Yearly Archives: 2015

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lean-to conservatory
Earlier in the year we put together the official Apropos Buying Guide; which is still available from the blog and guides you through the process of choosing your glass and aluminium extension, deciding on the right finish and decking out the interiors when you’re done. The Buying Guide was such a success that we decided to create another more seasonal guide to share with you all, ready for the new year.

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kitchen extension
Here at Apropos we take on all kinds of projects; both big and small. That’s the beauty, you see, of providing a bespoke service; we work with each and every client on an individual basis to design, manufacture and install their own personal glass haven. Whether you’re dreaming of Christmases spent under glazed skies, or cosy evenings in your open plan kitchen extension; Apropos can help turn your dreams into a reality.

Surprisingly though, one of our favourite pieces of architecture in glass to work on is the humble sky …

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modern glass extension
It’s a sad time of year for conservatories when the summer sun begins to fade. Conservatories, much like your garden plants and flowers will thrive in the suns rays; becoming brilliant spaces to spend the morning; sipping coffee and putting the world to rights with a copy of your favourite newspaper, or watching the children play, just beyond your sanctuary, as you relax under glazed skies.

Conservatories in summer are places to while away an afternoon listening to the gentle buzzing of insects that can’t get in and the chatter …

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lean-to conservatory
The housing market is tentatively on the up and many people may be wondering about whether to move or improve in order to take advantage of this rise in property value.

Improving remained in vogue throughout the lull across housing prices and has the added benefit of adding value to the home you own. So why stop now? If all you want from the home you have is a little extra breathing room, less droughts and lower bills or if you’re after a more ambitious grand designs style face lift, …

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Glass Extension
Like any part of the home, from time to time your conservatory will need a bit of sprucing up. For some this can be fixed with some new pieces of furniture or a few potted plants but for others, a little more imagination is needed.

Old conservatories tend to be draughty conservatories, and draughty conservatories often get relegated to no man’s zones in the home. The same goes for cramped conservatories shut off from the home, those without any real purpose and conservatories or garden rooms which simply aren’t living …

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light up for christmas twitter (1)
At Apropos and Atelier we’re most definitely dreaming of a chic Christmas this year here at HQ. We spent last week dressing up our resident Atelier Garden Studio in all things merry and bright for a fabulous competition we’re launching over on the Atelier site today.

The garden studio on site here at Apropos looked absolutely stunning adorned with enough twinkle lights to deck our halls twice …

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lean-to conservatory interior
The lean to is probably the earliest structure known to man. Watch any episode of Bear Grylls and you’ll no doubt find him ensconced in a lean to crafted from pine branches and possibly the skin of a dead animal or two. Now, leaving aside the dead animals for a moment, what Bear shows us in each of his survival attempts is how versatile and easy the construction of a lean to can be – but also how vital to human survival these simple structures have been.

modern glass extension
At Apropos, we specialise in bespoke glass and aluminium structures, but over the years, we’ve come to realise that this doesn’t mean much to your average Mr & Mrs from Oxfordshire. Unless discussing our products with architects and industry insiders, it’s often easier to fall back on descriptors such as conservatories, orangeries and extensions – but, ultimately, these aren’t what we design, build and install for families throughout Britain.

What we are really installing, is exactly what we say …

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Modern kitchen extension interior
If you’ve been following us on Facebook and Twitter for a while now, you may recently have noticed some of the new images we’ve been sharing. The latest of our bespoke structures to be photographed, The Frame Project is a modern kitchen extension with a retro twist.

We fell in love with The Frame Family’s design ideas from the moment we first heard about them and when the images of the finished project arrived at Apropos HQ, we couldn’t wait to show them off! There is something about the meeting …

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sliding door kitchen extension
It’s hard to put a price on perfection, and it’s even more difficult to put a price on bespoke. There are many benefits to a bespoke conservatory; it will be designed for your needs exactly, in sympathy with any quirks your host property may present, and once installed will be entirely one of a kind – adding both value and space to your home, but a quick quotation isn’t one of them.

We’re often asked to price up based on size – but even then it’s very difficult to do …

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18th

Nov

Winter Warmers

glass lean-to conservatory
As the nights draw in around us and the days become shorter it’s always nice to know there’s a cosy spot waiting at home when the day is done. If you were to ask us here at Apropos, we’d tell you that there’s no better place to head home to than the comfort of a bespoke Apropos conservatory, orangery or extension – but, then again, of course we would!

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17th

Nov

Atelier’s She Shed Revolution!

Atelier_sowing
We’ve all heard about them, 80% of women want one, and you don’t need to read their minds to know it! The She Shed is the new Man Cave and it’s here to give women everywhere a space to call their own. Entirely, their own! No children’s toys, no household chores, no draws filled with batteries, odd assortments of tools and old leads – and, most importantly, no distractions.

The She Shed is the perfect place for women in business of all kinds to do their thing and …

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14th

Nov

DOORlicious

lean-to conservatory
If you’re looking to let extra light flood your home, but don’t want the hassle of a complete home renovation, then why not make any room DOORlicious, and packed full of natural light, with Apropos’ range of bespoke door sets – all manufactured at our in house factory right here in Manchester using time honoured precision engineering skills and only the highest quality materials.

At Apropos we offer three various types of modern glass and aluminium door sets, each of which offer a slightly different look, and slightly different uses. …

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12th

Nov

Colour Your Conservatory

Colour Options
A while ago Dulux were running a very clever advertising campaign set in a (perfectly on trend) dystopic future, completely lacking in colour. By the end of the ad the entire city-scape is transformed, as citizens began to thwart the authorities and jazz up their white washed walls with all the colours of the rainbow.

Well, it seems to us, that the world of conservatories is much like that white washed city from the ‘before’ scenes of the Dulux ad – a landscape of white washed framework and uninspiring views …

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7th

Nov

The Best Kitchen Extensions

kitchen extension
Modern glazed kitchen extensions are on everyone’s wish lists at the moment – who wouldn’t want the extra room? Not to mention improved insulation and the flood of natural light that comes with it! But what separates the good kitchen extensions, from the very best? At Apropos, we think it’s all in the design, and, in particular, in your design.

We, like our clients who love them, are extremely proud of each and every one of our bespoke glass structures – but there is just something about a new …

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4th

Nov

Modern Orangeries

modern kitchen extension
The orangery is a very traditional structure here in the UK with a rich history, quite literally, as a statement of wealth and class all the way back to aristocratic Britain.

Originally intended for use as an artificial climate in which to grow citrus fruit – and primarily oranges – the orangery was once a British status symbol. But after decades of nurturing foreign fruits, as advertised, the humble orangery was freed from its constraints by the abolishment of the window tax.

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31st

Oct

Top Ways To Save When You Extend

glass kitchen extension
In the past few years the UK has seen a major trend towards improving your current home, rather than moving on to an entirely new property. This is partly because of the rise in home improvement options on the market and the improved quality of insulation and other thermal efficiency in general. But it also has to be said, that this behavioral change has occurred thanks to the current hike in UK property prices.

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28th

Oct

The Autumn Sale

glass orangery
Here at Apropos we’re genuinely enjoying the change of seasons – it may be colder, and now that the clocks have turned back, it may be darker, but even so the falling leaves and seasonal changes outside are pretty spectacular to watch.

There is no better time than autumn to sit back with a warm drink, or something a little stronger, and admire nature from your conservatory, orangery …

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21st

Oct

Home For Christmas

modern kitchen extension
Yep, we said it! It may only be mid-October but the supermarkets are already stocked full with tubs of quality street and Christmas dog treats! So, as crazy as it sounds, it’s probably time to start thinking about the Christmas presents and the Christmas shop, stocking up on cards and deciding who’ll host, sprucing up the house and finding yourself a tree.

If you’re one of the two thirds …

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17th

Oct

Simply Stylish Lean-to Conservatories

glass kitchen extension
The original apropos structure, one of the forerunners to human construction, and perfectly versatile for all sorts of homes across the country the lean-to conservatory is a bit of a cult favourite here at Apropos.

Lean-to conservatories have been a part of our heritage since we first flew the Hartley Botanic nest and set up in a forest, or factory, all our own. Stylish staples these structures have always been a popular choice for home extensions and remain …

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15th

Oct

Should We Extend Our Listed Buildings?

Michael-Mcintyre-601558
Putting your personal stamp on a property is something which comes naturally to us all, we discussed it on the blog last week in How To Make A Space Your Own, but what happens when you purchase a property whose personality is far grander than your own?

Famous comedian Michael McIntyre – despite having one of the biggest personalities in showbiz – ran into exactly this problem when seeking to extend his lavish Edwardian home. The property in question is located in London and is reputed to be completely mortgage …

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13th

Oct

The Apropos Buying Guide

view-buying-guide
So, Summer seems to have abandoned us to Autumn and conservatories, glass extensions and orangeries are not the first thing springing to mind for most people. Unless you already own one of course, in which case relaxing in your orangery with a steaming mug of something warm when you get home or chilling out in the conservatory with a large glass of red is probably top of the list.

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10th

Oct

How to Make a Space Your Own!

Orangery Extension by Apropos Conservatories
Whether you’re building, buying or extending a property one of the key things, when all is said and done, is making the space feel like home.
Making any space feel like home is all about claiming it – we’re primeval in that way. Instead of weeing on the walls to mark our territory though, us highly evolved humans do so with throw pillows and scatter cushions, clean lines or cluttered cabinets and depending on the extent of our renovations, architectural choices and styles.

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7th

Oct

The Great British Build Off

Glass Kitchen Extension
At Apropos we’re proud to be Great British Manufacturers – designing all of our structures using the expertise of our experienced Design Consultants and a little technological help in the form of our CAD drawing system. Our CAD system creates beautifully life like computer illustrations for every bespoke structure we design and these are then made into a reality right here in our Manchester factory.

With ancestry stretching back as far as some of the first ever glass and aluminium buildings, we know exactly what we’re doing, and don’t need …

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2nd

Oct

How to extend your growing season

bespoke greenhouse
For many home gardeners, the growing season begins in spring and by the end of August, it’s all over, bar the composting. For the canny gardener however, there’s so much more to be gained, and green thumbs need never resort to twiddling. If you start planning now, 2016 could be a bumper year.

How to Extend Your Growing Season

Start with your soil – To prevent winter soil erosion, protect …

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30th

Sep

What do successful people who work from home have that unsuccessful ones do not?

glass aterlier garden studio
The answer is the ability to separate their home life from their working environment.
 Around 3.7 million people now work from home in the UK; as doing so allows them more flexibility and time with their family. It also eliminates the time spent commuting to and from the office as well as those rising transport costs.


If you too have decided to work from home you …

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29th

Sep

Apropos’ Macmillan Coffee Morning

Last Friday was a great day for the fight against cancer, with thousands of people around the country taking part in Macmillan’s annual coffee morning. Dubbed the world’s biggest coffee morning this years event was bigger and better than any before it and, here at Apropos, we just had to join in.

On a serious note it’s a well known fact that one in three of us will face cancer and even more of us will be affected by it through friends and families experiences. The fight against cancer is an …

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25th

Sep

Waiting to win the lottery…and other reasons your home hasn’t reached its full potential.

glass lean-to conservatory
Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow and hope that someone else will do for you in the mean time? It’s a sound philosophy but every philosophy has its limitations and there are certain things that no one else is ever going to do for you. Fixing all of the problems, irritations and shortcomings in your home is one of them.

Your chance of winning the …

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23rd

Sep

Looking Glass: Extensions that reflect you

bespoke glass extension

It’s commonly held that many dogs resemble their owners. And somewhat surprisingly, psychologists have revealed that far from being just a bit of fun, this is one maxim that actually holds some truth. It’s not through a mere quirk of fate however, that a roundish jowly man might befriend a Boxer, or that an ageing hippie might favour an Afghan with a fetchingly familiar coiffure; as humans we’re drawn to the recognisable; we like what we know and …

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22nd

Sep

A Higher Love

bespoke greenhouse
The word ‘atria’ or ‘atrium’ has a number of different meanings. While architecturally it’s used to signify a large open space within a building, usually glazed, it’s also the name of an ancient Italian city, a star in the Triangulum Australe constellation, and the scientific name for an anatomical structure of the heart.

Although these meanings seem disparate, at Apropos we think that they’re rather apt; the architectural atrium was developed in Italy; atria are often the gleaming, sparkling …

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19th

Sep

Home Security Tips & Tricks

bespoke conservatory
The summer holiday season has just passed, which means many of us will have been busy planning, packing and digging out our passports… While others were equally busy polishing up their crowbars, washing their balaclavas and buying a fresh supply of fitted leather gloves, because while the homeowner is away the burglars will play, often with devastating consequences.

But wait; we’re not here to alarm you (although fitting …

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17th

Sep

Lean-to Conservatories: Live in Luxury with Apropos

modern kitchen extension
There was a time when lean-to conservatories were considered to be rather a poor-man’s orangery. They provided a perfectly practical space, but they lacked the grandeur of the great estates and were therefore looked down upon.

Even when conservatories became relatively common, people still eschewed the lean-to design in favour of something more ornate. Today it’s time to set the record straight – at Apropos we’re fans of all kinds of conservatories, in fact we’re partial …

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12th

Sep

Love the home you own

glass kitchen extension
There once was a couple who lived in a house. The house, when they bought it, wasn’t that much but it was what they could afford, and it was theirs. They felt pride in ownership, and they raised their little family in their little house as harmoniously as ever you can when you have three children… which is to say with tears and tantrums and regularly slammed doors interrupting the laughter and love that pervaded. The house was never meant to be the ‘forever home’ that property search programmes have …

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11th

Sep

Windows & Doors – what are your options?

aluminium window
Do you remember the days when the biggest decision you had to make when it came to selecting doors for your home was whether you preferred glass or timber?

In the last few years things have come on apace, and although this means that selecting how to fill the apertures of your home is no longer a no-brainer – with windows and doors, duh! But what types of …

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9th

Sep

On A Higher Level

modern glass extension
This year, it seems, glass architecture is on the rise. We don’t mean that it’s growing in popularity – it’s always been popular! – more that it’s reaching new heights. Until relatively recently, if a glazed extension was mentioned, most people would think of a conservatory, but there’s a new trend in town, taking glass architecture to a higher level.

Double-height glass extensions, most commonly atria, are most often found in commercial properties, but you might be surprised how successfully they can work in the home. The Jenkins’ property …

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6th

Sep

Conservatories around the World

The Great Conservatory, Syon Park
Moving away from the considerable lifestyle benefits of the domestic structures for a moment, conservatories can be the most remarkable pieces of architecture. Whether bold biomes or elegant arches, conservatories come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re featured all over the world. These are some of our favourite examples of the building that we’ve made our own.

The Great Conservatory, Syon Park.

For many people the great conservatories begin and end with the Crystal …

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4th

Sep

Apples & Orangeries

glass kitchen extension
Brick walls, folding doors and roof lantern; an orangery is an orangery is an orangery, is it not?
No, not.
Definitely not.

Perhaps you’ll think this salesman’s whatnot, but there’s really no what in our considerable not. Apropos contemporary orangeries are as alike our competitor’s as the fruit that gave them their name are like the Great British apple… Which is to say, not at all!

As …

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3rd

Sep

Where’s best to install your Rooflight?

sky lights
A wonderful source of natural light, rooflights can, in theory, be installed on any roof. However, there are a number of considerations to take into account if you wish to get the best from your investment.

If you’re installing an aluminium rooflight as part of an Apropos home renovation project, your personal designer will advise you on all of the intricacies and hold your hand through the decision-making process. However, …

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28th

Aug

Build It & They Will Come

Contemporary Orangery
Autumn days (does anyone else have the urge to sing that old school hymn when they hear those words?) are near upon us, but rather than lamenting the passing of summer it’s time to embrace the season; jewelled morning grass; sparkling cobwebs; silky chestnut shells; long, thick socks (sexy!); and lazy pub lunches in front of an open fire. Autumn is a time for chunky knits, hot chocolate and walks in welly boots; it’s a time for comfort and catching up with friends, comparing notes on how summer was spent.

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26th

Aug

Splash Out!

lean-to conservatory
Have you had a swimming summer, or has the weather rained on your parade?

Swimming pools aren’t a common feature of residential properties here in the UK. It’s not just that many of us simply don’t have the space; it’s also that we don’t have the weather. Even in summer time swimming outdoors can be a chilly affair, and in a year like this one you’ll be lucky to find five or six days where the water looks inviting enough to dip more than a toe. It’s hardly surprising that …

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24th

Aug

Kitchen Extensions: Still the UK’s Most Popular Home Improvements

Kitchen Extension
For years now, kitchen extensions have been the most popular home improvement projects. Renovated bathrooms are nice; en suites can be a pleasing bonus; conservatories are fabulous; and loft conversions handy for all sorts of reasons; and yet, if asked, time and again, the average Brit would opt for a kitchen extension over any other improvement to the house. We’re not overly known for our culinary prowess, although The Great British Bake-Off has gone some way to combat that, so what are the real reasons behind our kitchen cravings?

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17th

Aug

Glazing Over!

Lean-to glass conservatory
Did you know that Apropos offer ten different types of glass? ‘Ten different types of glass?’ we hear you cry, ‘isn’t that a bit of an overkill?’ Perhaps it might seem that way, but each type of glass has its own unique properties, making each one perfect for a different function and different situation. By matching the right glass to the right job, we can make sure that your glazing works for you and your home, so it’s worth taking a look before you start glazing over.

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13th

Aug

The Big Butterfly Count

Lean-to conservatory
Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment, which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. They can act as an early warning for other wildlife losses. They can show us – beautifully – when things are going well. Every year Butterfly Conservation runs the Big Butterfly Count in July and August, it’s designed to be a barometer on the state of Britain’s wildlife, as well as some of our most-loved insects.

The problem is that …

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12th

Aug

Stay Connected.

Aluminium Glass Conservatory
If you have a relatively traditional house – a two-bed semi, for example – this article may well not be for you, and you might find more of interest here, in a piece about home extensions. However, with more and more people creating homes from outbuildings and barns, or maximising the potential of the space available to them by converting disused garages into offices, ‘granny flats’ and guest bedrooms, there’s a good chance that this might be of relevance.

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7th

Aug

Divine Illumination

Glass Extension
Fiat lux – let there be light – has been an architectural driving force for centuries. We value and crave natural light, not just because it’s convenient and looks good, but because it’s vastly beneficial for our health; giving us strong bones; healthy hair, teeth and nails; improving our concentration; and influencing our moods. The Romans knew the power of light in building design, and since that time, the importance of light has not diminished. Whether in public places or private dwellings, the presence of natural light is considered an …

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6th

Aug

Embrace Your Outdoor Living Space

Kitchen Extension
Now, before we begin here, you must just understand that when we planned this article we were under the foolish misapprehension that summer might actually be sunny. Flaming June wasn’t supposed to turn into ‘flaming wet July’, and back in March all of the newspapers were running near-hysterical headlines about the predicted hottest summer on record, so when we drew up our article planner this one seemed like a fairly safe bet.

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3rd

Aug

Beautiful Balconies.

Aluminium doors & windows
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

–          William Shakespeare

Ah, who doesn’t love the balcony scene, where that fickle young fop, Romeo, transfers his attentions from the fair Rosaline to sweet Juliet? If we’re honest, Romeo has never quite cut the mustard for us; a callow youth who resettles his affections with little more thought than a butterfly flitting between flowers; in our view, Juliet would have been better off without him. For us, it’s …

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29th

Jul

Wishful Thinking Week: Shoulda’, Woulda’, Coulda…..Can?

contemporary orangery
There surely has never been a human being who has not muttered ‘if only…’ at some point in their lives. If only I could win the Lottery. If only I had a bigger house. If only I’d gone on that date. If only I hadn’t eaten that extra piece of cheesecake.

We’ve all done it. In fact, we all do it so often that someone has taken it …

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23rd

Jul

House Extensions Homing in on the UK Property Market

Roof Windows
In recent years we’ve seen some dramatic shifts in the UK property market. When recession hit we saw an almost stock still housing market, prices soared and moving up the ladder – whatever your rung – was near impossible. To start with, this spelled disaster for the property market as well as the much-in-need-of-recovery economy. Then, slowly but surely, your average UK homeowner began to wise up.

By adding a home extension, kitchen extension or loft conversion to your home you could increase the value of …

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22nd

Jul

Cooling Your Conservatory.

Contemporary glass extension
Despite the fact that modern technological advances have changed things so dramatically, if there’s one thing that conservatories are known for, it’s extreme temperature fluctuation. Modern conservatories – at least those that are designed and constructed well, such as those made by Apropos – are actually incredibly temperate rooms, but if, in your youth, you’ve been scarred by the equivalent of a glazed oven and freezer combo, you’re likely rather sceptical of the whole comfortable conservatory concept.

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18th

Jul

Open Plan Living On Demand!

Contemporary glass extension
Imagine yourself back a week or so, in the last days of June and the first days of July. Temperatures have risen to 30 degrees Celsius for the first time this year; humidity has peaked at 85 per cent, which is around the average stickiness rating of Singapore; you feel languid and slightly stifled inside and yet you’ve things to do, so lounging in the sun just isn’t an option.
What’s the solution?

You slide back your Apropos bi-fold doors and let your home breathe.

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16th

Jul

How to Clean Your Roof Light

Aluminium roof lights
It’s not easy being a roof light. You spend your life doing your best to spread a bit of daylight happiness into human’s closed little rooms and in return you get rained on, snowed on, leaves and sap get dropped on you, mildew forms around your unwashed edges, and as for the birds… It makes you blush to think what they do to you… Or it would, if you weren’t made of glass!

It’s probably due to the nature of the product, but very few of us ever think …

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9th

Jul

Apropos Guide to Finding An Architect

Aluminium doors & windows
A good proportion of Apropos customers come to us with relatively simple projects in mind – they want a bespoke conservatory, or veranda, or they would like their existing ramshackle conservatory upgraded into a stylish new orangery. These are our bread and butter projects. We love them because they’re at the heart of what we do. The rest of our customers bring projects equally enjoyable, but presenting more of a challenge: an Apropos structure as part of a wider renovation; a full barn conversion; a new build; and that’s when …

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7th

Jul

Finishing Touches: Filling Your Apropos Kitchen Extension.

Aluminium Doors
There are few home renovations more exciting than the kitchen extension. If you’re used to working in a cramped and dark space lacking in storage and work surfaces, a bright, roomy extension can be a revelation. Your kitchen could change from the purely functional to the very epicentre of your home. It’s not an inexpensive process however, so it pays to spend enough time and money to get things right first time.
So, how do you go about getting the best from your kitchen extension, and what things do you …

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3rd

Jul

10 Ways to Save When You Extend

Glass Extension
Extending your home is always going to be an expensive business, but there’s no reason to spend money when you don’t have to. Here’s how to cut costs without cutting corners or making uncomfortable compromises.

10 Ways to Save When You Extend

Plan – A well-planned project will always be more cost-effective than one carried out on the hoof. Good Design – Working with an architect or …

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26th

Jun

Homes of the Future.

Glass Extension
Hands up everyone who grew up with the hope that by 2015 we’d all have robotic housekeepers?
Now, hands up everyone who watched Channel 4’s Humans last weekend, and now seriously hopes that that never comes to pass!

While the robot’s glassy eyes may be losing their sheen, there are still plenty of ways that advancing technology has shaped the homes of today, and will …

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26th

Jun

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Apropos Conservatory this Summer

Lean-to conservatory
Things are slowly warming up, but we’ve hardly had the sizzling start to summer that we’d all been led to expect, and the turbulent weather means that outdoor plans have been a little tricky. What better time to make the most of your Apropos conservatory?

Conservatories can be used for all manner of things, so if yours is gathering dust, it’s time to blow away the cobwebs and put it …

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25th

Jun

How to use your Apropos Glass Veranda

Glass Veranda
Verandas are slightly funny things. Although they’re very much a part of the American lifestyle, we’ve been a little slow to embrace them in the UK. We might have a porch, or we might have a conservatory, but slap bang between the two, verandas seem to puzzle us. It’s a shame, because the veranda is an immensely functional structure, which brings an element of flexibility to the home.

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22nd

Jun

How to Make Your Garden Part of the Home.

Kitchen extension
Outdoor living has really gained legs in the last few years, with shows like RHS Chelsea and lifestyle television programmes, showing us just how much more we can make of our gardens. No longer content with growing roses and the occasional pot of tomatoes, more and more of us are wanting to incorporate outdoor kitchens, fire pits, entertaining areas and even play rooms for the kids into our gardens, making the garden into an additional room; an extension of the home.

For many people, making the garden a …

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19th

Jun

Open Up Your Space.

Kitchen extension
During the course of the last decade open plan living has been growing in popularity, to the point where one in five British homeowners have removed a dividing wall within their home to let the light flood in.

If you’re one of the remaining four, you needn’t be left behind – going open plan is easier than you might think, especially when working with Apropos.

There are three main objectives in open plan design: integration of family activities; increased light; and the reduction of ‘dead space’ in the home.

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17th

Jun

The Benefits of Installing a Skylight.

Roof light
Have you ever considered installing a skylight? When it comes to home improvements, the skylight is among the easiest and most affordable options for bringing extra light into the home, and yet they they’re still often overlooked.

With that being the case, we thought that this week we’d make an argument in justification of the skylight; extolling its virtues in the hope that the general homeowner might start to see the light about these windows on the sky.

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13th

Jun

Top Lighting Tricks for Your Conservatory

Glass extension
At Apropos we often talk about conservatories – and our other glazed extensions – in terms of their wonderful ability to make the most of natural light. There is, of course, one slight problem with this – what do you do at night? Additional lighting is essential if you wish to make the most of your beautiful glass room, but there are a few things that need to be considered if you want your conservatory to shine, without being blinded by the light.

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12th

Jun

Seasonal Shades: What Looks are Hot for Summer?

Wall Art
Although the weather hasn’t been playing ball, we’re truly into the start of summer. If you’ve not yet had a chance to revamp your interiors since the winter set in, now might be the time to embrace a make-over, freshen things up and get your home summer-ready.
Apropos’ Top Five Decorative Styles for Summer 2015

Making a Splash – Water features have always been popular with gardeners, but have you thought about having one indoors? Indoor water …

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10th

Jun

Maintaining Your Privacy in Glass Rooms

Glass Extension Interior
Earlier this week we were looking at the best ways of lighting a conservatory and one of the issues that subject threw up was privacy. Just how do you maintain your privacy when you live inside a glass box? It’s a tricky one to balance. On the one side you have all of the advantages of living in a beautiful, naturally-lit environment, with all of the health benefits that can bring. On the other side, you can be left feeling exposed, especially at night when the lights are turned on. …

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8th

Jun

Apropos Favourite Five: Bespoke Conservatories

glass extension
Finding inspiration for your perfect glazed extension can be tough. Sometimes seeing what other people have done can help you to work out what features do (and don’t) work for you. Last month we had a lot of interest in our favourite five veranda designs, so this month we thought that we’d take you on a tour of our top bespoke conservatories.

5. Small But Perfectly Formed – Big might often be beautiful, but this petite conservatory certainly doesn’t lack for style. Despite its position against a rustic stone …

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6th

Jun

How to Keep Your Conservatory Secure

Lean-to conservatory
There is a widely held misconception that a conservatory (or other glazed extension) will never be as secure as the rest of a home. Perhaps that might once have been the case, but if you’re planning on constructing a conservatory today, there are numerous ways to make certain sure that it’s absolutely safe as houses.

How to Keep Your Conservatory Secure

Doors …

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Glass extension
For many people, retirement is the great white hope of the future. It’s that shiny beacon on the horizon that makes the nine to five grind somewhere approaching tolerable. You work and save, and save and work, and then suddenly you’re there. Free time is wonderful… Until you have too much of it! What do you plan to do when you retire?

You could buy that campervan and travel Europe… …

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Glass extension
Not surprisingly, given our business, we often talk about design on these pages. But, while functionality and aesthetic pleasure are frequently our focus, it’s rare for us to talk about the technical design that goes on behind the scenes of every Apropos structure. Without the developments of our technical gurus, Apropos would be nothing; they’re the ones who make sure that our structures don’t just stay standing, but stay warm, comfortable, convenient and secure.

It’s …

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Chocolate
If you’re anything like us, you’d have read with horror, earlier this year, the news that the world’s chocolate supply was under threat. Not only are we eating more of the stuff than ever before (we’re talking in generalities here, not just the Apropos office!), but new strains of disease have been attacking the trees of the primary cocoa-producing countries, and if these diseases can’t be stopped, there’s a very real risk that chocolate could become a thing of the past.

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Interior glass doors
‘Always look how people open doors, it tells you a lot about their character…’ – Aleister Crowley

Now, there aren’t honestly very many lessons that we’d take from eccentric occultists, here at Apropos, but we thought that the above quote from Aleister Crowley was a particularly astute observation. Doors, and the way we use them, can actually be a surprisingly good indication of many things; mood and character, not the least among them. If you ostentatiously barge through both wings of a double door you’re usually seeking attention; if you …

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Kitchen extension
There are probably quite a few of us who have experienced the horrors of living or working under old fashioned glass. We’re the ones who had to ‘play’ blue-lipped in great aunt Ethel’s icebox of a conservatory while the grown-ups ate mince pies by the fire. We’re the ones who worked in retail in the peak of summer, where the two glazed walls slowly cooked us from the inside out. Although we love the look of glass architecture, those earlier experiences have coloured our views and made us mistrustful of …

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Aluminium doors & windows
Someone clever once said that the future is built on the ashes of the past. Nowhere is that statement more literally true than in architecture. New buildings rise, phoenix-like, atop the foundations of the old, but as these modern structures evolve can they truly be said to be bringing something new, or are they simply just carrying forward choice relics of the past, dusted clean of debris and presented as something fresh?

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Interior of lean-to conservatory
Hands up who has a conservatory. Now, hands up anyone who’s ever cleaned their conservatory roof… Ok, now hands up anyone who’s really cleaned their conservatory roof? Yes, just as we suspected!

How to clean your conservatory roof:

Tool up – If you’re going to do a job, you might as well do it well, so invest in the right tools for the job; a sturdy ladder …

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The cost of living is, apparently, on its way down, but for most of us it doesn’t really feel like it. Gas and electricity bills more or less remain the same; water rates are all unchanging. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a way to not just cut your household outgoings, but to actually use your home to make a profit? The icing on the economic cake would be if you could do it greenly.

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court-yard-17
Every so often at Apropos we like to look back and celebrate the bright ideas of our customers and designers who, working together, come up with some of the most extraordinary glass architecture. But, while it’s simple to sing the praises of a soaring atrium or handsome orangery, there’s one of our structures that we often overlook; the humble Veranda. Providing an intermediary place between the indoors and out, verandas can be the most flexible structures, and as our favourite five reveal, then can come in a variety of shapes …

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Cartledge - Professional Images JW (2)
The common consensus is that the kitchen is the most important room in the house. While we might compromise on smaller bedrooms or darker bathrooms, or learn to do without a separate dining area, in the kitchen ‘compromise’ is a dirty word. One of the things we’ve learnt over the years at Apropos however, is that just as one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure, so one person’s dream kitchen can be another’s screaming nightmare! This makes finding that all-elusive arcadia of kitchens more than a tad tricky when …

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0460.kitchen extension
Step in through the doors of the French’s property and you could almost feel like you’ve come home. Almost? Although it emanates warmth, welcome and effortless tranquillity, there are very few homes that could boast a kitchen as beautiful as this one.

Hand-crafted, pastel-toned wooden cabinets sit snugly within a cosy, naturally-lit interior, fingers of sunlight caressing every available surface. The polished limestone flooring blends seamlessly with the outdoors seating area and herb garden, through the expansive folding-sliding doors, creating a sense of limitless space and freedom unusual in such …

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There’s much confusion about fusion design, particularly when it comes to architecture. While we can understand the reluctance – building things isn’t cheap, and it can be difficult to rectify problems once they’ve arisen – at Apropos we’re very much in favour of fusion design, just as long as it’s handled with integrity.

Although it might sound complicated, fusion design is simply the bringing together of contrasting styles; rough with …

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Apropos Barton  0217
There’s no denying that spring has well and truly sprung, so it is, inevitably, time to get out the rubber gloves and make a start on the big spring clean. Maintaining your conservatory or orangery is all part of that.

Now, the good news is that if you’re an Apropos customer, the biggest job has already been done for you; our polyester powder-coated aluminium frames don’t actually need any maintenance. Like everywhere else in the house, they …

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Planning Permission Visual
The way that we use our homes changes through the different stages of our lives. It’s not just the space requirements and how much time we spend within our homes, but how we actually use the rooms available to us; the type of cooking we do; the forms of entertaining; whether we work from home; how we use the garden. The problem with buying a property is that you can really only think about what you need from your home now, at the point of purchase, which often means that …

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Yes!
Shall we move on?
Oh, you were after a bit more of an explanation? Oh, ok…

Orangeries first came to prominence in the late seventeenth century; made largely from glass, the structures were originally conceived so that posh people could eat fruit and brag about it to their friends. Because back in the days before supermarkets and reliable international shipping, you could actually hire a pineapple for …

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hartley van
We’re apparently a reserved lot, the English. We don’t put ourselves forward like the Americans, assert our prowess like the Australians, and you’ll not find half as many parades and parties to celebrate St. George as you will for old St. Patrick, even within England itself! Even still, Thursday 23rd of April was St. George’s Day, and if there was ever a time to celebrate what it is to be not just English, but Great British and proud, it has to be about now.

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It might have just been National Gardening Week, but not all growing needs to be done in the garden. At Apropos we’re big fans of house plants – after all, there’s no more perfect place to grow them than in a conservatory or orangery – but we understand that although there’s often the will, there’s not always the way. We all lead busy lives and remembering a little thing like watering a plant on a regular – but not too regular – basis can often fall by-the-by, leaving you …

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N071003-193
‘Start something beautiful’ is the slogan for National Gardening Week, and we can’t think of a better way to describe the experience of gardening. Whether nurturing a plant from seed to plate, or fostering prize-winning blooms, watching your garden grow can be a joyous and beautiful pastime, which brings benefits to more than just you.

At Apropos we’re big fans of all things green; we love our lawns; we adore fresh fruit and veggies; and little makes …

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16th

Apr

Grow Organic!

0460.kitchen extension
Having a productive kitchen garden is many people’s dream. In fact, improved garden access is often an important incentive for Apropos customers; with Aprofold doors next to the kitchen sink, gathering produce for the table becomes an easier affair. But, once you’ve got your lovely new kitchen extension you still have work to do: it’s time to make your garden.

 ‘Organic’ used to be a by-word for …

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N061113-313
City living comes with all sorts of benefits and attractions, but outdoor space generally isn’t one of them. Gardens tend to be small and treasured, meaning that your options are limited if you want to extend your property. All is not lost however; awkward problems call for inventive solutions, so if you’re craving extra space to breathe and grow, you might want to consider an Apropos balcony.

Fashioned entirely from aluminium and glass, an Apropos balcony can provide …

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LR_CopyrightMadelineSettle2014_07
The bringing of light into the home is one of the most attractive selling points of architecture in glass; in fact it’s a primary concern for a great many Apropos customers. Natural light is appealing not just because it saves on synthetic lighting, but because a light, bright home feels more spacious and homely. Because natural light can help prevent the formation of damp and mould, brighter homes are also generally healthier homes.

The problem is that orangeries, conservatories and other glazed extensions, don’t necessarily appeal to all. You might …

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image3
Whether literally, metaphorically, physically or theistically, spring is a time of new beginnings. Although we all talk about it on January first, when impractical resolutions are hastily made, it’s at this time of year when real change happens. Perhaps it’s the influence of nature, as new life appears all around, or perhaps it’s just that the longer days give us more time to get things done, but as Easter approaches it’s full speed ahead for DIY, gardening, home improvement, self-improvement, and sparkling shining optimism.

GUL090011_06_gal
It’s funny to think that there was a time – and not that many years ago – when the kitchen was a place of little appeal.

If you were anyone who was anyone you wouldn’t have dreamed of setting foot in the realm of the workers; food was served to you in your dining room, and you gave little thought to its provenance, especially if you were of the gentlemanly persuasion. Visitors were kept very much away from the preparation of food, and the only parties held in kitchens were …

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N071003-346

The great escape from city living to country life is something that many people dream of. You spend years trudging through the daily grind to reach that longed-for goal: a house in the country, with a garden worthy of the name, and the lifestyle you’d always aspired to. The differences between the two ways of life are innumerable; the air quality; the space; the atmosphere; and the architecture being but four of the obviously ringable changes, and it’s this last one that some people struggle with, surprisingly.            

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Apropos - The Old Stables_03
Hasn’t it been lovely, the last few weeks, with the days getting longer and brighter? Even though there’s still a chill in the air, it’s easier to feel positive about life when you don’t leave for work and come home in the dark. Just as we’re all starting to get used to it though, those people that know best go and decide that the clocks need to change, and we all ‘spring forward’ for another six months. It’s all for the best in the long run, but it doesn’t stop …

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N071003-183
Spring is a joyous time for gardeners, as we watch the frozen earth return to life. Shoots from bulbs peek through the soil and blossom buds begin to form on trees, the potential in the air is almost palpable. It can also be a frustrating time though, for those of us who want our flowers and want them NOW! If you have an Apropos conservatory there are a number of plants you can grow now to get an early floral fix.

Cartledge - Professional Images JW (2)
If you’re a regular visitor to the Apropos news pages, you’ll probably have noticed that there are a number of terms we bandy around quite often when discussing glass architecture. What we don’t often discuss is what those terms mean, and whether or not they’re likely to work for you, so today we thought that we’d take a look at one of our most popular items – the Lean-to Conservatory.

Mini Conservatory
We’re very environmentally aware here at Apropos. The three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – feature largely in our ethos, and it’s one of the reasons we like to construct our glass architecture with aluminium frames; yes, it’s strong, malleable and durable, but it’s also eminently recyclable, so when many years hence your Apropos doors, windows or conservatory are no long needed, the frames can go on to find a new life elsewhere.

What does worry us though, is what happens to all of those doors and windows that Apropos …

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Apropos-Jobson-040261
Current conditions notwithstanding, we’ve had some beautifully clear skies lately, and with the spring unfurling around us we should be due an awful lot more, making this the perfect time for a spot of star gazing.

For the serious amateur astronomer star gazing involves huddling on a hill top with a thermos flask and telescope. At Apropos we prefer to do things the comfortable way, and having the …

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vintage-mothers-day-card

 

Be. Our. Guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test,
Tie a napkin round your neck cherie, and we’ll provide the rest…
Ah, you can’t beat a bit of a Disney singalong! And with Mother’s Day this Sunday it’s time to treat your mum like a Disney Princess. No; we don’t mean that you should lock her in scary tower with nothing but a hairy Beast …

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Apropos Barton  0208
A few years ago the idea of having an outdoor kitchen in the UK would have seemed preposterous. ‘What about the weather???’ we’d all cry, before snorting derisively and walking away, but then some Australians exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and perceptions began to change. The British weather has in no way improved, but the thing is that – believe it or not – it does actually rain in Australia! In Melbourne it can be as grey and miserable as the Midlands (although, admittedly, not on such a …

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marsala
So another season comes with another set of styles, and it’s time for fashion followers to break out the paintbrushes and give their home a once-over. In case you’re feeling stuck for ideas, we thought we’d put together a quick Apropos guide to the hot new interiors trends for spring 2015.

Make Mine a Marsala – There’s a touch of exoticism in the marsala shade; a rich, earthy red which …

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apropos
Smaller rooms in smaller homes are one of the challenges of modern living. There’s only a finite amount of space in the UK, so with a growing population, we need to maximise the potential of every square inch. It’s easy to take a bright and breezy approach to the problem, but white walls and painted ceilings can only go so far to relieve the claustrophobia and limited storage that small rooms bring.

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Apropos-Mills-040382
Is there anything more pleasurable on a cold winter’s day than sitting in a patch of sunshine smiling in through a south-facing window? It might not be particularly warm, but the brightness of those beautiful bathing beams stimulate the senses, summoning a sensation of serenity and optimism. It may only be February, but spring is definitely near at hand, and it’s for that feeling of hopefulness that we really love orangeries at this time of year.

The orangery …

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Web res (21)
What comes to mind when you think of a glazed link way? Coming in an array of shapes, sizes and varieties; ‘glazed link way’ or ‘glazed walkway’ is a term often bandied when people don’t quite know how to describe an architectural feature. Consequently, confusion can arise.

On a domestic level, glazed walkways can be things of both utility and beauty, which add a whole new dimension to a home. At Apropos, we work on three …

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_MG_0836
The British public are often accused of being obsessed by the weather. The problem is that because of our geographic location we’re subject to uniquely changeable conditions, so try as we might, predicting the British weather is something of a thankless task.

In winter most of us retreat indoors, knowing the weather will be awful regardless of the form it takes. But, when spring and summer roll around and we …

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#
Cooking is a hugely sensory experience; we see the bubbling water; feel the brush of steam against our skin,  inhale the smells of the ingredients and savour the tastes of the finished meal, using every one of our senses to get things right.

Cooking is of course the prime function of the kitchen, but for many of us it is also the heart of our home. As such, at Apropos …

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Z Leaflet pic

Planning permission

Noun BRITISH

Formal permission from a local authority for the erection or alteration of buildings or similar development.

1. This planning permission application is such a headache.

2. Your planning permission application has been declined.

3. Argh! The stupid, nit-picking, pedanticism of the council planning permission board!

It’s funny how much stress a simple piece of paper can bring into your life, but there’s nothing like a planning permission application to grind your teeth to stubs. It’s not just the hair-splitting, although there’s plenty enough of that; …

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24th

Feb

Opening Up…

_MG_8599
What’s in a door? Would a door by any other name open as sweetly? While largely rectilinear, they come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are made from a variety of materials, but the purpose of a door remains much the same: I open and close, therefore I am.
So why, at Apropos, do we need to offer three different types of door, when they’re all made out of glass? If you have a moment we’ll tell you!

Different doors suit different situations and choosing the right glazed …

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Apropos Bespoke Orangery
Is there anything more pleasurable on a cold winter’s day than sitting in a patch of sunshine smiling in through a south-facing window? It might not be particularly warm, but the brightness of those beautiful bathing beams stimulate the senses, summoning a sensation of serenity and optimism. It may only be February, but spring is definitely near at hand, and it’s for that feeling of hopefulness that we really love orangeries at this time of year.

Apropos Bespoke Orangery ...
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Apropos Bespoke Green House
It may still be chilly, and there’s a certainly chance of snow still to come, but there is a definite whiff of spring in the air and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to start gardening! Yippee!

Although there’s nothing like a bit of digging and clearing to warm the muscles, for many it’s may be a little soon to be out turning over the soil, but that doesn’t mean that your gardening adventure needs to be delayed – the end of February and beginning of March …

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Apropos Aluminium Framing
When it comes to building glazed extensions home-owners are faced with a number of decisions. While size and shape are always priorities there is one further design element which should be given equal consideration: what the extension is to be made from. For the last few decades opinions have been split in regards to the best material for constructing frames, with uPVC, aluminium and wood sparring for the top spot. This week we thought we’d take a look at the pros and cons of each material in regards to five …

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Night Time Kitchen Extension
Are you in the mood for lurrrrve? It’s that time of year when we all go a little bit silly, buying flowers, splashing out on chocolates, and dressing up in underwear that would make our parents blush! Here at Apropos we think Valentine’s Day is still a time for romance, and there’s no place like home for curling up with the one you love.

Night Time Kitchen Extension

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Cartledge 3
Whether as a part of industrial chic or shiny modern minimalism, there is a growing design trend to bring metal into the home. While no one can deny the appeal of the lustre and shine that steel, copper and aluminium can bring, it can also have the unfortunate effect of making a home feel clinical, impersonal and cold. So how can you chase the trends without taking on scrap yard ambiance?

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Apex Roof Light by Apropos Conservatories
With more and more people extending their homes to maximise space potential, roof lights have become an increasingly important part of modern architecture, delivering an attractive, practical and financially viable natural light source.

Apex Roof Light by Apropos Conservatories

Available in various forms – flat, peaked, lantern – skylights can transform a dull, stuffy room into a bright and airy space, without taking up room on …

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Cat Beard - Apropos Conservatories Winter Reflections
Winter is often a time for introspection, which would probably account for the fact that there are two ‘Blue Mondays’ in January alone. Cold weather and dark days leave plenty of time for solipsism, and we’re often not pleased with the results. Here at Apropos, we take a different approach; John Boswell sums it up nicely:
Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.

In an idle hour this week, we’ve been discussing our favourite Apropos reflections, …

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Greenhouse-7
Well, that’s Christmas done with for another year… Is it too early to start talking about the big spring clean?

Although few of us will be out searching for a fresh new feather duster just yet, gardeners know better than most that preparation is key to success, so when it comes to a new growing year, it pays to get a head start. With two full months of winter to go and the prospect of it being a bitter one – have you noticed how many berries there have been …

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Structural Glass by Apropos Conservatories
Design, of any kind, is subject to fashion, and trends change at the drop of a hat. While couture and interiors can be fixed with relatively little expenditure, when it comes to architecture, you’re in it for the long haul, so when today’s classy cutting edge becomes tomorrow’s brutalist monstrosity, the choices are limited: like it; lump it; or foot the bill to change it.

With any domestic structure, whether building a home from scratch or adding an extension, it pays dividends to keep in mind that you’re building for …

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Kitchen Extension by Apropos Conservatories
There are certain clichés about glazed extensions that we’re probably all aware of, but one in particular stands right out as an understandable deterrent: conservatories are cold.

The problem is that the statement is grounded in truth; until relatively recently conservatories, orangeries, atria, and every other form of glazed structure you can think of, would have been a wee bit ‘brass monkeys’ in the winter… nicely balanced by lobster pot hot in the summer. Well, thank goodness for technology, is all that we can say! You see, things have changed …

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N080910-118
“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
― Voltaire

Reading can feel like a bit of an indulgence these days; life is so busy and there’s so much to do; balancing work and family takes up every minute. There are some things it’s worth making time for though, and in our view, reading is one of them.

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Traditional Conservatory Extension by Apropos

The 19th to the 25th of January 2015 is National Work from Home Week, an event which began in 2003, with the aim of getting people thinking about the option of home working and all the benefits it can bring. Whether avoiding rush hour traffic, cutting costs, or taking control of work-life ratio, the advantages of home working can be manifold. There is however, one major stumbling block to be overcome – finding somewhere to actually work!

For many people, building something new is the best solution. If this is …

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_MG_0444
Building a home extension of any kind can be an exciting and engaging process; you plan; you commission; you prepare; you build; then you… Umm… Well, actually a surprising number of people don’t know what to do next.

If your build has been for a specific purpose, say an Apropos glazed kitchen extension, then you’re on firm ground; you know what the space is for; what you want to do …

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squirell
Hoorah! It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day! Well of course it is…
So, here’s a question from everyone at Apropos: what are you going to do to appreciate the squirrels in your life?

Unless they happen to be small and red, squirrels often get a hard time of it in the UK. Although they are an invasive species, they didn’t actually choose to be; grey squirrels are here because of …

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Getty Images
At Apropos we’re often asked advice about how to make sure a renovation project runs smoothly. Much of the advice varies according to client’s needs, but there’s one thing we always, always say: keep the neighbours on side. Talking to your neighbours, keeping them informed, and making sure that everything stays friendly is the easiest way to secure a happy future.

Sadly, that advice isn’t always followed, and although all Apropos clients are sensible and lovely, we’ve been reading about a few people who have fallen foul of the nightmare …

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condensation
Anyone who has ever lived in a house with glazed windows – and we’re reasonably confident in assuming that you’re among the number, if you’re reading this article now – will know that for all of the benefits that glazing brings, it also brings one annoying little problem: condensation.

Condensation is caused when the warm moisture in the air forms water vapour and comes into contact with …

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Web res (51)
Earlier this week we were talking about organisation, and how an Apropos conservatory could help provide the extra space you need. Although a conservatory can resolve some of your space issues, it does throw up one sadly common scenario: Conservatory as dumping ground.

Almost every home has a dumping ground, be it a small spare room, or a chair so piled with clothes that you’d never guess furniture lay beneath, but the likelihood is that if …

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Organised Interior
January seems far too soon to be talking about the big spring clean, but with Christmas just gone most of us have had an influx of new things, and we’re left with the question ‘what can we do with all of our new stuff?’

It’s not that you don’t want it; it’s just that there’s nowhere to put it. Until this point, it’s been piled on the dining table, sitting in bags, or lurking in the conservatory, but January 14th 2015 is National Organise Your Home Day, so now seems …

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DSC_0851
Shortly before Christmas, Rough Guide produced its annual list of the top ten cities in the world to visit. While some of the choices were relatively conventional – Hamburg, New Orleans, Johannesburg, Wellington – one city among the number raised more than a few eyebrows: Birmingham, UK.

Voted as the home of the ‘least attractive accent’ in the Britain in a 2014 YouGov poll, with some of the country’s highest unemployment figures and more widely associated with its industrial past than its cultural present, Birmingham was an …

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