How our blinds and shutters are like a classic sci-fi movie…

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We are currently living in the month in which the classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner is set  (“November 2019, Los Angeles” appears on screen at the beginning). And just as the cry of “So where’s my hoverboard?!” went up on Back To The Future Day in October 2015, there has been similar moaning about real-life technology not keeping up with fiction.

However, in some ways, our lives are remarkably in tune with the movie – particularly in the way we often combine timeless design with cutting-edge technology, such as voice-activated computing. Now, we’re not saying that Appeal Home Shading’s philosophy is based on a cult movie (even though the Venetian blinds in Harrison Ford’s apartment feature prominently!). However, we do underst

and that – just as a music lover might be drawn to the tactile, hands-on aesthetic of a vinyl record, or prefer the convenience of a music streaming app – there is a need for the best of old-school or new-school shading solutions.

Or, indeed, a combination of both. Often, we want our homes to have ultra-modern functionality, but look timeless; or to use time-honoured design to offset an overall modernist feel. This can be true whether you live in an ultra-modern architect-build in the countryside, a Victorian terraced house in the city, or an apartment with a view of C-beams near the Tannhäuser Gate (we really are Blade Runner fans!).

Appeal’s hi-tech and classic shading options

Ultra-modern blinds

Ultra® is an award-winning powered blinds system available for your preference of blind style – Roman, Roller, Pleated or Venetian. Specialist solutions such as ClearView blinds for roof lanterns and windows in gable ends, and Honeycomb Energy Saver blinds, which provide an 80% thermal barrier, are also available with Ultra® .

Ultra® removes the need for both control cords and wiring into the mains, which most powered blinds require. Instead the hidden motor is powered by a rechargeable pack. At Appeal, we are always looking to find technological improvements and we have recently introduced a new Lithium-ion battery which is slimline enough to be hidden entirely by the blind’s headrail yet goes 25% longer between charges – 15 months under normal usage. One-touch control is provided by either a wall-mounted switch or handheld remote.

Even more advanced

Ultra® Plus, with optional voice activation, is our most technically advanced blinds system. Via a home hub and an app on your phone or tablet, you can control all your Ultra® smart blinds, individually or in groups, even if you’re far from home. You can pre-program scenarios to activate at the touch of a button, automatically lower all blinds on a timer, or even track sunrise and sunset times for certain blinds.

You can also include lights with Philips Hue bulbs and devices on smart plugs on the Ultra® Plus system. Not only does this make coming home to a cosy ambience incredibly convenient, but it provides a security benefit too – unpredictable activity makes potential burglars wary.

Ultra® Plus is available with another option which makes life even more convenient when you’re at home. As the days grow shorter, it’s easy to be working away at home, be it at your desk, in the kitchen or around the house, and not even notice as it gets darker and colder, because you’re so busy. If you have Amazon Alexa or Google Home virtual assistants, you can control Ultra® Plus by voice activation. Program it to recognise commands such as “Lower all blinds”, or specific scenarios to raise certain blinds only, such as “Let some daylight into the teenagers’ rooms”. Or indulge your Blade Runner fantasies… “Alexa: track 45 left. Stop. Enhance.”

Simple old-school quality

All Appeal shading products are made (usually by hand) to the most exacting standards, bespoke to your home, and from the highest quality materials. We never lose sight of that interior design ethos even when we are looking for the next technological advancement.

With Appeal shutters, we concentrate entirely on the quality of materials and construction. The materials available include a beautifully smooth lightweight hardwood (sustainably forested white teak which is then kiln-cured to ensure it keeps its shape), Eco-wood (a waste-reducing low-density fibreboard) painted in your choice of hundreds of colours, or waterproof and abrasion-resistant plastic for bathrooms and playrooms.

Appeal shutters are available in a plethora of styles – different lengths, shapes (even circular) and with louvres, solid panels or a combination.
Our shutters all have mortise and tenon joints because they are far more durable than the dovetail or dowel joints in many shutters. Finally, our highly skilled craftspeople finish every shutter by hand, sanding and coating the surfaces with thin layers of stain or paint, several times. This is the only way to achieve the beautiful deep finish of Appeal wood shutters.

Best of both worlds

By opting for the Ultra® smart blinds package without the option of Ultra® Plus or voice control, you can still have one-touch control over your blinds with a wall-mounted switch or remote control.

All blinds are available with Ultra® – with hundreds of design options. These include sumptuous fabric Roman blinds,

available in over 300 patterns and colourways, both contemporary and classic. The woven fabric provides excellent sound insulation and is available with both heat-saving and blackout linings.

Meanwhile, a time-tested, simple way of controlling the amount of heat and light that enters a room – simply by angling slats, is a Venetian blind, whether aluminium (in vibrant colours or subtle tones) or wooden (for a rich, warm and natural look – and acting out scenes from Blade Runner!). Appeal Venetian blinds, however, allow you to control the angle of the slats with Ultra® smart control.

Alternatively, for rooms where you always want a touch of dappled light coming through, such as garden rooms, Appeal’s ever-popular Original French Pinoleum blinds – hand-woven, from delicate strips of carefully selected reed, by expert craftspeople in France. On winter days, they provide a 60% thermal barrier while letting through a dappled golden light from the low sun. They can be operated either manually with a cord, or by remote control using PowerDrive™.

Cashback Offers – not 1 but 2

Any customer who during November makes a booking for a free design consultation will receive a cheque for £250 redeemable against any purchase of Appeal blinds, shutters or insect screens made before the end of 2019 (minimum order value: £1,250).

For those planning ahead for next summer, we are offering an outdoor alternative in the same period: an £800 cashback cheque towards the purchase of a Haus awning through Appeal Home Shading (minimum order value: £4,000).

These offers apply if you make the appointment before close of business on 30 November 2019 (the appointment can be in December) and place your order before close of business on 31 December 2019. Full T&Cs can be found here.