Saving Antiques through Window Treatments

Last week I spoke with a Californian who still gets too much sun, despite having obtained tinting for the windows.

We all know the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. In researching for this piece, I unearthed this article dealing with Pittsburgh’s CLAYTON MANSION. Built in 1860, “a gem of Victorian architecture”, the Clayton Mansion houses “priceless antiques, art, handpainted wallpaper, and rare fabrics”.

Clayton Mansion

Clayton was the home of Henry Clay Frick. According to the museum’s website, the Fricks purchased Clayton for $25,000 in 1882. The house was smaller then: eleven rooms, and on 1.43-acres of land. “An astonishing 93% of the artifacts in the house are original”.

“By 1891, the family and the Fricks’ social stature both had outgrown the home as it was, and architect Frederick J. Osterling was hired to transform Clayton into the 23-room chateau-style mansion seen today.” Clayton opened to the public in 1990, after a four-year restoration.

One visitor spoke of the house as being “kept fairly dark.” You certainly would not have to live in near-darkness to feel the effects of a window treatment.

Clayton’s specific solution was window film — applied onto the glass, it is “unseen” from the outside. An important consideration for an historic building.

Film is not really a do-it-yourself job, however. That is the nice idea behind the cellular shade: a couple brackets screwed in and you’re ready to pop in your shade.

Textiles and printed/painted art should never be exposed to direct, unfiltered sunlight; UV rays will devalue collectibles, art, furniture. Controlling the light exposure is paramount to preserving your furnishings. Once damage has occurred, bringing a piece back to “original condition” may be impossible.

Cellular shades have the advantage that UV light does not degrade them! Extremely durable, bonded polyester (the material of the cellular shade), is not affected by moisture, UV, heat or cold — all of which are common sources of degradation to window treatments. Brackets are stainless steel, which likewise do not deteriorate with exposure to sun.

Our shades are such great insulators that you will want them down when it’s cold or hot out, without darkening your space. Our thin gauge fabric (0.14 mm.) is non-fading and lets in the most visible light while blocking out virtually 100% of the damaging UV rays. Amazing!

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