Sunblock for Your Home: What You Need to Know About Sun Bleaching

Home decor and sunIf you’re like me, you carried around paint samples and fabric swatches for weeks before finally settling on the choices. Now that my room is coming together, I’m still in love with the color scheme I chose.

But with the heat of summer here and sunlight streaming through my windows, it’s clear I need to think about protecting those colors from diminishing. Over time, the sun’s rays can “age” your room, making things fade and discolor. It’s not just ultraviolet (UV) radiation that causes damage to furniture, rugs, paint and artwork. Visible light, heating, humidity, the age of the fabric, and fabric dyes all play a part in the process, with UV radiation attributed to 40 percent of the damage.

While you can smear on sunblock to protect your skin from UV rays, it takes a few different tricks to protect your home. These tips will help keep your décor’s vibrant colors looking fresh.

Rearrange Your Furniture Often

Keeping your furniture continually in one spot will only emphasize damage and create dark spots on your floor. Try these tricks instead.

  • Float furniture away from windows and out of direct sunlight. In addition to keeping the pieces outside of harmful rays, floating furniture creates interesting designs with great conversation areas and often makes rooms look larger than if the items were pushed against the walls.
  • Rearranging furniture won’t necessarily keep it out of the light, but it will distribute the fade evenly so that it’s less visible.
  • Swap photos or artwork. Instead of hanging valuable art or prized photos where the sun can cause damage, switch them to walls that stay out of the sun. Use sunny spots for mirrors, metal décor, fun signs, decorative plates and other more fade-resistant items.

Choose Décor with Sunlight in Mind
The only thing better than having beautiful windows in a room is even more windows. If you have a wall of windows in your home, you need to consider the excess sunlight when you make choices in furniture and décor.

  • Pay attention to fabric choices. There are “outdoor” fabrics with through-and-through color designed for indoor use. They are more fade-resistant because the color is part of the production process rather than a dye that’s added later.
  • Bright colors, such as red, tend to appear faded faster. Choose more neutral colors to reduce the appearance of fading. Use bright colors in easily replaced fabric items, such as accent pillows or throws.
  • Slipcovers can be an asset in a light-filled room. They’re easy to wash and inexpensive to replace—which makes them great for homes with kids and pets as well.

Select Window Shades That Save Your Design

Choosing the right window treatments makes your room’s overall design complete. There are style and color options to suit every room design and offer protection for your investment.

  • Don’t give up your view. Keep your view to the outdoors with clear cling panels that block UV light and glare. Or, maximize the tilt-wand feature on blinds to direct sunlight away from furniture without closing off the view.
  • Don’t skip natural light. While blackout shades are great for bedrooms, there are plenty of sheer window treatment options for your main living areas. Consider woven or bamboo window blinds, or even cellular shades, which allow for natural light while still blocking damaging rays.
  • Don’t work too hard. Today’s motorized shades make it easy to block the afternoon’s damaging light. One click of the remote can close and open light filtering shades on a whole wall of windows.
  • Don’t forget window treatments for skylights. A light-filtering shade helps block harmful rays from skylights without making the room darker. Choose a motorized version with remote control to make it easy to open and close.

Practice Maintenance for Preservation

A few tips added into your regular cleaning routine can help keep your room as fresh as possible.

  • Flip furniture cushions whenever you clean so they are continually rotated. This way, one side does not become lighter than the other.
  • Turn your throw rugs in a different direction. Not only will it help them avoid fading in one area, but you’ll also protect against traffic wear.
  • Don’t just dust. Furniture dries out in the sunlight, so make sure to use furniture polish and leather conditioner as recommended by the manufacturer.

With these tips, you can make your decor last longer and protect the designs you so carefully chose.

Author Bio: Abigail Sawyer is a home improvement junkie and a Senior Social Media Specialist for She’s currently restoring a 1972 cottage and never passes up a chance to hunt for treasures at a flea market. Abigail writes on a variety of home décor topics, including using window blinds to protect your well-chosen décor from sun bleaching and fading. You can view a selection of UV-blocking shades and blinds at

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