Yearly Archives: 2014

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Although at Apropos we’ve worked hard to dispel the popular image of the conservatory as being little more than a place to overwinter tender garden plants, in favour of a fully functional addition to the home, we have to admit that the two uses are not mutually exclusive. With high natural light levels and even temperature, a well-maintained conservatory can be the perfect spot for all kinds of plants, meaning that even in the winter months you can have a calming green oasis to escape to.

Are you resolved to Go Green in 2015? Find out how Apropos can help...
New Year’s resolutions seem like such a good idea… Until it comes time to stick to them. Then giving up chocolate, taking up running or losing two stone in weight seems like a ridiculous ask. So this year, at Apropos, we’ve settled on a more sensible option – we’ve decided to get our houses in order.

Each of the team has chosen a household goal that they wish to attain in 2015, and by sharing it with you, we’re giving ourselves more of an incentive to achieve it! These are …

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home for christmas
What an evocative phrase that is: home for Christmas. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never had a conventional Christmas in your life, ‘home for Christmas’ can’t help but conjure up scenes of smiling faces, roaring fires, roasting chestnuts and snow-decked rooftops. We won’t, apparently, be getting Christmas snow this year in the UK, but as nice as it is to snuggle in your  Apropos conservatory and watch white flakes drift past the glass, it’ll take more than that to dampen down the Christmas spirit.

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One of the most common reasons our customers give for investing in an Apropos extension is the wish to have more room to entertain. Putting plans into practise can sometimes take a little while though, so if your Apropos conservatory was designed to be a party pad but is yet to be christened, there is no better time to put it through its paces.

7 Steps to Help You Jingle …

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wintergarden

If there has been one dominant domestic topic in 2014, it has to be saving energy. There is hardly a household in the whole of the kingdom that wouldn’t like to see their energy bills reduced, and there’s a very good many searching to do their bit for the environment. So why should it stop for the festive season? The answer is that it shouldn’t!

It might be too late …

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The problem with the house is a problem of the epoch. The equilibrium of society today depends upon it. Architecture has for its first duty… that of bringing about a revision of values, a revision of the constituent elements of the house.
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier)

When Jeanneret wrote the above words he had in mind the creation of ‘the mass production spirit.’ He was writing in the inter-war period when optimism was high, mass-production technology was revolutionary, and speed and efficiency were gaining popularity over craftsmanship and …

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‘Oh no, my house is too big! I’ve just got too much space!’ is not, admittedly, a common lament. However, many a home, even many a small home, boasts a big room. While an excess of space would usually be considered a good thing, working out how to make the most of the square footage, while creating a homely feel, can cause difficulties.

Fiona and her family have been …

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What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year? Lovely presents? A lottery win? A happy fuss-free day without any culinary disasters? A recent survey by Duette®, a leading energy-saving blinds company, has revealed that what more than 40 per cent of adults are really wishing for is lower heating bills… Possibly not the easiest thing for Santa to wrap up and leave under the Christmas tree!

In …

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winter-wonderland
Sleigh bells riiiiiiing, Are you listening, In the laaaaaaane, Snow is glistening, A beautiful sight, We’re happy tonight, Walking in a winter wonderland…

Sadly, the British weather rarely plays ball when it comes to Christmas; we get snow, but not when we want it, so if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas in a perfect winter wonderland, it’s probably a good idea to make your own. Being just a smidge biased, at Apropos we think that there’s no …

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wintergarden
Ooh baby, it’s cold outside! Although actually, having said that, it’s not quite as bad we might usually expect in November… Even still, winter is upon us and it’s time for the fashion-followers to refresh their wardrobes and their homes. While colour pops and blazing shades were all the thing through the summer months, this winter it seems it’s hot to be cool.

Four of the Hottest Interior Trends for …

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It’s taken a little while to get here, but there’s little denying that winter is on the way. We’ve had a couple of frosty mornings and there have even been rumours of snow, so it’s time to rug up and prepare for the cold months to come.

Apropos’ Top 10 Ways to Winter-proof Your Home. 

Mind the gaps – Put an end to winter draughts by sealing up gaps in your walls, floors and foundations. In a typical …

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Quick question for you – do you happen to have a spare £7.5 million?

Now sir, there’s no need for those snorts of derision. And madam, we’re sorry; we didn’t mean to make you choke on your coffee. We did spot one or two smug smiles upon our reader’s faces though, so we’ll press on and tell you why we asked.

Back in 2012, Apropos was involved in the renovation of a simply stunning Edwardian artist’s studio in West London. After a century of use by artists of various kinds …

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Isn’t it funny how we acquire so much stuff? You start off in your first little flat after leaving home or university, marvelling at all the space. Your flat-pack furniture doesn’t touch the sides, even though you’ve only got three rooms, including the bathroom. Slowly you acquire another bookcase, a wardrobe, a chest of drawers, and the space begins to feel more homely.

After a couple of …

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The merging of traditional factory materials and aesthetics with contemporary home essentials, Industrial Chic has been growing in popularity for some time, reaching the point where it’s no longer considered to be overly outré, but rather an accepted style statement, albeit one with an edge.

Apropos has long been a proponent of Industrial Chic; many of our pared-back designs take inspiration from the sheer …

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New Build Glazing Project
If you’ve happened to be watching Channel 4 on Wednesday nights for the last six weeks, the chances are that you would have watched Grand Designs. The show has been on our screens for 15 years, showcasing some of the best – and occasionally the worst – of British architecture in action. Whether it’s been done poorly or well, there is one thing that the programme has made clear; glass is becoming an ever more important aspect of the modern home.

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It’s not uncommon for a new Apropos glazed extension to become a talking point. Friends and family comment on the difference it makes to the home; how much light shines through; how much more spacious the property seems; how good it feels to spend time there. Neighbours lean over fences or twitch curtains surreptitiously, wondering how much it cost; who designed it; and whether they could afford to do something similar. Either way, we’re used to setting tongues wagging.

Gigaset SL910A lifestyle 2
Competition alert! Read on to find out how you can bag yourself one of four exceptional Gigaset handsets…just in time for Christmas!

The future of the home phone has seemed uncertain, possibly even non-existent, for some time now. Thanks to the rapid growth in popularity of mobile devices, instant messaging platforms and video chat software, it’s hard to see where the humble home phone may find its modern niche; within a communications market it once dominated.

Or so you may have thought, that is, …

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Planning permission. Utter those two words in home-building circles and you’ll hear heaved a collective sigh strong enough to blow away a small village in Shropshire. It’s the bane of many a life, and yet it does have its benefits; if you can’t build a twelve metre high viewing platform at the end of your garden, neither can your neighbours!

Avoiding the planning police is a simpler affair than you …

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Brierley
Think of an orangery, and many people will conjure up visions of grand stately homes, the likes of which few of us could ever afford, but while orangeries do have an air of elegance and luxury, it’s perfectly possible to incorporate one into an average family home. And unlike the conservatory which can require the requisitioning of a fairly large area of external space, with some canny design, a bespoke Apropos orangery can be squeezed into the most diminutive plots.

30th

Oct

Wicked Walkways

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Something wicked this way comes…

There was a time, really not that long ago, when glazed walkways were considered the preserve of public buildings; hospitals, mainly, with the occasional garden centre, shopping precinct and hotel joining in for good measure. A glazed walkway in a domestic setting? Good heavens, no! Why on earth would that be necessary? We’ll tell you why – because architects and home owners began, quite literally, to think outside the residential box.

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halloween
Hark; is that the sound of a bandwagon approaching? The rickety structure appears festooned with cobwebs, pumpkins, spiders and silly plastic bats. It’s Halloween, so we’d best jump aboard!

Now, in what possible way could Apropos link to Halloween? Our conservatories are in no way scary, and you don’t even find that many spiders living behind glass – there’s nowhere for them to hide! It’s a bit too …

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28th

Oct

Autumn Watch.

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Chris Packham and the BBC have done wonders for the nation’s collective knowledge of the wildlife Britain has to offer. Every spring and autumn, they fill our screens with outstanding footage of animals in their natural habitats; birds; mammals; amphibians; invertebrates; the lot! But while autumn is a good time to see grey seals and porpoise off the Pembroke coast, or rutting red deer in Scotland, we tend to forget just how much fauna can be seen from the comfort of our own backyard

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Once upon a time, dining in your kitchen was considered a little… common. It was something done by the – ahem – lower classes, and no ‘civilised’ person would ever consider it. Why have meals hot on the plate, when you could have a servant walk four miles from the kitchen and serve you something delightfully tepid? Even Queen Victoria rethought the layout of her residences as she was sick of eating cold, congealed foods.

Now …

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It could be blue sky days all round for you this Spring with an Apropos installation.
How do you get through the gloomier months of the year? At Apropos, we like to plan ahead.

When the sky is rendered in fifty shades of grey, we think of the golden light of spring time. When it’s cold and wet, we look forward to the warmer days to come. When sunlight seems to grace us for a few short hours a day, we think of the lengthening days after December’s winter solstice. We can’t change the weather, so we all find our own ways to deal with it.

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wintergarden
So much for a gentle decline into autumn – October has come in with storming fury; a timely reminder that winter is near at hand.

A season of mixed blessings, winter is probably the time of year that needs the most preparation: the weather is miserable, and yet there are many events to plan for; the happiness of spending time with loved ones is tempered by the problems of having to accommodate them; money is finite, yet the demands for it are infinite. October is a good time to make …

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Indoor Garden
We’ve had an unexpectedly good start to autumn this year; September was glorious, but if the weather forecasters are to be believed, October is likely to be a whole lot more seasonally appropriate. While wind and rain are all part and parcel of the gardening calendar, not all of us are happy to embrace them, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to put your green fingers in a box of straw to hibernate for the winter!

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7.c.£25k - bespoke extension.4
Dead space. Most of us will have some in our homes. We complain that we don’t have enough room to do what we want, to spread out and enjoy our separate occupations, all the while ignoring the elephant outside the room. Dead space.

Dead space comes in many guises; the pointless side passage that no one ever uses; the ramshackle porch which is more of a hindrance …

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beforeandafter-Mills
It could be argued that if there’s one problem with conservatories, it’s that they show their age. It’s not so much that they suffer from wear and tear and lose their structural integrity (although poorly made uPCV structures often do), more that we, as homeowners, don’t really know what to do with them, so the swish new conservatory can soon become a form of domestic time-capsule.

The trick …

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In the nineties and noughties there was a real trend for open plan living, so much so that it seemed that every fourth or fifth homeowner was getting busy with a sledgehammer. Recently, however, there has been a move away from all-out openness; this isn’t because the prospect of a bright and airy, interconnected home has suddenly become less appealing, but rather because of the practicalities of modern life: try taking an important phone call when the television is blaring CBeebies, the washing machine is on a spin cycle and …

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Apropos Olsen 5

Step into the Surrey garden The Maples; residence of Mr & Mrs Olsen, and you immediately feel as if you might be somewhere else. Where? It’s hard to say, but the impression is not entirely British. It’s not the garden itself which creates this feeling of otherness; with its box balls, immaculately striped lawn and mature herbaceous perennials, the garden is as archetypally English as it is lovely. It’s not …

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Although we might be slightly subjective, at Apropos we think that if a home has an orangery, it will usually be the best room in the house. Whether traditional or more contemporary in design, Apropos bespoke orangeries let in oodles of natural light, yet have a comfortable, private-feeling making them family-centric rooms that people naturally gravitate towards, which is one of the reasons we like them so much.
So, what does a good orangery look like? Here are our favourite five.

1. One of the most popular reasons for constructing an …

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There are many reasons for deciding to commission a home extension, but ultimately, they all come down to space.

Your house seemed perfect when you laid down your deposit, but that was before you had children/started working from home/became a model rail enthusiast/needed somewhere to store the bodies. If it’s the latter scenario, Apropos may not be the right firm for you – it’s quite hard to conceal anything when you’re working with glass, although Switch glass, or Ultra White Laminated may be an option! – but even so, the …

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No need for planning permission for this little beauty!
Conservatories are at the heart of Apropos; we love them and think that there are few better ways to enhance a house, but we also know that they have a few… quirks that only those who own them will understand. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see the funny side too!

Fly Evacuation Protocol. Swatting. Newspaper wafting. Waving your hands in the air. Shouting. Forming a corral to slowly …

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The population has increased beyond planet Earth’s means to sustain it. Land is running out. Not enough food can be grown to meet the demand. Food prices rocket and the hungry go without.

It sounds like the opening of a desperately unoriginal piece of dystopian teen fiction, but according to scientists it’s a very real possibility for the not too distant future. Many of the world’s best minds are focused upon the question; ‘how do we solve the problem of expanding population vs. decreasing fertile land mass;’ how do we …

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Simple and stylish or elaborately ornate, glass verandas and glazed canopies can make an attractive and versatile addition to any home. Once considered little more than domestic dressing, the glazed veranda has really come into its own in recent years, taking on a variety of roles and styles to suit the requirements of the homeowner.

So, what could an Apropos glass canopy do for you?

Room to Breathe – Like …

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sky light
Skylights seem almost synonymous with trendy modern architecture; perfectly marrying form and function with aesthetically pleasing design and clear practical application, they provide the ultimate in environmentally-friendly lighting.
sky light

It’s funny to think, then, that we’ve been using them in our public buildings for millennia. Although rarely thought of as such, one of the most famous skylights is that of the Pantheon. Known as the oculus, it was commissioned during …

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After all the years of an ailing housing market, we’re once more hearing reports of new buyers being priced out of the market entirely. A recent survey revealed that rural workers would need a minimum of a 150% pay increase to be able to afford to buy a home in the area in which they grew up, and even in towns and cities many people are struggling to find the funds to purchase a home. So what’s the solution? Possibly, it’s lowering our expectations.

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If you’re already an Apropos customer, or toying with the idea of becoming one, you’ll probably already know that we employ aluminium frames in all of our structures, from the tallest atrium to the smallest skylight. It’s super strong, it’s eco-friendly, it can be recycled endlessly and it’s incredibly malleable, making it uniquely useful in the glass architecture field.
So, that’s what you already know. Here are some fun facts that might not be …

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As the nights grow darker what better place to reunite your family than an Apropos Home Hub?
It can be a deeply emotional experience, fraught with angst, bitterness and blame, where soul-searching can lead to unexpected discoveries and, hopefully, an ultimate reconciliation; that moment when you happen upon your teenage son in the kitchen after three days of absence.

One of the great things about Britain is the huge variety of architecture on show. We have a wonderful, long history and it is exhibited in all of our domestic buildings; Victorian terraces; Georgian piles; 20th century town houses; Tudorbethan interpretations; characterful country cottages; haphazard farmhouses; über-modern eco-homes; while …

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We can't all have the luxury of a swimming pool in our home; but we can bring the beach back with us!
Oh deary dear, with mid-August fast approaching, we’re at that time in the summer holidays when gloom is beginning to set in. The excitement of being away from school is waning; many of us have already returned from our summer getaway; the weather has started to turn against us; and there is a smell of malcontent and mutiny in the air.

Hold tight me hearties! It’s not quite time to batten down the hatches, brace the mainstays or prepare to walk the plank; with a little planning you can steer …

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Apart from giving them the occasional clean, few of us often spare a thought for our windows. You might be surprised then, to discover the impact that our choice of windows has on our home.

A recent study revealed that not cleaning your home’s windows before a viewing can detract as much as 5% from the overall resale value of your property. That’s £12,500 for the average UK home. It seems like madness that such as small cosmetic …

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Just over 75 years ago Apropos founder, Vincent Hartley, patented the world’s first aluminium-framed glass building. It was a greenhouse. Although the company went on to develop and diversify, we’ve had three quarters of a century to get to know every part of our trade, and that includes both learning the basics and staying close to our roots. As such, we’ve picked up a handy hint or two about greenhouse maintenance. With high summer here and seedlings being hardened off, unless you’re growing tender fruits your greenhouse shelves will be …

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We all talk a lot about energy efficiency these days, and so we should. By maximising the efficiency of our homes, we’re directly influencing the amount of money we spend on our fuel bills, our carbon emissions, and the damage we inflict on the environment. Our windows, doors and glazed extensions are usually the primary cause of heat-loss in our homes; as uncoated glass is intrinsically thermally sensitive, it allows heat and cold to pass almost unhindered.

Tatton Orante garden
Nothing typifies the Great British summer time more than a good flower show, and they don’t come much better than this year’s RHS Tatton Park. Set in the grounds of one of the UK’s most historic and beautiful estates, the show is a spectacular meld of our favourite pursuits; inspirational design, skilled plantsmanship, first-class food and honest-to-goodness shopping!

With gorgeous floral displays, gardens from some of …

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beforeandafter-gay

So, you’ve saved a deposit. You’ve consulted a mortgage advisor. You’ve secured your finances. And, you think, you’ve found your dream home. Sure it’s seen better days; it’s ragged around the edges and the lay out isn’t perfect, but it’s got great bones and there’s nothing wrong that a few bottles of disinfectant, a lick of paint, new carpets and – when you’re feeling brave – may be an internal reconfiguration won’t fix… Is there?

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One of the most expensive aspects of building or extending a home is the employment of an architect. The reason for this is that it takes skill, knowledge and experience to get the best from a property. However, it is possible to reduce fees by beginning your design yourself.

At Apropos we regularly work with customers who wish to create their own designs, so we know what it takes to …

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Small FBH 6

One of the greatest skills of building, renovating or decorating a home is employing design cues to express the personality of the building’s occupants. Open or closed; extrovert or insular; muted or vibrant; classic, contemporary, or a meld of the two; whoever the person or family, they will have their own tastes and it is the designers job to represent them. In the renovation of this stunning detached home in lancashire, the designer has hit every single nail straight on the head.

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DVD 5 190

Oh, we do love summer, and despite the unpromising start, this one is turning into a corker! It was summers like this that used to give conservatories – in fact, all glass constructions – a bad name, but with the fabulous technological advances of recent years, there is nothing better than a beautiful glass extension for making the best of the British sunlight.

While we all know that too much of that big yellow shiny ball …

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DSC_7770

Glass extensions have always held appeal for home-owners, bringing a new dimension to a property. The problem is that once you’ve got your conservatory or orangery, it can be difficult to find a way to make it your own. So, how can you stop your glass box from looking like every other?

Starting from Scratch

If you are planning to build a glazed extension, the simplest way to instil personality …

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We’ve had a glorious start to summer and it’s really only just begun – with July and August glittering enticingly on the horizon. With that in mind, this week we thought we’d take a look at some of the ways that Apropos can help you to get the best from your summer.

Making your home summer-ready is a relatively easy process and something that we’ve looked at in some detail before; more and bigger windows help;

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Glazing choice used to be among the simplest decisions you had to make when building, extending or renovating a home, largely because the options were limited. The last twenty years have seen a huge number of advances in the industry however, meaning that the type of glass you choose to use in your home can have a big impact upon more than just interior illumination.

Room temperature, thermal efficiency, energy …

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Fota House, Co. Cork

Orangeries are among our favourite structures here at Apropos. We love how they look, the impact they can have on a home, and the history that necessitated their production. If well constructed, they can last for centuries, and we’ve been looking at some of the best of the UK’s earliest trend-setters.

Culzean Castle, Ayrshire – Now known as ‘the camellia house’, the Culzean orangery was built 1818. The style is lavish, in keeping with the rest of the estate, which was used as the castle of Lord Summersisle, in the …

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pool house by apropos
Summer. Is. Here. How fabulous is that thought? We didn’t have a particularly harsh winter, but oh, it was wet and miserable and somehow summer has felt a long time coming. The spring was kind to us, but with the longer days, the warmer weather (hopefully!), and blue skies, the summer is so very welcome.

pool house by apropos

We’ve waited so long, and now that it’s here, it’s …

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Swan - Professional Images (3)
Aesthetic preference can be a difficult thing to pinpoint; one man’s cutting-edge classic can be another man’s eyesore. A case in point could be Birmingham’s old Central Library; a concrete and glass structure once listed in Prince Charles’ infamous ‘monstrous carbuncles’ of architecture speech and described as appearing ‘a place where books are incinerated, not kept’, yet many loved its utilitarian Soviet-chic exterior.

At Apropos we know that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to architecture and that ultimately, there is no accounting for taste. That said, some of our favourite …

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Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Love it or loathe it, the World Cup is here again, but whether football is a matter of life and death, or more important than even that, at Apropos we like the way that it never fails to bring people together. In homage to that idea, this week we thought that we’d embrace and unite under the banner of our own passion and introduce you to our favourite conservatories of the world… Ok, we know it’s a tenuous link, but stick with us!

Cooled Conservatories, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore – While …

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Despite the unfortunate week of wetness, which is good for the garden if not the commuters, temperatures have been steadily rising and there’s no denying that summer is well and truly on its way.

While most of us talk of a big spring clean, in reality, it’s the summer months that see most Brits dealing with all the annual household chores. From Easter onwards we contemplate DIY and embark on …

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It can be difficult and perplexing to navigate UK planning regulations. While developing your home can be rewarding and comes with many benefits, working out what does and does not fall within current ‘permitted development rights’ has been known to induce headaches in the best of us.

The problem is that rules change and caveats are linked to almost all statements, with period properties, flats and those situated in Conservation Areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, each having their own additional legislation.

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Extending your property can be hugely rewarding, but there are a number of considerations to take into account before you embark on a building project.

We want our customers to get the very best from their Apropos experience, and to do that we believe that knowledge and preparation are key. Here are six things for you to think about before beginning a home extension.

Planning permission – Not all home …

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All homes have problem rooms; a north-facing sitting room that’s dreary all summer; an over-shadowed kitchen that takes the joy out of cooking; or a bedroom that could be beautiful if it wasn’t always so dark. Although glass architecture is our professed trade at Apropos, it’s merely our Clark Kent disguise; leave us alone to whizz around in a phone box and we step out, flexing our cranial muscles and wearing our lycra Problem Solver’s outfits!

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Michael Barnes: Leader of The Conservatory Party.
Friends. We all have hopes and fears for the future and for the lives our children will lead. We, at the Conservatory Party, want to build a Britain where everyone feels that they could own a conservatory to be proud of.

Small mid-terrace houses, mansions, or cottages by the sea; wherever you live and whatever your income, we believe in providing bespoke conservatories for the hard working people of Great Britain.

Our long-term economic plan is building a stronger and more secure conservatory that will help to boost the local …

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Orangery Extension by Apropos Conservatories
After the doom and gloom of the recession and the property market crash over the last few years, many people are choosing to improve their own homes rather than move out. If you still love your home but feel you need a bit more room, then moving isn’t the only option.

Orangery Extension by Apropos Conservatories

An additional room can make the world of difference to the …

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Many of us have rather fixed ideas, when it comes to conservatories. If we don’t have a conservatory of our own, our thoughts will turn to the ones we encountered in our childhood, should the topic ever arise, and cosy won’t be the first word that comes to mind.

At Apropos, we think it’s about time that we reversed the grave disservice that the 1980s did to all conservatory kind. …

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IMG_0619
Design of any kind could be viewed as a fusion. In architecture and interior design we bring together vision and practicality, to produce the physical manifestation of thoughts and ideas. We combine materials, contrast textures, align angles with curves and balance light and shade. We take strength from others to prevent intrinsic weakness and form partnerships to deliver a unified, satisfying whole.

Although widely known as a consumer-led company, as …

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Orangery vs Conservatory
There are a number of questions that we’re regularly asked at Apropos, but there’s one that never goes out of the top ten; what is the difference between an orangery and a conservatory, and which would be better for my property?
On the surface, the answer could seem like a case of semantics; after all, both structures are home extensions made from glass, but there’s a little more to consider if you truly want to get the best from your home.

2nd

May

High Hopes.

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When is a kitchen extension like a rubber tree? When a home owner is like an ant! When he’s got…
hiiiiiiiigh hopes
He’s got hiiiiiiiiiiigh hopes
He’s got high apple piiiie
In the skyyyy hopes…

Some things in life feel unattainable, but loving the house you live in? Nah; that just takes some sensible planning.

At Apropos we often hear our structures described as ‘aspirational’. Which …

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Brierley 1128 015

It is often said these days that there is no such thing as community spirit. For many of us, our only interaction with our neighbours is a quick hello in passing; many more don’t even know what their neighbours look like, let alone their names. But even if you are on friendly terms, willing to provide the proverbial cup of sugar, you can bet your bottom that if a home extension is on the cards, your relationship will change.

The smallest addition to your home can have …

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A conservatory can dramatically enhance both the functionality and aesthetic of a home, but there are a number of points to consider in order to get the very best from your investment.

A sensible place to start is with the question, why do you want a conservatory? These days, conservatories are used for a variety of purposes; dining, relaxing, socialising, growing plants, or any combination of the above. The way in which you intend to use your conservatory should always play a part in the design process to avoid expensive …

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It’s such a small word; why. And yet, it produces manifest emotions. Why sits at the heart of everything we do, and while some of us hide from it, others hunt it down. At Apropos we embrace it.

Why?

Because we’re proud of what we do.

Changing your home in any way can be a daunting prospect. You want the best, but you don’t want to spend too much; it can be difficult to know where to look for assistance. Selecting a contractor can be fraught with risk, and when …

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15th

Apr

New Beginnings.

Orangery with Aprofold doors
There has surely never breathed a person who hasn’t been enchanted by spring. It is a season that has found its way into endless religious celebrations since the Zoroastrians of Babylon marked the equinox and worshipped the moon in 2400 BCE. Today, in the UK, we celebrate spring through a combination of Pagan fertility rites and Christian symbolism, the two having inextricably interwoven to produce the holiday that we all know as Easter, and a celebration of new beginnings.

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Kitchen Extension by Apropos
Despite all the cultural changes of the last century, there is one thing that remains the same; for most of us, the kitchen is still the heart of the home, and if we had money to change one thing about where we live, the vast majority of us would spend it on improving our kitchens.

Kitchen Extension by Apropos

The question is though, with below inflation pay raises making …

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According to psychologists, there is an epidemic of sleep disorders’[1] spreading across the western world. It sounds a little melodramatic, and is unlikely to be the subject of the next Hollywood disaster blockbuster, but sleep deprivation is a terrible thing.

There are many reasons why a person may have difficulty sleeping; pain, worry, children, uncomfortable sleep environment, all of which can be difficult to tackle. However, an increasing number of studies have revealed a further factor that significantly impacts upon the amount – and quality – of sleep that …

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They’re simple things, windows. Every house has half a dozen and we’ve been making them for thousands of years, so here at Apropos we thought it only fair that we share some of our knowledge with a handy how-to. Here’s our recipe for making windows.

Firstly, prepare your glass.

You will need the following:

Ingredients:

Silica sand Sodium carbonate Calcium oxide (or magnesium or aluminium oxide for added …

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Creating architecture from glass comes with many advantages. At Apropos, one of our favourite aspects is that wherever it’s positioned, from the roof panes of a ground floor extension, to the heady heights of an atrium’s peak, working with glass means that for our clients, the sky is always the visual limit.

It’s a liberating feeling, looking up and finding that the sky is smiling down; it doesn’t matter what …

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press cuttings
Presentation is a funny thing. We’ve mentioned before how first impressions count; doors can make a real entrance; your home can be an expression of you, but how can you get people to look beyond their own perceptions and not just see what you want them to see, but to see what’s really there?

At Apropos we’ve recently developed what is probably quite a good problem; our products have started to speak for themselves. Now, this might be bragging just a tiny wee bit, but people see our …

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21st

Mar

Spring Clean.

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When it’s brand new and squeaky clean any glass structure can look amazing, but when faced with the rigors of everyday life, it doesn’t take long for the sheen to wear off. Sticky fingers, smudgy nose-prints (of cats, dogs and, frequently, children!), dust, grime and general wear and tear soon take their toll, so it’s worth rolling up your sleeves and giving your glass a spring clean.

If …

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Any home improvement project can be a daunting prospect, no matter how much you want it. The thought of planning and organising alone can leave you in need of a good lie down, and as for the dirt, disruption and general inconvenience of it all… Does anyone happen to have a spare sedative to hand? Whether you are attempting a small repair or a complete overhaul, like an Apropos glazed extension, there are a number of steps that you can take to help smooth your path.

Open plan lean to conservator kitchen extension by Apropos

There was a time when the number of rooms you had in your house was indicative of status. Today, you could say that it’s a case of the fewer rooms the better; downstairs we’re all about open-plan.

Open plan lean to conservator kitchen extension by Apropos

If inflatable furniture and sponge painting were trademarks of 1990s interior design and a proliferation …

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12th

Mar

A Bright Idea.

folding sliding doors
The history of architecture and interior design is practically peppered with bright ideas. At Apropos the window, obviously, is one of our favourites. It lets the light in while keeping the weather out, and while a good brick wall could perform the latter, it has its doesn’t stand a chance with the former.  We need light in our lives, we do; it makes us happy, it keeps us healthy and it is far more effective at improving the eyesight than even the juiciest bunch of carrots. We love the window; …

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How many times have you had one of those conversations and been able to actually mean the words that you’ve spoken? The first structure that Apropos ever built has been standing – and used – for 75 years, and although it was created without the benefit of our modern technologies, we still think that it looks pretty damn fine for something that’s seen almost half of a century. Imagine, then, how well the Apropos extension you build this year will stand the test of time.

Whether greenhouses or garden rooms, …

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switch glass3

At Apropos glass is, as you might guess, very much our thing. Vibrant, glass-fronted, glass-roofed, or fully glazed buildings appeal to us no end. We love natural light, we love the feeling of expansiveness that comes from a room with no visible limits, and we simply adore the playfulness that can be achieved in a liberally glazed building.

Nevertheless, while the concept of open, light-filled living is endlessly appealing, in practise it can have its drawbacks; after all …

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Orangery Style Extension by Apropos

We’re an approachable bunch here at Apropos, always willing to answer client’s questions. However, we know that there are times when you need to know now, so here’s a list of our top twelve Apropos FAQs.

Orangery Style Extension by Apropos

Q) I have a period property, could an Apropos extension work for me?

A) Yes, but every project should be defined by its own merits. If …

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Orangery Extension by Apropos Conservatories - Interior

Oranges are not the only fruit to enjoy life under glass, although they are, we think, the only plant to have a building named for them. After the last few tempestuous months, no one should really need reminding that the British weather is somewhat unpredictable, but with the first day of Spring (20th March 2014) shining enticingly before us the seeds of hope are beginning to germinate.

Orangery Extension by Apropos Conservatories

Glass Extension by Apropos

Glass Extension by Apropos

If there are any two words likely to bring a shiver to the spine of an experienced home renovator, they are planning permission. Forget dry rot, subsidence and dodgy contractors; planning permission has turned more heads grey. At Apropos we deal with local Planning authorities everyday and we’ve picked up a tip or two throughout the years.

If you’re thinking of enhancing your home with an Apropos glass extension, we …

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In an off the peg world the man with a coat hanger is king… No, wait… Hang on a minute…

Don’t you think that the scientific obsession with cloning is a little odd? Dolly the sheep was all very clever, but there are easier ways to make a mutton stew or two. It’s not just the scientists who are at it either; cloning is big business and seems to have spread on to the high street and into our homes, but being the same as everyone else has its draw-backs. …

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13th

Feb

The Next Level.

Atrium by Apropos Conservatories

Architecture, it must be said, is known for introducing fads; exposed brutalist concrete; mock-Tudor beams; the unforgiveable monstrosity of 1970s pebble-dashing; open-plan and cubbyholes. Some fads go as quickly as they come, while others find a foothold of public appreciation and gain grande dame status, either staying true to their iconic selves, or morphing over time like an impressive social chameleon, in much the same way that glass has. Of all the architectural devices though, none has had a more confused history than the atrium.

Rooftop Conservatory by Apropos

We’ve all heard of the urban fox; that much maligned creature of the night known for raiding bins not properly stored, leaving deposits in awkward places and ridding the cityscape of rats. They divide opinions while making creative use of abandoned corners and unloved land; kings of the concrete jungle. Seen as insidious by some and adorable by others, the urban fox may soon need your help as they do battle against new-comers set on taking over their natural habitat. We are, of course, talking of the inner city conservatory.

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Lean to conservatory by Apropos - Winter Scene
2013 was a great year for Apropos in many ways, not least because we extended our social media presence and it has proven to be a fabulous way to get to know you all a little better.

Some of you have been very kind indeed, while others haven’t been shy in letting us know that you can’t please all of the people all of the time! Whether positive or negative however, we’ve been really thrilled to receive your feedback and we’d like it to keep on …

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Folding Sliding Doors by Apropos Conservatories

It’s often said that every picture tells a story. You could say the same about every door.

What’s the first thing you touch when you enter a new home? What’s the last thing you do when you leave somewhere? Doors welcome new brides and grooms over the threshold, admit new babies, shut out bad weather and bar unwelcome guests. Cracked doors speak of being too-often slammed, while the immaculate might reflect an owner’s perfectionist personality. An overly scratched keyhole may recall too many wild nights out, or the hand of …

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Home improvements by apropos

With official figures showing that the UK housing market has finally regained its equilibrium, moving home is beginning to seem like a viable option once more. House prices rose by a healthy 7.5% throughout 2013, meaning that if your current property no longer suits your requirements, you now have three feasible options open to you – buying, building and improving.

To Buy, or Not to Buy?

Buying a …

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23rd

Jan

January Blues.

Pilkington Activ Blue Glass by Apropos

Have you heard of the phrase blue sky thinking? For most of us, it has been consigned to that annoying section of the English language generally referred to as Office Speak. There it is joined by expressions such as think outside the box, paradigm shifting, transitioning and kick into touch; pointless jargon intended to lyrically obfuscate the listener while the speaker pretends that they know what they’re talking about. Just occasionally though, there’s an exception to the rule, and with Pilkington Activ – it’s blue skies all the way.

Selecting …

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traditional conservatory by Apropos

There is a belief that in architecture and interior design everything should flow. For most, the idea of fluidity and cohesion comes from a consistency of styles; you wouldn’t, for instance, augment a pretty Georgian manor house with a cubist concrete extension. However, sometimes diversity has a magnetism all of its own and it is when people are prepared to experiment in a measured way that great architecture is born.

traditional conservatory by Apropos

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It was a big year, 1938. Czechoslovakia was formed, Hitler came to power, the photocopier was invented, Frank Sinatra was arrested on charges of seduction, Los Angeles flooded, China and Japan went to war, War of the Worlds aired on radio, David Bailey and Derek Jacobi were born, and Apropos built their first glass structure.

We’ve been building ever since.

75 years is a long time in both business and architecture. Processes change, technology advances, and yet that’s what makes …

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Architectural Glazing By Apropos
 ‘Oo-be-do, I wanna be like you-ou-ou…’ King Louie crooned in The Jungle Book, echoing the thoughts of most of humankind.

When you’re young it’s bad to be different; standing out from crowd means drawing attention and detaching yourself from the cool kids. No one wants to be noticed for being unique; we get the same haircuts; we buy the same shoes; we watch the same television programmes and pretend ignorance if we happen upon an interest that our peers don’t share…

Isn’t it great being a grown-up?

The age varies …

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Lean-to Kitchen Extension by Apropos

As the old year draws to a close most of us find ourselves indulging in a bit of heartfelt reflection. We consider the decisions we’ve made, the loved ones we’ve lost, the friends we’ve found… the extra few inches added to our waist lines and the gym membership we paid for but utilised only once.

This time it’ll be different! We think.

This time we’ll stick with it! We declare.

This time we’ll lose weight, quit smoking, cut back on alcohol, exercise more, visit our grandparents, weed the garden, learn …

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