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12 Nov

Case Study | Kingshouse Hotel, Glencoe

In the remote Scottish Highlands, in the shadow of the looming Three Sisters ridges of Glencoe and perched on the banks of the River Etive, sits a hotel.

The windswept and wild mountainous terrain draws walkers and tourists to its beautiful scenery, which has borne witness to volcanic eruptions, massacres and fierce winter blizzards over the years. Today things are a little safer, although it remains a remote location and the weather can turn on a dime to catch out unprepared walkers.

A sight for sore eyes for many passing through the area, Kingshouse Hotel has sat close to the West Highland Way since the 1750s, providing travellers with a warm place to shelter (and perhaps enjoy a wee nip).

Today a hotel has been added to the original site, along with a restaurant that boasts stunning views that diners love as much as the food. To keep light levels reasonable and to limit the amount of sunlight that enters the floor-to-ceiling windows and makes the room too bright, the architect working on the hotel asked Ken Brown from Glazing Films & Blinds to install some blinds.

Kingshouse Hotel

A vocal fan of the crank operated roller blind, Ken opted for 54 YewdaleDefiant® R20C blinds with Chalk 5% Screen Fabric for the restaurant, lounge and reception areas.

‘The crank operation meant that the blinds could be put into position down the window and then the crank handle removed to prevent any further adjustment from guests,’ explained Ken.

The views are such a key part of the restaurant, emphasised by the huge windows, that it would almost be a crime to block them out with blackout blind fabric.

‘We needed to protect diners from being blinded by the sunlight,’ said Ken. ‘A blackout fabric would be no use, especially when one of the main draws is the views, so an open weave screen fabric was ideal.’

By using a screen fabric on the blinds, Ken was able to cut out the glare but still maintain the views. However, Ken wanted to involve the hotel owners and architects in the plan as much as possible.

‘Brian at Yewdale kindly organised wide fabric samples for 3%, 5% and 8% screen fabric to be sent to us. They were as wide as the windows so I could stick the samples up and show them the different opacities and let them choose,’ said Ken. ‘It’s good to involve people because it shows you know what you’re talking about and some people might not understand why you used these types of fabrics.’

It took Ken and his team around five hours to install all 54 blinds, which is no small feat by any exaggeration! Ken insists planning and preparation is key to his speed.

‘I lay everything out in front of each window and prepare every blind so everything runs like clockwork,’ said Ken. ‘The blinds are straight forward to install anyway so it was just a case of cracking on and getting the job done!’

After are long day of driving to a remote area and installing 54 blinds, Ken decided he deserved a chance to relax and unwind… with a nine mile run up a mountain followed by a relaxing pint! Perfect!

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