Sun shading: Manage a room that faces sunlight - Daily Monitor

Sun shading: Manage a room that faces sunlight

Wednesday October 17 2018

The choice of sun shading technique you use

The choice of sun shading technique you use will be dictated by the design of your home and your pocket.  

By Pauline Bangirana

Does your bedroom receive so much light that at times you curse its location or wished it were a rainy day? Are you woken by the rays that hit your walls and not your alarm clock going off? Does it get so hot that you wish you had an inbuilt swimming pool in your house?
Well, that is probably because your bedroom is facing the direction in which the sun rises or sets. Usually, during house planning, an architect can advise and possibly offer solutions to this in case a room is in the way of the sun. If you are renting and cannot do anything about it, here are a few suggestions that will help keep your room cool and help you manage the light.

Plant trees
Well, not all trees will do but opt for banana plants or even palm trees. John Meddie Segane, an interior designer with El Designers, Interior and Exterior Consultants, recommends planting shades. He notes that planting shades takes some time to establish and a little bit of planning but will provide you win-win results. A tree in full bloom can block more than 70 per cent of solar radiation from entering your bedroom.
Plant sun-loving, shade providing plants, trees and shrubs in front of windows that receive the afternoon sun to cool down the bedroom and add beautiful designing to your compound. Segane says other plants that provide shades include dwarf fig tree, and lemon grass. If you are worried about the cold during rainy days, Segane says, “The tropical plants keep the room shaded in the hot season and die back in the rainy season so the heat can come in during colder days.”

Construct a shed
You can have a shade extended so as to block the sun from directly hitting your bedroom. A shade will help reduce the amount of light received in your bedroom. Some sheds are permanent, while others are temporary. The beauty of temporary sheds is that you can set them up when the need arises and thereafter remove them to allow light when sun moves away. Nonetheless, your need will determine your option

Curtain shade
Usually if you want to make a room cool, opt for dark curtains, dark shades or darker tiles and beddings as that calms the room down. Rita Nekesa, an interior designer with Crystal Interiors Ntinda, gives examples of some of the darker shades that can be used: wine red, heavy maroon, army green, dark grey. However, she notes that the shades of green can vary.
When you do this, opt for lighter colours of tiles such as lime green, cream and the beddings can be a mixture of the colours of the curtains and tiles. In this case, Nekesa notes that when the beddings and curtains are in dark shades, the floor should be in a light colour to help regulate the light.

If you opt to stay in light shades, you can go for colour blocking; when the sun is reflecting, the wall that receives a lot of light can be made darker and the others lighter so that when it hits the wall, it will reflect on other walls and as such it will be less light in the room. This will make the room calm down a bit and appear cooler.

Dark netting
Use dark window nettings so that when the light hits the walls, there is less light being received in the room.

Light colours
You can paint the wall brown and complement the furniture with curtains.

Use venetian blinds
They can be wooden, metallic or plastic. When there is light, they will moderate it; when the light hits the blinds, it will be reflected in stripes or patterns, which will make the room look cool.
Furthermore, window shades or blinds reflect heat away from the room. Nekesa recommends that you can alternatively close the blinds facing the sun. This keeps the heat generated by the sun out.

Use a fan
Segane recommends use of fans or air conditioners as these cool more efficiently. Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to use your ceiling fan? He advises that the base of your ceiling fan has a small switch that changes the direction of the air flow.
During the hot months, your ceiling fan should blow forward in a counter-clockwise direction, forcing air down and making you feel cooler. During the cooler months, your ceiling fan should blow in a clockwise direction circulating the air through the room without blowing directly on you. What better way to keep the room cool than keeping the heat out.
With these tips, you should be able to manage the heat and regulate the light. That will transcend in you enjoying your room uninhibited.

Other hacks
Paint your roof: Segane recommends that you check with a roofing manufacturer so that they can advise you on how best to paint the roof. They will also recommend the best roof paint and suggest suitable colour options to help you get a cool roof.

Retractable window and door awning: According to, this option may provide a little ground-level shade if you are sitting right next to the house, but the real purpose of these awnings it to shade the rooms of the house and to cut the glare coming in from outside. They can also add a slightly prim, seashore look to a house that many people find attractive. Window awnings can be retractable or fixed and made from sun-resistant fabric, fiberglass or aluminum. Fixed awning from fiberglass or aluminum may vibrate slightly when wind blows.