Even before you open the doors to the public, your commercial property not only needs to look the part, it also needs to be functional. Of course, there’s a lot to coordinate to arrive at this level of completeness; things like stocking inventory, assembling shelving or furniture, and hanging your décor. Though it may not make or break your business, choosing the right commercial window coverings can actually play a pretty big role in making your space more comfortable and more functional than you might think. With that said, let’s take a look at the various window treatments that are best suited for a variety of different commercial environments from retail businesses to the hospitality industry.
Window Treatments for Schools
Regardless of the level of education being taught, the ideal classroom environment is one that contains the fewest number of distractions, but is also flexible enough that it can be altered to accommodate different lessons, experiments, and activities. There’s a number of criteria that most academic institutions consider imperative when it comes to window coverings in their classrooms. They must be:
- Functional as well as reasonably priced.
- Effectively manage the amount of light in the room to accommodate different presentation methods.
- Reduce the number of visual distractions to students.
- In classrooms with young children, cordless is the preferred option for increased safety.
Of course, his criteria may change from one school to the next, but the overall idea remains the same. Since even a modestly sized elementary school can contain hundreds of windows, a one-solution-fits-all approach simply won’t do. Depending on the room, any one of the following styles can be found installed in just about every school:
- Roller Shades – Also known as solar shades are ideal for rooms that contain multimedia equipment such as projectors, roller shades are used anywhere light filtering is of prime importance. Since they’re available in different opacities, roller shades can also be found in libraries where natural light is desired but where protection from solar radiation is also a concern. Similarly, solar shades can help make a school more energy efficient by blocking harmful UV rays and solar radiation. This improved energy efficiency translates to cost savings over the long term and keeps the learning environment comfortable.
Window Treatments for Healthcare Facilities
Healthcare facilities, like schools, have a number of criteria that are unique to their environments and the application can vary greatly depending on the space within the facility. For example, lobbies of healthcare facilities (whether it’s a major hospital, clinic, assisted living community, etc.) tend to be open, light-filled spaces. In this kind of environment, the window treatments used should contribute to the overall sense of welcome and calm. To achieve this effect, lobbies of healthcare facilities tend to incorporate light, billowy materials rather than heavy ones in order to avoid making the space seem more crowded that it is. Where fabric window treatments aren’t appropriate, solar shades and window tinting are used to control the amount of light that enters the space without creating unnecessary clutter.
In waiting rooms you’ll likely find window coverings that are more reminiscent of what might be found in a typical home, like cellular or known also as honeycomb shades. This is because waiting rooms are often occupied by those that are anxiously waiting for their appointment or to receive test results, and so creating a calming, soothing atmosphere in these spaces is important.
Of course, when it comes to examination rooms, there are two pieces of criteria that come before all others – privacy and easy maintenance. Since these spaces need to maintain a high level of cleanliness, the varied surfaces must be easy to clean. Aluminum blinds require very little in the way of time or effort to be kept dust free, and are ideal for obscuring the view from outside the window.
Window Treatments for Businesses
The window treatments used in a commercial setting need to look good, but they must also be helpful in setting the tone of the workplace. Depending on the type of business, its values, and corporate culture, there are a number of different window treatments that could adequately fit the bill. Of course, aluminum mini blinds are a common staple in many offices and it’s easy to see why. They come in a variety of colours and are very affordable when considering the number of windows.They’re also fade resistant and easy to clean, meaning that they will last a long time and won’t cost a fortune to maintain.
Other environments may require a solution that pairs more softness with insulating properties, like that found in cellular (or also known as honeycomb) shades. These types of window coverings offer clean lines making for a sharp-looking aesthetic, and the many cells that make up these shades keep the space warm by trapping air.
Companies that are looking to reduce glare, manage light, and keep costs down can opt for roller shades. Easy to operate and easy to incorporate into just about any office design, roller shades are a fashionable choice.
Window Treatments for Hotels and Hospitality Centres
Like spaces that exist in the healthcare sector, hotels and hospitality centres combine public and private spaces under one roof. As such, proprietors and interior decorators should be mindful of the unique requirements for each room. It goes without saying that when staying in a hotel, the primary concern of guests is their privacy is maintained at night while still being able to enjoy their space during daytime hours. This typically means that owners need to incorporate more than one window treatment solution. By day, roller shades offer guests a nice way to diffuse natural light without blocking it out completely, and nighttime privacy shades need to provide complete opacity for ultimate privacy.
Window Treatments for Restaurants
While solar shades have proven to be a popular solution in many of the other applications discussed in this article, they are arguably the style of choice for restaurants. Simply put, solar or roller shades are ideal for use in restaurants because they:
- Diffuse light.
- Maintain a view to the outside while still maintaining privacy.
- Protect furniture and décor from sun damage.
- Keep guests comfortable.
The nice thing about solar shades is that they can be installed so that they can be raised and lowered automatically as lighting conditions change. Adjusting the height of solar shades one at a time, table by table, is not always practical in a busy restaurant setting, so having the option to control them all at once is both convenient and necessary to maintaining the desired ambiance.
Window Treatments for Retail Businesses
The reasons to use solar shades in a retail environment mirrors those championed by restaurateurs. Mainly, small business and retail entrepreneurs want to use a window covering that will eliminate glare from the outside, protect their inventory, and generally make the shopping experience as comfortable as possible. The added benefit of using solar shades in a retail environment is that by allowing some natural light onto the sales floor the products themselves can look more appealing than when they are lit solely using artificial light.
Undoubtedly, there are many different environments that require different window treatment solutions. Though there is not one style any more desirable than the next, choosing the right one for any commercial space depends upon the space’s functionality. No matter the application, no matter what the commercial sector, there is a window covering that will fulfill the requirements of your space.