Archive for the ‘Shade’ Category

Types of Patio Awnings

The typical patio awning has gotten a big makeover in the last few decades. These types of awnings used to just have a metal design and wrought iron columns. While this lasted a long time and provided great shade, it tended to have an oppressive feeling. Plus, if you’ve ever heard the rain hit one of these metal awnings then you know how noisy it can be. This is probably why the trend went more towards pergolas and wooden structures for a while. However, now awnings are back whether in decorative form or to provide shade for your decks and patios.

A wood awning helps to substitute for a pergola’s natural and more airy feel, and can be a good way to get into woodworking projects. Such a wooden awning might mimic a dormer if it has a pitched roof. However, it can be a more simplistic box style awning too. This allows you to bring in beautiful wood tones without having to go through the expense and work of building a deck or installing new garage doors. This is also one of the few ways to do a contemporary style of awning. To choose the awning that’s right for you, a good idea is to look at any existing wooden structures in your yard. Then define the style of exterior you have and choose a complimentary material even if it’s unusual.

The most unconventional material that I’ve come across …

Easy Shade with Canvas Awnings

Going with canvas awnings provides you with shade and there are even retractable versions offered. It saves you a lot of expense in having to build in architecture for shade. It also helps you to add a covered entryway to your home inexpensively. In many instances its light weight enough that you won’t need to worry about a lot of supporting posts too and it’s a pretty cheap and lasting shade option as well.

The biggest trend we’ve seen in canvas awnings is just in the color palette. While these would typically be found in classic red and burgundies that’s all changing. The key is to be more neutral and more sophisticated so it doesn’t end up looking like a restaurant. It also helps to protect your investment just because it won’t become outdated as quickly.

Awnings aren’t just for windows and doors anymore. Tailored versions can fit on top of a pergola depending on the post structure that you have. It will be sleeker than a canopy and might have a retractable function. However, if you want to get a faux look that’s a lot cheaper then try to mimic the market edge or scallop treatment that’s so typical with awnings. This can be a fabric valance that you sew and apply around your pergola or covered porch to save money. It only works though if you already have all of the shade that you want.

My favorite use …

Patio Shade Cloth – Inexpensive and Efficient Materials

When the hot summer sun is beating down, shade is one of the most valuable commodities for outdoor living.  The comfort that a patio shade cloth can bring to you and your family can make an amazing difference in how much time you spend out enjoying your backyard instead of being stuck inside hugging the air conditioner.

Better yet, you can achieve this rather inexpensively.  The types of products used for patio shading can be very lightweight indeed, which means they don’t use a lot of materials.  Patio shade sails for instance are often not much more than a triangle of woven material, somewhat like a tarp, that is connected to supports using fasteners and cables.  This type of setup can shade a rather large area for only a few dollars investment.

Outdoor Shade Cloth Fabric

The types of fabrics used in patio shading applications can vary quite a bit.  Most are lightweight fabrics which are not completely opaque.  This allows the light in, but diffused enough that it isn’t harsh on your skin or eyes.  Also a benefit of these lightweight fabrics is that they allow hot air to rise, rather than having it trapped or radiated downwards like with aluminum or wood patio covers.

Sometimes heavier knitted materials can be used, which gives a less uniform shade.  Small patterns of light and dark emerge, and this can give a more natural feel to the shade.  If you’ve ever …

Shade from a Covered Porch

Patio shades can come in all kinds of price ranges. However, the less expensive options usually have some drawbacks to them. For example, look at the relatively inexpensive fabric sunshade or shade sail options. Even though outdoor fabric is made to withstand rain and wind, usually it becomes worn over time.

I find the most long lasting shade providing options are those adding new architectural elements to your home. This also helps ensure that it matches the style of your house. You can also use modern materials like PVC or vinyl so that it will be easier to take care of.

A covered porch almost always has a country aspect to it. This is definitely the elegant side of the country look though. Painted wood beams or PVC approximations are in keeping with this design. Also look for white or porch steps and traditional railings and banisters. This helps to finish off your porch even if it isn’t up high. This definitely makes it a lot more sophisticated than a deck.

Covering a Porch with Fabric

If you don’t have a covered porch you can still use some country styled ideas that will use fabric. Look for outdoor fabrics in bright colors. These are readily available in blue, red, and yellow. In most other decorating styles there just isn’t a good way to implement these outdoor fabrics just because they are so colorful. Look for shades or floor to ceiling …

Shading Tuscan Style Patios

The Tuscan style can seamlessly work with a lot of your existing patio shade ideas such as pergolas. If you have neutral tones or stucco exteriors then this is a great theme for an outdoor entertaining area. It also works well for a lot of parties because the Tuscan style is often associated with food.

Usually, you will have some type of structure to provide shade for your patio. It could be a typical wood pergola design or you might find more ornate covered patios or gazebos in this type of outdoor living space. There are even enclosed patios with vaulted or arched ceilings because this is in keeping with the ornate Italian architecture.

For a Tuscan style shade covering typically you’d want to go with a pergola. Don’t paint it white but leave it in a natural wood tone or find a chocolate brown PVC to mimic the look. A staple of the Tuscan style is dark wood posts and beams. A pergola instantly imitates this.

Using the Pergola as a Trellis or Arbor

If you want even more shade then this style does use a lot of greenery over entire arbors and pergolas. Usually this has grape vines or ivy on them. Bringing in fabric elements will be a little bit trickier because this style tends to use very ornate and heavy fabrics that just are found in outdoor versions. Ironically usually an insect screen will be quite …

Patio Screens – Privacy and Comfort for Decks and Patios

Adding patio screens or screen rooms for decks will really make a huge difference in how hospitable your outdoor living areas can be. By providing cooling shade from the sun when it’s lower in the sky, to keeping out insect pests, to allowing you and your family an area of increased privacy, patio screens certainly bring a lot to the table.

Adding screens for patio use doesn’t just affect the livability of your patio either, it can actually increase the comfort of your indoor environment as well. This is because you can more readily open up areas of your home to facilitate air movement, without having to worry about insect pests getting into the home.

The Ins and Outs of Home Efficiency

The best things you can do to lower your energy bills is to add features to your home which will passively cool the home in summer, open up your home to improve airflow, and allow you to spend more time comfortably outdoors. This is an area where screen houses for decks and other types of patio screens really make their mark, as they help to address all three issues at the same time.

First of all, patio screens will help to reduce the amount of direct sunlight and other intense glare from entering into the house through windows. While not as important in regards to this factor as an overhead canopy on your deck or patio, it’s still …

Covered Patio Designs

A covered patio provides you with shade and also creates a grand entryway into your yard. It does feel a lot more like an outdoor room. It provides you with columns and posts which is a place that you can play with many paint and stain colors. Here are a few steps to take in decorating a covered patio.

First, determine the style of architecture that you have. If you have a lot of simplistic beams then this can go in almost any direction. However, you might need to add in more opulent curtains. Pair it with a darker wood stain for a Tuscan look. If you have archways, then this will probably take out some kind of European influence. If you have stone archways, then this will be quite Tuscan or French inspired, depending on the type of stone that is used. Tuscan style stone, even if it’s just an engineered cement tends to use bolder tones while French stones tend to be more gray.

If you have a stucco archway then this can easily be painted to match many themes. Terra-cotta archways are evocative of the Southwest look or even the Tuscan style depending on the furniture that you choose. Brighter tones can be more Spanish or Moroccan inspired. You’ll want to bring in a lot of tile or paint your porch floor to mimic this. Even if it’s a wooden version it will require extensive stenciling, but …

Awnings for Decks – Is Cloth or Metal Right for You?

The right awnings for decks can make a huge difference in the livability of your home and yard. By creating a gentle transition between the indoors and out, you make sure that there’s an environment for every taste and time of year.

Awnings have some advantages over other types of shade structures. A pergola for instance doesn’t provide the protection from the sun and rain like an awning can. While the pergola has it’s own strengths, such as creating a beautiful eye-catching feature for your home, and demarcating a more open outdoor area, in most cases awnings have an advantage over sheer functionality.

This functionality is most prevailent when dealing with retractable deck awnings. Other types of deck and patio awnings provide a steady level of protection, even though the weather is never going to be the same. With an adjustable awning for your deck, you can ensure that when you want the sky to be open it’s open, and when you need the shelter from the elements you can have that too. It’s the best of both worlds!

Types of Awnings for Decks

Most awnings that are used on decks are going to attach to the wall of the house. Because of this, many times you can mimic some of the same energy saving effects as window awnings for homes can provide. This is due to the ability to block the warming rays of the sun from entering through …

Patio Shade Ideas – Cool Pop Up Tents, Awnings, Gazebos, and Pergolas

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could go outside and enjoy a beautiful summer’s day, but ended up hiding inside from the hot sun? With damaging UV rays posing a threat to our health, it’s imperative that protection from the sun is provided for you and your family to truly be able to enjoy your back yard patio.

Luckily there are a wide variety of options available on the market today for homeowners to address these concerns. From gazebos with their graceful and stylish lines, to pergolas with their characteristic slats and shade patterns, there’s sure to be a good fit for your yard, as well as for the look of your home.

The main reason for looking for ideas to shade a patio is of course to provide a cool and sheltered area for you to enjoy the outdoors. Doing so can help open up your house so that you aren’t always stuck inside. Not only can it help ease the transition from inside to out in a functional sense, but also from one of looks as well. A project like this is your chance to spice up the look of your yard, and at the same time help create a more gradual transition for the eye between the home and garden.

Which Form of Shade is Best?

Different situations call for different types of shade ideas for your patio. Sometimes the warmth of the sun can be …