Windows of opportunity

Undergoing a design overhaul reflective of current industry trends, window treatments have reemerged as a design focal point. Moving away from archaic valences and dreary neutrals, today’s window shade has ushered in a combination of fresh hues and accessible technology to the hospitality realm. This shift can be explained by the simple desire of hoteliers to provide guests with an exemplary experience. The window shade plays a critical role in achieving this goal, as it serves a dual purpose―first and foremost, as a privacy screen, blocking out ambient light and noise, and secondly as a design attribute that pulls a room’s ambience together. Other products making their way into suites and guestrooms include blackout shades, remote controls, and linen. Here’s the full lowdown:


Although neutrals will never completely lose their place as a hotelier favorite, color is back in a big way. Incorporating a bright, standout hue such as red or blue affords spaces a pop of color that can either stand alone or be tied to other design details in the room. The infusion of vibrant hues in this form is also, in a sense, an update on the accent wall, providing added visual interest and warmth in the same way.


Pastels are never out of fashion. (Image courtesy: Kendall, Overstock)

Elegant, soft, and sumptuous, silk and linen are the most popular because of their minimalist character. Lightweight in construction, both silks and linens provide rooms with a light and air aesthetic, which complements the also popular roller shade. The tactile nature of these textiles also plays to their minimalist character, providing subtle texture and luxury without overwhelming the space.

Regal Visage

Silk adds a regal visage to the interiors.


Linen provides a light and air aesthetic.


Ambient light and noise can give guests a lights! camera! action! experience, but blackout curtains have become a one-stop solution. Blackout and room darkening shades improve user experience by blocking out the surroundings for hotels located in busy or urban areas. They also provide a next-level restful sleep and privacy for guests regardless of location.

Guests are guaranteed privacy with these blackout curtains. (Image courtesy: Phoenix Park Hotel HR)


The improved mechanisms and slim fittings of roller shades have proven popular in the hospitality industry. Part and parcel of a desire for designers to provide minimalist spaces, roller shades inherently take up less room. As a result, mobility increases with their application, along with the overall flow of the space. Negating extraneous materials and components, a cost-saving benefit also arises for hoteliers, allowing fewer funds to be allocated to cleaning and repair.

Roller Shades

Roller shades give more space to the rooms. (Image courtesy: Phoenix Park Hotel HR)


Going hand in hand with evolving technology, window treatment systems are now available with remote controls and keypads for easy operation. The installation of a tech-savvy system adds a touch of luxury with added ease for guests. These features also eliminate common maintenance issues that arise when guests look to alter their air conditioning or flow of outdoor light. The emergence of remote control and keypad adaptable shades is also connected to the larger customization trend, which focuses on user accessibility and preference.


Molly Hayes is a designer who takes the lead on many of //3877’s hospitality projects. The brainchild of close friends David Tracz and David Shove-Brown, //3877 is a boutique design firm focused on high-end residential, multi-family, restaurant, and hospitality projects.