Determining whether awnings make sense for your home can be a difficult decision. The first factor to consider should be purpose: Will they shade and help cool the home, or will they be used more for aesthetics? Both can be good reasons to use awnings. • There are several basic styles such as concave, dome and fixed-frame, all of which have a skeleton made of aluminum with a fitted fabric skin stretched over and secured to the frame. Canvas is somewhat susceptible to wind damage but a properly engineered awning should hold up against a "typical" Florida storm. (Make sure they are covered in your insurance policy.) • The awnings in this picture are like a canopy attached to the house, the fabric hanging by gravity to the horizontal poles extended by a pipe armature. Since dressing up our outdoor spaces has become popular, the selection of canvas and outdoor fabric choices has grown significantly. Bold colors and exciting stripes are now on the market, and for the truly adventurous these solids and patterns could be used in panels to create your own unique patterns on awnings. • There are also retractable awnings for places where shade may be desirable only at certain times of the day. If you're considering awnings, a designer or awning specialist can help you wade through the choices and options. Awnings can be a fun way to add personality, life and color to your house!
Scott Scherschel and Chip Vogel are designers with Interior Spaces Inc. If you have a design question for Interior Spaces, email your question with a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. A solution could be used in a future article.