How Blinds Have Moved With the Times (and Overtaken Curtains)

blinds-shades-curtain

We often associate industrial advancements in fields such as IT, or anything else that relies on technology. However, even a market that appears to house “static” products like blinds is affected – and there have been many advancements that have caused considerable progression within this industry over the last few years.
While we don’t have any stats on hand, the fact that more and more homes are turning to blinds, as opposed to the traditional curtain solution, suggests that these advancements have been worthwhile.
To highlight just how blinds have progressed, we’ve put together some of the key developments that manufacturers have made over the years.

Advancement #1 – Top-Down Blinds
For years we only knew blinds that were pulled from the top – but over recent times manufacturers have devised more creative inventions. It’s now possible to find top-down solutions which can be operated from both the base and the top of the blind, meaning that you can allow light into the room from different angles.
Particularly if you reside in a property where a lack of privacy can be a problem, this advancement is ingenious. It can allow you to mask visibility in the lower portion of the window, whilst still allowing light to flow through the upper part. It’s yet another example of blinds being utterly flexible and we’d bet that this is only going to continue to improve – considering all of the other ways in which blinds have become so much more flexible than curtains.

Advancement #2 – Cordless Blinds
Amongst all of the advancements, one of the major talking points within the blinds industry has been safety. There have been a lot of fatalities surrounding children over the years, due to the strangulation risks that blind cords present.
In response to this, many manufacturers have released cordless blinds. As the name suggests, these are products which cords are not visible or within reach. It means that they are considerably safer and if you do live with children, this is arguably one of the most impressive advancements that the market has made.

Advancement #3 – The Motorized Option
We’ll save the biggest advancement until last and finally, blinds have started to use electricity. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise and when we look back on the history of the industry, it’s actually been happening for a few years.
This isn’t some sort of solution for the lazy homeowner either, although we’re sure that a lot of people will take advantage of this just so that they can invite and shut out that elusive natural light at the touch of a button. Most of the time these motorized options are used in those places where it’s just impossible to access. Once upon a time they may have been operated via a long rod, but now the motor is here to save the day. If you have any rooflights, or just windows that are out of reach, this development in the industry will be a godsend.

Buying Rugs on a Budget

On one hand, you assume that cheap is another word for quality that is rather suspect; we assume that cheap rugs must be sub-standard in terms of material, robustness and structure but this is not always the case. The Rug Retailer explains below as to how you can buy cheap, luxurious rugs.
Creating maximum impact in any room with a fabulous, yet cheap area rug is easier than you think and here are our top tips for ensuring that you get value for money.

Cheap rugs – choosing the right rug

The beauty of an area rug is that you can change it, as often or as little as you like. For those people looking to make an investment in a permanent rug, then you can afford to look at the heftier price tags BUT, if you change your rugs as often as the seasons (or more so!), then there are options for you too.
On one hand, people frown and furrow their brow at the idea of purchasing rugs that are made from synthetic materials but, if you are a frequent rug changer, then choosing a synthetic rug is the way forward, Cheaper on the price tag, they come in a range of colours and finishes which means you can ring the changes at the end of summer, and opt for darker, cosier colours in winter, or keep the brightness and richness of autumn running through your home; alternatively, you can welcome the gentle warmth of spring with a lighter-coloured rug.
But, if your eco-credentials are still important to you there are still some ‘natural’, organic options open to you. Rugs made from plant fibres – sisal and jute are just two examples, along with bamboo – can offer a rug at a competitive price than can be changed over and over again.
Then again, there may be some of you that cannot entertain the idea of having nothing but naturalness in your home and wool rugs can be surprisingly cheap, especially the smaller rugs that can be used dotted about the home. They also last for a very long time and so the pay off with this longevity and the price tag is that they are the cost-effective option.

How is it made?

Another factor that affects price, effectively bumping it up to astronomical proportions in some cases is not just the size or material, but how it is made.
Money no option? Want the gold standard of crafted rugs? Opt for hand-knotted rugs. Made by seriously talented and skilled people across the globe, these are not your run of the mill rugs.
But you get our drift, those rugs that are machine made (dare we say, ‘mass produced’?!) will take less skill and man hours to make, hence they roll off the production line cheaper than paying an artisan to make one.
There is a way you can check for a high quality rug and that is to peek on the underside; if you can see the pattern, it is a woven rug and will be well made. Spot a backing and it’s probably not. Remember the days when carpets would be woven or rubber-backed? The same thing applies to rugs.
Now that is not to say that you cannot pick up a bargain when it comes to hand-knotted or woven rugs but remember when you are haggling, that in terms of hand knotted rugs, someone will have worked very long hours, possibly for many, many months and they deserve fair pay. Overall, expect to pay a third less on the price tag for a machine made rug than one made by a skilled hand.

Size

We have already alluded that the price of a rug can be affected by the size.
Interior design dictates that you simply must get the right size rug; too small and it looks so lost in a room that it is faintly ridiculous. Too large and it will be up the walls.
However, if you are on a budget and you in the market for cheap rugs, then you could get very clever here and actually make one interior design dictum work to your advantage… use more than one rug!
But, there may be some other size considerations you need to think about too, one being the thickness of a rug; you may find that some cheaper rugs are thinner than some of the more expensive rugs on the market but in some areas of your home this may be just fine.
The bedroom rug always benefits from being a little bit plusher; in the dining room you want to make sure the rug is big enough to be a platform for both table and chairs and in the living room… well, the options are endless!
There is one rule of thumb that some designers go by when it comes to the price of a rug in the lounge – the price of the rug should roughly be the same as the price of the sofa. But getting the right sized rug is important is so many different, stylish ways http://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/tips-to-choosing-the-right-rug-

Look after your rug and it will be a cost-effective option

The best way of investing in cheap or cost effective rugs is to make sure that they are looked after and one way of doing that – bar regular cleaning and stain-removal – is the use of pads underneath them. This stops them slip, sliding about the floor which also means less wear and tear.
Buying rugs on a budget does not mean buying inferior quality that won’t last longer than a week; it means getting the best you can afford and taking care of it!

DINN by Alessandro Zambelli for Diamantini&Domeniconi

The year is 1827; the scene, Teatro La Pergola in Florence. The curtain descends. The stage is bathed in light as hushed darkness falls on the auditorium. The repartee is sparkling, witty, riveting. Flashes of original virtuosity hold the audience spellbound. We may be in a theatre, but this is no set piece. The dialogue is not between actors, for the protagonists are a violin and a bell. The whimsical genius of Niccolò Paganini created Concerto No. 2 for violin and orchestra. Indeed “La Campanella” (the little bell) is his most famous concerto. And its first performance was by the maestro himself in this ornate Florentine setting.  But musical masterpieces never lose their charm. So, now, musician-designer Alessandro Zambelli has applied the brilliant originality of La Campanella to a furniture accessory created for Diamantini&Domeniconi. A preview of DINN, the clock with the Campanella bell, can be seen at Maison et Objet (Hall 8, Stand A33-B34), the exhibition rendez-vous in Paris from 5 to 9 September.

The stark, round face takes bare essentials almost to an extreme. The material is MDF and comes in white and light oak.  Within the circle is one bright, attention-grabbing spark of originality. A small, unexpected bell contrasts brassily with the painted face of the timepiece. This precious detail stands out as the clock’s  ‘dinging’ heart. The visual impression made by the hands, in anthracite-coloured aluminium, is equally powerful. Clearly they are key features of its idiosyncratic, passing strike mechanism. In fact the minute hand terminates in a tiny hammer which nudges the clapper of the bell hourly, ‘on the dot.’ The clapper swings. It rings the bell. DINN.

 

Fire Escape Shelf by Design Ideas

Made from hand-welded steel, the Fire Escape Shelf is the solution to your storage stumper. This sturdy, urban-inspired accessory borrows its silhouette from the classic outdoor fire escape and makes a worthy home for candles, potted plants, and miscellaneous curios.

About the designers : Siblings Andy and Alice Van Meter launched Design Ideas in 1983 to meet the dorm demand for a shower caddy that didn’t accumulate scum. Their self-draining design met with national success, and the brand’s quest for fun household solutions continues to this day. Now with over 1500 products, Design Ideas has appeared in Redbook, Real Simple, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Steel Vessels by Max Lipsey

‘Steel Vessel’ by Netherlands-based designer Max Lipsey brings the weight and quality of a steel industrial part into a home environment.

The form is re-purposed from a ‘vessel head’, a part produced for pressurized gas tanks. It’s a deep drawn, 4mm steel piece, made using an enormous press and tooling. Normally, producing such a part would be beyond the bounds of a small studio scale, but re-purposing the parts from an existing industry alllows them to be made affordably.

While the curve of the bowl originally had the purpose of distributing pressures evenly in the tank, the soft, attractive shape makes it a perfect vessel for objects around the house. The light, welded wire support, is designed to compliment and support the vessel head.

Steel Vessels are coated with a two layer, extra matte, powder coat, and lightly engraved in the basin of the vessel.

Cute Rugs by Permafrost Studio

These two cute rugs designed by Norwegian company Permafrost Studio .
JD
The JD rug offers a snapshot of life in rural Scandinavia. Heavy machinery has long since replaced the labor of farm animals, leaving its trademark tracks in the grass and mud. On the outskirts of civilization, reading such tracks is a vital skill.


Giant Leap
40 years after man made his first impressions on the dusty lunar surface, we release the Giant Leap rug through our Stories by Permafrost collection. We would like to think of it as a tiny tribute to an enormous achievement.