The trend for floor to ceiling glass in modern homes creates stunning light-filled spaces, but our harsh sunlight can cause extreme fading and damage to interior fabrics and floor coverings, particularly on the north and west facing aspects.
New Zealand has one of the highest ultraviolet ratings in the world; with direct sunlight, reflected sunlight, temperature and the angle of the sun all adversely affecting the contents of our home. As a consequence, any upholstered furniture, carpet and hardwood flooring directly exposed to the sun will usually fade over time. The only way to combat damage completely is to block the sun at its source, the window; but it is possible to reduce the intensity of ultraviolet light by installing one or more of the following options:
- Tinted film on windows
- Sheer drapes
- Sunscreen, venetian or wooden blinds
- Wooden shutters
- Externally fitted canopies or awnings
- External louvres
Tinted film is the least obtrusive because the view through windows is not partially obscured. It is available in a range of tint colours to suit different environments, and can block up to 99% of the powerful ultraviolet rays. It minimises fading, and in addition, reduces heat absorption which causes leather to crack and wooden flooring to dry out.
Selecting appropriate fabrics to use in sun-drenched rooms can also dramatically decrease the amount of fading on furniture and window treatments. Although no fabrics are guaranteed to be completely fade-resistant, acrylic and polyester fabrics are some of the most durable in the marketplace. The use of fabrics woven with 100% natural fibres such as silk, cotton and linen should be avoided in rooms exposed to sun for most of the day, because they will fade and deteriorate more rapidly than any manmade or composite fabrics.