How to buy blinds and shades

November 9, 2016

Most people think they know how to buy blinds and shades, because it’s such a simple process – measure the window, choose a style, find a store and pay your money. Simples.

But having bought what they thought was the perfect blind things suddenly get complicated when it comes to fitting.

Challenges arise, which people hadn’t considered, the fitting process takes much longer than anticipated and more often than not an element of bodging creeps into the job.

For that reason we go all out on our Made To Measure Blinds website to take you through the buying process step by step, from your initial decision-making to fitting.

Continue reading How to buy blinds and shades

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 make it a sweet 16 for your home

December 29, 2015

houseoffraser_63782104873065It’s that time again when we’re taking a deep breath and vowing that 2016 will be the year that — for once — we get fit, lose a few pounds and start being nicer people.

Great! But everyone knows new year resolutions are tricky to keep — so here are a four suggestions for your home that might be easier to stick to — and that will make your home a more stylish and enjoyable space into the bargain.

Continue reading How to make it a sweet 16 for your home

Top tips on creating a great space to study

September 27, 2015

Alpaca peacock Vertical blindAt this time of year, there’s no getting round the fact that holidays are well behind us and it’s time to get down to some serious studying, whether you’re a student or a parent with children of school age at home – or whether you are one of the burgeoning army of people who work from home.
Workspace here can often be cramped and cluttered – particularly if it’s in a young person’s bedroom. Not exactly what you need to encourage them to get on with the difficult business of homework!

So here are our top tips on creating a great space to study.

M2M Blinds 50mm wooden Blind.Set the tone
Create a calm and pleasing space. Make sure your study area is quiet and fairly tidy. If the space is for you to be working at home you could find it stressful, so keep your study space as free from noise and distractions as possible.

Tranquility
It’s important to make your space tranquil. Decorate the walls in soothing, plain colours in your work area, such as sage greens and duck egg blues. These are cheerful without being too vibrant.

Timesaving tidiness
Make sure you clear the floor space. Clutter easily builds up in a workspace and can make it hard for you to find materials you need easily, which costs time.

Floor with a purpose
Laminate or wooden flooring is ideal in a study as you can more easily wheel a desk chair on it. This type of flooring also gives a contemporary, attractive feel to the space. It’s also a help if you find a dust-free environment, because this saves you from allergies and sneezing.

Rylie study desk from Barker and Stonehouse

Rylie study desk from Barker and Stonehouse

Choice of desk
Next, think about a good table or desk. Laptops on your knees can lead to aches and pains, no matter how young you are. A decent desk starts at just a few pounds, but if you’re a stylish, studying adult you can go to town – it all depends what you feel will make you work well (and what you can afford, of course!)

Storage
A place for everything and everything in its place — that’s the next most important thing. So make sure you have plenty of storage space.

Jorge workbench desk, also from Barker and Stonehouse

Jorge workbench desk, also from Barker and Stonehouse

Under-bed storage can be incredibly useful in this respect, with the help of some suitable boxes that you can pull in and out as required — you might want to consider boxes with wheels.

Equally important is shelving, particularly if you need to keep a lot of books in order. Again, sturdy shelving can be achieved on a tight budget, or you can splash out on a real style statement to complement your designer desk if required.

Make it easy for your eyes
Lighting is important in a study, particularly if it’s part of a larger room – a pool of light can help create a sense of privacy and promote concentration. Buy a good desk lamp to create a pool of light to work in.

Vintage desk lamp in ivory – dotcomgiftshop.com

Vintage desk lamp in ivory – dotcomgiftshop.com

By day, direct sunlight can be distracting, so invest in some good Made to measure Wooden or Vertical blinds that you can slant to control the amount of light flooding into your workspace. They can also look contemporary and chic.

So … you’re all ready to study. Of course, we can’t make you or your children actually get down to some work – but at least now you have no excuse!

Scandinavian elegance with an edge – and a Made To Measure Blind!

April 12, 2015

Northern LightsIt’s been pretty tough over the past few years to tear ourselves away from Scandinavian dramas​. Those romantic, melancholy vistas, those sweaters… delightful!

And of course, that cool, sophisticated elegance has worked its way gradually into our homes. Who can resist it? We love the simple, clean lines, and the cool Northern colours – it’s a recipe for creating a tranquil space to unwind and relax.

It’s all so cool, calm – and just a bit crocheted – so how can you achieve the Scandinavian look without being too clinical?

bhs_8244881517017402It’s an easy look to achieve, as long as you concentrate on some key elements. Sleek, statement furnishings that attract the eye are a must – look for a sculptural element to legs and arms.

Materials from nature are also crucial – blond wood, pebble finishes and natural fabrics work well in this kind of space. And keep accessories pared-back and minimal, because this truly is a look that demands a total absence of clutter.

amara_10005571529654305Start with a key piece of furniture such as the Savalen accent chair (Barker and Stonehouse) in the picture. It’s wonderfully eye-catching because of its striking patterned fabric – Scandi doesn’t always mean plain – but look at those lovely shapely arms.

The chair sits perfectly against the plush yet simple corner chaise and the vaguely retro chic of the coffee table. Amara’s Pols Potten Skippy set of three tables also has a mid-century sort of elegance that would fit in well here.

Persimmon Mocha

Persimmon Mocha

To complement the furnishings we’ve chosen a few of our favourites to show off.  The Lorenza Silver Roman Blinds are always very popular (view the full range here) and we also love the Fagel Charcoal Roman Blinds (view the full range here). Looking for a complimentary Vertical Blind range? Then this Persimmon Mocha scheme is just for you (view the full range here).

Lorenza Silver

Lorenza Silver

Geometric patterns such as the fabric on the Savalen are a key to giving this look the edge it requires to be truly contemporary. Keep the colour palette cool, with plenty of blues and greys, and you can get away comfortably with mixing and matching strong patterns on walls, floors and furnishings.

Not too much, though – walls should mostly be plain in order to show off all those stylish furnishings to best effect.

With all those cool colours around, you need to take some slight measures to prevent the room looking cold, and natural woods are a great solution with their warm tones.

We absolutely adore the wooden apothecary chest from Bhs with its host of gorgeous little drawers – it really elevates storage to a statement.

Fagel Charcoal

Fagel Charcoal

You can kitsch it up a little too with some folksy accompaniments such as the crocheted cushion – also from Bhs – or a throw; it’s well within the Scandinavian tradition of hand-crafted accessories and would add a touch of pleasant playfulness to the room.

Texture is also important, and rough rugs over smooth floors provide an important element. Look out for opportunities to add subtle lustre, too, in the shape of glass vases and bottles, and in lamp bases such as the Lolanthe (Barker and Stonehouse). It helps to reflect the light round your room and make the most of those calming shades.

bhs_824488450175342This British take on Scandinavian style is a classic look that won’t date, so you can afford to spend some time getting it completely set up – then relax in the knowledge that it’s going to remain ever-elegant.

The sweater, of course, is entirely up to you.

If you need help measuring use our easy-to-follow guides here >> www.madetomeasureblinds-uk.com/how-to-measure

Barker & Stonehouse, Lolanthe lamp, -ú120

 

How a Made To Measure Blind can bring texture into your scheme

September 29, 2014

RollerMention interior design and most people immediately think of colour and style of furnishings. At Made To Measure Blinds another key element springs to mind – texture.

It could be because we have such a fabulous range of textured blinds to share with customers, but looking at the wider picture, we love to inspire the imagination while also acknowledging the practical aspects of design. Texture – often overlooked – can play a crucial role in the feel of a room, whatever its size.

Texture can change the entire character of a living space, either by making a striking impact or by providing a subtle contrast to smooth, minimalist lines. Here’s how …

Vertical Salsa monochromeVISUAL IMPACT

The visual impact of a room is instant, so once the eye has appreciated how the room looks – its first impression, if you like – texture can take things a little deeper, either by providing a second layer of visual interest or by providing a tactile element.

LIGHT

Is the room naturally light? This might influence your choice of flooring, because a carpet won’t reflect as much light as a wooden floor. In the same way a smooth, shiny Venetian blind will give a very different feel to a textured vertical blind or a pleated blind.

kellyhoppen_7244281882318014COSINESS

Think about how the room is going to be used. You will be aiming for a totally different feel to a kitchen, study or family games room when compared with a lounge or room being used for entertaining or as your home cinema, for instance. Rooms where you’re aiming for cosiness will have more texture than those where you’re aiming for clean lines with a functional, efficient feeling to them. That’s not to say that textures are out of place in a kitchen or bathroom, but it is essential to plan carefully.

So how can we achieve those aims and what elements of a room are suitable for textures?


WALLS

Wallpaper and paint can both be textured, softening the surface or adding flair, depending on how flamboyant you want to be. You could also add wooden panelling to a feature wall to add character.

FLOORS

Flooring is a crucial element in any home, because by its nature everyone comes into contact with the floor, whereas hardly anyone touches a wall. Carpets provide a sumptuous feel but can appear tatty when not cared for properly, while wooden flooring is durable and smart, retaining its good looks for years.

TILES

Tiles are applied to walls and floors, so choice of finish is crucial. Matt or shiny, dark or light, whatever your choice a textured blind will complement the look perfectly.

nakeninteriors_718425275741059FURNITURE

You can be at your most creative when choosing furniture, with so many materials available. Leather, wood, chrome and glass all combine in various ways to set the tone for a room, whether you’re aiming for elegance for traditional dining or stylish functionality in a kitchen-diner. Again, your choice of blind can provide the perfect finishing touch.

 

When it comes to texture the Made To Measure Blinds Vertical Blinds and Pleated Blinds ranges offer terrific options, as you can see in these images.

We hope our suggestions inspire you in your room makeovers.

 

Made To measure Blinds Vertical Blind specifications

• Mounted on a powder coated aluminium white or brown headrail.

• Quality louvers with white hangers, weights, control cord and chains.

• Metal Brackets with fixings, provide top, and face fix options.

• Draw cord weight.

• Child safety device, installation mandatory.

• Multiple control options at order stage.

• Min width 25cm max width 350cm.

 

pleatedMade To Measure Blinds Pleated Blinds – view our full range here

Explore our the beautiful textures of our fabrics with shades of blue, grey, white, cream, beige, peach and terracotta.

Our regular fabrics are made of 100 per cent Polyester and offer glare reduction with a sun protection (SRC) factor of (8) of 9.

The reflectance rate of heat and sunlight through our pleated blinds is 59 per cent with an absorption rate of 31 per cent heat held in the fabric.

The structure of the blinds helps to filter sunlight and protect your furnishings from sun damage while helping you save on heating and cooling energy costs for your home.

 

 

dotcomgiftshop_66139954103135• The beautiful taupe bedspread (above) colouring enhances the cross-stitch design and pattern of the velvet bedspread. The rich, exquisite velvet material can be used to add a touch of decadence to any bed. Your bedroom should be designed to please the senses and this bedspread with its gorgeous combination of taupe and velvet will do just that.  From www.kellyhoppen.com, £260

• Wonderful contrast of wood and glass in furniture in the Normann Copenhagen Ding Table (above) is from www.naken.co.uk/manufacturer, £325

• This textured Gingham Retro Lampshade (right) is from www.dotcomgiftshop.com, £29.95

How made to measure blinds in red will put you at the forefront of interior design

July 15, 2014

First Shots (Not retouched)HAVE you been seeing red recently? It’s not rage – it’s ALL the rage!

Red, once confined to the kitchen, is top of the fashion pops. We’ve worked our way up to it through limes, yellows and the brightest of oranges, through to the more muted pastel shades – but now it’s finally come into its own.

Red is one of the most attention-grabbing and potent colours (just look at how often it pops up on TV’s home decor programmes).

Not for nothing do we call it the colour of passion – according to colour analysts, it has a strong effect on both our bodies and our senses.

Capri armchair, red £299, from Tesco Direct.

Capri armchair, red £299, from Tesco Direct.

The colour is particularly useful for dark or north-facing rooms that receive only cold light, making them seem cosy.

Rooms with a touch of red will seem warm and inviting, but be careful – too much can seem overpowering and claustrophobic.

Get a real head for red by adding splashes of colour with red rugs, throws and blinds to neutral or dark rooms.

Remember, red is a powerful colour, and if you use too much it can be a real eye-strain – keeping it as a highlight is best.

For instance, use red as an accessory to add emphasis to a pale, pretty colour scheme; poppies on bedding or a jar of bright red gerbera flowers.

In the dining room, brighten chairs with tasselled cushions and use heavy velvet throws as tablecloths to create a sumptuous look, or cheer up the room with perky gingham and scarlet crockery.

Floral scotty dog cushion, £19, M&Co

Floral scotty dog cushion, £19, M&Co

Red fits in well with the popular trend for minimalist decors. Let’s face it, all those wide spaces with whites, greys and blacks look tremendously stylish, but they can be a bit chilly.

A touch of red will warm them up while emphasising their modern good looks – leather is particularly effective. What’s more, red is a strong, masculine colour and fits in well with a ‘pad’ lifestyle.

But if minimalist doesn’t appeal, red can also be a useful colour. You can go the whole hog and combine luscious reds with terracottas and golds to create the Moroccan and Turkish look which will be popular again this year.

By mixing the warm colours, you can avoid red overkill and achieve a spicy mix to drive away the last of the winter chill. Continue reading How made to measure blinds in red will put you at the forefront of interior design

New Verticle blind ranges from Made To Measure Blinds bring out the interior designer in you

June 6, 2014

Moire_teal‘What’s your favourite colour’ might not be most adventurous chat-up line in the book but it’s certainly one of the safest.

So … given that we might have just met and that we don’t want to scare you off by saying that we’ve added 800 new fabrics across our entire site, it might be best to introduce you to just one of our ranges – vertical blinds – and let you explore further once you have got to know us.

We’ve taken great care to ensure that the interior designer in you will be drooling at what’s available, with a terrific blend of textures, colours and styles.

This season’s punchy, vibrant colours are well represented to keep you on trend, and this is reflected in these images.

Bear in mind that we provide free samples – often with next-day delivery – so if you see something you like and you’re not sure if it will go with your décor, just call us and request a sample.

Click here to see more.

Our fabulous collection of vertical blinds combines great functionality with chic appeal.

As well as offering striking colours, your blinds can feature contemporary prints if that’s your style, interesting weaves – or even plain to reflect your minimalist tendencies.

In short, your new blinds will bring the ‘wow’ factor to any window.

Textured:

Archer Green

Archer Green

 

 

Salsa Monochrome

Salsa Monochrome

 

 

Raffia Natural

Raffia Natural

 

Pattern:   

Fall Red

Fall Red

 

 

Morse blue

Morse blue

 

Loopline Silver

Loopline Silver


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plains: Now 26 Colours in the Acacia range

 

Acacia Cream

Acacia Cream

Blackout blinds from Made To Measure Blinds – which one does the job best?

March 5, 2014

With mornings becoming brighter it’s an appropriate time to focus on made to measure blackout blinds.

Each of our ranges of made to measure blinds has a blackout option and we achieve that by adding a lining or backing to the fabrics – it’s what stops the light filtering through.

With different manufacturing processes for each product – along with the blind’s style – some provide better window coverage than others.

Our blackout options include:

Vertical

Roller

Roman

Pleated

 

Blackout Roman blinds

Roman Blind willowy Amethyst with blackout lining.

Roman Blind willowy Amethyst with blackout lining.

Roman blinds offer the best window coverage but their complex manufacturing process means that they are not the most economical option. They do, however, add class to any room.

The feature fabric, with its thermal lining, is made to the finished width of the window, so if the blind is mounted inside the window recess it will be made to the narrowest width within the recess, less 1cm for a clearance fit.

As long as the window is nice and square the blind will block a considerable amount of light due to its close fit, making it the best blackout of all the blinds available.

If the blind is mounted on the outside of the recess we recommend allowing 4cm all around the window. The wider the blind the more light will be blocked, but remember that the fabric will stand off the wall a little due to the 3cm depth of the headrail on which the fabric is mounted.

For this reason there is little to be gained from an outside-mounted blind over a good fitting inside-mounted roman in a nice square window.

Blockability score – Roman blind 9 out of 10

 

Blackout Roller blind

Blackout Roller blind

Blackout roller blinds

Blackout roller blinds are a popular choice since they are also one of the most economical options. Blackout fabrics are coated with a rubberised backing that also offers a thermal barrier, as with the Roman blind.

The brackets and controls are mounted at both ends of the barrel so 30mm of fabric is lost to accommodate them. This will inevitably allow light to creep around the sides of the blind, but it will be more than adequate to do the job unless you are a very light sleeper.

If that is the case it would be worth considering mounting the blind on the outside of the recess, making the blind wider than the window opening.

If you plan to do that, add a minimum of 8cm in total to the width.

A blackout roller blind ban be used as a secondary barrier used in partnership with curtains.

The two combined offer an excellent solution to the problem of early morning light.

Blockability score – Blackout roller blind 8 out of 10

 

20mm Pleated blind

20mm Pleated blind

Blackout pleated blinds

The pleated blind is one of the more expensive blinds, due to the nature of the fabric construction formed in pleats.

Some fabrics are offered with the option of blackout backings by using a foil, again with thermal properties.

As with the Roman blind, very little fabric is lost within the construction of the blind since the brackets locate on top of the headrail.

The only consideration with the pleated blind is the need for the nylon cord, which is needed to support the fabric and control the blind.

To raise and lower, the blind has to travel through each pleat in the fabric, and to do this small holes are punched through the fabric, which will obviously allow light to bleed into the room.

The advice for outside mount would be the same as previously mentioned for roller blinds.

Blockability score – Pleated blind 7 out of 10

 

89m Vertical white

89m Vertical white

Blackout vertical blinds

Vertical blinds have a small offering of blackout fabrics. Like the roller blind fabrics, vertical blinds have the same make-up, with the rubberised backing providing the blackout, and it also provides thermal properties.

The strips of fabric (technical name louvres) hang from a horizontal headrail, and of all the blinds this is the least effective at blocking light.

When the blind is closed the louvres overlap, allowing a little light to seep through. In addition, the two end louvres are set back from the end inside recess walls, along with a clearance gap under the louvres to allow the blind to rotate freely from the windowsill.

When you add these together you have a fair amount of light around the blind. This means that vertical bllinds will often be used in partnership with curtains. So when the two are combined the end result is satisfactory.

We don’t recommend a vertical for outside recess face fix mount as a blackout option.

Blockability score – Vertical blind 6.5 out of 10

 

Venetian Cocoa 25mm

Venetian Cocoa 25mm

Blackout Venetian blinds – metal and wooden

The make-up of a venetian blind allows for a close fit to the inside of the recess, similar to that of the Roman and pleated blind ­– as long as the window is nice and square, allowing for 1cm clearance fit.

The slats overlap each other, so this will allow a little light to penetrate through the overlaps. But since they are a solid material no light filters through the slats themselves.

The slats are all held together with a nylon ladder cord that travels through the slats to tilt and raise the blind, so the holes punched into the slats to take the cord will allow light to bleed into the room. This, combined with the overlaps, allows some amount of light to enter the room.

The bigger the slat size then the darker the blind will be in the closed position due to smaller quantity of slats, so there are fewer overlaps.

Outside face fix mount we would suggest allowing a minimum of 8cm extra to the width but the advantage of this would be questionable over inside mount.

Blockability score – Venetian blind 7 out of 10

 

Wooden venetian 50mm Valley Oak

Wooden venetian 50mm Valley Oak

Summary:

Use the information we have presented to decide how much light is acceptable.  Are you a light or heavy sleeper, and what style of blind is most likely to suit the room.

Making the choice between vertical blinds and metal or wooden Venetian blinds

February 7, 2014

Our aim is to make buying a blind as simple a process as it can be.

So when we see confusion arising it is our natural instinct to help.

One frequently occurring enquiry concerns the difference between vertical blinds and Venetian blinds.

Vertical blind – In this type of blind vertical slats hang from a horizontally mounted headrail

Venetian blind – A Venetian blind has horizontal metal or wooden slats mounted on a horizontal headrail

So, there is a similarity in that both types of blind offer tilting slats – but there the similarity ends, since one is mounted vertically the other is mounted horizontally.

You might say that the above should be obvious, but we are clarifying the situation because we know from experience that customers ask the question.

In this blog we explain

• How they differ

• What they have to offer

• Which blind will best meet your needs

 

Continue reading Making the choice between vertical blinds and metal or wooden Venetian blinds