Designer's Spotlight on Window Treatments
Window treatments provide privacy and light blockage in hotel guestrooms and meeting spaces. In lobbies and public areas, they provide light filtering and an overall softness to the room.
One of the top hotel guest complaints is light leakage around windows, which is why hotel brands stress that window treatments should create complete blackout in guestrooms. While this functional aspect of window treatments is critical, they can also play a key aesthetic role in the overall design of the space.
In more architecturally designed spaces, the window treatments may be very simple or utilitarian, while a boutique-style property may use intricate drapery rods with patterned fabric panels for a residential look and feel.
Window Treatment Trends
For over a decade, roller shades have continued to gain popularity in hotels. They are a great solution in guestrooms with air conditioning (PTAC) units under the windows, as they eliminate the dated look of partial height drapery that bellows out when the AC is running. Meanwhile, boutique and lifestyle brand properties continue to lean towards residential inspiration, using drapery rods, decorative tiebacks, and even decorative trim along the sides or bottoms of drapery panels.
Ultimately, it is less about a trend and more about the best solution for the property for both their window conditions and design direction.
How to Select Hotel Window Treatments
When determining the best type of window treatment in a guestroom, the design team looks at various factors:
1) What are the windows’ sizes and locations?
When windows are floor-to-ceiling or wall-to-wall (especially if they are both!), that requires a different treatment than for a small window.
2) Does the window also function as a door?
If a window also serves as a door, it requires a specific type of treatment. For example, if glass doors are in meeting rooms used for emergency egress, you cannot install window treatments, as they prohibit quick exit during an emergency.
3) How big is the room?
Window treatment selections can be as simple as how much space is available! Certain treatments require additional floor space within the room, which may determine whether to choose an inset mount roller shade or traditional traversing drapery.
Window Treatment Design
Once we determine the best solutions for a hotel’s unique window conditions, our design team will further specify the nuances of the color, pattern, fabric, and cornice style. For example, drapery fabrics in commercial settings must pass specific codes for the safety of the occupants, and handicap-accessible guestrooms have another set of requirements for the operating hardware of both traditional traversing drapery and roller shades.
To avoid costly delays and fees due to window treatments being out of code, only work with designers, specifiers, and purchasers who know these requirements.
Roller Shade Window Treatments
When implementing roller shades, it is essential to understand their installation to ensure blackout in guestrooms. Most commonly, the blackout shade is installed closest to the window with side and bottom channels that eliminate the gaps between the shade and wall or PTAC. Then, the sheer shade is mounted closer to the room to help conceal the channels and provide a softer look within the room.
Coordinate how your roller shades will operate in handicap-accessible guestrooms early. Since the commonly used clutch mechanism does not meet accessibility guidelines, roller shades are usually motorized in handicap-accessible guestrooms.
The motorized mechanisms are more than twice the cost of a standard roller shade and work best when connected to power in the room and operated by a wall switch. Battery-operated solutions are also available in renovation projects where you cannot access power directly. Working with a manufacturer who offers the latest technology in power consumption will minimize the operational burden of battery changes and reduce guest complaints that batteries are dead.
Although window treatments may seem like a simple part of your hotel project, they are one of the most complex items with the lengthiest specifications.
When you partner with Innvision, you can be confident that we will design the best solution for your project and select from a curated, qualified group of manufacturers with decades of success in hospitality fabrication and installation.
To learn more about how Innvision can help you select the best window treatments for your next hotel project, reach out! We are here to help.