The essence of life: we want lots of light and sunshine in our rooms, and flowing through our homes–shining through windows, open doors, skylights and glass ceilings…

However much we love it, the task of balancing the strength of the sun’s heat and glare and limiting potential damage requires careful control, using either or combination of sheer curtains, blinds and shutters.

Glare can easily be reduced by sheer curtains and or blinds that are pulled over, raised and lowered as needed, that follow the sun if you are working near the window. Slatted shutters allow light to penetrate and air to circulate, cutting out all glare and potential damage. Opening or sliding shutters fitted inside or outside the house provide a structural solution with the side benefit of additional security.

Holland roller blinds, as used in historic houses, are an effective means of protection, inexpensive and fairly inconspicuous; they can be fitted close to the window to pull down, or from the sill and up, depending on the aspect of the room and what you need to protect.

Free falling sheer curtains in light muslin or linen do the same job in a more feminine way, and look especially well in bedrooms, as under curtains to another more substantial pair.

Strong sunlight can be damaging to the colour and finish of both furniture and textiles; intense sunlight pulls the colour from all wood, the edges of silk curtains weaken until they just fall into shreds, and many colours fade; the most vulnerable are the pastel tones and particularly blues and pinks.

The aspect of the window is singularly important  –  we do need to be careful with the fabrics we chose to have at the window, not only those that are on the south facing side, but any that are opposite or sited where the sun can reach. And we need to understand our location – strong  daylight can be as damaging as  sunlight.

For us, the curtains on our east facing windows on both ground and  first floors are much the worst affected –  they receive strong early morning light, and  full on, as opposed to the gentler, obtuse, later-in-the-day, sunlight.  We don’t need to worry about the south, west and north  facing windows at all. Every home has different aspect related issues and requirements  to deal with at the planning and design stage….

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