Ex­ter­nal shad­ing can pre­vent dam­ag­ing rays, heat and glare from en­ter­ing your home so you stay cool and com­fort­able all sum­mer.

Australian House & Garden - - ADVICE -

As the sea­son heats up, keep­ing your home cool be­comes a top pri­or­ity. In­te­rior win­dow cov­er­ings help greatly, but the real key to pas­sive-cool­ing suc­cess is ad­e­quate ex­ter­nal shad­ing, says ar­chi­tect Stephen Guthrie, co-di­rec­tor at Bark De­sign Ar­chi­tects. “It’s bet­ter to tackle heat and glare be­fore it hits your home,” he says. “By do­ing so, you pre­vent heat be­ing trans­ferred in­side.”

Ex­te­rior awnings, vene­tians, roller blinds and shut­ters all block heat and glare and al­low you to choose the level of shad­ing to suit your home and cli­mate. Ex­ter­nal roller blinds of­fer good flex­i­bil­ity and per­for­mance, says Pino Alessi, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at ar­chi­tec­tural win­dow fur­nish­ings firm Alessi De­sign Group. “Ex­ter­nal roller blinds will pre­vent 50 to 60 per cent of heat from en­ter­ing your home, while ex­te­rior vene­tians can block up to 85 per cent. Vene­tians cost about 25 per cent more than roller blinds, but you will reap the sav­ings in power bills down the track.”

Shut­ters are an­other op­tion worth con­sid­er­ing, says Bryce Hed­ditch, di­rec­tor at Son­nen­schutz, which makes a range of shades and shut­ters that are suit­able for bush­fire-prone ar­eas. “Tra­di­tional case­ment shut­ters are typ­i­cally used where a her­itage look is de­sired, but slid­ing shut­ters are be­com­ing pop­u­lar for their ar­chi­tec­tural aes­thetic,” he says.

An awning has the power to bring your home beau­ti­fully to life, says Tony Cassar, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for Vic­tory Cur­tains and Blinds. “It will soften and add depth to the fa­cade of your home. And Aus­tralian-made awnings are sec­ond to none be­cause they’re man­u­fac­tured specif­i­cally for our con­di­tions.”

Awnings are be­com­ing smarter, too. “Sen­sor-en­abled de­signs can ex­tend out as the sun moves and re­tract when it’s cloudy,” says Cassar. “More im­por­tantly, in high winds they will re­tract au­to­mat­i­cally to avoid dam­age. The lat­est app tech­nol­ogy also al­lows you to op­er­ate your awnings from any­where.”

If you’ve in­vested in good out­door fur­ni­ture it’s wise to pro­tect it with an awning, re­tractable roof or shade sail. Re­tractable roofs are ideal for pro­tect­ing large ar­eas from sun and rain (He­lio­screen’s All Sea­sons de­sign pro­vides cov­er­age for up to 100m2), while awnings can be bet­ter suited to bal­conies and court­yards (Mark­ilux’s cas­sette awnings can span up to 7m with a 4.3m pro­jec­tion; Lux­aflex Win­dow Fash­ion’s re­tractable awnings of­fer great flex­i­bil­ity with crank or mo­torised op­er­a­tion, in­te­grated rain hoods, wind-pro­tec­tion sys­tems and sun and wind sen­sors).

When it comes to trends, sleek and fuss-free is the or­der of the day. Mark­ilux’s slim­line awnings dis­ap­pear into a neat cas­sette when not in use.

The Ven­tura ter­race awning and Nisse fold­ing-arm awning from Lux­aflex are both per­fect choices for nar­row ter­races and bal­conies. If you want to cre­ate shade yet pre­serve your view, take a look at the eZIP mesh range from Vic­tory Blinds. An al­ter­na­tive to tra­di­tional awnings, these prod­ucts have a neat side re­ten­tion sys­tem that helps keep in­sects out, too.

To­day’s blinds and awnings are de­signed with min­i­mal main­te­nance in mind. Lux­aflex of­fers a range of dirt­de­fy­ing fab­rics for both in­side and out, so you can spend more time en­joy­ing the shaded ar­eas of your home and less time look­ing af­ter them.

Ear­lier this year, Mark­ilux launched a colour-match­ing ser­vice that al­lows you to have your awnings the same colour as your home’s ex­te­rior. “We dye our fab­rics in-house, which en­ables this level of colour pre­ci­sion,” says Kieran Keen, head of mar­ket­ing for Mark­ilux. “This means your awning has the po­ten­tial to be a great fea­ture of your home.”

‘Good ex­ter­nal shad­ing can re­sult in your home be­ing sev­eral de­grees cooler in­side, and pro­long the life of your fur­ni­ture and floor­ing.’ Tony Cassar, Vic­tory Cur­tains and Blinds

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT This cheer­ful awning is con­trolled by a Somfy Orea RTS mo­tor with an Eo­lis RTS wind sen­sor. A Coola­roo shade sail in Char­coal weath­er­proof cloth from Bun­nings. A Syd­ney home by To­bias Part­ners fea­tures cus­tom shut­ters with a steel frame and stag­gered teak bat­tens. A Mark­ilux fold­ing-arm awning pro­vides flex­i­ble shad­ing and re­tracts neatly into its wall-mounted cas­sette when not re­quired. OP­PO­SITE Bark De­sign worked deep, pro­tec­tive eaves into the de­sign of this Queens­land beach house.

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