every window of a house without the effort or expense of draperies.

I like the simplicity of roller blinds, but, at the same time, I understand your girlfriend’s concern regarding the utilitarian look. If they are intended to be the primary window covering (as I assume they are in your condo), then I think they look best with simple, uncluttered furnishings.

They can be the perfect fix for lofts or condos, but if your tastes lean toward traditional decor, they’re probably not going to be decorative enough on the windows.

For a more layered look, I’ve used roller blinds in addition to linen sheers and decorative side panels. I like them mounted on the inside frame of the window behind a four-inch (10.16 cm) wooden valance (valance height will vary depending on the size of the window and blind) that is painted the same colour as the window trim.

You wouldn’t even realize they’re there until they’re rolled down at night for privacy.

Depending on how close your windows are to the windows of the neighbouring building, you may need to have the blinds down during the day and in this case, I like the roller shades pictured here by Delia Shades (deliashades.com).

Ten years ago, industrial designer Delia Heilig felt the same way as your girlfriend about roller shades, so she set out to change that. After perfecting the screen-printing process, Delia started designing and producing roller shades patterned after traditional window coverings from around the world.

When you view her website, you see Moroccan arches, French wrought iron work and Indian jali patterns, to name but a few. Delia stocks three weights of roller shade mesh and can line them with blackout lining if total light blocking or privacy is required. Every shade is made to order with window measurements you provide. Pricing is about $25 a square foot (0.1 square metre).

You may not want to use these in every room, but I think they’re perfect for principal rooms in which you’re looking to make a statement. And for the other rooms, investigate options at such stores as Blinds to Go or Home Depot.

Check the rules of your condo board when it comes to window coverings, because with any luck, your building doesn’t allow plantation shutters and you and I won’t have to take the blame for poohpoohing them in the first place.

Send your design question to [email protected]

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

Add style to your windows with roller blinds

Posted in Smart home | by Lynn Lynn

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Roller blinds are an excellent way to add style to your windows without having to do any lengthy or expensive alterations. They are relatively easy to fit, come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, designs and sizes and are suitable for any room in your home. A roller blind can transform the way your window looks and also enhance your interior design scheme. As you can see in the pictures, found on Elite Blinds, there are suitable roller blinds for every room of your home, from minimalistic and plain designs to the more elaborate and embellished.

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An extremely versatile way to add style to your home – roller blinds are one of the most simplest and effective ways to dress up your windows, creating pleasant focal points. They function very well and can be made from many different materials. Your choices are huge and include everything from sheer fabric such as voiles to PVC and black out roller blinds. Choosing a roller blind style will depend on your personal taste and which room it is to be used in. Each roller blind is an attractive addition to your window dressing and also has practical features that make it a fantastic choice for the home.

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Many companies offer bespoke roller blinds and will assist you with their knowledge and experience. For example a PVC roller blind may be best for a bathroom where the air is often damp or moist and a black out blind could be the ideal purchase for a bedroom to help minimize light. Blinds can be made to match your décor with added finishing touches such as braiding or patterns to bring extra interest and color. Roller blinds are a great choice for those harder to fit windows or simply to compliment your own style, taste and interior design theme.

Тext is copyright to ©Adorable Home – interior design and decorating ideas

Hunter Douglas to launch ‘green’ roller blinds

hunter douglasHunter Douglas, a Netherland-based manufacturer of window coverings, is set to launch the first sun control system made from recycled bottles.

The GreenScreen, a new innovation in the field of light and energy control, is expected to generate regional interest, said a statement.

The new collection is developed with sustainable materials. GreenScreen Eco consists of 100 per cent recyclable polyester fibres, while the GreenScreen Revive materials were produced from recycled plastic bottles.

André Weiss, who was responsible for the development of GreenScreen, said: “Every year, around 20 million sq m of used roller blind materials end up in the garbage. These materials often contain large amounts of PVC, so their potential impact on the environment is huge. GreenScreen is a sustainable alternative, thanks to the use of PVC-free and completely recyclable materials.”

The product line offers an affordable alternative to architects and interior designers in search of a sustainable, decorative sun control solution, he said.

“The thread that goes into this fabric is made from PVC-free, recycled plastic water and soft drink bottles. To do this, Hunter Douglas works with waste processing companies in Japan and Germany, where these products are commonly separated from the waste flow. Every square metre of material contains two half-litre bottles. That’s an average of six bottles for every roller blind,” Weiss added.

All of the GreenScreen product lines are compliant with the internationally recognised Greencode classification scheme for environmentally-friendly textiles. They also contribute to the LEED certification of buildings, said the statement.

Deva blinds to expand manufacturing using Louvolite.

louvolite - Cheshire

 

After a meeting today at Louvolite’s factory in Hyde, Cheshire, Deva blinds will expand it’s blind manufacturing by using fabrics and components, that are either made or supplied by Louvolite.

Paul Pollard-Fraser, owner of Deva blinds said “Today I saw quality components for roller and vertical blinds being made in my home county.  This is a first for me and I think it is great for my customers.  No longer will we have to suffer from the cheap and often very inferior components that come from China that some manufactures want to push.  I would very much like to spend a few extra pounds on a blind and offer my customers something that will look good, perform well and last them for a long time.”

“Louvolite are an established company that offer quality products and they very much fit in with Deva blinds belief of offering “Quality blinds at a sensible price”

“Due to the fact that Louvolite components are UV tested, we will soon be able to offer a 10 year guarantee against failure.  Deva blinds guarantee our fitting for life and it will be great to extend the blinds guarantee to 10 years.  Cheap blinds that have components from China only come with the minimum requirement of a 1 year guarantee, I wonder why ?”

 

Deva blinds to manufacture blinds

Deva blinds manufacturing

After previously buying blinds from various factories, Deva blinds is about to start manufacturing its customers blinds.

Paul Pollard-Fraser, owner of Deva blinds said “It is often very frustrating dealing with different suppliers, delivery dates are often missed, quality varies between suppliers and often certain components are not suitable in a product range.”

“I recently started using a new supplier for my roller blinds.  The fabrics were lovely and my first customer commented on how modern and “designer” they were.  I was pleased and looked forward to fitting them for her.  When the blinds arrived, the fabrics looked lovely, but were let down by inferior fittings.  By manufacturing our blinds ourselves, we will be able to use the designer fabrics, but source quality fittings and produce the kind of blind that our customers expect.”

“By manufacturing ourselves not only will we be able to use the best fabrics and fittings, but we will also be able to update things quickly.”

“We will also be in greater charge of lead times, which will result in a better service to our customers.”

“Deva blinds will also offer blinds to the trade, offering quality blinds at a sensible price.”

Manufacturing will be headed by May Pollard-Fraser

 

 

 

New Decora books are a great hit.

fabricbox - Deva blindsI have just received my new Decora sample books and today started to show them to my customers.

The first customer that I showed the FABRICBOX range of roller blinds to was very impressed with the quality of the fabrics.

She said “I am an interior designer and often use fabrics from the likes of  Harlequin and Sanderson.  The designs that are available in the Fabricbox range  very much complement  these designer fabrics .  I will be using more blinds from the Fabricbox range in the future.  The designs are very modern and are a fraction of the price of drapes and curtains.”

Paul Pollard-Fraser, owner of Deva blinds Ltd said  “I was very pleased with the comments that I got about the new Fabricbox range of roller blinds from Decora.  I always like to judge the different sample books from the reaction of my customers.  In the first day I was lucky enough to show them to a customer that knew a lot about fabrics.  She showed me a lot of designer fabrics that were very similar to the range offered in the Fabricbox range.  She ordered 5 roller blinds for a Manor House that she was furnishing. I think that Decora has got it right again and that this book will be a great success.”

thefabricbox.co.uk