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11123428Which Ones are Better?

Well, there is no easy answer to that question, since both of these window coverings have basically the same function, but when it comes to details I think that you will be able to pick one over the other. In order to help you with your choice I decided to confront shutters vs blinds, and based on their comparison I think that you will be able to make the right decision.

Shutters – why Pick them?

Shutters can be found in many different colours and designs bur can be also easily painted in any colour in order to match them with the overall room colours. Being as they are, they can be mounted both inside and outside of the house. When mounted outside, they can be used as a decorative item for your house, but if you mount them on the hinges on the exterior wall, they can protect your windows from breaking during storms, strong wind, etc. These window treatments are typically made of wood, and being made of wood they will bring the natural element to your room décor. They will also bring that traditional look which people tend to search for, when decorating the rooms. However, they are more expensive than the blinds, but they can be cheaper if you are looking at the bigger picture, since wood shutters act as great insulators, which again means that they will save your money when it comes to heating and cooling bills in the long run. Plantation shutters are the best window insulator. Because they consist of slats which are fitted tighter than the blind slats, a smaller amount of light will be able to penetrate through them, which cannot be said for the blinds.

Blinds – what Makes them Special?wooden-window-shutters1

Window blinds are looking good on any type of windows, and they can be manufactured in many types of material, and the most common materials are: aluminium, PVC, MDF, metal, they can be also made in fabric (Roman blinds and Roller blinds), but since we are talking here about some sturdier window treatments we will leave them behind. Sturdier ones are made of wood or aluminium. Venetian blinds can be used on both windows and doors. Being made of thinner slats, you can always customise them and make them fit any size or shape of the window. Because of their material, they can be found in many different colours and shades and patterns, which is not the case with their opponents. They are also very easy to use, since they can be closed or opened by the twist of the wand or raised at the certain level of the window by pulling a cord. Faux wood blinds are made of PVC material and because of that they are very good option for the kitchen or the bathroom, since most of them are moisture resistant, while wooden ones can warp if they get in touch with water.

home_large11Final Choice…

Well that’s really up to you, but you should have in mind all of these factors and based on them make the right decision. Shutters are a bit expensive, but they will offer much more privacy, yet blinds, because of their versatility in materials and colours, can be easily incorporated into any type of room design, so the final decision should entirely be up to you.

Take a look at Shaftesburys for more info on our top end Plantation Shutters. Shaftesbury Shutters offer a full service, (design + fit) for a complete range of high quality Plantation Shutters.

Mark Row – Mark Row is a professional freelance writer and SEO Expert working for a number of websites.

In a world where nobody has the money they once did it is harder to do things that in the past were quite straight forward. Improving your home is one example of how you want to make improvements but it seems like whatever you want to do it just costs a fortune. Well there are a number of ways to do up or improve your home without it costing a fortune. Each one is relatively simple and cost effective. Combine them all to give your home a real boost.1010214

The first and easiest way to make a difference is to go down to your local do it yourself shop and buy some paint. This is both affordable and effective and what is even better is that it is something you can do yourself without the need for getting in a specialist. This can leave your home looking fresh and bright which can boost the overall feel of the whole house.

Moving on from the painting you can then get fresh new carpets. While this will cost a little more than some tins of paints it will help with the changing of the overall look and feel of your home. It is quite amazing what a difference new carpet can be. It can be a cheap make as many are still quite hardwearing and even with underlay and grip strips it is still an affordable way to boost the look of your home.

4729949669_1f7c1ed561_mMoving on from the cheaper options another way is a fresh bathroom. You may think that this is expensive and compared to paint and carpet you would be right however if you buy the suites yourself and simply hire someone to install it you can keep costs down. Also by going for a clean white suite you can have a fresh look without breaking the bank. If you are planning to move then this is a must as the bathroom along with the kitchen is one room people pay close attention to.

As mentioned the kitchen is a room people take notice of. That is why you need to make sure it is improved well. This doesn’t mean you have to replace the lot but maybe getting new handles for the cupboard doors or even new doors completely along with new flooring and again some paint on the walls. You would be amazed at how good it can look without the need to rip the whole thing out and replace it.

Once you have done these then turn your attentions to tidying and making sure you have the right storage for your needs. This is particularly important in the bedroom. By getting the right storage you can maximise the storage and keep your home clean and tidy which in itself can make all the difference to the look. This is also a great way to improve the look.

Do one or two of these can make a difference. There is no need to build an extension or a brand new conservatory. Do them all and you cannot fail to make your home better. A clean tidy and fresh looking home is just what you need and it is more affordable than you think.

Colin Stone – Colin Stone writes many articles about home improvement with a special interest in conservatory prices you’ll love.

Shelves-2Dining room style and design can range from using the most traditional of oak tables, high backed chairs and candelabras, to the contemporary feel of glass and cool metallic touches teamed with a minimalist colour palette. There are countless options for how a dining room can look and feel, so it is important to begin by deciding on the intended use of the room; intimate dining for a couple or large dinner parties?

Deciding on a feel

The feel of the room will be dictated by the chosen style, so getting this right is essential. If the room will be used chiefly for entertaining, the style can be more formal, incorporating modern touches to traditional pieces of furniture or working around a theme or centrepiece. Personal taste will feature largely in these first decisions but once it has been decided what sort of feel the room should have, and what it will chiefly be used for, ideas will start to take shape.dining_table

Taking inspiration from interior design blogs and magazines can throw up ideas for the next stage by suggesting how to fulfil the requirements of the room. If the room is taking on a relaxed, country feel, soft pine furniture and warm wooden display cabinets can look perfect against traditional china and floral vintage touches. A more formal dining room may call for a darker wood, such as mahogany, and more luxurious classic soft furnishings, such as upholstered chairs and floor length tieback curtains.

Ideas for decoration

Finding an appropriate main paint colour is the all-important starting point, and whether this colour is natural or more striking is an important initial decision. Many dining rooms do incorporate feature walls in striking reds or dark blues; however, opting for a darker paint colour calls for simpler plain pieces of furniture, and it can make the room appear smaller. Going for one main focus of the room, whether it is a wall hanging, a table or a centrepiece, means that other decorative touches can complement this feature. This will provide a balanced and tasteful colour scheme.

Furniture requirements

Most importantly, the room needs functional furniture that will allow the room to beXanadu_range_hero_639x348 used to fulfil its main purpose. Investing in a folding dining table could be worthwhile if space is limited, but if the room will need to accommodate large parties of visitors from time to time it will benefit from extending dining tables, as these allow for flexibility when accommodating large or small parties. Storage for tableware is important and furniture with storage space should be incorporated into the design to meet this requirement.

The final touches

Dining room accessories are the finishing touches in making a room individual and unique. The accessories will provide the final flourishes of style and tie the different aspects of the room together, so finding pieces that complement colour and furniture choices is important. Once the accessories are in place, the perfect dining room will be complete and ready to entertain guests and family members alike.

Aimee Claire – Aimee is an enthusiastic, well-educated freelance writer with a passion for Interior Design. She is fascinated at how different patterns, textures and lighting can completely change the look and atmosphere of a room. One day she will run her own Interior Design company, but for now is happy experimenting with new designs in her own house.

Think of a stylish nation and the French spring to mind almost immediately. With their cutting edge haute couture fashion, brilliant sculptors and painters, world-class film industry, elegant châteaux and fabulous gastronomy, the French really have style in abundance. They seem to have a skill for creating things of great beauty with very little effort – how do they do that?

The Eiffel Tower, ParisTake their interior design style, for example. The French like to do things in extremes, whether it’s the super-bling of the Palace of Versailles, a rustic Limousin farmhouse, elegant parquet-floored Parisian apartment or gilt-edged Baroque country house grandeur, it’s guaranteed to look fabulous.

To achieve a home that twinkles with Gallic charm there are a number of different routes to take. Depending on personal style, this could involve heading off in a rustic French farmyard direction with milk churns in the kitchen, gingham curtains and simple wooden French furniture, such as dressers and armoires, to create a truly continental accent.

If grand interiors are required, then put together an elegant boudoir featuring ornately carved commodes (chest of drawers), large gilt framed mirrors, glittering chandeliers and a sumptuous chaise longue from which to relax and admire the view. The French are famous for being good in the bedroom, and this is certainly the case when it comes to the furniture! There can be fewer more French experiences than falling asleep in the soft, opulence of a mahogany sleigh bed; adding this particular item of furniture to a room instantly translates it into fluent French. Visitors to France should head for Brocantes, flea markets and Depot Ventes, all good hunting grounds for authentic furniture.

Suite_ImperialeUpholstery and linens are taken very seriously across the channel. To get a French twist into fabrics, choose distinctive motifs such as fleur de lis and chintzy fabrics that catch the sunlight. Simple ticking, stripes and linens work well in more relaxed schemes, or for an injection of French formality try out one of the many Toile de Jouy designs, typically French and oozing style. These famous pastoral textile designs are mostly blues, reds and blacks on an ivory background. The designs have become so popular it is possible to acquire lampshades and wallpapers in the same range, to create a unified look.

French_shuttersNow introducing a little French flair into the British home has long been a popular pastime. We have welcomed with open arms the chairs with their elegantly turned legs, the gigantic rustic dressers, the light and airy colour schemes and the antiques of the Louis Phillipe and Henri II periods. The naïve Provençal peasant furniture or the ornate dark woods of the Breton styles have all become familiar sights in British homes. Another inspired French invention that has really caught on over here is shutters, such as the type supplied by www.thecaliforniacompany.co.uk. Shutters are used to keep out the hot midday sun, to retain privacy and to insulate against heat loss at night. With a huge range of styles available, shutters offer an elegant alternative to curtains or blinds and lend an unmistakably French flavour to any room.

With careful selection of some key furniture and design elements, it is possible to create a French inspired oasis within the home. Why not embark on a love affair with all things French – who knows where it could lead?

Aimee Claire – Aimee is an enthusiastic, well-educated freelance writer with a passion for Interior Design. She is fascinated at how different patterns, textures and lighting can completely change the look and atmosphere of a room. One day she will run her own Interior Design company, but for now is happy experimenting with new designs in her own house.

ZACK TARIS single vase or candle-holder

Whether single vase or candle holder, as a stylish living accessory TARIS always cuts a fine figure. Made of brushed satin 18/10 stainless steel, the article can be combined with two differently coloured plastic tops.taris

The available colour combinations are:
stainless steel accessory with tops in grey and red or stainless steel accessory with tops in green and blue

The successful combination of an unusual yet always functional design and high-quality finishing typical of the ZACK design label inevitably lead to products with a definite must-have factor.

Available right now at Proleno

ZACK ACCOLO coat rack

The exquisitely finished coat rack is made of brushed satin 18/10 stainless steel. The practical living accessory impresses with its typical, exclusive ZACK material finish which lends the design article its unmistakable appearance and helps keep clothes arranged neatly and attractively.
accolo

The clear-cut shapes and the consistently timeless, clear-cut design language through which the ZACK articles fit harmoniously into a wide variety of furnishing worlds are the outstanding characteristics of the ZACK living accessories.

Hang your hat on one now at Proleno

Also available in six and eight hook lengths.

ZACK LINEA towel hook

Exclusive towel hook made of brushed satin 18/10 stainless steel for wall mounting. The practical bathroom accessory impresses with its typical, exclusive ZACK finish which lends the design article its unmistakable appearance.
40395
The clear forms and the consistently timeless, clear-cut design language through which the LINEA articles fit harmoniously into a wide variety of bathroom worlds are the outstanding characteristics of this modern bathroom series.

Hook yourself one right now at Proleno!

ZACK LINEA double towel rail

The exquisitely finished towel rail is made of brushed satin 18/10 stainless steel. The practical bathroom accessory impresses with its typical, exclusive ZACK finish which lends the design article its unmistakable appearance.
40393
The clear forms and the consistently timeless, clear-cut design language through which the LINEA articles fit harmoniously into a wide variety of bathroom worlds are the outstanding characteristics of this modern bathroom series.

Get one now at Proleno

….well actually it’s not Paul’s it’s Bill’s and very impressive it is too!
Bread

Along with most of the country we have been avidly following the recent Paul Hollywood’s Bread TV series. This is Bill’s loaf of today. It’s an eight-strand plait…I know, it looks a bit more like a bloomer but practice will undoubtedly make perfect! Watch this space to see how Bill’s expertise improves….. Next years Bake Off perhaps? I can hear Bill shouting “Good God No” as I type. We’ll see 🙂