The holidays for me means getting the table leaves out of the closet and the chairs from the bedrooms to accommodate the parties and the many visitors during the holiday season. Since things are being moved about, I take time to inspect the color and overall condition of my furnishings.
The natural aging process tends to add a sense of warmth and beauty to wooden objects that only time and the sun can create. Ironically, the warm bright sun we all seek will also, with time, fade and degrade everything in its path including art, fabrics and carpets. Finishes will also fail sooner, rather than later from expansion and contraction due to direct sunlight. You may notice that one of the dining chairs is lighter than the rest or the table leaves are a little darker than the rest of the top. Also, tiny cracks or very small chips may be starting to appear in the finish and the luster may also be starting to dull.
To be sure, fine furniture, antiques and other objects of art are more highly valued when the original aged surfaces, otherwise known as patina, are present and have not been altered in any way other than light and careful dustings and appropriate coats of wax along the way. On fine older furniture it is not uncommon to see a dark area in the middle of a table for instance, that had a vase or some other decoration sitting on one spot for quite a while. This leads to a much darker area than the rest of the surface and can detract from the overall beauty of the piece.
However, there are a few moves we can make and now would be a good time to take a few steps to care for our prized possessions, to keep our colors from fading from the sun and to slow down the deterioration of wood finishes.