You may have noticed it gets kind of hot in Australia. Alright, not “kind of” hot – let’s just say “hot”. Actually, wait, scratch that – not just “hot” – extremely hot. Yep. It gets extremely hot in Australia. In fact, we spend the entire duration of winter’s cold months waiting for the warmth of summer to arrive, only to find ourselves a sweaty mess longing for the cool months once again when it does. Whoever first said “We want what we can’t have” sure hit the nail on the head. Anyway, this is one of the biggest reasons Australian homes need shade. Glorious, glorious shade. Here we look at four of the best ways to add shade to your home, from the classic Aussie patio to the modern and innovative retractable awning .
- Retractable awnings
- Roller blinds
Out on the patio we sit, and the humidity we breathe. The classic lyrics from GANGgajang’s “Sounds of Then” track encapsulate the uniquely Aussie experience of sitting on a patio in the scorching, humid summer’s heat. Add a cold beverage, a tray of sliced watermelon and an oscillating fan to the equation and you have it dialled. A patio can provide shade, character and, overall, a place for family and friends to gather and wile away the hours in sun.
If a patio is a bit too expensive or you don’t have the space to have one installed, a pergola could be a great option as well. Pergolas usually consist of a framework supported by a column and connected with beams that run across the top. Generally, hanging plants weave their way through the wooden structure too. While it may not protect from the rain, it certainly adds a great deal of shade to any home, with the hanging plants doing a great job of blocking out the sun while still allowing a little bit of warmth to resonate through.
An awning is an overhanging structure that is attached to the exterior of a home, usually with the aim of protecting against the elements. The retractable awning is a newer type of awning that is currently all the rage in home design. When fully extended, it provides complete protection from the sun, with the fabric of the awning helping to absorb heat, creating not only shade but a feeling of cool underneath in oppressively hot conditions. When the weather is cold but the sun is shining and you want to soak up as much of those rays as you can, simply press a remote control button and the feature will retract. Versatility is the key here.
While so far we’ve looked at structures that can add shade to the exterior of your home, sometimes lack of shade is just as much of a problem inside. If you have large windows in the direct path of the sun, your house can heat up very quickly, which is why installing roller blinds can be a great option. Made of a single piece of fabric that is raised and lowered via a roller that sits along the top, roller blinds help control temperature, bring shade to your home and, as an added bonus, also allow for privacy from the prying eyes of passers-by.