Here’s how to deal with tricky-to-fit blinds

July 20, 2016

tools-932759_1920When you have a difficult DIY job on your hands you can either come up with your own solution and learn from your expensive and time-consuming mistakes – or you can turn to an expert.

We know that not every blind-fitting is straightforward, and that’s why we take so much care in helping our customers at the measuring and buying stage.

It’s so that when they do come to fit their Made To Measure Blinds, the job goes as smoothly as possible.

Our pledge to you is that whatever challenge you present us with:

Continue reading Here’s how to deal with tricky-to-fit blinds

Why we assume nothing about fitting your Made to Measure Blind

June 8, 2016

confused-880735_1920We take a great deal of care with your Made To Measure Blind, not just after you’ve placed your order, but even before you get that far.

We know you have pride in your home so we understand how important it is to have everything just right.

For that reason we provide a comprehensive guide to selecting the right type of blind for your needs, we offer a huge choice when it comes to style and colours, and we pledge to come in at an extremely competitive price.

For some businesses the moment an order leaves the door, that’s it. Job done.

But we know there is one key task still to be undertaken. Continue reading Why we assume nothing about fitting your Made to Measure Blind

Boost home security with good blinds

April 8, 2016

High White gloss 50mm Wooden Venetian M2MBlindsThe retail adage that you need to let the punters see the goods rings true for a specific group of sinister ‘shoppers’.

We refer to burglars, a sad blight on modern living whose numbers seem to be on the increase, if the anecdotal evidence of people we know is anything to go by.

One factor that makes a home more tempting and more susceptible to break-ins is the ease with which valuables can be seen from the outside.

So it makes sense to not only add security features to your home but to hide items from evil eyes in the first place.

Continue reading Boost home security with good blinds

How to get a better night’s sleep

March 10, 2016

M2M fraser_charcoal(1)The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) have designated this week as Sleep Awareness Week.

You can’t have escaped the awful experience of lying awake in bed, tossing and turning and trying to nod off while a thousand thoughts crowd your mind.

It can be a vicious cycle. The deeper into the night you go, without any sign of dropping off, the more anxious you get, the more aware of the ticking clock you become, and the closer to waking up time you get – without having anything to wake up from.

A little tip we can provide is to install blackout blinds into your bedrooms as they’ll reduce the light coming into a room – street lights are a common problem for people trying to sleep at night.

For a good nights sleep, have a read of the advice of the National Sleep Foundation and reap the benefits. Continue reading How to get a better night’s sleep

Can I fit a Made to Measure Wooden blind to my back door?

December 22, 2014

image bMade To Measure Blinds are so versatile that you can give your creativity full rein when choosing where to fit them.

We often receive enquiries from people who want to fit them in a location other than a window, and we are happy to provide helpful advice and guidance.

There aren’t many situations where you can’t fit a Made To Measure Blind, so when a customer asked about fitting a wooden blind to his back door we were happy to respond promptly with simple-to-follow instructions.

There are four things to consider when measuring, and these images illustrate them perfectly.

* Measure the gap you have behind the handle to the frame (B). This will determine the slat size you can use – 25mm, 35mm or 50mm.

image c• The width will be governed by the handle back plate (C), so measure the edge of the bead to the back plate and add the same the other side to keep the blind central.

Order the exact measurement so we do not make any further deductions in manufacture. You will also receive returns on the wooden cover valance to hide the headrail (see image).

• Allow 5cm above and below the glass bead to attach the brackets at the top, and space for a holdown clip – should you wish to use one to stop the blind moving around.

• If you have clearance on the door when in the open position you won’t need to fix a door stop at the bottom of the door, but in some situations you might have to fit one to avoid crushing the blind when opening the door.

Made To Measure wooden venetian blinds are perfect for enhancing a room’s appearance by adding a contemporary elegance to the décor.

imageWhatever the look and feel of your home, a wood Venetian blind represents an inexpensive idea to complement your existing furnishings.

This type of Made To Measure Blind will also:

  • Help to control room temperature
  • Enable you to set how much light and heat can enter a room, and
  • Protect your furniture and furnishings from fading

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Protecting Your Child Against Injury with Window Blinds

May 28, 2013

It is not often that a child is injured in the home with the apparatus of a window blind.  However when it does happen, consumers and the window covering industry evaluate the safety precautions that are required when consideration is paid to installing window blinds.

The Potential for Injury

While many people believe that the most probable point of injury for a child is the lifting and lowering mechanism (or the hand pull) the most hazardous part of the blind are the looping cords that hold the blind slats together.   The design of the cord can easily encircle the neck of a young child causing injury and even accidental death.

It’s important to note that both the interior cords and the exterior pull cord present equal risk of harm to your child.  Securing only the hand pull solves only part of the problem.   A better choice would be to select blinds with fewer open access cord or to choose a window covering such as a nursery curtain instead of a blind.

What Parents Need to Know

If you are fitting out a nursery consider your options for window coverings.  Venetian blinds are not recommended for rooms with children given the structure and design of the window blind.   Vertical blinds similarly can be hazardous given the mechanical design of the blind.  Neither venetian nor vertical blinds are recommended for rooms with young children.

Your best alternatives are to consider a roman blind or a roller blind.   Not only are they easy to install, but they have only one pull cord to attend to.  There are no open or exposed loops that can create a hazard with the exception of the handle which can be safely affixed with a child safety cleat which essentially “ties up” the cord out of reach and harm’s way.

Not sure how to install a blind or choose a style that is appropriate for a child’s bedroom?  Contact us!  We’ll be happy to give you some professional advice on making an informed choice in window coverings.   We’re happy to help.

A Healthy Home: Blinds and Indoor Air Quality

July 27, 2012

Everyone loves a great bargain during these economic times where British families are tightening their budgets and belts when it comes to all purchases and necessities.  We have families too, and we Healthy Home Air Quality PVC Blinds Made To Measure Blinds UKunderstand the challenge and drive to find the best possible price and savings.

Stumbling upon some imported retail plastic blinds can be tempting.  Mass produced, available in a variety of sizes and shades, you may make the assumption that “all blinds are created equal”.  After all, they do function in the same way mechanically and the lower the cost the better.  But exactly what cost are you paying if the plastic blinds you are purchasing negatively impact your health?

While goods that are produced in the UK are subject to laws and standards regarding the materials that can be used, these same standards do not exist in other countries.  Subsequently you can see a flood of blinds on the market that are made from plastic materials and mostly commonly composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is both environmentally unhealthy as well as contributory to poor indoor air quality.

The Harm of Plastic Blinds

Plastic PVC blinds are made of several compounds that are known carcinogens.  They contain the chemical Phthalate which is a compound that is used to give plastic its flexible properties.  This compound is presently being banned around the world for the production of children’s toys as it is known to be harmful causing endocrine (hormone) disruption in human beings.

Some heavy metals are also used in the manufacturing of plastic PVC blinds.  Chromium, mercury and cadmium are frequently added to increase the durability of plastic and reduce its chemical breakdown when exposed to heat or sunlight.  Heavy metals are known carcinogens.

Lastly for the environmentally conscious the plastic PVC blind is non-recyclable and as the compounds break down with time as refuse, they contribute harmful chemicals to the soil and water tables.

Healthy Alternatives

Non-toxic window blinds are those constructed from natural materials such as wood.  These materials are not chemically treated in their composition and do not break down over time into harmful gases which can be released into the air.  Not only are wood blinds beautiful (allowing you to bring the look of the outdoors-in) but they can help you breathe much easier!

Another affordable but healthy choice is the aluminum blind.  Aluminum resists corrosion and provides excellent performance with regards to blocking sunlight.  It is a non-toxic and non-emission substance that is durable and easy to clean.

We all love to shop for bargains.  But sometimes you really do get what you pay for.  Choose products for your home that enhance your comfort and pleasure without compromising your health or the environment.  Made to Measure Blinds UK offers a number of natural fiber options and healthy choices for quality window coverings, and if you have any questions regarding the materials used in our manufacturing or our processes please contact us.  We’ll be happy to assist you by providing some peace of mind with your purchase of quality blinds.

Protecting Your Home and Family with Fire Retardant Blinds

July 6, 2012

It’s one of those options that are available on a number of home furnishings including quality window coverings and yet few people understand how important it is.  While frequently ordered for use in the kitchen, fire retardant treatments are available on most blinds and window coverings for a nominal fee and adding a fire retardant property to every room in your home can not only reduce damage but it can save lives.

How Does It Work?

It is important to understand how valuable a fire retardant treatment can be on window coverings as well as home furnishings.  In our opinion the extra expense more than compensates for itself in terms of home safety and peace of mind.

The coating is a chemical that is applied (usually sprayed topically) to a finished fabric or material.  While the type of chemical may vary depending on the manufacturer, in general fire retardants work in one of three ways:

  • By cooling the material (endothermic reaction) to prevent ignition
  • By creating a protective layer that prevents contact with the accelerant (fabric)
  • By dilution which is a chemical reaction which releases a water vapour

Choosing a fire retardant coating on your blinds is an extra safeguard to prevent window coverings from becoming a rapid accelerant in a house fire.  Fabrics by their constitution burn easily but the application of an effective fire retardant treatment prevents the flame from spreading from one location to another.  Fire safety experts agree that the single most threat during a home fire is ignition of flammable materials within the home.

We all know that the purpose of a fire retardant coating is to prohibit the ignition or spread of fire in the space.   Research has shown that a single ignition point such as a chair or a fabric window covering can spread quickly to damage the entire home.   What is most concerning is the speed with which fire can spread and become a hazard to the occupants creating dangerous smoke inhalation conditions and in extreme cases, blocking exits and making evacuation more difficult.  Windows are frequently used as exits during a house fire and protecting them can make all the difference.  Slowing down the rate of flame acceleration will provide more time for evacuation and protect your family from potential injury.

And we think that’s worth investing in.

If you are looking to add the extra safety of flame retardant window coverings to your home, take a look at our popular and economical roller blinds which start at only £25.13 and come with a twelve month guarantee.   Our fashionable pleated blinds (which allow gentle light permeation) are also available starting from £48.36.  Browse through our top selling venetian blinds (available in twelve fashionable colours and fabrics) are also available with the flame retardant safety option.

If you have a concern about a specific room in the home, please contact us to discuss your needs.  We will be happy to provide personalised recommendations to assist you.

Cleaning Advice for Blinds and Window Coverings

July 5, 2012

It is one of the factors that help to decide what type of window coverings are suitable for your environment.  Often it is the second question our customers ask when they are considering a specific style or color.  “How hard is it to clean?”

The answer of course is determined by a number of unique factors which should be discussed before you decide on purchasing your window coverings.   The style of blind you choose and colour can determine the amount of cleaning required.   For instance lighter shades of vertical blinds are less prone to showing dust than darker colours. Vertical blinds are somewhat easier to clean and maintain than horizontal blinds.

Before you begin cleaning any window covering it is good practice to place an old blanket or sheet under the work surface to catch any falling debris.   This makes clean up quick and easy afterward and prevents furnishings from becoming soiled while cleaning your blinds.  Depending on the type of blind you have chosen there are different cleaning recommendations.

Roman and Roller Blinds

Both Roman and Roller Blinds are arguably the easiest window covering to clean.  Gently release the blind allowing the fabric to fall straight and cover the window.  Using a gentle vacuum attachment simply remove the dust from the fabric and finish by whisking with a lightly dampened cloth and allow to dry.

Seriously soiled Roman Blinds can also be removed and taken to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning.

Natural Wood Blinds

Just like the wood furnishings in your home, it is never advisable to allow natural wood blinds to become wet.  Do not spray on a liquid cleaner or use a wet cloth to clean wood blinds, as moisture will be absorbed causing the wood slats to swell and eventually split.

Wood blinds can be easily vacuumed with a gentle bristled attachment or cleaned with a soft cloth.  Do not clean with a spray wax or wood furniture polish as it has a tendency to “seal in” the dirt and debris making it more difficult to remove.   A cotton glove can be effectively used to clean your wood blinds.   An old trick is to rub the glove with a fabric softener sheet to remove the static on the glove allow the dust to be removed more easily.

Heavily soiled wood blinds can be restored by using a quality paint brush and some oil soap.  Sparingly apply the oil soap with the brush and then wipe with a clean cloth immediately afterward.

Vertical Blinds

While vertical blinds do not show dust and debris as easily as other window covering designs, they do require ongoing maintenance.  Hold the vertical blind slat gently while using a feather duster or a vacuum to remove dirt.   Many home vacuums have a special vertical blind attachment which is available to purchase and assist you.  While vertical blinds are easy to clean, they tend to be used in high traffic areas such as doors or bay windows and typically require more frequent cleaning.

As with any quality investment in home furnishings, blinds and window coverings do require a degree of responsible maintenance to keep performing and looking their best for years to come.   Get more cleaning tips on our website here.

Blinds for Every Space: How to Decide What Works Best

July 4, 2012

Have you ever fallen in love with a piece of furniture or accessory that is “just perfect” for your room?  We often shop like that by finding something which catches our eye and practical or impractical we must have it in our home.  We like what we like seems reason enough, however choosing a style of window covering is more than just an esthetic decision.  There are many factors to consider which will make a specific style or material of blind appropriate for your space for long term satisfaction.

The best place to start is taking stock and accounting for the needs of the specific room you are designing.  There are a number of needful considerations you want to evaluate before you decide on the appropriate window dressing for the room which have nothing to do with esthetic and everything to do with how you use the room, and the duties you wish it to perform in your home.    No two rooms are alike so take time to consider any special structural needs of the space before starting.

Sunlight

How many hours per day does the room receive sunlight?  If you have upholstered furnishings that are susceptible to fading as a result of UV rays, consider that many blinds are available with a repellant coating to prevent harmful UV rays from entering the room and causing damage.

Is the room meant to be a well lit room or would you like a shaded environment?  A conservatory space takes full advantage of ample windows to generate a warm and sunny environment.  However in a multimedia viewing room, too much light would be a detriment.  Many individuals choose to install Black Out Blinds to create dark rooms on demand and eliminate distracting external light sources.

Decide upon a percentage of desirable light before you begin.

Privacy

It is not always an issue with every room.  Take the kitchen for example.  If a neighbor was able to look into your kitchen you would likely be unbothered.  However a bedroom or a bathroom is an entirely different story when it comes to creating privacy with window coverings.

Temperature

If the room is consistently cooler than other areas of the house, you may wish to order blinds which assist by repelling moisture and cold from the exterior while retaining warmth from the interior of the room.   Special coatings on blinds and window coverings can actually impact your energy bill and make a dramatic change to the comfort of your room.

Casement

If you have an older home, examine the quality of the window casement in question.  If the foundation of the casement is unstable, you may wish to make some improvements to it before installation of window coverings for best results.   If the casement is quite poor, you may wish to order a roller blind or other solid fabric window covering to enhance the appearance of the window and disguise some of the issues with the frame.   Roman and Roller Blinds are an excellent choice for that purpose.

Being informed of your room structure and environmental requirements will help you make the best choice for your home.  Order your free samples and get started with your vision toward your new interior space.