The joy of a new-born baby and decorating their nursery

February 27, 2017

Not long after any couple discovers that they are expecting a baby, thoughts turn to creating a wonderful nursery so that once the little one arrives she or he has a special room with a calming yet inspirational atmosphere.

A place where night-time feeds or nappy-changing sessions can be undertaken in practical yet comfortable surroundings with the minimum of fuss, but which reflect the joy and optimism that a tiny baby brings.

As well as cuddly toys, furniture and furnishings, décor will be paramount.

Many parents shy away from the option of being told the sex of their baby before it is born, so this immediately reduces the chances of going for gender-specific stereotypes in choosing pink for a girl or blue for a boy.

This is reflected in the range of child-themed Roman blinds which we offer.

Here are some of your options. Continue reading The joy of a new-born baby and decorating their nursery

The funny thing about blackout blinds

May 13, 2016

fraser_charcoalAre you getting enough sleep? It’s a big problem for many people at this time of year, when sleeping through the lighter mornings and evenings becomes a challenge, either because the sun’s waking you up, or waking someone else in the house, who in turn wakes you.

Anyone with a young baby will tell you what a nightmare it is when the sun comes up before 6 in the morning and doesn’t disappear again until late into the evening.

Little ’uns struggle to cope with the idea that it’s time for sleep when light is streaming into their bedroom. Continue reading The funny thing about blackout blinds

Why we don’t want you to buy replacement blinds … too soon

March 4, 2016

Constantine Purple

This sparkling new blind from our Constantine Purple range will retain its just-new looks for longer with regular cleaning following our guide.

That might sound like an odd thing for a made to measure blinds supplier to say, but we care about our customers.

And it breaks our heart when we see blinds on the scrapheap when in truth they should still be serving a purpose in the home.

We offer you helpful guides every step of the way — and that includes how to care for your blinds once they are installed.

Our blinds are of good quality and are built to last and we want you to make sure they last.

Continue reading Why we don’t want you to buy replacement blinds … too soon

How to create a relaxing atmosphere in your beautiful bathroom

August 18, 2015

M2M Batroom rollersThere’s nothing more relaxing than a good soak in the bath or a long, hot shower – but only if your bathroom is a gorgeous and tranquil space that you can enjoy.

The bathroom is one of the hardest-working rooms in the house, and it’s easy for it to get a bit sad and cluttered. So when giving it a facelift, your first step should be to have a good clear-out (especially if you have a small space).

M2M Roman blinds bathroomTidy up
Invest in a good cabinet to hide all your bathroom products, and make an asset of clean towels by folding them neatly on a shelf or using a towel ladder like this one from Next.
If your bathroom is suffering from tired corners, smarten it up instantly by re-grouting tiles, renewing silicon sealant round the bath and polishing your taps.
New vinyl or a good waterproof laminate can also give a quick facelift to the floor; tiling is a bigger job and more expensive, but very long-lasting – Tile Mountain’s Skyros wall and floor tiles have an extremely cool and pretty retro vibe.

next_100179888411956Treat your feet

A good rug softens the room as well as providing comfort underfoot, but make sure it can stand up to all that water and steam – we’re very pleased with the Cool Stripes rugs from Modern Rugs, which would brighten up any bathroom and can be easily changed to freshen things up from time to time.

 

justtapsplus_1816944408227270Colour guide

If your bathroom is small, dark colours may make it feel closed in. Choosing a light colour for the walls can also help bring a feeling of space and light, and mirrors – a natural for the bathroom, of course – can also help the room feel bigger.

The blinds factor

Natural light is at a premium with bathrooms – venetian blinds can be an ideal solution in a bathroom as they can be tilted to let in precious daylight while providing extra privacy for frosted glass. But Roman blinds look great, too. Choose wisely, using our advice (see below).

Read our blog – How to choose a blind for the bathroom

tilemountain_18169451008628193Time for a suite makeover?

Changing your bathroom suite can be pricey and is a big job, but there are some fabulous fittings around at the moment – take a look at the Round Fixed Head Cascade Shower from Justtapsplus; it’s slimline for a small space but provides a great water flow.

Barker & Stonehouse,Wooden chest with shutters, -ú219Accessorise

If you’ve less to spend, accessories make a big difference in the bathroom, and should be chosen with care.
You can go beachcombing to come up with some natural bits and pieces to give your room a nautical but nice theme, or shop around for natural finishes such as Sainsbury’s natural lotus clothes hamper.

 

sainsburyshome_97126999993978Storage

We also like Barker and Stonehouse’s wooden chest with shutters – very cool and also useful in providing extra storage – and their display box, which looks like a row of huts, would fit in really well.

The final touch
After that, it’s easy – some nice candles, deliciously-scented bath oil and a good lock on the bathroom door. Ahh… relax!

 

Mix the rough with the smooth for some great interior design effects

June 6, 2015

Be bold when you mix the rough with the smooth, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the simultaneously chic and gritty results.

There once was a time when texture in our homes came in two varieties – industrial and super-smooth.

Industrial was all about raw brick and rough galvanised steel, while smooth centred on luxurious velvets and the sleekest of chromes. And never the twain shall meet, as they say… until now.

This season, we’re mixing it up when it comes to texture – and that includes your Made To Measure blind.

It all started with the trend for reclaimed and recycled materials, reformed into chic new objects of desire – and Timothy Oulton is the name to conjure with in this context, of course.

But now we’re putting together fabrics and finishes that once would never have gone cheek by jowl. Carved concrete coffee tables stand on fine-grained wooden floors; distressed wood kisses up to marble fireplaces.

cuckooland_2783311126566142Naturally, there’s a trick to getting it right. Creating a mash-up of perfect textures isn’t merely a case of jamming together any old thing – but it’s a lot of fun getting the ideal mix and match to work by trial and error.

Start, as ever, with a keynote piece – furniture or even an accessory. For instance, the Craven sofa from Barker and Stonehouse with its plump cushions and deep-buttoned arms has a look that’s classic with a contemporary twist and makes an excellent focal point for a room.

There’s no doubt the Craven is a smoothy and definitely luxe – but by teaming it with distressed wall woodwork, and the rustic Bowery coffee table (also Barker and Stonehouse) it morphs into something truly fresh and different.

The secret is in the palette of muted tones – greys, pale blues and natural woods work wonderfully together to create a cohesive whole out of extremely different elements. When you’re ready to start planning we have some beautiful palettes to choose from at Made To Measure Blinds. Take a look at our classic range of Roller Blinds available.

Take a look, too, at the fabulous teaming of sleek botanical-print cushions with hard-edged wood and a gleaming copper light-shade; this collaboration works because of the complementary green and brown tones – you could work similar magic in a different colourway using the Laura Oakes floral cushion from Debenhams as your starting point.

The smooth Stanton grey bookcase from Next could be another textural talking point in any room, stacked up with touchy-feeling objet trouves, such as bleached driftwood and shells, colourful dog-eared books for dipping in and out of for a quick read, and shiny accessories such as the amusingly kitschy pineapple trinket jar (also from Next).

tescodirect_1285761023760355It wouldn’t be textural without rugs and throws, of course, and I’m charmed by Tesco Direct’s grey tartan rug – the Highland look is definitely on-trend at the moment. As an extreme alternative, who could resist Cuckooland.com’s indoor outdoor pond stripe rug in green and blue?

Try a rough-spun wool throw on the arm of a velvet chair; group gleaming glass vases or jars on a reclaimed-wood side table where they reflect the light and turn a forgotten corner into an eyecatcher.

And don’t be afraid to be bold – mix up the luxe and the rough for a change and bring a little more texture into your life.

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Sumi provides simple style and grace for your Made To Measure Blind

May 1, 2015

SumiBeauty, style, grace – and the instinctive feeling that the interior design of a home is just right for you.

That’s our starting point at Made To Measure Blinds when we carefully select the patterns for our roller blinds.

We know that your made to measure blind can be the final piece in an interior design jigsaw in your room – and in some cases it might be the starting point – so we strive to give you the broadest and best choice possible.

One range proving particularly popular is our Sumi selection.

The subtle designs and soft colours will evoke a special atmosphere, and it’s not by accident that we have drawn on the influence of Japan, China and other Asian nations, where this ancient style is so popular.

It’s a style we have long admired and we are particularly pleased with our current offerings.

M2MBlinds Sumi-DesignSumi, or ink wash painting, is also known as literati painting. It is an East Asian type of brush painting which is influenced by the prestigious form of Chinese art produced by highly educated scholars, gentlemen or leterati.

The essence of the ancient designs, whether calligraphy or art, was to not merely reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its spirit.

So in the case of a flower, the artist would not only aim to perfectly match its petals and colours, but would also attempt to convey the flower’s gentle movement in a breeze, or its delicate fragrance.

The American artist Arthur Wesley Dow wrote said this: ‘The painter should do just enough to cause form, texture and effect to be felt. Every brush-touch must be full-charged with meaning, and useless detail eliminated.’

Our modern phrase for this could be ‘less is more’ and it’s something we often aim to achieve with our designs.

We are confident that you will agree the effectiveness of this, but if you would like to see first-hand how delicate and pleasing the designs are, simply request a free sample

 

Our love for tea is stronger than ever – and a Made To Measure blind can complete that tea-room feel for your kitchen!

April 18, 2015

Tea for two  - Design RepeatThe thoroughly British habit of ‘taking tea’ is alive and well.

It’s hard to go about your daily business without seeing a blackboard pointing to the neighbourhood tea-room and it’s even more of a challenge to arrive at someone’s house and evade the offer of a welcoming cuppa.

In the UK we drink 165 million cups of tea every day and about 70 million cups of coffee.

A whole sub-industry thrives around the tea business, with teapots, cups and mugs, milk jugs, sugar bowls, infusers, strainers, tea cosies and tea towels – and that’s before we get into the realm of the serious collectors with their eyes peeled for unusual teasets.

With the tea-room so popular, it’s no surprise that people are turning to café chic as their inspiration for kitchens, so with this in mind we have some roller blinds designed to fit in well with this type of décor.

The range is called Tea For Two, and we feature a few of them here.

For a more comprehensive look at what’s available see our Made To Measure rollerblinds page – https://www.madetomeasureblinds-uk.com/rollerblinds.html?section=patterned-roller-blinds&product=tea-for-two-rooibos#product_step_3

Top ten tea facts

  • Product placement – until 2011 Taylor’s of Harrogate supplied their Yorkshire Tea brand free to branches of the Women’s Institute.
  • Top traders – Tetley leads the UK market with a 27 per cent share, followed by PG Tips with about 24 per cent share.
  • Popular tea – English breakfast tea is a traditional blend of teas originating from Assam, Ceylon and Kenya. It is one of the most popular blended teas and the most common form of tea in British tea culture.
  • Tea instructions – A Nice Cup Of Tea is an essay by George Orwell, first published in the London Evening Standard in 1946. It is a serious discussion about the craft of making a cup of tea, including this: ‘Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden.’
  • The Teasmade – On 17 December 1891, Samuel Rowbottom, of 82 Abbey Road, Derby, applied for a patent for his Automatic Tea Making Apparatus, the patent being granted in 1892. It used a clockwork alarm clock, a gas ring and pilot light. But the name Teasmade only came into existence when an electric teamaker was patented by William Hermann Brenner Thornton in association with Goblin in 1933. Goblin’s next model, also invented by Thornton, was patented in 1934 and was manufactured from 1936. This was the first teamaker sold under the name Teasmade.
  • Well-being – The name Typhoo comes from the Chinese word for ‘doctor’ – and one of the brand’s famous catchphrases was ‘You only get an “oo” with Typhoo.’
  • Collectables – Many loose tea packets contained collectors’ cards on various themes, from the 1940s to 1980s.
  • To dunk or not to dunk – McVitie’s biscuits are said to be the most popular biscuits in the UK to ‘dunk’ in tea, with their chocolate digestives, Rich tea and Hobnobs ranked the nation’s top three favourites.
  • TV stars – the chimpanzees used in the PG Tips TV ads were from Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire. When animal rights campaigners forced the chimps off the screen sales dropped and they were reinstated 18 months later.
  • What’s in a name – the Earl Grey blend of tea is assumed to be named after The 2nd Earl Grey, British Prime Minister in the 1830s and author of the Reform Bill of 1832. Lord Grey reputedly received a gift, probably a diplomatic perquisite, of tea flavoured with bergamot oil.

 

Bring the outdoors in with a conservatory or an orangery – with Made To Measure Blinds, naturally

March 3, 2015

M2M Acacia oliveIt’s that time of year when we’re daring to believe that finer weather is finally on its way, and dreaming about long, lovely summer evenings out of doors.

Well, maybe soon! In this country, of course, we know better than to rely on the weather, and we’ve made living outside inside into something of an art thanks to lovely garden rooms.

Even the most simple of conservatories can extend your home at a very reasonable cost, and with a few precautions they can be a superb extension of your living space.

Whether you have a conservatory, a half-brick garden room or a vault-roofed orangery (increasingly popular in recent years), a room of many windows looking out onto a lovely garden can truly create a feeling of space.

Add folding doors that can be flung back when the weather is right, and you can truly bring the outdoors inside, creating a seamless join with your green space.

M2M wooden blind 50mm paperbark mapleOne good tip for blending your outdoor and indoor space and creating an impression of extra space is to keep the flooring similar or even the same. Rustic tiling flooring, for example (frost-proof, of course) can look stylish with the right ethnic rug.

To make the most of this sort of room, remember it will still be particularly sensitive to the weather so you will need to consider some heating for colder months and good, made to measure blinds for the summer, to afford privacy and to ensure shade.

rowenandwren_834497522568711Furnishings and accessories need to be carefully chosen, too, to help create that flow of space.

Natural-looking materials work well here – we like versatile furniture such as the Tatton lounge suite from Barker and Stonehouse, which is robust enough to use outside but would look great in a tiled garden room.

The cute squirrel tweed cushion from White Stuff would add an appropriately nature-themed touch, and Occa-Home’s amazing Lene Bjerre Clara bench could look perfectly in place.

Talking of funky seating, we love Barker and Stonehouse’s Trelawny hanging chair, fabulously retro and totally in keeping the outdoor/indoor vibe. You could continue the theme with Rowen and Wren’s little hanging pots, which are great for displaying greenery.

We also love it when customers tell us how well a wooden venetian Made To Measure Blind has provided natural beauty and warm ambience, complementing or contrasting with their wooden flooring.

??????????????????????????????The superb range here provides ample opportunity to find a perfect match for your flooring or to discover how best to make a bold statement in an otherwise minimalist room.

If you have a large conservatory and are conscious of going over budget, roller blinds might be the best choice.

They are very economical, easy to install and easy to clean and maintain. They provide a great return on purchase value with years of enjoyment. View our range here.

tescodirect_1285762060316301Your garden room can also make a lovely place to dine, even a deux – and on that topic we are very taken with Tesco’s pretty little bistro table and chairs, which could move outdoors on sunny days.

So remember to keep furnishings light and bright in accordance with all that lovely light flooding in, get your basics right in the shape of blinds and heating, and your garden room will be a real asset to your home all year round. Whatever the weather!

whitestuff_170228873382823  occa-home_774452552785357

 

Spooky Halloween Blind Designs

October 23, 2014

Halloween is almost upon us. As the whole country winds up for the festivities, the supermarkets stock up with Halloween-themed treats, and the television channels show a variety of classic horror films. With this in mind, we’ve created a series of designs, paying homage to the weird, the spooky and the downright terrifying moments of cinema.

Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century. His iconic horror films, with their careful blend of suspense and violence, terrified a generation. The infamous ‘shower scene’ in Psycho, which sees the female protagonist brutally murdered to a soundtrack of shrieking violins, is regularly voted as the most powerful scene in film history. Some of his other films are just as terrifying – The Birds did for crows what Jaws did for sharks.

Shower ScreamThe Birds

Psycho (Shower Scream) & The Birds

Stanley Kubrick was another director with a talent for horror. Cult classic The Shining, an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, captivated and terrified audiences with its themes of paranormal activity and madness. The climactic moment, when Jack Nicholson maniacally smashes his way through a door with an axe, has been mimicked and parodied by everyone from The Simpsons to Premier Inn.

Shining Floor PatternRedrum

The Shining (Creepy Hallway) & The Shining (Redum)

Ever since film came into existence, the subject of the undead has fascinated filmmakers and audiences alike. Nosferatu, itself an unauthorised adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, is one of the earliest vampire films. Made before the birth of special effects and CGI, it remains one of the most influential films of the genre.

NosferatuNorman Bates

Nosferatu & Psycho (Norman Bates)

Rather than drawing on an established mythology, author and film director Clive Barker created his own supernatural race. His seminal film, Hellraiser, features the Cenobites – a hellish people, whose mysterious puzzle box lures unsuspecting victims to their deaths.

Hellraiser Puzzle BoxHere Johnny

Hellraiser Puzzlebox & The Shining (Here’s Johnny)

Not content with classic horror films, we’ve also created some fun, general Halloween designs. Use them as inspiration for your Halloween decorations!

Guillotine BlindPumpkin

ZombieWatcher

Happy Halloween

Go back to nature with a made to measure roller blind

July 29, 2014

Back-to-nature-with-a-made-to-measure-roller-blind-3Celebrity TV presenters Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury have a lot to answer for.

An average of 5.5 million viewers tune in to watch them on Countryfile on BBC One and the programme has seen peaks of 6.3 million. But the real stars of the show are the creatures featured.

Similar shows on other channels generate huge interest and the ranks of nature lovers – already booming in conservation-aware Britain – are being swelled with every tweet of a bird and every flutter of a butterfly’s wing.

Back-to-nature-with-a-made-to-measure-roller-blind-1Property-owners love to reflect their passions in the décor of their homes, which is why our range of nature-inspired prints is proving so popular. People just love the natural world.

Here are some of the variations that are making our blinds such a hit.

  • Subtle designs – The fabrics and prints lend a subtlety to the creatures featured. There is almost a subliminal feel to our papillon autumn blind, for example, with gentle yet unmistakable butterflies merging with gorgeous floral petals.
  • Unusual hues – Add a burst of colour to contrast with the minimalist design so popular in contemporary interior design. Made to measure blinds with a splash of orange, red or pink do just that – to terrific effect.
  • White space and silhouettes – Our osprey natural and osprey duck egg designs will appeal to you if you prefer the more muted approach.  The birds and the branches on which they perch are white silhouettes against the colour background.
  •  The lighter touch – The dragonfly red thumb design uses the gentlest of lines to suggest the presence of a dragonfly, and this delicate approach is appreciated by many – as our orders will testify.

Special offer

Readers of this blog post qualify for a 5% discount on their order. Simply add the code Bloggive5 at the checkout – offer valid until 31st August 2014 so feel free to share with your family and friends!  Shop now!

Click here to Request a free sample