Let the Sun Shine In, Or Don't: How Antique Furniture Benefits from Roller Shades

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Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 4:55pm

The value of antique furniture is more than simply its price; it includes the beauty and history a piece adds to your home. As such, you take care to protect your antiques from the damage caused by daily living, including stains, scratches, and the warping effects of humidity. But the same natural sunlight that makes your home so bright and comforting can also damage your antiques. One of the best ways to protect the investment you've made in your home's décor is with roller shades.

Sun Can Damage Antiques
The older varnishes used in the making of antique wooden furniture pieces are not resistant to ultraviolet light, and can turn yellow and crack after prolonged sun exposure. Beneath the varnish, the rich color of the wood can become bleached out by sunlight. Even the cloth of your antiques can be damaged by the sun, becoming brittle and splitting at a careless touch. Diffuse sunlight over long periods of time has the same damaging effect as direct exposure, and the damage is permanent.

How to Prevent Sun Damage
By installing roller shades on your windows in rooms where your antique furniture is kept, you can block out ultraviolet light during the parts of the day when the sun is most direct. Roller shades come in numerous varieties and hundreds of colors, and can be custom-cut to fit any window. You can find shades to blend seamlessly with any design scheme. Simple, manually adjusting shades are very popular, and use a corded bead chain to control the rolling mechanism, though cordless shades are available for many types as well. You can also find motorized roller shades operated by remote control using either infrared or radio signals, allowing you to adjust the level of light in a room without getting up from your seat.

There are numerous types of roller shades available today; blackout shades are an excellent choice for bedrooms, enabling you to protect both sensitive antique furniture and sleeping eyes from the harsh morning light. Opaque blinds in any of several styles and colors are ideal for any room in which privacy is welcomed, or when construction vehicles or the neighbors' yard decorations make the scenery outside less than perfect. Translucent roller blinds allow enough light through that colors and shapes are visible, but true images are obscured.

Sunscreen Shades
However, shutting out the outside world isn't always desirable. Sometimes you want to be able to enjoy the view while still protecting your furniture from sun damage. Sunscreen roller shades block heat and ultraviolet rays while allowing some light to pass through, enabling you to see through them and to enjoy natural light in your home without damage to your antiques. Sunscreen shades come in differing levels of openness, which indicates how much light passes through the fabric. For most homes, between 5 percent and 10 percent openness is ideal. Remember that these shades can be seen through, so they are best for rooms in which privacy is not a must. 

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