By: Karen

I decided to get sunshades for my four-season room. I really didn’t want to block my view, it over looks a pool and my backyard. I just purchased new furniture, and didn’t want to take the risk of it fading if I didn’t have anything covering the windows. I had seen sunshades in my neighbor’s house, and really like the look and the function they provided, so I thought I would do some research on them.

It turns out, they are designed to cut out the UV, and cut down on the glare in the room, which is exactly what I was looking for. They are made out of polyester, vinyl, and fiberglass, so it seems that they will be easy to clean and pretty durable.

Turns out there are a lot of technical options too. For starters, different materials have different openness factors, which refers to the amount that will be visible through the shade , the lower the number the less you can see, the higher the number the more you can see through the shade. There is also the transmittance which refers to how much UV light will be transferred through the shade. If your goal is to protect your furniture, the lower the number the more efficient the fabric. Then you have to consider how clearly you want to see out. If you choose a darker color, the shade absorbs more of the sunlight, and allows you to see out clearer. If you choose a lighter color, the shade reflects the light, which obstructs the view slightly more.

When I got to looking at different swatches there was also the choice of different patterns , while the majority of them are a screen pattern, there are options of more intricate weaves, and some that even resemble the look of a bamboo. I ended up staying fairly simple, with a 5% weave in a beige color that matched the floor in the room. It allowed us to see out well, and really helped to cool down the room as well. Once you break down all of the options it’s really not that scary and the rewards of the shades are definitely worth it!