April 12th, 2023
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Functional vs. Decorative: How to Decide Between Awnings and Shades

When it comes to outdoor shading solutions, there are many different options available to customers, and it can be confusing to determine which one will best suit their needs. In general, Accent Awnings offers two main types of shading products: awnings and outdoor shades. While they might seem similar, they serve different purposes and offer different benefits.

Awnings are designed to provide overhead shading and can be either fixed or retractable. They are typically attached to the exterior of a building and can be made from a variety of materials such as fabric or metal, or both. Awnings for your house are ideal for creating a shaded outdoor living space and can be used to protect against harsh sun exposure. They can also help to reduce energy costs and protect your indoors by blocking the sun’s rays from entering the home and heating the interior.

Drop shades, on the other hand, are designed to provide front face shading, and are installed on the outside of windows or doors. They are perfect for protecting against the sun’s glare and can be used to reduce heat and UV radiation indoors. Drop shades can be either motorized or manual, and are available in a range of materials, including Sunbrella fabric, vinyl, and mesh.

So how do you determine the best type of sun protection for your specific needs? Let’s look at some common lifestyle scenarios and the shading products that accomplish each unique situation.

Scenario 1: Outdoor Dining Area 

If you have an outdoor seating area that receives a lot of direct sunlight, you might assume that an awning is the best solution. However, if the main issue is the sun setting in the sky during your evening patio dinner, you may still be dealing with blinding glare in your eyes. In this case, a vertical drop shade, like the Patio-Pro Drop Shade, would be a better option. By attaching the drop shade to the openings of your patio cover, you can block the glare and make your dining area much more comfortable and versatile.

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Scenario 2: Trouble Window 

If you have a kitchen or office window that receives a lot of direct sunlight during the midday, it can make simple tasks uncomfortable and difficult. In this case, an awning would be the best solution. By installing a retractable or fixed awning made with opaque Sunbrella fabric, you can make your space more useful and complete your daily projects even during the time of day when the sun is highest in the sky.

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Scenario 3: Multiple Needs 

If you have multiple shading needs, such as needing a vertical layer of defense against the sunrise or sunset glare, but you prefer an awning look, then the Robusta Retractable Window Awning might be the best solution due to its awning look and feel but most importantly, its 180-degree versatility of shade. Additionally, add-ons like the Vari-Valance can provide a roll-down shade at the edge of your retractable patio awning to give you not only overhead shading, but front-face protection at the same time.

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Upgrade Your Shading Game According to Your Lifestyle

Choosing the right shading solution for your needs requires careful consideration of your specific lifestyle scenario. By understanding the differences between awnings and shades and how they can be used, you can make an informed decision that will enhance your outdoor living space and make it more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family.

At Accent Awnings, we’ve been serving our clients in and near Orange County and San Diego, CA, for 44 years with top-quality awnings and drop shades. Our experience ensures that we provide the best shading solutions for your unique needs. Contact us today for a free estimate and learn more about our exceptional products!