Window coverings seem like a simple design choice; these ubiquitous features are often overlooked or pushed to the end of the design process. Window coverings control how your space interacts with light and sets the tone for your interior. Too much light block-out will create a dark, eerie space, while too little can let uncomfortable glare bounce around your clinic. Both of these situations may make your patients uncomfortable.
When planning your clinic window covers, you’ll want something that’s fashionable, but easy to wipe down and not too space consuming. Window treatments will also provide privacy for your staff and clients, and can assist greatly with energy savings on heating and cooling. Read on to discover some window treatment options that can redefine your clinic space.
Blinds & Shutters Are Still ‘In’!
When it comes to space-effective light control, few things beat a classic blind or shutter option.
Blinds offer excellent, fashionable, protection and add clean lines to your decor. These window treatments match any aesthetic and blend well into a space. Shutters are a more bold, standout feature – they become a part of your clinic’s style instead of merging in.
There are plenty of blind and shutter styles, so look at your options to find a shape you feel will complement your office. Get an idea of what styles are popular:
Shade Blinds/Roller Blinds
Ditch the tedious and sometimes annoying individual slats. Shades are made from one piece of material and roll up at the top of a window frame. They are usually made from a thin, yet opaque fabric that can completely block sunlight out, or filter to the degree required. They are also less prone to tangles and breaks. However, if damage occurs to a shade, the whole unit will need to be replaced instead of simply fixing a single slat. It is important however for the chain control to be secured for child safety
This is more of a blanket category which encapsulates several styles. Venetian blinds, micro blinds and vertical blinds are examples which fall into this category. Slat blinds are popular for their superior light control capabilities. By adjusting the angle of the slats, you can let more or less light into a room. Slats can be delicate and too much contact can cause breaks or tangles. Repairing these issues can be tedious.
Plantation shutters have had a resurgence in popularity during 2020 and 2021. These super easy to operate, durable, window features offer excellent light control and insulation. With no strings or wires attached, you can rest easy knowing they won’t jam. Compared to blinds, which have an average life expectancy of 5-6 years, plantation shutters can function for decades. Updated technology provides a PVC with a polymer finish- looks like timber but with an easy care finish.
Plantation shutters are practical, but will always filter out a certain amount of natural light because the thick frames are mounted onto the window frame. This option is not recommended if your building has low access to sunlight.
Integrated blinds are the latest window covering technology. The blinds are placed between two panes of glass in a double glazed unit. While they’re in a higher price-range, integrated blinds are the perfect combination of light control and space management.
Curtains Make A Comeback
Blinds and shutters have been king for several years, but curtains are making a return to style. Modern curtains are less cumbersome than older types. Light materials and colours are used – if there is a pattern, it should be simple and non-intrusive. Still, curtains can make a room feel smaller and can store dust and other nasties. Luckily, they are the easiest option to clean with most options being washing machine safe, and can be available in antimildew and antifungal properties.
Want to ditch the fittings all together? New glass technology can go from transparent to opaque in the flick of a switch. Note this option is costly, and even when fully opaque, will let some sunlight into your area.
Signage & Frosting
Another option to dress your windows and optimise marketing is for smart signage options over parts of the windows for internal areas that require privacy from the public. High glass areas are sometimes best left open for an additional light source, and keeping the spaces light and airy. Customised frosting detail/patterns are often used to allow a filtered view into clinic reception/waiting rooms- no need to cover up the appeal of your fit out.
Today, blind and curtain systems can be mechanically operated. Control all your window coverings via remote or even smartphone.
How you control natural light flow in your clinic can directly impact your staff and patients’ mood. Dentifit’s expert design team are well versed in the requirements for dental, medical and veterinary practices. We create dynamic spaces that are both inviting and highly functional. If you would like to get started on your clinic fit out, contact us today.