Windows are one of the most important elements of your hotel, bringing light and coziness inside the rooms. Besides utility, windows add a different and special aesthetics to your space, and there are many treatments that you could use to enhance them. When talking about window covering, most people use the terms curtains and drapes interchangeably, but they do have some distinctive characteristics.
Curtains are usually sold in pairs or by panels, made of a light and sheer fabric that allows some amount of light to come inside the hotel bedroom, and are installed over drapes, blinds or shades and hanged by rods.
Drapes on the other hand, are made out of a heavy and lined fabric. They are built to block out the light in different percentages and offer a more private space. Drapes are drawn or pulled apart with the help of a cord or pull rod while curtains can be easily pulled by hand. They are also more formal in an aesthetic standpoint and can extend to or puddle the floor. The perfect outcome is reached when combining and getting the best of both, allowing moderate light to come in during the day and lending privacy and blocking out the light at night.
It is certain that one of the most important point of choosing the right curtain and drape is the look and how it will improve the beauty of each room. But depending on the style, it can also have an impact on the amount of sound and heat that enters and leaves the room. To help you decide the best option, we have listed the most common types of window covering that can be used to enhance the bedrooms and common areas of your hotel.
Different window coverings are available in the market right now to compliment your windows designs. Bellow we will go over the most popular ones.
Pinch pleat style: Pinch pleat draperies provide the best solution for guest rooms and other areas where blackout is desired. They have a highly decorative heading, drawing together the fabric into a tightly gathered and stitched bunch at the top. The permanently sewn-in pleats result in a unique finish, with elegant folds flowing from top to bottom. Pinch pleat curtains can work with either a pole or a track.
The pinch pleat curtains look great in all kinds of interiors due to the crispness they offer all the way down to the edge. Regarding to where you intend to use pinch pleat curtains, the important thing is to make sure it will suit your hotel decor.
Ripplefold style: The ripplefold drapes main characteristic is that they have a consistent “S” curve across the span of the track. The ripples are created by carriers corded together to create the consistent wave. The ripples are made by snaps on flat panels of fabric on the header of the drape and once attached to the tracks, they will easily slide open and closed. Another feature is that the ripplefold drape is usually in a wider size than the window they are adorning. The reason for that is with greater width, the fullness desired look is easily achieved. A wavy or rippled look is often the result, therefore the name “ripplefold”. These style of drape is vastly seen and used in hospitality installations.
Blackout curtains: Blackout curtains or room darkening curtains are usually made of a heavier and denser fabric. The main purpose is to keep the light from streaming into the space, making it as close as to completely dark as possible. Generally not 100% dark, but somewhere between 90 to 95%. It all depends on the coverage of the window. You should have at a minimum 2 times de width of fabric covering a window.
Thermal curtains: Thermal or insulated curtains have insulation as their primary function, even though they also keep the light out. Thermal drapery generally has two to three layers of heavy weight fabric, with a base of insulate material and a polyester-film vapor barrier. The drapery is made of cotton, silk, or wool. The side that faces the window is coated with acrylic foam to protect the fabric from damage by ultraviolet light.
Windows glass are usually not a good insulator and cracks can develop between the window and the frame, leading to cool or heat loss. Windows let the sunlight inside and keep odors outside, which is good. But at the same time, they let heated and cooled air outside and allow heat gain and heat loss to affect air temperatures inside, which is almost always bad. Without a barrier, the space will be losing up to 25% of heated or cooled air, forcing the furnace or air conditioning to continue working when it shouldn’t be necessary. By using thermal curtains, you will be saving on your electricity bill and still helping diminish noise inside the rooms.
Valance: A valance is a relativity short window treatment when compared to a curtain or drapery panel, only covering the third top of the window. It hangs across the front top of the window and may hang on the sides as well. It is usually installed with a rod or shaped with a velcro to a wood board and fixed on the wall with brackets. The bottom of the valance hangs loose, adding a soft appearance and creating a casual or formal look, depending on which style you are going for. Window valances can be used alone or layered over other window treatments.
Cornices: A cornice is a hard top window treatment, constructed out of soft wood or plywood on all sides. Often created by upholstering a shaped board that can be used to hide window hardware or just to add some detail in your room interior design. Made in various shapes and sizes, you can vary them with different fabrics or shapes, depending on the design you are looking for. Cornices can be paired with other window treatments – like drapes or curtains – or used alone. What makes a cornice different from a valance is the way it is constructed. Cornices are hard top treatments, meaning the fabric is often created by upholstering a board with no loose fabric hanging at the bottom as valances have it. Cornices are extremely sturdy and offer a great variety of finishes so you can easily match your hotel decor.
Sheer: Sheers are timeless and can work well with modern or traditional looks, and anything in between. Sheer curtains are a window covering solution that can be made from several different kinds of fabric, such as cotton, high-end polyesters, lace, silk and voiles. They are also available in a large variety of colors and pattern options. The material is usually translucent, light and airy, diffusing light during the day while retaining privacy. Sheer curtains are sometimes referred to as “privacy curtains” in reference to their screening abilities, during the day most sheer fabrics will allow people inside the space to see outside, while preventing people outside the space from seeing inside. And because they are constantly exposed to a lot of light, it is recommended to make a choice based on fade resistance combined with the expected design.
Like with curtains, sheers must have a bit of wave on them. When measuring the window, consider a larger width so you have enough fabric to achieve the billowy look. In terms of height, if used in conjunction with a floor length curtain, it is possible to have the sheers right above the floor (one or less than one inch from the ground), on the same height from rod to floor as if they are “kissing” the ground (requires precise measuring) or longer then the height between rod and floor, this style is more used for formal rooms and often done when the intention is to tie the curtains.
Motorized curtains or roller shades: If you are looking for a clean finish at your hotel rooms, a motorized window covering system may be the ideal solution for you. It means that your guests will have the luxury of opening and closing the windows just by flipping a switch or pushing a button. Motorized curtains can work in three different ways:
– Battery wand: Power the blinds with an attached battery tube, hidden behind the shade or along the wall, or built into the shade itself.
– Hard wired: It comes with a power adapter that plugs into a wall outlet. It avoids the hassle of changing batteries.
– Solar powered: A solar power kit includes a rechargeable battery designed to charge daily through a solar panel. By connecting the battery to a solar panel, the shade will draw power from the sun’s energy throughout the day.
Blinds: A window blind is another type of window covering. There are many different kinds, which vary in type, material and size and in control systems as well. Some of the most common types are vertical, roman and venetian blinds. A typical blind is made of several long or horizontal individual slats of various types of material, including wood, plastic or metal, which are held together by cords that run through the blinds and adjust up and down. Blinds can also tilt from side to side, which allows you to control the amount of light entering the room. Most of the blinds have a cord located on the side, allowing the adjustment up and down and a rod, to control the tilt of the blinds, allowing to open or close the slats.
The most common styles of blinds are Persian, Venetian and vertical. Persian blinds consist of many horizontal slats, usually of metal or vinyl, connected through a string that they can be rotated to allow light to pass between the slats, rotated up to about 170 degrees to hide the light, or pulled up so that the entire window is clear.
Venetian blinds have only horizontal slats, one above another. Venetian blinds are basic slatted blinds made of metal or plastic, but wood can be used too. They are suspended by strips of cloth called tapes, or by cords, by which all slats in unison can be rotated through nearly 180 degrees. The slats can be rotated such that they overlap with one side facing inward and then in the opposite direction such that they overlap with the other side facing inward. Between those extremes, various degrees of separation may be effected between the slats by varying the rotation. There are also lift cords passing through slots in each slat. When these cords are pulled, the bottom of the blind moves upward, causing the lowest slats to press the underside of the next highest slat as the blind is raised. A modern variation of the lift cords combines them with the rotational cords in slots on the two edges of each slat. This avoids the slots otherwise required to allow a slat to rotate despite a lift cord passing through it, thus decreasing the amount of light passing through a closed blind. Slat width can be between 16 and 120 mm, with 25 mm being a common width.
Lastly, vertical blinds are less likely to collect dust because they stand vertically. Since they move sideways rather than lifting and lowering, they are easier and faster to operate. Until a couple years ago, horizontal blinds were the only solution for covering sliding doors and wide windows. Now, vertical blinds are the better fit for doors and windows that also slide from side to side. Vertical blinds have individual slats that run along a track at the top of the blind. Depending on the style, vertical blinds either open from side to side, or by parting in the middle.
Shades: Window shades are a soft and solid window treatment that are made of materials on a continuous roll, covering and fitting perfectly into your window and stacking neatly at the top, and drawn up and down by a cord or a lifting mechanism. Shades have no slats or vanes and offer a smooth look, therefore called soft window treatments as the fabric and feeling is warm and flowing. Even though the ratio of light filtering cannot be adjusted as it happens with blinds, it is possible to choose different levels of opacity for light preferences. Some of the most common types of shades are roller, roman, pleated and cellular shades.
– Roller shades are modern and can complement almost any style of hotel rooms. As straightforward as it sounds, roller shades fit inside the window casement and can easily be pulled up and down of the window. This type of window covering is extremely easy to use and highly functional and it is available in various materials and colors to reach the desired look.
– Roman shades are known for their understated elegance, which features pleats of fabric that can be raised or lowered depending on an individual’s light control preference. When raised, the fabric stacks up into a neat horizontal row on the top of the window.
– Pleated shades are made from one layer of pleated fabric, providing some light control but very little insulation. It is possible to get them lined with a light-filtering or room-darkening backing to have more control over the level of light that enters the room.
– Cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, are constructed with two or more layers of fabric, forming a central air pocket in the shape of a honeycomb. The extra layers add insulation, meaning that during winter they will resist heat loss and during summer will reduce window heat. They are offered in a variety of light control options and colors.
Rods and Tracks
After choosing among all these types and styles of curtains and drapes. A hardware to hang them will also be necessary. The hardware can be installed to frame a room or visually disappear, it all depends on the desired design. It is possible to play with colors and materials, but window size is an important part in order to define which type of hardware it is necessary.
One option would be curtain rods. Mostly made of wood, metal or plastic. They are usually exposed to view and often seen as a decorative feature on their own, complementing the curtains they are holding up. Rods as most effective across a short window distance, considering that if you have a long distance, it will require more supporting brackets that could interfere in the running of the curtain. For lightweight curtains or curtains running across short distances, slim rods measuring less than 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) in diameter are appropriate. Heavyweight curtains and curtains running across longer distances are best hung on thicker rods. Two of the most common types of rods are:
– Rod: A round rod with no glides that is attached to the wall from brackets, usually around 20cm above the window. It can be used with any pleated curtain hung with rings and hooks or with an eyelet curtain.
– Rod track: A round curtain rod with glides running underneath it. It is attached to the wall from brackets, usually around 20cm above the window. Rod track can be used with any pleated curtain hung with hooks. Like designer face-fix track, rod track is a design feature that shows above the curtains when they are closed.
The other option would be curtain tracks. Designed to blend against the wall, to be discreet. Tracks are usually available in PVC and metal materials. When choosing the correct one, consider that the track must be strong enough to hold the weight of the curtain or drape fabric. A cord attached to pulleys and gears open and close corded tracks. These sorts of tracks are particularly useful for curtains on very tall windows or for those made of heavyweight fabric, both of which can drag or jam when pulled by hand. Corded tracks are also ideal when the curtain is made from a delicate fabric. The curtains on uncorded tracks are very simply pulled back by hand. Two of the most common tracks types are:
– Standard face-fix track: The most commonly used track type and is usually fixed directly to the architrave or wall just above the window. It can be used with any pleated curtain hung from hooks to the track glides. With face-fix track the curtain hooks are usually placed low on the curtain heading so that it covers the track. A neutral colour is generally chosen so that the track blends into its surroundings.
– Top-fix track: A track that is fixed directly to the inside top of the window frame, pelmet or ceiling. It is commonly used with net or sheer curtains but can be used with any pleated curtains. Top-fix track has superior insulation benefits when used with thick lined or thermal drapes as it blocks warm air from being drawn down through the back of the curtains.
And last but not least important, the curtains for the bathroom. Shower curtains are an essential element for every hotel bathroom. Typically made from vinyl, fabric or plastic, they prevent water from spilling all around the floor and provide privacy. It is even an idea trying to combine the functionality of the shower curtains as a decorative piece for the space.
An older shower curtain can make the bathroom look dirty and outdated, which is an unpleasant sensation for your guests. That is why it is so important to always keep everything clean and feeling like new. When opting for a fabric shower curtain, choose one that has the liner to help protect it. Fabric curtains are usually machine washable, and taking only the liner out to wash is easier and faster for the housekeepers. Vinyl and Plastic can be wiped clean.
When it comes to window covering, the options and combinations are endless. Curtains and drapes can make your hotel rooms look completely different and renovated. When choosing the best suit, remember to consider some important aspects, like size: proper width and length are crucial for the perfect final aesthetics. And fabric and color: the material will dictate how the window treatment will function and hold up over time. Some good options for hotels are among the heavy fabrics since their weight helps block the light and keep the heat inside the room. The color will dictate the look and design of the room, you can either match a pattern or plain color to your currently furniture and color palette.