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How to Keep Outdoor Summer Entertaining Cool

Posted: Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | Filed under: awnings, exterior shades, Home cooling, Home Improvement, retractable awnings, window treatments
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Deck Awning

Retractable Awning

What a better way to revel in the warm air of summer than to enjoy your outdoor spaces?  In fact, over the past few years, as more and more people have learned about the possibilities in outdoor design (kudos to HGTV for that!) these spaces have become less a luxury enjoyed only by a few, and more a planned space for those with homes, and in many cases with apartments.

The first step in deciding what type of outdoor shading will work well with your space is to decide what areas you want to provide sun cover.  Do you have a small balcony that is surrounded by walls and lacking air flow?  You may want to shade the entire space, but utilize a shade that allows air to circulate.   If you are looking to shade a large area that is open and allows air to circulate, you might opt for a more opaque shade and gain a constant cool spot for guests to enjoy.

You also need to determine what activities you might be doing in the space that you are shading.  Many people want to shade the areas where they will be dining, and others want to reserve the shady spots for lounging out of the sun on a hot day, or in a soft summer rain.

For spaces that are close to your home structure an awning is always a classic choice.  But we are not talking about your grandpa’s awnings here.  Awnings can come with remote controls and automated settings that can serve to cool off spaces (indoor and out) at specific times of the day.  Awnings are also now designed to add to the aesthetics of your outdoor space in a variety of styles and fabrics, while doing double duty by cutting glare, and even blocking harmful UV rays.

One trend in outdoor design that we often see people getting wildly creative with are structures that either add on to the home (in the case of some luxury outdoor kitchens that have become popular for entertaining) or that are built for other areas of your outdoors (greenhouses, pool houses, pergolas, etc).  Remember, when you are building structures like this for your outdoor spaces, that light and airy is key to maintaining a feeling of being outdoors.  Wherever you can, use materials that allow you to keep structures open (windows, or simply openings), knowing that there is a shading solution to meet all of your needs and allow you to cover and protect these spaces as necessary.

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