A ROOM WITH A VIEW
AUGUST 5TH 2017


Set in lush countryside, this house has spectacular views, especially from the kitchen’s massive glazed gable end.  The owners wanted to screen the windows to give privacy, especially after dark, but also to prevent heat build-up on sunny days. Unusually though, they did not want the blinds to reach right up into the apex of the gable – preferring to be able to see the sky at all times. 



In response to the brief, Grand Design Blinds designed, made and installed Duette pleated blinds in a soft white colourway.  These pull from the bottom of the windows upwards, so that no top rail interrupts the view.

Manually operated, the blinds run smoothly on tensioned wires which are almost invisibly set against the window frames.  Each blind is individual and can be set at any height, allowing maximum flexibility of screening across the height and width of the gable end. 

Grand Design Blinds undertake projects worldwide. All of their blinds are handmade to order in the UK.
LOFTY LIVING…
JULY 5TH 2017


Grand Design Blinds worked with Manhattan Loft Corporation and Fabled Studio on this 7th floor London penthouse overlooking the iconic BT Tower.  The 14 metre long open plan living room and kitchen has sliding terrace doors and floor- to-ceiling glass windows… both of which the developer and interior designer wanted to screen with roller blinds.  



A key element of the brief was that the roller blinds should be discreet, tied in with the apartment’s minimalist aesthetic.  To ensure this integrated look, Grand Design Blinds concealed the blinds behind slimline perimeter lighting and fabricated special bottom bars, colour-matched to the window frames.  Manually operated, the extra-large roller blinds allow maximum flexibility in screening the windows and doors. 



The three bedrooms all required blackout roller blinds for maximum light exclusion. Again, these were made with a special treatment for the bottom bar; in this case, the blind fabric was wrapped around the bars, giving an unobtrusive finish.



Grand Design Blinds undertake projects worldwide.  All of their blinds are handmade to order in the UK.
Q & A WITH NICK PELLY-FRY, DIRECTOR OF GRAND DESIGN BLINDS
JUNE 22ND 2017

What types of automated blinds are there and what are their pros and cons?
The three main types are:
Battery-powered:  
•    Pros: Ideal when there is no power supply nearby or you don’t want to involve an electrician in the installation 
•    Cons: The only downside is that the batteries will need renewing or re-charging from time to time
Low voltage motors: 
•    Pros: Very small, so great for slim, discreet blinds
•   Cons: Low voltage motors need a transformer. They are not silent and there are also limitations on the flexibility of their operation in that all blinds connected to a single transformer will operate as one
Mains-voltage motors: 
•    Pros: Very quiet, easily individually operated and much more powerful, so useful for large blinds
•    Cons: Motors are larger and need a larger headrail to conceal them

Which types of blind are suitable for automation? 
•    Most types of blinds can be automated - although fitting the motor and other components in discreetly can be an issue with a blind less than 400mm wide  
•    When we make ‘Duette’ blinds to shade awkwardly shaped/sized windows and glass roofs, we always recommend automating them because manual operation is almost impossible if the blinds are out of reach or quite large. This does add to the cost, but the motors are very reliable
•    Shaped Venetian blinds cannot be fully motorised but can have a battery-powered motor which tilts the slats
•    Rectangular (ie normal) shaped Venetians can be motorised with low or mains-voltage motors which can also raise and lower the blind

Are automated blinds compatible with home automation systems? 
•    Yes, our blinds have been linked in with Lutron, Loxone, Crestron, Control4 and other home automation systems  
•    Our blind motor supplier, Somfy, (the French company which makes the very best quality motors) also has its own control system called Tahoma which allows blinds to be operated remotely from a tablet or phone app  

One last piece of advice?
•    If you are building a new home or refurbishing an existing house, it’s always worth providing a power supply for electric blinds when planning a project. Putting in power during the build is simple and inexpensive - which is not the case once it’s all beautifully finished!
THE SPECIALISTS IN SHAPED BLINDS
JUNE 7TH 2017


Towering glazed gables, asymmetric windows, lantern lights, glass boxes and giant bi-folds are all part of the language of contemporary buildings. They make impressive statements, but can be hard to screen - often a necessity for both privacy and climate control. 

This remarkable eco-house in Oxfordshire sits above, and flows into, a multi-level garden with decking and lush plantings. Large areas of glass give views from every angle. This makes screening a necessity for climate control on sunny days and privacy, especially in the bedrooms.



Grand Design Blinds designed and installed bespoke electric blinds throughout. These were planned into the design of the house right from the beginning, so that all the large windows and sliding doors along the front of the building, together with the skylights in the bedrooms, were built with special recesses, completely hiding the blinds when not in use. 



Extra-large roller blinds are used in the open plan kitchen/living room and down the corridor, but the master bedroom needed a different solution to screen the giant (3 metres high x 4.2 metres wide) window with its difficult 90˚ return. 



Here, pleated Duette blinds were chosen over roller blinds: Aesthetically, a roller blind, when down, would look like a blank wall and practically, it’s difficult to achieve total blackout/privacy with roller blinds. It would also have been impossible to use a roller blind to screen the narrow return window. Duette’s pleated construction offers more visual interest, more effective blackout and the ability to make a matching slim blind to screen the return. It also allows a perfect match to the Duette blind which screens the skylight. 

All the blinds throughout the house were connected to the building's Loxone home automation system, enabling them to be automatically operated according to the angle of the sun and the temperature inside the house.

Grand Design Blinds undertake projects worldwide. All of their blinds are handmade to order in the UK.
SCREENING GLASS IN THE KITCHEN
MAY 18TH 2017
Modern kitchens, especially in extensions, are often flooded with light through giant bi-fold or sliding doors, roof lights, gable ends and many other architectural features. Kitchens are in use day and night, year-round –  so it’s important to be able to screen the glass for privacy, glare and climate control.  

Grand Design Blinds are Britain’s leading experts in shaped blinds; shading and screening even the most challenging shapes and areas of glass. 

Each project is a unique challenge, needing a one-off response and Grand Design Blinds offer many types of blinds. These, combined with specialist operating systems and materials from sheers to blackouts, allow them to create shading solutions for ordinary and extraordinary areas of glass. They also specialise in automated blinds, which can even be linked to home automation and climate control systems. 



SHADING THE IMPOSSIBLE
MAY 3RD 2017

Towering glazed gables, asymmetric windows, lantern lights, glass boxes and giant bi-folds are all part of the language of contemporary buildings. They make impressive statements, but can be hard to screen - often a necessity for both privacy and climate control.

The leading experts in shaped blinds, Grand Design Blinds can shade and screen even the most challenging shapes and areas of glass.

By definition, each project is a unique challenge, needing a one-off response. Grand Design Blinds offer many different types of blinds, which combined with specialist materials and automated operating systems allow them to create shading solutions for even the most extraordinary locations.

Shown here (with details below): This Leicestershire new-build has a double-height glazed gable with open countryside views. By night, the glass needs screening for privacy. Grand Design Blinds designed, tailor-made and installed two electrically-controlled blinds into the apex and three manual blinds mounted discreetly on the transom below. This gives a wide range of full and partial screening options for both privacy and climate control. The fabric matches across both sets of blinds, giving a smart finish.



Grand Design Blinds undertake projects worldwide.  All of their blinds are handmade to order to order in the UK.
NEW CLIENT ANNOUNCEMENT
APRIL 25TH 2017

 
We are pleased to announce we have been appointed to handle the PR for Grand Design Blinds.
 
Grand Design Blinds are the leading experts in shaped blinds; shading and screening even the most challenging shapes and areas of glass.  The company was set up by blinds specialist Jonathan Pelly-Fry in 2012. Inspired by the dramatic glazing of modern seaside houses in Cornwall, he began developing responses to their unique screening requirements. Joined by his son Nick as Design Director in 2014, they now run the business together, offering high-tech solutions to architects, designers and private clients worldwide. Images above show projects undertaken at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and the Gare du Nord.
 
A background press release is attached. Please let us know if you would like high res images or further information.

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