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Honeycomb blinds keeping homes well insulated and energy efficient

Blinds and window covers specialist AustralianWindowCovering explains how the right window treatment can keep a home well insulated while also saving energy for the homeowner.

Energy-efficient window treatments such as honeycomb blinds are designed to address both functional and aesthetic objectives, making them a popular choice in the window decoration market. As energy cost continues to rise, homeowners can use solutions such as honeycomb blinds to increase energy efficiency.

Honeycomb blinds are high on visual appeal with their attractive contemporary looks. Stylish aesthetic apart, honeycomb blinds are also good insulators. Only the white side is visible from the outside, helping achieve a uniform appearance regardless of the colour chosen for the interior.

Honeycomb blinds are available in almost any colour with the fabric supplied in metallic or semi-transparent options. Blinds can also be customised to suit specific window applications. There are blinds that offer only the minimum emittance or partial light, while others provide complete blackout. For blinds that can be lowered to the glass, the ultra-thin version would be perfect.

Interior designers prefer honeycomb blinds mainly for their aesthetic appearance and function. These blinds can be used to control light in a room. Honeycomb blinds are available in many colours as well as models including vertical blinds, cellular blinds and blackout blinds.

 

http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/suppliers/australianwindowcovering/honeycomb-blinds-keeping-homes-well-insulated-and

Clocks change 2016: How to make sure it doesn’t affect your sleep

SleeplessNightThe change of the clocks can cause sleepless nights

Every spring we face the ritual of altering the clocks as we move to British Summer Time.

It’s a bit of a headache to make sure all the clocks in the house, the car and everywhere else have been changed.

Electronic devices usually update automatically but it’s always worth checking to see they have done it.

When do the clocks go forward in 2016? Why do we do it?

 

For many people the shift in times of sunrises and sunsets has a detrimental effect as their bodies adjust to new sleep patterns.

Those lighter evenings and darker mornings can make a real difference because of the way we are attuned to daylight – and the lack of it.

To help you avoid disrupted sleep, here are some handy tips for improving your chances of getting the full eight hours when the clocks go forward.

Adjust your Sunday routines

Sunday night can be one of the most stressful times of the week for the typical UK family, and one which typically follows the same pattern.

Children are frantically attempting to finish off any last-minute homework, while the adults get things ready for a busy week ahead at work.

One way to cope with the lost hour of sleep is to bring your Sunday habits back by an hour before it happens.

For example, if you normally eat your roast dinner at 5pm then aim to dine at 4pm on the Sunday of the clock change.

You should also make sure you don’t have too long a lie-in on the Sunday morning, so you’re completely ready for an early night.

A warm bath can work wonders

If you are someone who can take a while to drift off after getting into bed, here’s a fantastic tip for speeding up the onset of sleep.

Scientists say sleep is preceded by your body temperature dropping slightly.

Having a warm bath two hours before bed will gently raise your body temperature and when you get out of the water it will fall, tricking your body into thinking it’s time to sleep.

Add a drop or two of chamomile or lavender oil to the water too. Both of these essential oils are proven to help stressed or anxious people to fall and stay asleep.

Shut out the light

Many people find that one of the hardest things about the clocks going forward is attempting to fall asleep while it’s still light outside.

One of the best ways to tackle this tricky problem is to invest in some blackout blinds for the bedroom windows.

Even a small chink of light creeping into your bedroom, such as from the street lamps outside, can cause problems sleeping. So by helping stop outside light getting inside, blackout blinds can significantly improve sleep quality.

When the clocks go forward and the days lengthen, blackout blinds or heavily lined curtains will help keep your bedroom dark and sleep friendly even though the evenings and mornings are light.

Know the right foods and drinks

It’s a well-known fact that drinks high in caffeine, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks, can keep you awake if consumed after a certain point in the day.

But did you know there are foods that should also be avoided to prepare your body properly for sleep?

Foods to avoid within your meals and snacks on the day of the clock change include chocolate, ice cream and yogurt with coffee flavourings, protein bars, sugary sweets and other confectionery.

 

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/clocks-going-forward-affect-sleep-11064089

Have sex in the dark if you want to get pregnant – really?

Blackout blinds could help you conceive according to this new study.

 

 

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If you want to get pregnant, you should have sex in the dark. That’s what the tabloids are saying today, after researchers in the US and Japan found that menstrual cycles were disrupted by differences in light.

The study – on mice – found that the fertility of pre-menopausal female mice was improved or reduced by differences in the light-dark cycle – younger mice were unaffected.

So what does it really mean? Well, it’s long been known that lots of the body’s processes follow a natural daily rhythm that’s based on 24-hour day to night cycles. And previous research has shown that light at night can suppress the production of melatonin – which could affect ovulation and the viability of eggs.

This new study suggests that fertility in middle-aged women can be improved by sleeping in darkness – without streetlight seeping through the curtains and the glare of mobile phones. So it might be an idea to invest in some blackout blinds if you’re trying to conceive. But as to whether you switch the lights off or not for sex – it doesn’t make a difference!

“In modern society, females are exposed to many challenging perturbations in the environment that might play a role in fertility difficulties–we now live with high light levels in the evening, and our sleep cycle is disrupted by shift work or crossing time zones,” said co-author Gene Block, of the University of California Los Angeles.

“The ability to rescue reproductive function by altering the light schedule in a rodent model suggests that improvements in ‘circadian hygiene’–for example, reductions in evening illumination, more regular meal timing, or avoiding rotating shiftwork or schedules that lead to irregular sleep–may all be important remedies for reproductive difficulty.”

http://www.madeformums.com/news-and-gossip/have-sex-in-the-dark-if-you-want-to-get-pregnant–really/38672.html

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.”

 

Remodeling 101: Simple Roller Blinds by Christine Chang Hanway

 

 

 

My living accommodations in architecture school came with windows, but no window treatments. On a student budget, I did nothing, a solution which suited me just fine—the purist in me strongly believed that windows should be allowed to do their job of letting light in unfettered by the messiness of curtains or the clutter of Venetian blinds. And then one day a friend pointed out that while I may be comfortable exposing myself for the sake of architecture, those with a view into my room at night might not feel the same way. The owner of the local hardware store suggested roller blinds. I installed them myself—my first DIY—and have been committed to their simple effectiveness ever since. Read on to see why roller blinds have been my one and only window treatment everywhere I’ve lived.

What is a roller blind?

A roller blind is comprised of a rectangular swath of material (it can vary from  attached to an aluminum tube and mounted between two brackets. A chain pulley system or a spring mechanism rolls the fabric up or down, depending on where you want it. Automated roller blinds are available, but in my opinion automation seems to unnecessarily complicate things. That said, hanging cords and loops present a bonafide hazard in house’s with young kids; read the New York Times’ report on the subject before selecting the right model for you.

Ikea Enje Roller Blind | Remodelista

Above: The Ikea Enje Roller Blind filters light and reduces glare on computers and televisions; it’s available in a variety of sizes. The Enje Roller Blind UK comes with a pulley cord and is priced at £14 to £22, while the Enje Roller Blind US comes cordless for increased child safety, $17.99 to $34.99.

Why are roller blinds my favorite window treatment?

I like the dimensions of my windows to be fully exposed, and in their open position, roller blinds disappear in a way that curtains, shutters, Venetian blinds, and Roman shades never do. And when I have to lower them, roller blinds have a visual consistency that allows them to become part of the architecture as opposed to an added layer of decoration (though, conversely, curtains can add a grandeur that shades lack. They can also keep out drafts).

Sheer roller Blinds in white living room | Remodelista

Above: Simple roller blinds in a white setting become part of the architecture of a room. In a room with a series of same-sized windows, roller blinds lined up at the same height appeal to those of us who appreciate precision. Image via DBA Blinds.

How much light can roller blinds let in or block out?

Whatever your reasons for needing window shades, there are many fabric options from sheer to opaque to give you the degree of control you’re after. In our house in London, we wanted two extremes: we are inclined to let in as much light in as possible during the day, and yet when we sleep, we want to be able to black out all early morning light. We needed blinds on all our windows because on the street front we have a privacy issue and throughout there’s computer glare. For visual consistency, we chose the same sheer fabric for all our windows, and our solution in the bedrooms was to install a double roller blind with sheer fabric on one roller and a blackout shade on the other.

Double roller blinds | Remodelista

Above: Three double roller blinds are used to cover a wall of windows. During the day, the sheer blinds filter and diffuse the light coming in, while the blackout blinds keep the room dark at night. Image via Ati Shutters and Blinds.

Double roller blind hardware | Remodelista

Above: On a double roller blind, two rollers can accommodate two different fabrics, so you can have sheer and blackout options. Image via Sunlight.

What type of settings do roller blinds work well in?

In their simplicity, roller blinds have a neutral appearance and go with all styles of decor, from traditional to contemporary. They can be mounted a number of ways: in between the window frames (but beware that some light may leak in from the sides), in front of the window frames, or even from the ceiling. The mounting options, of course, depend on your existing conditions. When roller blinds are mounted between the frames, the windows stand out; if they’re mounted in front of the window frames, they typically mask the frames, and a ceiling mount can make a room feel taller.

Sheer roller blinds in traditional window frames | Remodelista

Above: The roller blinds have been mounted to the underside of these traditional wooden window frames and the fabric, when rolled up, sits between the frames as a barely noticeable horizontal line. Image via Solid Frog.

Sheer roller blinds in white diining room, white ceiling pendants | Remodelista

Above: This modern setting has a roller blind that’s been mounted to roll down in front of the window and its frame. Image via Slijkhuis-Interieur.

Are roller blinds easy to clean?

It’s recommended that roller blinds be cleaned once a year, whereas curtains, because they harbor dust mites, require more frequent cleaning—three to four times a year depending on how prone your family is to allergies. Cleaning roller blinds is relatively straightforward and involves removing them from their brackets and rolling them out on the floor to towel them off with a mild cleaning solution. Curtains, on the other hand, need to be dismantled, washed, and pressed, or dry cleaned and then remounted. In my time-pressed schedule, maintaining roller blinds doesn’t fill me with dread the way cleaning curtains does, increasing the likelihood that it may happen.

Cleaning Venetian Blinds | Remodelista

Above: The process of cleaning each individual blade of a Venetian blind rules them out for me. Image via The Blinds Review.

How much do roller blinds cost and where can I get them?

Roller blinds come in a wide range of sizes and prices, from readymade versions you install yourself to designs that are made to measure. At Home Depot, a Bali Cut-to-Size White Light Filtering Vinyl Roller Shade costs 50 cents a square foot, while made-to-measure roller blinds from Levolor, The Shade Store, and Smith+Noble cost around $9 to $15 a square foot, depending on fabric and accessories. The Shade Store offers local certified installers who will come and measure and install at an additional cost; Margot tried this and was happy with the results. Well known brands like Levolor and Hunter Douglas can be ordered online or through window covering specialists in your area. In the Bay Area, Julie uses Burris Window Shades.

Roller Shade Recap

Pros

  • Clean look that becomes part of the architecture
  • Tend to be more cost-effective than curtains
  • Easier to clean and maintain than other window treatments

Cons

  • Roller blinds with cords present a safety hazard for households with young kids
  • Shades aren’t as effective as curtains at keeping out draughts
  • Roller blinds that are installed in between window frames allow light to seep in in the gap between the blind and the frame
  • Not as formal or elegant as curtains

For more window treatment ideas, see Five Ways to Cover 50 Windows on a Budget. And learn The Secret Ingredient to Make Windows Shine Bright Like a Diamond. Contemplating a remodel? Have a look at all of our Remodeling 101 posts.