Australians love to entertain at home and we do it all year round, both indoors and out. In winter, the weather may force us inside on occasion, but in summer our parties spill out into our backyards and gardens. And that’s why it’s important not only to provide our guests with a good time, but with adequate sun protection as well.
Modern awnings can extend your outdoor entertainment areas by as much as four metres. They are designed to absorb heat and reduce the sun’s penetration, as well as stand up to the harshest wind conditions. They are rated according to the Beaufort scale, which measures resistance to wind speed. The higher the rating, the more resistant the material is to wind damage.
Folding-arm awnings can be motorised and even remotely controlled, with special sun and wind sensors that allow you to position them so they offer exactly the right amount of shade and protection for your guests. Made from long-lasting, UV-resistant materials in a huge range of colours and fabrics, today’s outdoor awnings are the perfect way to party under the sun.
A pergola can be a good solution when you have a group of guests sitting outdoors. Pergolas can be either freestanding or attached to the house and make an attractive focus for a garden or lawn area. Like awnings, modern pergolas are also constructed from weather and wind-resistant materials and come in a range of styles and colours.
If you’re having a band at your party, a pergola is often the ideal place for them to set up and play; much like the bandstands found in public parks many years ago. Make sure you warn your neighbours though, or you may have some uninvited guests at your party.
Not everyone at the party will be outside, so it’s important to provide shade for those guests who are indoors as well. Any rooms with large areas of glass will become hot and stuffy in a very short time, unless adequately shaded from the outside. Modern external screens absorb heat and provide protection by controlling the amount of direct sunlight that enters a room. And because they are made from low-impact fabrics, they don’t interfere with the view.
If you don’t do a lot of entertaining and are required to host a large gathering of people, such as a wedding party, you may decide to hire your sun protection for the day. Party hire suppliers offer a wide range of marquees, which can be set up on your lawn to provide catering and shelter for your guests. Parasols may be a better option if people are sitting about in small groups and these can be hired, along with tables and chairs, for relatively little expense.
Whether you party a little or a lot will ultimately determine your choice of sun protection, but remember that even with such effective devices as those described here, you should still wear a hat and sunscreen when out in the harsh Aussie sun.