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60% of Homeowners Are Installing Window Film—And It’s Not to Save on Utilities

And a DIY alternative that costs only $15.

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Photography by Wynn Meyers

Natural light ranks high on many people’s home must-have lists, but we forget that sun-filled spaces come with a cost: faded furniture. That doesn’t mean you have to relent to life in the dark to have a nice velvet sofa. According to a recent study by the International Window Film Association, there’s another way. The survey found 63 percent of homeowners would consider professionally installed window film to help reduce the fading impact. Another perk? The extra layer of protection can boost your home’s energy-saving performance (in other words, lower your utility bill) at a fraction of the cost of replacing the window. 

Still, if hiring a pro isn’t in the budget, if you’re a renter, or if you simply want something with more personality, you don’t have to go the film-coating route. Here are a few tried-and-true projects to upgrade your panels or refresh that armchair that has seen better days. 

Give Your Glass a Stain

Photography by Gillian Lawlee

A do-it-yourself stained-glass project is just as effective as the real deal. Interior stylist Gillian Lawlee found a rainbow of film for only $15 with an anti-UV treatment that easily roll on (and peel off) windows and shares how to get the look in just three steps.

Give Your Furniture a New Look

Photography by Kate Jordan; Design by Alison Yousefi

Reupholstering doesn’t have to be a DIY drag—Jordan Ferney makes it look fun. In her cheat sheet for re-covering everything from folding chairs to bed frames, she demonstrates how being resourceful (Etsy vendors for the win!) and playful (Vans-like checks on a vintage chair, why not?) can make the process incredibly rewarding. 

Give Your Cushion Covers an Upgrade

Photography by Jennifer Hughes; Design by Surrounded by Color; Styling by Jen Levy

Designer and founder of Surrounded by Color Robin Heller has kept her nine-year-old IKEA sofa feeling fresh by swapping out the cover every few years. Her latest iteration? A custom tie-dyed creation (with matching curtains) from her friends at Upstate. She swears it’s impossible for her three boys to destroy, so the sun doesn’t stand a chance.