Window and door selection parallels hospitality industry trends.
The hospitality industry is about experience. Not just one aspect, but all of it. For example, dining out isn’t exclusively about the cuisine. The experience can be enhanced by the ambiance and aesthetics of the venue. Window and door manufacturer Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork, Wausau, WI, has identified a number of trends that reflect how patrons’ desires for a distinctive tone and memorable experience can be influenced by the judicious selection and placement of windows and doors.
Depending on its location, views may be the number-one consideration for hospitality spaces. Whether a property looks to the mountains, ocean, or something in between, the goal of windows and doors is often to frame a spectacular view. Kolbe sees its contemporary VistaLuxe Collection, which has a good frame-to-daylight ratio, used often to frame nature’s beauty.
Similarly, merging indoor and outdoor spaces continues to be a main focus in the hospitality industry. Folding windows and doors, sliding windows, and numerous expansive-opening doors are options to help combine indoor and outdoor spaces. This is especially useful in restaurant applications. With as much as 52 ft. of viewing area, folding windows can open up spaces immensely. Folding and sliding windows are also beneficial in pass-through situations, such as a bar to an outdoor seating area. Building owners are even adding countertops to allow patrons to enjoy the weather, indoors or out.
Another trend that impacts the hospitality industry is historical replication. Older buildings have incredible history, but need upgrades to help them look and perform at their best. An example is the 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati. A meticulous design team worked to restore the character of this historical building for 21st century functionality. The upgraded building now houses a contemporary art museum, a boutique hotel, and a restaurant. Kolbe windows were chosen to replicate historical details while providing improved energy efficiency over the original windows.
Guests and restaurant patrons want more than just an appealing venue and a satisfying meal. Sustainable, locally grown, and farm-to-table are keywords in the restaurant industry, and sustainability can also translate to windows and doors. New restaurants often focus on being as sustainable as possible, as seen in examples such as growing their own herbs and vegetables and using solar panels. Wood windows, with species sourced from managed forests, are a sustainable option for restaurants and hotels. Efficient windows and doors help reduce the amount of energy required to heat or cool buildings, and thereby mitigate costs.
Patrons also want more than a cookie-cutter dining experience. Customization is king in the hospitality setting, specifically in restaurants. The aim of providing a one-of-a-kind dining experience means restaurants are popping up in some unlikely places, notably previously used warehouses and other industrial spaces. Custom windows and doors can add to the unique atmosphere. Adding openings with bright exterior colors contributes to interest and personality for previously lackluster buildings. Similarly, options for interior wood species, stains, and paints allow windows and doors to make a significant impact on the interior ambiance of a restaurant.
Clearly, designing a restaurant or hotel without careful consideration of fenestration options would be a costly mistake.