The Most Popular Window Shades of 2020! Trends, Styles, and More!

blue retractable awning over deck of house

Love the natural light that your windows provide but looking for a little shade and privacy?

This is where window shades come in!

Designed to showcase the beauty and style of your windows while still offering you protection from the sun, there are more styles of exterior shades than ever before.

As a homeowner, this means you can take your pick from a bevy of options designed to fit your home's exterior and your personal style aesthetic. Yet, with so many options on the market, how do you know where to turn?

That's why we're here. Today, we're sharing a quick look at the top designs available, as well as what the future has in store for exterior shade trends in 2020.

Ready to learn more? Let's get started!

1. Retractable Awnings

Love the efficiency of window awnings, but don't want or need them to be full-length, all of the time? In that case, retractable awnings are your best bet. These are especially ideal if the sun tends to travel around your home in spurts, flooding your patio with light at certain hours of the day. 

These mount to the outside of your home and protrude outward, designed to cover windows, patio areas or other outdoor spaces when you need temporary shade. This way, you never have to worry if you're heading outside at the wrong time. You can plan an event in the morning, afternoon or evening and enjoy comfort all season long.

Available in custom models or pre-manufactured versions, you can find retractable awnings in a variety of styles, colors, lengths, and fabrics. In fact, there are some designed to span up to 80 feet wide, with projections of up to 13 feet! Built to be durable, versatile and long-lasting, retractable awnings offer a stylish solution to your shade woes!

When you're ready to head inside, you can retract them with the click of a button, showcasing your exterior with a slim enclosure that complements, rather than detracts from, your facade.

2. Retractable Window Awnings

While the retractable awnings described above are ideal for any exterior point in your home, there are also retractable awnings specially designed to fit over your windows.

Retractable window awnings are a hassle-free way to keep your interior cool and your energy costs low while also expressing your personal style. Designed to only cover a portion of your window, they still allow plenty of natural light to enter your home, without all of the harmful, damaging and uncomfortable consequences of full sun!

striped window awnings

One of the best parts of these shade solutions? As the sun travels around your house at different parts of the day, most models feature an adjustable range of motion that allows you to tilt the shade depending on your needs. Some range up to 165 degrees, meaning that you can always stay protected regardless of whether the sun is high in the morning sky or low on the evening horizon!

You'll also appreciate that these retractable awnings help cut down on the amount of glare in your living areas. Anyone who's ever tried to watch television at the height of the sun's noontime activity understands the value behind a home that's shaded just right!

3. Stationary Awnings

What about those places where you know your home gets full sun almost every hour of the day? Maybe your back patio is in the direct path of those hot and unhealthy rays, and you want a permanent solution that you don't have to open and close.

In this case, a stationary awning is perfect.

Available in a wide range of styles, materials, colors and price points, you can find stationary awnings designed to fit a variety of architectural tastes. For instance, these can range from the ultra modern, contemporary, Meditteranean themes to French Country, European, Italian, Farmhouse designs and more!

This way, you never have to worry about your awning clashing with your exterior or changing the look of your home. In other words, you're never forced to sacrifice style for comfort. Today's stationary awnings marry elegance and fashion with durability and ruggedness, adding to your curb appeal and delivering around-the-clock luxury.

4. Drop Shade Systems

What if you could turn your home's entrance, open-air patio or other outdoor areas into an area enclosed on all sides by vertical darkening and cooling shades? With drop shade systems, you can!

These affix to your doors, windows, or patio structures and offer the ultimate in flexibility. The shades themselves are comprised of either a thermal screen or an opaque acrylic awning fabric, depending on the specific model selected.

In addition to making your space more comfortable and cutting down on the sun's powerful glares, these vertical shades also enhance the privacy of any spot. In addition, they also help preserve your interior furniture, area rugs, hardwood floors, and carpet from becoming faded over time.

3 black drop shades

An added benefit? Drop shades keep the sun from turning your home into a roasting pot! When you're in the throes of the summertime heat, you'll be grateful for the cooling effect they provide. In fact, these shades block the sun's heat and UV rays before they even have a chance to reach your glass! That translates into lower energy requirements, savings on your utility bill, and a more comfortable space, all around.

 

5. Exterior Plantation Shutters

You might already know that contemporary plantation shutters can add style to the exterior of your home. Available in a range of colors and materials to complement your window trim, these have long been a designer favorite for exterior curb appeal.

However, one of the most recent trends to hit the window shade market is exterior plantation shutters or even board and batten shutters. These work just as you'd imagine, affixing to the outside of your home. However they are only for visual effect & modern exterior wood, plastic or fiberglass shutters don’t actually open & close for any kind of real protection.

When installed professionally, these can add instant curb appeal to your home. 

6. Fixed Hood Awnings

Think of a hood awning like a flat hat or visor for your house, with protection going all the way around the sides. These DIY-friendly structures are easier to install on your own but are still as durable as most other solutions on this list.

While many homeowners might associate hood awnings with homes built in earlier decades, including the sixties and seventies, there are modern, updated versions available today that elevate the look for the 21st century. 

What Does the Future Hold for Window Shades?

4 ascending tan awnings over deck in front of pool

For decades, homeowners have been trying to protect their properties from the sun and keep their guests as comfortable as possible.

Over the years, designers have perfected many systems and designs, creating products that look sleek and stylish without sacrificing quality or convenience. Moving forward into 2020, what can we expect for this industry?

In keeping with the exterior plantation shutters described above, look for manufacturers to find new ways to bring interior styles outdoors. This might mean expanding their material selection to accommodate a wider range of finishes, introducing more fun patterns, or both. 

In addition, look for more technological advances to disrupt and improve the industry.

While there are already retractable blinds that operate with the click of a button, you'll find more smartphone-friendly shades next year, controllable from miles away via your preferred device. At the same time, solar-powered shades will become more dominant, automatically opening and closing based on the activity of the sun, wind, and temperature!

These on-demand solutions will offer homeowners more flexibility and hands-off convenience than ever before. This way, you can turn any space into a quick gathering spot, including:

  • Patios
  • Pergolas
  • Decks
  • Front and back porches
  • Gazebos
  • Balconies

These are only a few of the trends and movements expected to shake up the shade industry in the best way possible. It's important to keep up with the trends and news surrounding this niche to stay up-to-date!

Find the Shade Solutions You Need Today

Whether you want a retractable shade that you can activate only when you need it or one that installs as a permanent addition to your home, you can find a range of styles that are both beautiful and practical.

When you're ready to begin your research and find the solution that meets your needs, we'd love to help.

We offer a colorful range of quality retractable patio awnings, retractable window awnings, stationary awnings and multiple exterior window shade systems that are ideal for a range of homeowner tastes and preferences. Contact us today to learn more about our products and discuss which ones are right for your home.