Summer is finally here, which means it’s time to throw open those windows and allow the sun to shine brightly into your home. But it’s important you have some quality shades to stop the excessive light on especially sunny days. Something like bamboo blinds can provide lighting control while keeping a great summertime aesthetic. Like most homeowners, you probably want to let in as much of the sunshine and fresh air as possible, especially if you live in an area where temperatures get very cold in the winter and stay cool in the spring. Come summertime, you simply can’t get enough of the sun and its warmth.
Allowing natural light into your home can enhance the appearance of any room, bringing out colors that seem more vibrant when the sun catches them just right and making your space appear larger and more open.
Unfortunately, all that sunlight pouring through your windows isn’t doing anything good for your home’s furnishings and can cause significant fading and discoloration. Through a process called photodegradation, the sun’s ultraviolet rays break down the chemicals that exist in the dyes of furniture and fabrics, causing the bleaching effect that results in fading over time.
So, what can you do to prevent the sun from fading your home’s furnishings? When you can, you should keep your blinds or shades closed to minimize the risk of damage, but there will be times when you just want to enjoy the beautiful weather and allow sunlight into your home. The good news is that you don’t have to spend the summer living in the dark to protect your furniture, carpeting, and other furnishings and keep them in good condition.
Here are five ways to help prevent your furniture from fading in the sun:
Install Window Treatments
If you don’t already have them, you can protect your home’s interior by installing blinds, shades, or other window coverings. Most window treatments are designed to block out some of the sunlight that gets into a room, but there are also options available on the market that are made specifically to reduce or completely eliminate unwanted light.
Solar and roller shades are particularly effective at preventing the discoloration and fading of furniture and other interior furnishings while still providing a clear view through the windows. This makes these window treatments an ideal solution for homeowners who want to protect their furniture but still want to enjoy sunlight too. Innovations in window treatment technology allow you to choose from a variety of colors and control mechanisms, including cordless and motorized options, so you can customize them to fit your unique needs and style preferences.
When shopping for light-blocking window treatments, consider the openness factor of the shades. A low-openness factor means that the fabric is more tightly woven; thus, there will be less visibility through the shades and a higher level of light control, whereas a high-openness factor means that the fabric features a looser weave and offers greater visibility. It’s also important you have something that matches the room’s style. For example, you wouldn’t want to put living room blinds in your bedroom.
In other words, shades with a low-openness level (between three and five percent) will block out more sun and increase privacy, while shades with a higher openness level reduce the amount of light but still preserve a view of the outdoors
Protect Wood and Leather
Wood has always been a popular material for home furnishings for its durability and elegance. Unfortunately, prolonged sun exposure is one of the most damaging elements on wood, causing permanent discoloration. Not only will wood fade, but it will also darken, and this cannot be reversed.
The same goes for leather, which is susceptible to fading and drying when exposed to the sun. Leather furniture that sits adjacent to a window and which is unprotected from the sun can eventually dry up so much that it ends up cracking.
To protect your wood and leather furniture from damage and fading caused by the sun, take measures to extend their lifespan. For example, consider sealing your wood furniture with a protective varnish, lacquer, shellac, wax, polyurethane, or oil and applying conditioner to your leather furnishings. This won’t completely prevent them from fading, but it can certainly slow the process down.
Rearrange Your Space
If your room has limited light exposure or you just have a few pieces you’re concerned about—such as an antique chair or an expensive new sofa—you can rearrange your furniture so that the most vulnerable pieces aren’t exposed to direct sunlight.
Pay close attention to where the sunlight moves in your room throughout the day, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its most powerful, and arrange your furniture accordingly. You can also try using throw blankets and slipcovers to cover up couches and chairs that are susceptible to fading.
Be Mindful When Choosing Decor
Whether you’re building a house, just moved into a new one, or simply redecorating your current home, you can help preserve your home’s interior by being mindful of the colors and fabric you choose. Certain colors and fabrics tend to fade faster than others. For example, dark colors fade quicker than lighter colors do, with red being the color that fades the fastest. In that same vein, silk fades faster than cotton, and fabrics that are labeled for outdoor use will last longer in the sunlight than those labeled for indoor use only.
Apply a Window Tint
An easy and cost-effective solution for blocking sunlight and preventing damage to your furniture is to apply a window tint or film. Window film is a thin laminate that can be installed on either the inside or outside of your windows, and it blocks up to 90 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Not only does a window film significantly decrease the amount of light coming into your home, but it also keeps it cool and helps reduce your energy usage. Best of all, a window film won’t restrict your view of the outdoors so you’ll get the benefits of natural light without the UV damage.
When it comes to applying a window tint to your home’s windows, this type of project is best left up to the professionals. That’s because if the film is applied incorrectly, you could be left with air bubbles that are unattractive and which will diminish the look of your windows.