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Blog:Proleno

  • The New Zack Scala Bathroom Accessories Range

    As always, Proleno is ahead of the game and eagerly awaiting stock of Zack's new Scala range. The new bathroom series SCALA from ZACK presents itself in a high-gloss, outstanding finish. The exclusive series consists of numerous bathroom accessories which form a perfect combination of functionality and excellent design. They have all been created in the unmistakable design language of ZACK and are made without exception from high-quality 18/10 stainless steel.

    When it comes to the kind of wall mounting for the items in the SCALA series you can choose between the traditional screw fitting and the modern adhesive fitting. Yes, that's right, adhesive fitting will be an option. Finally, stylish bathroom fittings that don't require a drill or screwdriver. We'll post an update as soon as the new stock is available.

  • Now That's A Good Idea

    Koichi Suzuno and Shinya Kamuro from Torafu Architects designed the 'Clopen' shelf, manufactured by Tanseisha. When pulled, a secret drawer appears, to store your valuables such as jewelry, stamps and passbooks.

    The shelf panel is constructed from elaborate aluminum parts, and at 34mm thick, it looks as if it's made of natural wood. Attaching sliced veneer to a thin structure, they made space between two boards which can be opened using magnetic keys. The impression of the shelf completely changes when its hidden aluminum space is revealed from within the sliced veneer surface.

    We haven't, yet, found anyone who stocks them for saleso if you sell them or know somebody who does please let us know.

  • How to Bleed a Radiator

    Given the recent spell of warm weather I guess that nobody has their central heating switched on right now but as autumn approaches and chilly nights & cold mornings return we'll all be reaching for "heat on" setting.

    To ensure effective performance of a water-filled radiator, you need to make sure that the radiator has been "bled" properly. Bleeding a radiator means getting rid of any air that has accumulated at the top of radiator. When air is present, there is no water, which means no heat. Bleeding a radiator is done by opening an “air vent” otherwise known as a “bleed valve”. Ideally radiators should be checked for air accumulation at least once a year.

    To bleed a radiator you will usually require an appropriate tool, namely a flat headed screwdriver, a “bleed key” or a spanner. Bleed keys (vent keys) are not included as standard but can be purchased from a plumbers' merchant or home improvement store.

    Bleeding a radiator is a simple process:

    1. Ensure both valves at the bottom of the radiator are open;

    2. Get a bleed key (vent key), screwdriver or spanner ready to open the bleed valve (air vent) at the top of the radiator. Have a rag or cloth ready to catch minor drips;

    3. Use the tool to open the air vent and release the air holding the cloth underneath;

    4. Listen for the change in sound; you will hear a hissing noise at first, which is the sound of air escaping. Vent the radiator until the sound changes and you get a steady stream of water. At this point you can retighten the air vent using the tool.

    5. Once you have bled the radiator, turn the heating back on and leave the system to flow for half an hour.

    Please note: On first filling a system, it is air that is vented from a radiator. However, from then on the periodic venting required is actually releasing hydrogen that is the by-product of rusting in the system. If regular bleeding is continually required, then this is a strong indication that the system requires draining, cleaning and refilling incorporating a corrosion inhibitor to prevent further rust in accordance with BS5449 section five commissioning. Alternatively, if regular bleeding is required then this could indicate a leak that is letting air enter the system.

    Alternatively modern radiators do sometimes come with “automatic bleed vents” which release air from a radiator whenever necessary, meaning that you do not need to bleed the radiator manually. These are great for convenience, however there are instances of automatic bleed vents causing damage to a radiator as regular venting can mean regular water seepage which can lead to corrosion.

    For more advice on maintaining your radiators, contact a radiator specialist such as Feature Radiators; their expert team can provide technical help on a variety of radiator related subjects.

  • Maximum Taste, Minimum Fuss...

    An old friend, recently rediscovered, has a catering business based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Take a look at Clockhouse. Absolutely superb food. We sampled the offerings at a party that Clockhouse was catering (hence the rediscovered friend) and we were seriously impressed.

    Even better, Clockhouse sells frozen ready meals that are perfect for the freezer and brilliantly easy to cook so if, like us, you work long hours but like good food, you can get home late and have a chef prepared meal on the table and ready to eat in about six minutes which allows just enough time to open the wine and feed the cat. I am hooked!

    Paul, the owner, is the man of the moment and he and his team design and prepare the various foodie offerings. I am steadily working my way through them and have yet to find anything that I don't love. It's no more expensive than buying a supermarket ready meal but so much better and if you live close to Hitchin then delivery is free. For me it's a no-brainer.

  • Mirrored Geometric Animals by Arran Gregory

    Our friends at Caine Leather posted a great link earlier today. We looked, we saw, we definitely liked!

  • What will we do on Monday?

    Evening all. Gearing up to watch the last night of Olympics competition. Come on Mo, we're seriously routing for you! What a fantastic event Lord Coe and his crew have put together.

    What with the Olympics and our fabulous Queen's Jubilee what a fantastic year its been for Brits. It's a long since since I've been so proud to call myself British. What on earth will we do on Monday and for the next couple of weeks until the Paralympic Games starts?!?!?!?!

  • Lampshade Bulb by Front for Booo

    Front was inspired by the long life of a LED lamp. Its burning time of almost ten years makes it possible to create a lamp you never need to change the bulb of. The inner dome softens the light and creates the illusion of a lamp without a bulb, blurring the boundary between lightsource and lampshade.

    booo studio presents an innovative collection of design lighbulbs by Front Design, Nacho Carbonell and Formafantasma at Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan.

    booo studio is a new company based in holland and composed by an team coming from different fields and countries to work in between avantgarde design and mass production industry.

    LED lightbulbs is the first challenge and for the occasion booo studio have asked Nacho Carbonell, Design Front and Formafantasma, among the most interesting design creatives on the scene, to re-design our usual idea of
    lightbulbs.

    The result of this research is two collection of lightbulbs one meant for the mass production and one more experimental and released in a limited edition.

    The main collection is designed to not need any additional lamp or lamp shade: the lightbulb becomes also the lamp.

    Thanks to the new LED technology development these designers have approached the design of a lightbulb in full freedom. They've created products which combine state of the art technology with revolutionary aesthetics.

    At the same time booo products are aimed to be perfectly produced in a mass production process in terms of costs and prices and it fits perfectly both the consumer and the contract market.

    booo wants to play a new role into the design industry as a connector between two worlds which has been separated for too long. At the same time booo develops new technologies inspired by the continuous interaction with the designers and patents them, like ‘Smartbulb’ an innovative system of remote controlling based on wireless technology.

    The Limited edition collection is intended to be experimental and we left the designers completely free to investigate the possibilities of LED even with the use of innovative and not conventional materials. The limited edition collection also represent the laboratory for future use of LED resources.

     

  • Heating a garden building, outdoor office, summerhouse or posh shed!

    The garden building business is blooming booming!

    Thanks to technological advances aiding mobile communications and the ever-increasing costs of commuting, many of us are opting to work from home. A self-contained office in the garden provides the perfect environment to do just that.

    The downturn in the economy has also played its part in the garden building boom. Financial uncertainty has resulted in a reluctance to move house, with homeowners choosing to stay put and improve and/or extend properties. In some cases this has led to the introduction of a garden building, whether used as a garden room, summerhouse or kids’ den.Heating a garden building, outdoor office, summerhouse or posh shed

    To get the maximum use from a garden building, heating (along with light and power) is a must. If the building isn’t warm and cosy, then it won’t be used, particularly in the colder winter months. This article looks at factors to consider when it comes to heating your garden building.

    Insulation is key

    Is there adequate insulation? Some, but not all purpose-built garden rooms, are adequately insulated. If you have converted a shed or outbuilding, or opted for a lower cost garden building, then you will probably need to add insulation. Without this, the cost of heating could be prohibitively expensive.

    Add Heating

    In order for any garden building to be comfortable and useable (for more than just storage), all year round, it will need to be heated.

    So what factors should you consider when choosing heating for a garden building?

    • Heat output – when choosing any form of heating it is critical that the option you select has the capacity to adequately heat the space. If in doubt, oversize the heater, as you can always turn it down.
    • Thermostatic control – choosing a heating option with a thermostat will ensure that your garden building is heated optimally at a constant and comfortable temperature. Thermostatic controls provide efficient and cost-effective use of power; for instance, they can turn off a heater when the room has reached its optimum temperature; perfect on a sunny day for taking advantage of any “free heat” from the sun. By maintaining the temperature above a certain minimum level, you protect the contents of the building, including computers and soft furnishings, from cold or damp related damage.
    • Timer – by opting for a product with a timer, you can ensure that the heating is on when it needs to be. A timer allows you to set the heating to come on just before you start your day, ensuring a toasty office in time for when you arrive.
    • Space – by their very nature, many outbuildings are small in size. Therefore space is often a critical factor in choosing your heating option. These days, radiators are available in unusually narrow or low sizes, so there is likely to be something to accommodate even the most awkward of wall spaces. There are also floor-standing heaters, which are portable and take up no wall space.
    • Budget – it may seem obvious, but costs vary immensely on heating options for garden buildings. For instance, the price of an electric heater can range from £20 for a basic fan heater to £2000 for the ultimate designer model. Take account of installation costs as well, for example if you opt for electric underfloor heating, bear in mind that installation costs may be considerable, especially if the floor needs to be taken up to allow the electric foil mat to be fitted underneath.
    • Aesthetics – Whether your new space is for living or working, as well as being a comfortable and functional environment, you may also want to add style with an attractive looking heater; the many designs now available mean you can choose minimalism to aid focus, bright colours for inspiration or soft curves to give a relaxed feel.

    So what are the different heating options available for garden buildings?

    ELECTRIC RADIATORS

    Water and oil filled electric radiators

    The water inside a water-filled electric radiator is heated by an electric element and is used as a heat reservoir. Oil-filled electric radiators are heated electrically; the oil is not burnt but again is used as a heat reservoir. Both types of electric radiators work on the same principle and have similar running costs.

    Pros

    • Wall mounted and floor standing models available;
    • Many floor mounted versions can be plugged into a socket, so there are no installation costs and the radiators are often portable;
    • Wide range of contemporary and traditional styles available. From minimalist sleek designs like the Electric Royce (which is made of lightweight aluminium), to classic column style cast iron radiators like the Electric Etonian;
    • Many are available with timers and thermostats; and
    • Some styles heat up quickly (particularly those made of lightweight aluminium); others cool down slowly (such as those made of cast iron).

    Cons

    • The wall-mounted versions don’t sit as close to the wall as some of the electric radiant panel radiators currently on the market.

    Electric radiant panel radiators 

    Electric panel radiators radiate heat (rather than convecting it) and don’t contain any liquid. These radiators have become extremely popular in recent times, due to their efficient, environmental and practical qualities. One of the best electric panel radiators around is the iRad from Feature Radiators, which is beautifully designed, slim, flat and sits close to the wall.

    Pros

    • Lightweight;
    • Sits close to the wall;
    • Many sizes, finishes and colours available;
    • Heats up quickly;
    • Radiates warmth without “blowing”;
    • Warms both objects and the surrounding air;
    • Available with thermostats and timers; and
    • Precise, focused, highly efficient heating.

    Cons

    • Almost always wall-mounted, so there will need to be at least some wall space available.

    Wood burners

    A wood-burning stove burns wood fuel and wood-derived biomass fuel whilst creating heat.

    Pros

    • Lovely cosy feel with attractive real fire flame;
    • · Carbon neutral, if fuel comes from sustainable sources;
    • · Warms both objects and the surrounding air; and
    • · Relatively low running costs.

    Cons

    • Lack of controllability, which can lead to high temperatures;
    • Sourcing and moving around fuel can be difficult and messy;
    • Demands time and effort on a daily basis to keep it running;
    • Ash created needs to be cleaned up;
    • Requires reasonable amount of space, taking up both wall and floor space; and
    • Significant installation costs.

    Fan Heaters

    A fan heater works by passing air over a heating element, this heats up the air, which then leaves the heater, warming up the surrounding room.

    Pros

    • Heats up a room quickly;
    • · Warms both objects and the surrounding air;
    • · Relatively small so doesn’t take up much floor space; and
    • No installation costs.

    Cons

    • As soon as its switched off, the room will cool down quickly;
    • Fan creates noise;
    • Often unattractive;
    • Uses a lot of energy resulting in high running costs; and
    • Heat is blown out rather than convected or radiated, which can create a stuffy and snoozy environment.

    Infrared heating panels

    Infrared heating panels are a relatively new idea in the UK but have been widely available in Europe for more than ten years. Infrared heaters heat through the use of infrared waves.

    Pros

    • Focused heating, infrared waves only heat what they hit;
    • Provide heat rapidly;
    • Reasonably efficient to run;
    • Can be fitted onto the ceiling to keep them out of the way; and
    • Thermostats and timers available.

    Cons

    • Only heat the objects that the infrared waves hit. If you sit facing an infrared heater, then the back of your body and head and any part below the heater will remain cold.
    • The surrounding air is not heated at all.
    • · Potential fire hazard – As heating is focused and direct, there may be a risk of fire if the heater is placed too close to an object. For example, if an infrared heater fell onto a wood floor.

    Electric underfloor heating

    Electric underfloor heating consists of a foil heat mat containing heating wires, which warm the floor surface which in turn heats the air above it. The foil mat must be laid under the laminate or wooden flooring intended for the garden building.

    Pros

    • No wall space required;
    • Nice feeling under foot;
    • When working to an optimum, whole room is evenly heated with an ambient background temperature;
    • Many are available with thermostats and timers; and
    • Relatively low running costs.

    Cons

    • May not have sufficient capacity to provide adequate heat for building – depending on level of insulation, ceiling height, and amount of glass;
    • Relatively high installation costs;
    • Insulated floor required;
    • Must be installed under the floor, so may not be a desirable option where the flooring is already down;
    • Slow to respond, can take up to 3 hours to get up to temperature, so forward planning needed and can take a long time to cool down;
    • Limits choice of floor-coverings; and
    • If it fails, the cost and inconvenience of repair will be significant, as flooring may need to be removed or replaced.

    Portable gas heaters

    Historically, a popular option for heating rooms or outbuildings particularly where there was no power source. Power is provided to these heaters via gas bottles that sit at the bottom of the heater.

    Pros

    • High heat output;
    • Self contained heaters, requiring no external power source;
    • No installation charges; and
    • Portable.

    Cons

    • Safety - you must not place items on top or directly in front of gas heaters. This may be a challenge if you are working in a small space;
    • Unpleasant gas odour;
    • Adequate ventilation is vital to prevent a build up of dangerous fumes;
    • Risk of carbon monoxide leak; and
    • Large bulky items taking up valuable space, both when in use and in storage.

     

    Conclusion

    Whatever type of garden room heating you choose, you must ensure that it has the capacity to heat the relevant space. It is important to maximize the power used to efficiently provide heat whilst minimizing energy wastage through the use of good insulation, timers and thermostats.

    Bear in mind that these days having a comfortable warm outbuilding doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style with ugly, bulky and/or ineffective heating options. There is now a wide range of stylish, safe yet efficient electric heating solutions available.

    For more information on finding the most suitable heating product for your garden building, speak to a heating expert such as Feature Radiators. Visit their showroom where they have over 160 radiators on display and expert advice on hand, call their expert team directly on 01274 567789 or browse their electric radiator range at: http://www.featureradiators.co.uk/Electric.htm

  • Moving Your Precious Furniture... Safely

    If you love well-designed, quality furniture, and have spent time and money filling your home with it, the last thing you want to do if you need to move house is to risk it being damaged or broken in transit when you move house. The trouble is that moving house for anyone with more than one room in a share-house to pack up will always involved help from other people. And those people may well mess up, even if they are seasoned professionals with experience of packing up and moving many other people’s homes. When that happens, it can be distressing and expensive. If that precious piece that you saved so hard for, and admire so much, is damaged in a move, it is hard to feel much charity towards those who caused it. So, what can you do to prevent this from happening? And if it does happen, what can you do to get some compensation for your loss?

    Choosing a Removal Firm

    The first thing to think about is where you get your moving quotes from. If you have any particularly expensive or delicate items to be moved, then you may find some firms which specialise in doing so. Remember to get quotes from a few different firms, rather than just settling for the first one you call. It is important to look at more than just the financial part of the quote. The price is, naturally, important, and you know what budget you need to stick to. However, you also need to look at exactly what the removal firms you get quotes from are prepared to offer. Ask them for their policy (in writing) on damage to your items. Also ask them if their staff have training in how to move fragile items, and what precautions they take to ensure that such items survive the journey intact. Such questions should be fairly revealing about how they will treat your favourite pieces.

    Ensure Insurance

    If the worst does happen, and even with the best care in the world, it may do, what can you do? Any reputable firm will have public liability insurance which should cover any such eventuality. In order ensure that you will be able to get back the cost of your furniture, check before booking any firm that they do have such insurance. If they don’t, do not even consider using them. Apart from the actual problem that you’ll have if they do cause damage, it is likely such a firm will be cutting corners elsewhere too (regard any particularly low quotes with a degree of healthy suspicion for this reason). If you need to make a claim on their insurance, then you’ll need to liaise with the removal company to do so. It’s best in these situations to keep calm and be reasonable. Of course, you won’t get your antique dresser or designer mirror back, but as long as the company (and you) have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that they were protected, you have to accept the breakage. Human error will always occur. The aim of making an insurance claim is to get compensation for your loss with which you will be able to at replace it with something similar, even if it’s not the same.

    You could also consider taking out your own insurance. If you have a really valuable item to transport, then it might be worth thinking about doing so. Sometimes, your home insurance policy will allow you to insure particular items as an extra even when they are out of your home (although of course, if you are moving home you will need to make sure the insurance applies to your new home too). Generally, a removal firm’s insurance should be all you need to cover your goods, but your own insurance might give you extra peace of mind.

    The Last Resort

    If the worst comes to the worst, and you have booked a removal firm who don’t have insurance, and they have then broken or damaged your prize possessions, then the best option available to you is to pursue them through the small claims court. Remember, they are in the wrong, and should have had insurance, so you have a reasonable claim to make. Of course, if your broken item is more of sentimental value than financial, it may be best just to lick your wounds and learn your lesson, but otherwise? Make sure you get your money and buy something even more fabulous!

     Author: Izzy A. Woods

  • Sturdy and Strong Kitchen Ceiling Rack

    Beautifully made, and sturdy and strong, this Hahn ceiling rack is perfect for showing off your pots and pans, even herbs or vegetables.
    Hahn Oval Chrome Ceiling Rack
    It's made from 18/10 stainless steel, the highest quality grade, and given a shiny chromed finish. All the fixings are included, along with 6 x swivel hooks, 6 x pan hooks, 12 x S hooks, 32 x hanging links and 4 x ceiling hooks, so there's plenty of space for your saucepans.

    Why not hang salami, onions, paprika or bunches of herbs from it as well for added colour?

    Available now from Proleno, on the web at www.proleno.com, on the phone on0207 965 7199

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