Awnings and blinds
If your entertaining space sits within an architectural framework, begin by installing overhead shading that blocks the sun from entering the zone. For structures that sit alongside a home, retractable awnings are a good choice as they shelter windows and doorways, reducing heat transfer to the home. This not only keeps the outdoor room cooler, it also helps reduce indoor temperatures and protects furnishings from sun damage. Overhead awning options are vast, however, specifics such as space and budget will guide you in the right direction. Drop-down blinds, which fall from the roofline to shield openings, are a sleek, space-savvy solution for sun and breeze control. But keep in mind how different coloured materials perform. “Darker tones are best for reducing glare, whereas lighter colours are more effective for heat control,” says Jenny Brown, national marketing manager of Luxaflex Window Fashions.