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Minimalism as a trend and your Loft Blinds

Minimalism is very much a trend with interior design and general house design. The trend has been around for a while but shows no signs of going anywhere at the moment. When investing the money into converting your loft you want the interior to be adapted to a trend that you like. The minimalistic trend is universal and can fit within any room. It can make a room look so much lighter and larger.

Minimalism is also known as a decluttering life style trend. Finding ways to de clutter your home by possibly hiding the mess in more of strategic way (I know it can sometimes be hard to let go of your possessions) as to keep your home looking fresh and light.

With even brands becoming minimalistic in their style the trend seems to be taking the world by storm!

Your loft is a space that you can adapt to how you want it to be. Having a loft conversion helps you satisfy the trends you want and create a space tailored to you. 

Loft Blinds

With houses becoming so expensive it sometimes can be more ideal to expand your loft space into a room or rooms as to limit spending but give yourself more space. This is especially an idea when you think of expensive cities such as London. Getting a larger property can be extremely expensive so having the option of being able to have a loft conversion can be great!

Minimalism is particularly trending with millennials (18-35 year olds) as the neutral clean-cut colours and interior design can make houses look larger and lighter – with house prices risen this can extremely help with making your home look as large as you can.

Minimalism helps get rid of cluttered trends and busy shelves. To take place of these there are tidy clean spaces of floors and walls. The tasteful trend is functional as well as simple. You can strip back to basics making the focus point of your house the natural lighting bouncing off the neutral walls and floors.

Furniture becomes chosen on functionality, simplicity and it being an essential. With wanting to use the lighting to your advantage windows are great to utilise. Having loft blinds to go within your loft conversion are an essential and you can adapt these to match your exact trend including the minimalistic trend!

Loft blinds offers a blind builder to match your chosen colours through your house and having a range of styles, there will surely be one to match and reflect the trend you want within your house.

Take a look and choose your own blinds to bring in the light when you need and take it away at night time when you need your sleep!

Published: Mar 23, 2018

Wonderful new Disney blinds

Do your kids love Disney movies?

Is your youngster into cars?

Well here's your chance to be in their good books!

We are delighted to announce the introduction of a new range of Blackout blinds that are bound to delight the younger members of your household.

The benefit of using Blackout blinds for kids' rooms

Blackout out blinds are perfect to make that room nighttime, even when the sun starts to set later! Meaning you won’t have to change your child’s bedtime routine due to the sunlight hours changing. These blackout blinds can help you keep that bedtime routing consistent.

Disney decor

Incorporating Disney, and having your child's possible favourite Disney character on their blind, can also make bed time routines easier for you! Bringing a little bit of fun into the routine. What child doesn’t want to look at Lightening McQueen before they shut their eyes?

Your child will be asking to go to bed so they can see their favourite Cars movie roll on over their window!

Adding aspects of a great Disney movie into the decor of their room can really make a child’s room fun and complete it. Have a look below to see these wonderful new blinds and choose your favourite one!

All can be found in our blind selector page. Simply click on 'Manual Blackout' to see the full pallet of Disney favourites.

Cars Pic 1Cars Pic 2Cars Pic 3

Published: Mar 8, 2018

Convert your loft, add value to your home and add living space!

Ft Blind Pic 1

Converting your loft can have a range of benefits.

Do you want to gain more living space from your home, while at the same time potentially increasing your property’s worth? If your house isn’t your forever home but you know you will be there for a while, then why not convert your loft? Investing in such a project can mean the end price you receive for your house increases due to the extra room(s).

If this is your forever home, why not use every space of your home? Enlarging space by converting areas, can help you extend the amount of room you have and make the interior of your home seem so much bigger!

Think of loft conversions as investing money in your home. According to Nationwide Building Society, loft conversions have the potential to increase your home’s value by 21%. We, of course, recommend talking to your estate agent before this large decision as they will be able to offer advice regarding the exact value you can add.

But if you are not so focused on the adding value to your home and more about increasing living space, then a loft conversion is perfect! Is your family growing? Are you already settled and happy with the home you are in, but you need extra space? Then converting your loft can add these aspects and help you expand to accommodate for these things.

Exploring this more, there are other benefits to converting your loft. For starters, you can decorate from scratch to your exact wants and needs. Expanding your living space is great when you get to choose the exact interior. Choosing how it will look; down to the furniture, bedding and even curtains and blinds.

Loft Blinds Pic 2

With interior trends changing all the time, it’s great to have more living space that you can adapt to your interior preferences, and design to the trends you like.

Loft Blinds offers some great prints that would liven up your loft conversion. This is ideal if you want to keep the interior and wall paint neutral, but liven up the space using fabrics and prints. Alternatively, if you would like to tone down the room with some neutral blinds, we have some lovely coloured blinds to choose from!

By choosing the small aspects yourself, you can style your own home to your own style preferences! Use our Blind Builder to create exactly what you would like, and imagine how your loft conversion will look!

 

 

Published: Mar 6, 2018

HOW DO I FIND MY WINDOW CODE?


We find that customers are sometimes confused when it comes to locating and correctly reading their Velux window data plate. Here is a simple guide to assist.

If you have a centre-pivot window (GGL/GGU), open the window using the ventilation bar at the top of the sash and bring the sash down to eye level so that you are looking at the locking mechanism. The code can be found on a data plate on the right-hand side or the left-hand side of the locking mechanism. 

 

Seeking out your Data Plate

 Loft Blinds 1

However, you may have a top-hung window (opening handle at the bottom of the window), If that is the case, open the handle at the bottom of the window but do not push the sash outwards. Then open the window using the ventilation bar at the top of the sash and bring the sash down to eye level so that you are looking at the top edge. The code can be found on a data plate on the right or left-hand side of the locking mechanism.

 

Be sure to unlatch the lower handle first but keep closed

 Loft Blinds 2

The data plate will vary dependant on the age of your window.

 

Data plate variants 

Loft Blinds 3 

 

Published: Feb 16, 2018

When do we need Velux Rods and adaptors?

If your window is out of reach and you want to fit a manual blind, you will need one adaptor for each blind.

The adaptor fits permanently to the operation handle of your blind. This gives your Velux rod a purchase and prevents damage to the blind when using your rod.

The Velux rod is also designed to open your window vent and window. It extends from 1m to 1.8m and can be extended to 2.8m when fitted with the 1m Rod Extension.

Extending Rod 

 

41BSEMoP8QL0

Rod in Use

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Adaptor

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Rod Working With Adaptor

VELUX-ZOZ-085-Blind-Adaptor-2bc040a82-d831-47a6-835c-877f057c4626grande

We sell the accessories that you need for your VELUX blinds so why not take a look?

 

Published: Feb 6, 2018

How do Velux Venetian blinds operate?

You normally associate Venetian blinds with cords, rods and toggles.
All dangling down, making a beautiful blind into a bit of a dog's dinner.

The same cannot be said for Velux Venetian blinds.
Through clever design, Velux have eliminated all that paraphernalia and replaced it with an elegant
solution... a slider!

Here we are to show you how it works:

Elegant with no cords

Image1

 

The control slider

Image3

 

Simply slide downward to close

Image2


And upwards to open!
Image4

 

We stock Manual Venetian Blinds and Electric Venetian Blinds,

Why not take a look and see for yourself how easy they can be to use?

 

Published: Feb 1, 2018

Many Faces of Duo

We are often asked here at Loftblinds, “What are the key functions of the Duo Blind system?”.

In brief, a VELUX® Duo Blackout Blind provides a combination of both a pleated blind and a blackout blind. These energy-efficient blinds enable total blackout and heat control. The main feature is vesatility. You can use the entire blackout blind, or all of the pleated blind, or you can have part of each showing.

As the old adage goes “ A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Here are four pictures that explain all!

Duo Blind Daytime Mode

Duo Blind Daytime Mode

Duo Blind Night Mode

Duo Blind Night Mode

Duo Blind Sunny Day Mode

Duo Blind Sunny Day Mode

Duo Blind Not Sure Mode

Duo Blind Not Sure Mode

Published: Jan 12, 2018

Spring Clean Your Loft (Part 1)

 

How many rooms are there in your house then?

Go on, take a guess. And yes, you can count the hallway and landing. I’ll grab a quick coffee and muffin whilst I’m waiting.

Done yet? Kitchen, living room, three to four bedrooms, a conservatory maybe? Say ten, eleven or maybe twelve rooms in total.

Bet you’re surprised at just how many rooms you’ve got. I know someone who lives in a very nice, albeit modestly proportioned house. When I asked him that same question, he had to think about it, indeed, he literally ended up going through them one by one, ground floor first then the first floor.

“I can’t believe it” he admitted after he’d done all of his workings out. “There are ten different rooms in my house”.

But he was wrong. He does, infact, have twelve rooms in his home. Because he’d forgotten his lofts.

Easy to do. So easy infact, that I bet a fair few of you are now saying to yourselves pretty much the same thing.

“Oh yes, the loft. I forgot the loft”.

Such is the lot of the loft, that great forgotten space in so many of our homes.

Dark, dusty, damp and forgotten.  We probably see more of the ski slopes, Kasbahs and medieval cathedrals of the world than we do our lofts.

Sound familiar?

Well, maybe it’s time for you to do something about it. Today.

You may, of course, have grand designs on your loft space. Its somewhere you’ve long talked about as being an extra bedroom, an office or study, a home cinema, a den for the kids. All of those things and more. And that’s great, we salute your vision and ambition. Because the loft is a great underutilised resource, a quite literal waste of space. But listen. It’s not going to become anything fast until you know exactly what’s up there and what you’ve got in terms of space and potential. Because for as long as it’s nothing more than a dumping ground for all the stuff you don’t need, you’re never going to do a thing about it and you’re only ever going to poke your head above the hatch a couple of times a year (ie) to get the Christmas decorations down and, two or three weeks later, to put them back up there again.

What. A. Waste.

So come on. It’s time to spring clean your loft. And we’re going to suggest how you might want to go about it.

First and foremost, if it really is as neglected a space as I think it is, then you are going to have to get dirty. So no popping up with your dustpan and brush whilst you’re wearing your everyday clothes. Because this is going to be dirty. Very dirty indeed.

So prepare yourself and dress for the occasion. You have absolutely no idea how much dust, fluff, mould and other grimy unspeakables are going to be stirred up once you start removing all the old bits of furniture, boxes, crates and numerous layers of loft insulation you have up there. So make sure you are protected. That means getting hold of decent FPP3 grade dust mask from any reputable hardware shop. And make sure its CE marked. And no, this isn’t being over cautious. Inhaling too dust can easily give you a nasty respiratory infection, especially if the dust includes dried bird droppings. So with that in mind, get yourself some eye protectors as well. Plus some disposable overalls. If you get the white ones, you can guarantee that they will be a rather nasty shade of black once you’re finished. Which might otherwise have been the colour of your favourite cashmere sweater. Or even the inside of your lungs. So don’t be too cautious. Lofts, especially ones that have been neglected for a few years, can be absolutely filthy places. So look after yourself whilst you’re up there.

You should also look out for flora and fauna whilst you’re up there. I kid you not, if you leave that great cavernous space above your heads unattended for a few years then you are going to get visitors and they are either going to make themselves right at home and claim squatters rights or, worse than that, they are going to die in-situ, meaning you may have a few rotten corpses to remove. Look out for evidence of wasps, bees, moths, spiders and birds, especially with regards to this time of year, those that would rather like to nest in your loft, starlings being a prime example. If, on the other hand, you get bats up there, then there is nothing you can do about that other than report it to your local council. Once bats make themselves at home in your loft, you’re going to find it very difficult indeed to shift them as they are a protected species which means you won’t even be able to get up there to shift the great quantities of bat droppings they’re going to gift you as part of their stay.

Now, assuming you’ve been able to fight off the starlings and put some ointment on all the wasp stings, what about all the stuff you’ve put up there, pre-loved and forgotten, those oh-so-precious keepsakes of life that are so special to you that you had no choice but to thrown them in a box a few years ago and dump them into a room full of pigeon shit, cobwebs and mould?

Yep, those love letters from a former love must have been special. Likewise your collection of old Marvel comics and the three boxes of videos that you swear you “might want to watch again one day”.

Hey, and why not? Who can’t get enough of watching Big Trouble In Little China again and again and again...?

So come on, be ruthless. If you took the time to pack it all away in boxes in the first place just so you could dump it all in the loft and forget about it, those things can’t be that special, can they? Make a decision: can you live without it? Yes you can. So throw it all away. And that means you can’t just move all the boxes from your loft to the garden shed or underneath a bed somewhere. Seize the day. Be brave. This is about reclaiming lost and wasted space, remember?

We’re getting somewhere now, aren’t we? You’re dressed for the occasion, you’re prepared for anything and you’ve decided, finally, that your household has no need for three spare Breville sandwich toasters, a pushchair with one wheel missing or your collection of Iron Maiden and Saxon albums.

I’m proud of you. You’ve beaten many obstacles to get this far so now, before the real hard work begins, you just have one step to make-which is making sure you’ve allowed for the size of the job in hand and the time it’s going to take you. Is it a case of a bit of dust and grim, some added sweat and around half a dozen bin bags? Or might it be thirty, forty or even more? And are you going to be able to leave it all out for the bin men to take away on Thursday morning or is it a case of you taking several trips to your local dump? Or even hiring a skip?

Don’t underestimate how much muck, filth and rubbish you might end up getting rid of. Remember, you won’t have been the only person whose gone to pack away a bookcase full of books and thought that one large plastic crate would be more than sufficient for the job only to find out that you actually needed four.

Put it another way, there might not look like there is much up there. But that’s because it’s all scattered over a wide area. Once you get it all in one small space, well, things are going to look just a little bit mountainous.

So make like a scout. And be prepared.

But look, you’ve made a start. And, sooner rather than later, you’re going to be able to reclaim all of that lost and wasted space up in the roof and make it your own again. What you can start to do with it once its empty is what we’ll be covering here next.

Which is when things start to get just a little bit exciting. So keep reading...

Published: Mar 27, 2017

Keep Your Home Warm in the Winter

So, it’s winter.

Don’t deny it. Yes, there are still crazy men out there wearing shorts in that laissez-faire manner that says they are forever living their lives in the sunshine and that a little bit of frost never hurt anyone. Least of all them.

Secretly, of course, they’re as cold as the proverbial witches you-know-what. But they can’t give in to comfort and conformity now and slip on a nice cosy pair of cords. It’s way too late for that. And them.

You, on the other hand want to stay warm. But you want to do so with a little style, a little, shall we say it, class?

I salute you and your covered legs. This blog is for you.

Keeping our homes warm and comfortable throughout the colder weather is a challenge for many people. Especially if their homes are poorly insulated.

And it’s very easy to tell those which fall into that category. Just wait until we have some snow and then go and take a walk around your neighbourhood.

The poorly insulated homes will be the ones that ‘boast’ a bare roof. No snow, just a damp patch and some dripping water. Now, that might all look clean and tidy but in reality, it’s a sign of just how much heat is pouring up, up and away from the house, melting all the snow on the roof as it does so.

The house that has a roof that is deep and crisp and even with the white stuff however. Now THAT’S a well-insulated house. Indeed, you can bet your last mince pie that its inhabitants will be sat in their shirt sleeves inside alongside a thermostat that is set to a healthy (and relatively frugal) 18-20 degrees or so.

Not like those in the house with the bare roof however. Their heating system will be on full blast and they’ll be wondering why they’re still cold.

The answer? Simple. Make sure your loft is insulated.

Insulating your loft is one of the most effective methods you can employ to give your home a good Energy Efficiency Rating (EPC-and yes, the acronym should be EER but it isn’t!) and something you should always give a priority to if you have what is known as a ‘virgin loft’ (i.e.) one that has 25mm or less (and that includes none at all) of insulating.

Take it from us, the sooner you act on a loft that is either poorly insulated or, the horrors, has zero insulation, the sooner you will start to notice the savings on your energy bill.

Don’t believe me? Keep reading then.

It’s estimated that, without proper loft insulation as much as 25% of the heat generated in your house will be lost as it rises upwards and out via the loft and roof. But hey, at least the starlings on the chimney breast will be warm-and if that’s all that matters to you then great!

But most people would rather run an energy efficient home and save on the bills.

Good loft insulation acts as a barrier. But it does it in two ways.

Firstly and, as we are explaining here, it slows the movement of heat out of the house during the winter. But also, almost as importantly, it slows that same movement of heat coming into your house during the summer.

It is then, in effect, a form of air conditioning for you that helps keep the house cool and comfortable.

Does that sound all a bit too good to be true? It gets better.

Because installing it is just about one of the easiest DIY jobs you can do in your house.

Don’t know how to wire a plug or which end of a paintbrush is which? Fear not. This is something you can do for yourself.

Remember, in order for you to have a nice warm house, you are going to need to have a cold loft.

The best ones are those that, when you poke your head above the parapet cause you to take an involuntary breath of frigid air and say, “…bloody hell, this loft is cold”. When you are able to say that my son, your job is done and done well.

Making your loft purposefully cold means laying insulation directly above the ceiling in order to produce this barrier to slow that upward movement of heat out of the home during the winter.

It isn’t rocket science. Yet there are thousands and thousands of inadequately insulated homes all over the country with people living in them saying, “…it’s a bit raw in here love”.

95% of homes are insulated with wool insulation. Easy to obtain and, although a little bit bulky, fairly light and easy to carry-as in out of the store and into the back of your car (or a friends if you have one of those little cars that sounds like a hair drier) and then out of the back of the car, into your house and up the loft ladder.

You’ve got that far? Hurrah!

The part of the loft that you need to insulate is between the joists. They’re the long and sticky out bits of wood that you have to walk on to avoid putting a foot through the ceiling when you go up there to get the Christmas decorations down.

See, you didn’t even know what a ‘joist’ was when you started reading this. Now you can drop the word into casual conversation over coffee with your friends.

They’ll be ever so impressed.

Mind you, it’s all very well talking the talk. You’ve now got to walk the walk.

Most roof joists are around 100mm high. And guess what? You can get rolls of insulation that are 100mm thick (or less than that or greater, it depends on the height of your joists) which means you can roll them out, one at a time and in-between the joists.

Simple.

Then, once you’ve done that (and if you want to be so energy efficient, you need a cape and super hero name) you can roll out some insulation that is 200mm thick at right angles to the joists meaning that, when you're finished, you have a thick carpet-like layer of insulation in your loft that you can, if you wish, cover in sheets of MDF so that you have a surface that you can walk on-so no more hopping about from joist to joist for you.

It’ll be a job well done. A loft that will, should a prospective buyer for your property poke his or her head up there greet with a satisfied nod of approval.

But remember. It’s going to be a bit chilly up there. Infact, your loft may end up being so cold that you might, on occasion, find Bear Grylls doing a spot of arctic survival training up there.

Which would mean a job really well done.

 

Published: Jan 19, 2017

10 Decorating Moves of the Month

 

There’s nothing like regarding your home as a Dalek would.

You know the score. Traverse it with steely eyes and an eye for every tiny detail whilst uttering those terrifying words as you go...

“Dec-or-ate...dec-or-ate. You. Will. Be. Dec-or-ated”.

Dalek

Frightening stuff isn’t it?

Yet it needn’t be.

Most of us turn a whiter shade of pale at the thought of doing some decorating. I know someone whose kitchen needs a lick of paint for example. It’s a nice kitchen, light and contemporary with lots of new appliances. All that it needs to be finished is for a coat of paint to be applied to the walls.

And that was a few years ago. It’s not even a day’s work. Yet the person in question just cannot bring themselves to do it.

Ridiculous. But don’t laugh too long or too loud.  Because we’ve all been there.

Especially those of you with the bathroom that time forgot.

Well procrastinate no more. It’s time to make a stand. A change even.

Here are ten ways you can make a big difference to any room in your house. And guess what? None of these will take less than a day to do. Simple, quick, effective and pain free.

So what are you waiting for?

Friends Monica Apartment

1. Hang a curtain in your kitchen.

It not only looks good and just a little bit Mediterranean, it also helps to discreetly mask any work that might be going on behind it. Give yourself a little privacy and secrecy where you can weave your culinary magic out of the sight of casual onlookers.

2. Make the most of your rugs.

If you’ve a big rug then placing all of a piece of furniture on it really sets it off both the rug and the furniture, creating a look that is  warm and luxurious. However, if you have a really fine piece then don’t cover it up with a sideboard. Let it stand alone, uninterrupted and glorious with furniture arranged around it rather than over it. Resisting that urge also gives a room a feeling of light and space, one where the eye is drawn to the beauty of the rug astride your floor, something which can be a great conversation piece in itself.

Stairs Lobby

3. Mix and match your bedding.

Well why not? Having your sheets, duvet cover and pillow cases all the same colour might be practical. But practical is where it begins and ends. Do you really want cold practicality in your bedroom, what about some warm creativity?  None of these items match-yet, put together it looks really quite charming, the sort of look you might have got in a New England hotel room back in the 1950’s. Nowthat is classy.

4. Consider your bathroom.

Bright, clean, modern. State of the art even? Well here’s a thing. How about mixing all of that up a bit by putting an antique piece in there? It’s a spectacular juxtaposition of the old and the new-and another talking point. Who needs old copies of Cosmo in there when you can gaze upon a real piece of art?

5. Want intimacy?

How about moving your seating away from the walls? There isn’t some archaic law that dictates that you have to push your expensive three piece suite up against the wall. Pull it inside the room a bit, go for a warmer, cosier look. Having people seated closer together also encourages conversation. Give it a go. You’ll be surprised.

6. How about a swift and easy change of mood in your favourite room?

If the look of your bedroom has grown a bit tired of late, you’ll be surprised at the impact a fresh colour of paint will have on both the room and its users! Try replacing safe magnolia with a vibrant blue or, for a calming and relaxing energy, a pastel green colour, aFeng Shui favourite with its calm and luxurious finish.

Paint Contrast

7. Completely change the look of a room in under half an hour.

Can’t be done? Oh yes it can. And it’s as simple as moving a few things around. This will cost you nothing at all and is the sort of fresh but simple approach that not only gives a room a fresh new look but might also encourage you to create some space by getting rid of some of the clutter that doesn’t really work anymore.

8. Freshen up your old upholstery.

Can’t afford to buy a new sofa (or, if you order one in July, be promised delivery “in time for Christmas”!)? Then why not freshen it up with some stylish throws or new cushions? If you’re a fan of TV series Friends, you’ll recall how Monica’s rather ordinary looking sofa rarely looked the same in every programme? Large and bright cushions atop vibrant throws brought a relaxed and new look to it on several occasions, making the room both welcoming and cosy. The same principle can be applied to just about any piece of furniture that needs brightening up-beds, armchairs even tables which can be given a new look by covering them in either a bright piece of fabric or, for example, a collection of scented candles and bowls. There is no limit to your imagination so think simple but think big.

9. Hall of mirrors (sort of).

Strategically placed mirrors are a great way of adding space and light to a room, a cost effective and attractive way of adding those two great assets to any home. A mix of different styles of mirrors can bring space and personality to even the smallest and most modest of spaces-again, you and your imagination can wield some great results in the most simple manner, completely changing the look and mood of a room by simply opening your eyes to its possibilities.

Window Blind

10. Blinds, blinds, blinds!

Windows are great on sunny, warm days when they let light and warmth flood into a room. But what about at night or on a winters day when you’d rather shut the outside world out of your life and home? Fear not, for the humble window can come into its own yet again. By brightening it up with a colourful blind, you’ll have made the minimal effort for a very high impact. If your windows are by Velux then there is a whole range of blind options for you throughout your home from colourful and fun roller blinds for a child’s bedroom to simple and effective blackout blinds for your own bedroom that manage to block out all of the light even if they are in a light colour.

There are so many simple yet hugely effective ways of brightening up your home in this manner, one that is low on cost and time but high on impact with the only real investment that you’ll need to make being the price you put on your imagination. And as that is completely unique, doesn’t that make it rare and priceless?

Go on. Indulge on both yourself and your home today. Think simple but act big. And let us know how you get on, we’d love to know and share.

 


Published: Jun 25, 2016

Increasing the Value of Your Home

 

“Well at least it’ll put the value of your house up”.

We’ve all said it. We’ve all, more often than not, heard it said. It’s a phrase that is used, almost as verbal compensation in return for some perceived inconvenience, temporary or permanent which, in the long term, is seen as at least giving us the reassurance of a theoretical increase in the value of our property. Cold comfort of course, if you’ve no intention whatsoever of moving but, even so, it just might give you a warm and cosy feeling inside when you do hear those few words uttered for your benefit.

Having your kitchen and bathroom ripped out and replaced with all the dusty carnage and intrusion that goes with it for several weeks (“We’ve just got to go and finish another job, then we’ll come back and switch your water back on”) or longer?

The 500 year old oak tree in your garden has toppled over, flattening your greenhouse in the process?

A couple of hundred new homes are being built in the nice green field that used to adjoin your property?

Radioactive Waste Disposal PLC are setting up their new storage facility in your town with the promise of two hundred new jobs-as well as the go-ahead for the construction of that hospital extension (surely a coincidence?) they’ve been wanting for decades?

Grumpy teenage son has, along with his guitar and several hundred black T-Shirts decamped to University digs for the duration, meaning you now have a large and empty spare room to do whatever you’d like to?

You can almost hear the sighs of envy and avarice from your friends and neighbours already.

“Well at least it’ll put the value of your house up”.

The truth of the matter is, of course, that the value of your home is unlikely to fluctuate that much, certainly in a upwards direction, from events that are either outside of your control or have been instigated else put into place by third parties. Sure, it can have an influence on the overall attraction of the area that you live in. But the actual property itself? That’s more open to question.

But what isn’t open to question are three steps that you can take that will add to the value of your home. Because, fundamentally, what matters the most to the buyer is the house itself not it’s immediate surroundings. They do, of course, play a part in things, but are secondary to the main event. You are, after all, buying a house, not the nearby railway station, school, handy shops or a walk in the woods.

One of the most effective ways of adding to the value of your home is to convert your loft into living space. Adding a new bedroom and en-suite bathroom for example can add as much as 21% to the property value. On a simplistic level, that would mean a home valued at £300,000 seeing its possible sale price increase to around £363,000 whilst a house valued at half a million pounds might increase its overall worth by around £105,000.

And they’re serious figures which, more often than not, may be well in excess of the price you initially pay out to have the work done.

And fear not, we’ll be looking at all aspects of having your loft converted in a future series of blogs here.

One aspect of property investment that does seem to be on the increase is having an extension built. That could be anything from a conservatory to, in some older homes, converting what was once an old coal hole or shed into a an extra bedroom cum study for a son or daughter in need of both privacy and space to do their studies. Take a drive around your local neighbourhood at any time and, more often than not, you’ll see a home or two with the obligatory scaffolding up and a pile of bricks taking up space in the garden. Untidy? Yes. Inconvenient? Yes. But only temporarily. The extra space and light that it will bring your home will be everlasting-that and the increase in its value of 11% that adding a bedroom will bring. Making any two bedroomed home into a three bedroomed one, or going up from three to four will not only improve your living space, its manna from heaven to an estate agent. So well worth considering.

If either of these options are out of your price range or, for that matter, the overall vision you have for your home, then what about just adding an extra bathroom? Most homes have at least two WC’s now, it makes sense therefore, to have a separate bathroom for guests and one for yourself. After all, after our bedrooms, our bathrooms are the most personal and private spaces in our homes. And we don’t, in general, let the rest of the world in there to make use of it and all the facilities therein, so how about giving our bathrooms the same consideration?

Adding a new bathroom –and it’s surprising how easily and efficiently a good architect can find room where you thought there was none- can add around 5% to the value of your home as well as giving you a little more privacy into the bargain, a priceless commodity wherever and whoever you are.

Your home is almost certainly going to be the biggest investment that you ever make in your life. And, unlike money that you have in the bank, interest in it can and will be considerable and generous if you are able to make the right decisions with regard to both you and your home.

So don’t just own your home. Love and cherish it. It is part of the family after all!






 

Published: Sep 15, 2015

How to Increase the Value of Your Home

 

How to improve the value of your home

 

House prices are always a hot topic in the UK. Whether you're in a studio flat in Southwark, or a mansion just outside Macclesfield, how much your property is worth, prices in the immediate area, and how viable the equity is are always on everyone's lips.

It’s all too often that people around the country experience a major change in their lives - perhaps a relative coming to stay long-term, a new baby arriving, or priorities changing as they grow older. Too many people respond to these changes in circumstances by thinking, “Right, we need a bigger place, somewhere else, with more bedrooms, bathrooms, and facilities. Let’s up sticks and move!”

What if there was another way?

Well, there is… Don’t Move Out - Move Up! Our newest graphic will show you a whole host of hints, tips and tricks to add living space, increase market values, and save money on energy and repair bills - all while staying put in the comfort of your own home.
Find your area on the map. Extend your home to add living space, and fix it up to add energy efficiency and property value.

Property isn’t just for investment - so why not enjoy it?

Published: Aug 25, 2015

New York Loft Spaces Come to London

 

East London Loft Space

Whenever most people think of a loft apartment, it's invariably the Big Apple that comes to mind.

Bright and spacious high in the sky living for the high flying. To rent or buy. Just don’t go thinking they’re the sort of places struggling artists or wannabee actors hang out because you’ll need pockets as deep as the foundations that go with some of these in demand warehouses.

Because they don’t come cheap. How, for example, does $4,200,000 for a ‘spectacular full-floor duplex loft in the heart of Chelsea with outdoor space’ sound?

‘Outdoor space’ in one of the world’s most expensive areas of real estate? That’s going to bump up the price considerably. But these City realtors are nothing if not reasonable. You only need a 10% deposit for this airy paradise.

Pie in the sky? Thought so. But there is some consolation.

If you can’t stretch to something in Manhattan then how about Lambeth or Lewisham?

Because loft living is catching on in London. And faster than it takes to put up something that looks like a giant walkie-talkie and calling it modern living.

The idea of bringing New York loft-style living to London first caught on in the 1990’s. There didn’t seem to be a market at the time, indeed, there was seemingly no interest at all. Large  and airy spaces at the top of dilapidated and largely forgotten old buildings were the rotting preserve of all manner of vermin; dank, dark dripping and foul.

But then a project was taken on at a disused print factory in Clerkenwell.

And everyone suddenly, and as if by magic, saw the light. Everyone, that is, apart from the Cities Estate Agents and Developers.

They just saw a nice new Jaguar in their driveway.

The not so new concept of open plan living with a nice view thrown in appealed to the creative set in the East End and, as a result, London started to love its abandoned loft spaces.

Much of the appeal was down to the new concept offered by property developers called 'Live/Work'.  This describes properties whose space is designed to incorporate both your professional and personal lives, the former made possible by the rise of digital technology meaning that the need to travel from home to work five days a week, at least in the traditional sense, is slowly becoming obsolete.

Just think, your new commute might involve you grabbling a nice fresh Mocha from your kitchen and crossing the hallway into your home office.

As far as London was concerned, it was the Borough of Hackney that helped set the standard. It’s reputation of being ran down and it’s need of massive investment saw the local authority encourage the regeneration of former factories and other abandoned industrial spaces for such use rather than devoting time and resources to developments that were solely residential in nature.

Where a the visionary London Borough of Hackney led the way, other London Boroughs soon followed with the concept swiftly being copied in other major Cities across the UK.

So, even if a place in New York is beyond you and London an unlikely dream at present, no reason to give up. How about a converted wharf in Norwich for example?

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have that rooftop space with a view if you’re willing to stretch your boundaries. Which, let’s face it, is better than stretching your wallet.

 

Published: Apr 28, 2015

How to Deal With Wasps in the Loft

 

Wasp Nest in the LoftNasty: Have you ever had to deal with one of these in the loft?

Your loft might be a dark and largely forgotten place at the moment. And let’s face it, if you only ever pop your head up there twice a year to either get or put back the Christmas decorations then its negligence of the very highest order.

But even if you don’t fancy it up there, there are those that do. And the darker, the warmer, the more neglected it is, the better they like it.

I’m talking about your having a close encounter of the unwanted kind.

And right above your heads. They’re live and they’re potentially dangerous. And you’ve given them a home.

And it’s fair to say you’re probably going to regret being so hospitable.

I’m talking wasps.

We’re all familiar with the little s.o.b’s. How they like to annoy you when you’re out in the garden. There’s always one or two flying around when you’re just trying to enjoy a Pimms and a chat with some friends. And no matter how much you manfully run away from the yellow and black demons, they’ll lurk and come back for some more buzzing mayhem.

Again and again and again. And that’s just a few of them.

What about if you had several thousand of them nesting in your loft?

With just the ceiling dividing you and a life of pain. Pain of the stinging kind.

Wasp infestation is a potentially troublesome problem from around May to November. A particularly  troublesome one if you are allergic to their stings as anaphylactic shock from one can, in some cases, result in death.

If you do get a wasps nest in your loft then yes, do, by all means, admire its intricate beauty. Their beautifully crafted homes are, after all, one of nature’s true wonders.

But you don’t want to be getting to close to it for too long.

Wasps will instinctively attack anyone that ventures too near to their nest. And, unlike a bee, they can sting you more than once. The few that you notice near the entrance to the nest will be the sentries. Once they’ve stung you a few times, they’ll go off in search of reinforcements. And believe me, you do not want to be in the immediate vicinity when they arrive.

Clearly, therefore, if you do notice that you have a wasps nest in your home then you need to do something about it and quickly.

Very quickly.

We’re not going to tell you how to do that however. Because that’s a job for the experts. And believe me, the chap in that photo isn’t dressed like someone given the job of clearing up post-Chernobyl for nothing.

He knows what they’re capable of when suitably provoked.

So don’t provoke them. And it’s rather easy to provoke a wasp. You can do so by merely looking at them in a funny way.

So think about what sticking an enquiring finger into a nest might do.

So, let someone else do it. Local councils will have their own pest removal teams. There will also be private contractors only too willing to put their heads where it hurts.

Just make sure it’s their heads that go up in your loft to remove the yellow peril, not yours.


 

Published: Apr 10, 2015

Things That Go Bump in the Loft

 

Hugo

It’s one of the classic horror scenarios.

You wake up in the middle of the night. You hear a noise. Someone, something is scratching and agitating at the ceiling.

That something is in your loft.

“Relax” mutters your slightly irritated partner. “It’s just a little mouse or something.”

‘Little mouse’ or not, you know it’s there. And it wants to get you! Because nothing appeals to the grim, grisly and irrevocably evil things in life (or death) than a big, dark and unconverted loft.

Just ask Mr and Mrs Homer Simpson, a typical American family from Springfield.

They’d neglected the loft in their four bedroomed detached home ever since they bought it. And with good reason as they found it to be the perfect place to hide away their oldest siblings twin brother, Hugo who’d been securely locked away in their loft for over a decade.

Yet even the most sumptuously converted loft can turn all of your dreams into nightmares.

Imagine having a secret, a secret and a secret place that only you knew about, one where you could turn all of your desires into reality. And by that, I don’t mean the model railway of your dreams up in your loft space.

That’s so twentieth century.

No, I’m talking about a smart, luxurious and discreet place where you can meet special friends and have some...special times. Look, you know where I’m going here, we’re all adults on this blog.

But what if it all went terribly, terribly wrong?

A salutary warning, perhaps, to never-ever p**s off the builders working on your project. Especially if they insist on communicating in Latin.

Not that I want to frighten you or anything. But all sorts of terrible things can happen in the loft.

There are You Tube films about haunted lofts whilst in horror maestro James Herberts book The Magic Cottage there are bats in the loft. Hundreds of them. And they’re not very nice.

People have even posted reviews on Trip Advisor warning fellow holiday makers not to stay at a certain hotel because they think the loft room is haunted whilst the internet is positively infested with photographs that claim to be of ghosts in lofts.

You wouldn’t, in short, be blamed for thinking that, on the whole, the average loft was potentially quite a scary place.

And you could be right.

But not as scary as the fact that, for as long as you have the space and potential above your head in your current property to turn something that looks like this....into something more like this yet do absolutely nothing about it, you’re not only wasting valuable space in the process but also the opportunity to increase the value of your home whilst you’re at it.

That isn’t just scary, its positively frightening!

So what are you waiting for? Start exorcising that empty space above all your heads today-and make sure that if anything goes bump in the night it’s one of yours.

Not one of these.

Published: Mar 25, 2015

The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Home

 

Spring is upon us! Longer, crisper, clearer days, trees blossoming and the promise of Easter round the corner means you'll finally be able to shake off those cold, dark winter nights. However, spring also brings with it the inevitable shakeup of your home - Spring Cleaning! Have you ever wanted to use that spare room as a chill out space rather than a dumping area? Is your loft full of old tat when it could be the perfect man cave?

William Morris - the incredibly talented textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist - once said of interior designs; "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." That was way back in the 19th century, but in today's world of down economies, property price rises and housing shortages, the words couldn't possibly ring truer. The fact is, space in your home is at a premium, and it's time to get that space back!

Therefore, Loft Blinds presents... The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Home!

The Ultimate Guide To Decluttering Your Home

What about those outfits you last wore a decade ago? Broken computer cables that connect to nothing? The musty old chair nobody ever sits in? A once-cutting-edge mobile phone from four contracts ago? Get them out of your home, and out of your mind. A clearer home means more space to live. Plus, as an added bonus, you could get some significant financial returns for flogging it to the right places - failing that, charity shops pay in good karma.

Remember, the key is to get rid of as much stuff that you don't need as possible. Be indiscriminate. Be unforgiving. Find that clutter and get it out - and Don't Look Back!

Published: Mar 18, 2015

The Truth About New York's Great Loft Lie

 

Looks lovely, doesn't it? Not for $9,000 a month, mind.

Mmm, looks lovely, doesn't it? Not for $9,000 a month, mind.

We’ve all seen movies set in New York that go through the boy meets girl, they fall in love, they get a place together thing.

Which just happens to be a cavernous loft apartment with a view of all the City’s famous landmarks from its huge, pristine windows.  Wooden floors, exposed beams, all open plan with an en-suite bedroom as well as somewhere she can study for her law exams whilst he works out in his mini-gym up in a corner somewhere.

They’re young and broke. She’s a law intern, he’s a jobbing actor doing a spot of work as a waiter ‘inbetween jobs’.

Candy floss comfort.

And one of the endearing clichés of the movie business.

It was films like Ghost and Single White Female which started and perpetuated the myth that all the beautiful young people in New York hang out in such places. And there was, at least back in the early 1970’s, some truth in the story for that was the time that run down and occasionally undesirable neighbourhoods like Soho, Tribeca and Bushwick were briefly occupied, in all their squalid glory by struggling artists, writers and musicians.

Open, cold, damp spaces with no power or water supply with holes in the walls and roof as well as hot and cold running vermin.

That was, and remains, the reality of New York loft apartment living for the vast majority. Not these contemporary palaces, lavishly furnished to a tee with enough floor space in them to store an airbus.

One of whoms occupants just happens to be, as portrayed in the aforementioned Ghost by Molly, a “struggling potter.”

Obviously a wealthy “struggling potter” as, even back in the early 1990’s, the rent on the enormous apartment she continued to live in after Sam’s untimely murder would have been several thousand dollars a month. The apartment in that movie was based on an existing 3,600 square feet space that took up the entire top floor of a former 19th century button factory in New York’s fashionable Soho area.

Wholly plausible then. Not. Indeed, about as believable as another great movie cliché, the one that says wherever you are staying in Paris, there will always be a view of the Eiffel Tower from one of the windows.

Now there’s nothing to stop you moving to the Big Apple and renting a loft apartment of your  own. Nothing at all.

The City has legions of realtors dealing in such properties with the typical two bedroom apartment costing a little under $9,000 a month in rent. That’s, at the time of writing, around £6,000.

So, clearly, not for everybody. Infact, not for anybody at all really apart from the exceedingly wealthy.

So much for the beautiful young things who flip burgers at night and write songs by day in their $9,000 a month loft apartment.

But then I guess Ghost wouldn’t have been so good if Sam and Molly lived in a basement squat under a pizza parlour in downtown Midtown?


 

Published: Mar 17, 2015

How to Create the Perfect Bachelor Loft Pad

 

You might really want to keep some etchings in your loft incase there’s a chance you can lure someone special up there to take a, ahem, look at them.

Or you might just want your dream bachelor pad up in the roof to be a place where you and your collection of toys can chill out and enjoy some cool and exclusive 21st century living.

Whatever it is you want to do up there, there’s a luxury item to meet all of your needs.

First, choose your sofa bed-the perfect acquisition for the extremely discerning bachelor-for  lounging by day and sleeping by night. Plus all the other things. How about choosing one from Sofa Workshop –no compromise on comfort and absolutely none on style either.

You’re going to need a TV. But not just any TV, how about one that makes a statement?

A Panasonic Viera. State of the art?  Oh yes. These models redefine HD with the pictured A942B complete with 2000Hz backlight blinking that creates a full, smooth motion, hi-tech that will give you as good a picture as you can get. Put it this way, if you watch Breaking Bad on it, your mates will think Walter White is standing outside your window.

It’s that good. But don’t take our word for it, take a test viewing at your nearest John Lewis for more information on this masterpiece of entertainment technology.

And don’t forget if there’s nothing on, you can turn your bachelor pad into a 24/7 media hub by accessing Netflix where you can watch a massive selection of TV programmes and films instantly-on your new TV, else on your PC, laptop or notebook, PS3, Wii, Xbox, Mobile and tablet?.

An Oculus Rift will give you the opportunity to escape to a virtual world of your choosing whenever you wish-though, to be fair, why would you want to be anywhere else other than your luxurious pad where you can wash away the stresses of the day in an en-suite exclusively crafted by Grohe?

Everything is falling into place now and it’s time to sit down (on your custom made armchair from Chapel Street), lean back and take it all in. With a glass of your favourite tipple to hand.

How about a glass of Yamazaki malt, voted the world’s best whisky in 2014. Perfect. Mind you, a malt as fine as this needs somewhere exceptional to be stored and displayed, so just as well you have a drinks cabinet that was lovingly crafted by the Jo Sampson Studio standing in one corner of your exquisite pad.

With whisky glasses crafted by Glencairn.


Give the place some mood whilst you’re at it. With some candles from Jo Malone. With some Pink Floyd soaring out of your Bang & Olufsen speakers and the whiskey poured, it makes for a very fine scene indeed-especially with your new Banksy print hanging on the wall.

Whoever thought lofts could be such fun?

But they can. Just let your imagination run free.

Published: Feb 26, 2015

The Best Interior Design Mobile Apps

 

Let’s face it: redesigning, redecorating and renewing your house can be challenging. The list of things to take into consideration can seem endless; from determining the room’s natural light, to hanging carefully selected artwork perfectly straight. This goes double when you’re pursuing a new loft conversion! But don’t fear – there are thousands of apps to assist you in designing your dream loft pad, and we’ve picked out some of our favourites.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

Houzz

If you’re only in the early planning stages, and after inspiration, the Houzz Interior Design Ideas app is right up your street. The app’s clean interface allows even the luddites among us to browse through a plethora of ideas and bookmark them in a virtual scrapbook. Save your time, save your money and save your energy – rather than buying countless interior design magazines, just grab this app and get inspired!

Palettes

Palettes

This is a free application that’s ideal for amateur designers looking to develop colour schemes to compliment different room designs. Do you need an earthy, tonewood-laden den for the lads? How about a bright, airy space for dining and parties? Use technology to your advantage – Palettes allows you to sift through hundreds of sample colours from photographs, websites, and anything else you can find.

Handy Man DIY

Handy-Man-DIY

Handy Man DIY is a small, yet pretty powerful bit of kit – and available from Apple’s iTunes Store for a few quid. The app very cleverly allows you to recreate the dimensions of any room in the house, so that you’ll always buy the right amount of decorating disposables. Too much paint, too many tiles, too much laminate flooring or (especially for those converting a loft) too much insulation is a thing of the past with Handy Man DIY – so you’ll save the initial few pounds you spent on the app after its first couple of uses! It’ll also talk you through DIY jobs, like joining, plastering or tile laying via a network of tutorials and videos so that your renovations look professional.

Home Design DIY Interior Room Layout Space Planning & Decorating Tool

Home-Design-App

We’ve all been there: you’ve ordered a brand new plush sofa, solid oak coffee table or leather desk chair, waited in all day for the delivery, and then discovered to your horror that it won’t fit through the front door! Or, it’s gotten stuck in that one annoyingly tight corner in the hallway! Well, fret not – the Home Design DIY Interior Room Layout Space Planning & Decorating Tool (try saying that ten times fast!) is here to ensure that these problems will never happen again. This nifty little app, available on Apple’s iTunes Store, can show you exactly how each room will look once your colour scheme, flooring and furniture have all come together. You can virtually paste a new colour or fabric on to your old walls or sofa to get an idea of it, as well as adding the dimensions of your room and arranging furniture in it before you’ve spent a penny. This should save you bags of time, effort and stress!

iHandy Level

IHandy-Level

The final task to complete any newly decorated room is hanging and mounting everything perfectly level – be it pictures, shelves or breakfast bars. You could try desperately to find a spirit level somewhere in the deepest, darkest recesses of the house, or you could just download this free app. The iHandy Level does exactly what it says on the tin – giving you an exact level reading so there’s no more judging by your own eyesight and taking ages.

There are thousands of other apps on the market, but these are our favourites. If you’re looking to play around with different interior design ideas, spruce your loft conversion, or just do a bit of a decorating touch up; a little time spent searching can save you hours in the long run.

 

 

Published: Feb 18, 2015

Ten Awesome Loft Conversion Ideas

 

I know it’s a dark and dusty place full of old boxes, cobwebs and multiple strange things you’d rather not mention, but that space up in your loft is limited, creativity wise, by one thing and one thing only...

...your imagination.

Take a look at these amazing creations...

Home Cinema

Home Cinema

Double the Wow! factor with both the film and the fabulous surroundings in which you and your friends find themselves. Who needs a multiplex when you’ve got your own upstairs?

Loft Library

Loft Library

Do you have a partner who repeatedly tuts at all of your books ‘cluttering’ (their words) up the place? Fear not. A library in your loft will give you all the time and space to hide yourself away up there with a book for a few weeks.

A Man Cave

Man Cave Loft

Seriously chaps, how good is THIS?  And why not, she’s got her handbag for everything she needs, you can have this.

A Night Club

Loft Night Club

At last, a nightclub where you decide on the guest list. This one is in Belarus but you could go for a more cosy theme rather than big and glitzy.

Music Room

Loft Music Room

Now come on, where else can you put that drum kit?  This loft conversion has the perfect beat as far as we’re concerned.

Snooker Room

Loft Snooker Room

Well look, how you get it up there is your problem-but how about this for bringing a little taste of the Crucible to your home? Cue some very late nights out with the lads.

Walk In Wardrobes

Loft Walk In Wardrobe

Make it look like you’ve a branch of Ralph Lauren in your own home. Lots of light, space and room for you to display your very finest of threads. You might even have enough room for a fancy dress section!

Swimming Pool

Loft Swimming Pool

No, really, it’s easy. You can have a swimming pool in your loft but don’t forget to  bolt on the outside balcony as well, the neighbours will love the idea once you’ve had them round for a swim and some canapés.

Photographers Studio

Loft Photography Studio

For those amongst you who prefer to do photography ‘properly’, the loft space is a perfect location  to do whatever it is you do with strange liquids, lengths of film and clothes pegs. Light when you want it, dark when you need it-just add some blackout Velux blinds and you’re away!

A Home Gym

Loft Gym

Rather than pay for expensive membership of a gym you eventually stop going to (although they’ll continue to take your monthly fee until the end of time) why not work out in your loft-it’s private, convenient and, most importantly of all, you won’t have to worry about the gym jocks laughing as you struggle to bench press 30kgs.

Your loft really is a limitless space. You probably won’t, of course, be going for such spectacular examples as those illustrated, but the scope and imagination portrayed does outline what can be achieved.

So, with that in mind: what are you going to do with yours?

 

Published: Feb 11, 2015

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