Turn a Blind eye to your conservatory this winter

In Britain weve had a love affair with conservatories since the 18th century when they were originally used by the affluent as a place to cultivate potted plants and as a link between the home and garden.

“Today,” says Sarah Quilliam, head of product design at Hillarys, “a well-designed conservatory will be bright and spacious, still a stepping stone from indoors to outside, and can add up to 10 per cent to the value of your property as well as giving you more living space. But during the cooler weather especially (which lets face it, in the UK probably amounts to around eight months of the year) its easy to turn your back on the conservatory and use it as a place to dry washing or even store the bikes!

Hillarys is on a mission to make the conservatory a room for all seasons and reasons – be it an extension of a kitchen, dining area, home office or even a bathroom.

“A conservatory traditionally comes into its own as a place to relax and enjoy during balmy summer days, ” says Sarah Quilliam, head of product design at Hillarys, “however it can be so much more. Heat, light and privacy are often the key reasons why people stop using their glass rooms so much at other times of the year, but with a bit of forethought this neednt be the case at all,” she adds.

“By adding blinds to your conservatory you can really help to turn it into anything you want it to be, all year round. Cool and minimalist, bright and funky, chic and contemporary or warm and cosy, its amazing what the right blinds can bring to your conservatory, from privacy and warmth to a totally new way of using your space.

Feeling hot, hot, hot! As the temperature outside drops, keep the draught out, hide that bleak winter view and inject sizzling colour into your conservatory with warm shades of orange and gold.

Baby its cold outside North facing conservatories get particularly chilly during the winter months but pleated blinds with insulated backing are the perfect way to keep out the cold and retain that much needed heat. Fitted to the roof they will help keep in the warmth pretty much like wearing a hat and roman blinds at the sides combine to make an extremely energy efficient partnership. According to research conducted by Nottingham University on behalf of Hillarys Blinds, homeowners can make savings of up to 102 a year on their fuel bills simply by selecting the correct window dressing. The study compared and evaluated various blind and fabric types with Hillarys lined romans blinds coming out on top as the most energy efficient with pleated coming a close second.

Here comes the sun We all welcome and enjoy a spot of lovely winter sunshine but it can do as much damage to our carpets and furnishings as the glorious summer sun. Practise safe sun by using the correct blinds in your conservatory. Verticals or venetians are perfect, allowing you to be in control of just how much of the winter sun you let in and how many harmful rays you keep out!