It’s time to think about going undercover this summer. There’s no sign of a slowdown in the warming of our planet and good shading is becoming an ever more necessary, if not an essential element in exterior planning.For the hospitality industry, shading offers obvious commercial benefits – extended seating areas means more customers, as well as extended trading hours in an attractive heated, well-lit space. Customisable options and bright colours and designs add decorative and advertising opportunities for otherwise blank outdoor spaces, and all shading gives the option of cover from both sun and rain so can be in use all year round. For the residential client, shading solutions can offer contemporary alternatives to the traditional stoep, or just add a touch of whimsy to a deck or pool area.
Shading can also help to unlock the property values in outdoor rooms by extending comfortable living spaces, as well as keeping pets and children cool and safe from harmful ultra violet rays – without restricting them to the indoors. If the area to be shaded is subject to extremes of weather, consider a structure that is robust and attached to the building. Perhaps look out for a more sophisticated solution which includes an inbuilt wind sensor that closes an awning in strong winds, like the MoGaCo BoomIf the building or aesthetic calls for cantilevered shading, consider that the weight of the shade may require attachment to the main ring-beam of the property – so always good to plan it in to a new property or development. Does the shading need to be individual or for communal entertaining? Individual options include furniture that offers inbuilt sunshades, such as the glamourous Eden daybed – large enough to seat several people, or cosy enough to curl up in for a snooze. Alternatively, look at more portable, flexible elements that can be combined such as the Fast Spa Aikana for a retro lounging look, or the Paola Lenti Bistrot umbrella with a side table and seat that combine to make practical shade spots full of colour and character.
As the concept of communal dining and table sharing becomes more common in the hospitality industry, larger shading structures such as pergolas are necessary in outdoor dining areas. Awnings which offer flexibility in size and configuration, come into play, such as Talenti’s Upper Alu – a fixed structure of aluminium and fabric.Standalone shades have also come out of the ‘three colours and two shapes’ closet! Innovative Belgian brand Sywawa offers some of the world’s most striking and talked about sun shades like the Bloom and the Frou frou – any of which will give a beach bar or pool area the ‘wow’ factor and a real USP. If the space calls for a more conventional approach to shading, or indeed whatever the final solution, use integrated lighting to give night-time glamour and extend use across all outside areas. Contact: The Modern Home Company.