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The summer season if often a time when the internal work in our homes takes a back seat,
so that we can concentrate on external work in the garden and patio areas. It’s lovely to go outside in the fresh air and ‘potter’ in the garden. Unfortunately, due to our unpredictable and rather inclement weather in Scotland, a large proportion reading this article will have taken the decision to build conservatories onto your home in the last few years. This not only provides an addition room to the home, but also lets us have the pleasure of feeling that we are outside, but are sitting in a warm, comfortable environment inside.
I often get asked for advice of how to decorate a conservatory when clients have built this addition to there home. I have already passed on the most important tip! It is an ‘addition to your home’. It has to complimentary of the room that the entrance is off. It has to look like a room, not a glorified greenhouse, and as ever, it has also to be practical because it will not only get traffic from the inside, but in those rare summer days, we will probably be using it to go in and out the garden, have bbq’s and entertain in it.
My advice would be to keep it as pale coloured as possible, because the amount of sunlight (even in Scotland) will have an effect on the colours over time, therefore the paler it was to start with the less it has to fade! Floor coverings must to practical especially if you are coming in and out the garden frequently. Hardwoods, laminates and ceramics are all very practical and easily maintained. My personal favourite is ceramics, fitted with under floor heating panels. Endless choice for either modern or traditional and no maintenance in years to come. Natural fibre flooring such as sisal and seagrass lend themselves very well to this situation but are not so easily maintained as hardflooring. It must be extremely well fitted due to the nature of this product, so call the experts for that one!
The most work I undertake in conservatories is for blinds / window treatments. Blinds are neat, architectural solutions for window treatment. There is a wide choice of blinds made in a variety of materials.
These classic blinds are extremely versatile, allowing infinite graduations of light control. They come in a huge range of styles and materials. Most commonly nowadays they are made of metal and varying widths. The most popular being 25mm, which is very neat but this could be reduced to a 16mm blind, where an unobtrusive window covering is required. Do not dismiss this idea initially as the range of colours nowadays, including some tasteful metallics, is superb. The biggest advantage in putting venetians in a conservatory is that they are very neat fitting especially, if it is hexagonal.
Real wood venetians are beautiful, but bear in mind a few facts. Wood is a natural material therefore when in the sunshine for a period of time, there is a potential that it could warp slightly, check the quality of the blinds that you are purchasing. Cheap wooden blinds are not also a good investment. Also more importantly, if you require at any time, to fully pull this blind up, there is a large ‘stack back’ on these because of the thickness of the slats.
Roller blinds can be very plain and practical or highly decorative, depending on the design of fabric or the trim used at the bottom. There are two different mechanisms available to control these, either a cog mechanism or a spring mechanism. I always use a cog mechanism. Decorative pull toggles can also be added, whether they are made of wood, blown glass or silk tassles. The only drawback to using these in a conservatory is that, where the brackets meet, to hold up the blinds, especially if it is at a corner, a gap can occur because of the depth of the brackets meeting, therefore some shapes of conservatories work better than others for these.
Woven Wood Blinds
For those that require something a little different! These classy blinds are wonderful in a conservatory. They consist of horizontal slats of woven wood with yarn in a variety of patterns. Two forms are normally available either constructed as a Roman blind or a roll-up blind. Fitting is usually neat due to the bracket system provided. Also can be made into roof blinds. I would say the ultimate in conservatory blinds.
Fabric permantally creased into accordion pleats form the basis of pleated blinds.These are very commonly used in conservatories, and also are the most common form of roof blind. They are available in a great number of colours and finishes. Depending on the use of the conservatory a different fabric may be used. Some diffuse heat, some blackout, and some let daylight in. An infinite choice of details is available.
A smart, tidy look to any room. With the choice of fabric being endless we can have a formal dressy look or a very casual look. These could also be made unlined or from voile to let light filter through… If the conservatory is going to be used as a formal dining room I would suggest using these, along with a padded wooden pelmet above. These blinds stack into neat pleats when pulled up and look like a tailored panel of fabric when down.
Hopefully that will help with some of the dilemmas of redecorating a conservatory. However I am here to help! If you do require assistance please do not hesitate to contact me on 01698 862795 or check the website for more details @ www.simply-interiors.biz. Simply Interiors…from concept to completion.