One of the most difficult parts of enjoying your garden is using it when the weather is conspiring against you.
While rainfall can totally ruin your enjoyment of your backyard, there are other things that can be equally annoying, excessive sunshine being one of them.
Trying to relax in your garden can be uncomfortable if you’re not a fan of the sun, or don’t always want to risk getting sunburnt while you try to enjoy your yard space.
While umbrellas and parasols can offer some protection from sunburn and give you some shade in which to work or relax, they often don’t provide very much protection and these often take up a lot of space in your garden or patio area.
This is where awnings come in.
Awnings are shade covers that extend out over your patio, deck, or garden space but are anchored to a wall, usually the exterior wall of your home, giving it a sturdy and stable anchor point that can provide wide-ranging protection from the sun without taking up a lot of space.
However, awnings aren’t particularly common and a lot of people don’t even really know that they’re an option, as they’re more commonly seen at hotels, bars, and restaurants.
This is because they provide a lot of protection and are very convenient, but can be a little more expensive and difficult to set up initially.
Regardless, they are a great choice if you’re looking to reinvent your backyard, so in this guide we’re going to look at 13 of the best awning ideas for your yard, to give you some ideas for designs and possibilities depending on your budget and aesthetic needs.
1. Segmented Awning
The first idea to think about is a segmented awning, which is a little different from the standard awning in that it uses strips of fabric space apart instead of one larger shade.
The benefits of this are that it’s able to provide shade without turning your patio into a gloomy place and totally blocking out the sun, and are also better at handling wind as they are less likely to be blown away or damaged due to the smaller surface area.
They also look very contemporary and would suit a modern garden aesthetic very nicely, although can be more time-consuming to set up initially.
2. Straw Awning
Another interesting potential option would be to go for a straw awning, which is a much more traditional idea that is a little more natural-looking and old-fashioned, while still offering a lot of shade and simplicity to your yard space.
This idea looks especially good in beach-themed yards that want to create that topical beachside aesthetic, although they are a little less convenient and can be damaged by inclement weather.
3. Manual Roll-Out Awning
This option is very popular at hotels and bars, and these provide some of the most comprehensive shadings covers to your space, with the added benefit of being retractable meaning you can stow them away to prevent damage during bad weather or over the winter, or if you want to allow more sunshine to get that perfect tan.
These can be a little more expensive but they are still relatively reasonable price-wise and provide some of the best protection and flexibility available in awning designs.
4. Pergola Awning
For something a little different you could go for a pergola design, which allows you to use a variety of different strategies for mounting fixed awnings, allowing the use of various materials and mounting systems.,
Pergolas also look good and add a refined feel to any yard space.
5. Tie-up Sunshade Awning
A tie-up awning is a great temporary option that is essentially a large sheet that is strapped or tied up wherever you can, creating a large shaded area underneath.
These are very convenient and are easy to put up and take down, and can look quite neat despite their somewhat temporary nature.
6. Motorized Awning
These are similar to the manual awnings, with the key difference being that they can be retracted or extended simply by pressing a button, making them even more convenient than the other awning choices here, although they are also a little more expensive and require more careful maintenance and care than other awning designs.
7. Fixed Awning
A fixed awning is a solid awning that is often made of clear plastic and resting on a framework, creating a sort of fixed porch area that provides excellent protection against the elements but is less flexible than other more typical awning designs.
This is sort of a grey area between an awning and a porch/outhouse shack.
8. Synthetic Awning
Synthetic awnings are awnings made of synthetic fibers and cloth, which are sturdy, easy to replace, and come in a range of colors and sizes. They are quite easy to maintain and can be used with various mounting systems depending on your preference.
9. Retractable Awnings
Retractable awnings are a less refined version of the manual and motorized awnings and operate sort of like blinds or curtains that are mounted horizontally to block sunlight from above, usually mounted to a pergola or wooden frame.
These are cheap and easy to set up but aren’t as sturdy and can be awkward to use sometimes.
10. Shade Sails
Shade sails are a sort of crossing point between an awning and a wind blocker and offer protection from sunlight when it comes in at odd angles, giving you protection when the sun gets low.
They can be used on their own or with awnings to give maximum protection from sunlight at all hours of the day.