When people purchase awnings for their homes, they tend to think in terms of tangible benefits. Which is not surprising; after all, awnings can provide shade and shelter for a patio or entryway, add livable space to a home, and reduce energy costs.
But awnings aren’t only about function. There’s also a distinct fashion component to the appearance of your home. So it’s wise to consider the aesthetic aspects of your awning choice in order to add a subtle (or healthy) dose of charm to your residence.
Blend or Stand Out?
The first decision to make is whether you want the awning to blend in with your home’s look or to serve as a focal point for the eye. This will impact the color(s) and pattern you select. If you want your awning to blend in with your home’s facade, then choosing a similar color will accomplish that; but if you’d rather make a statement, you may lean toward brighter colors and more distinctive patterns.
This poolside awning does a nice job of complementing the home’s exterior and drawing the eye.
If you have a contemporary home, one approach is to use an awning to “dress up” its exterior. Picking out distinctive colors, complex patterns, and/or scalloped valances will draw the viewer’s eye and provide your home with zest and pizzazz. On the other hand, you may simply wish to complement your home’s existing design elements. In this case, you should try to coordinate awning colors with those of your trim, shingles, and exterior paint — or opt for neutral hues or basic colors, like navy or forest green.
Architectural Style and Surrounding Setting
If you own a home which possesses distinctive architectural traits, these should be taken into consideration when picking out an awning style. For instance, cottage-style and colonial homes can be accented with bar stripe patterns that were popular in days gone by. Similarly, stucco-sided or Southwestern-style homes may call for simple solid colors, like salmon, beige, or terra cotta.
The window awning has beige colors to match the terra cotta wall, but is bright enough to add to the home’s charm.
The surrounding setting of your home also plays into your awning decision. For example, if you reside near a seashore or beach, tones that are bright and sunny will fit in quite nicely. Homes in woodland or mountainous areas may be better suited for awnings in earthy, neutral colors. If you live in a suburban or urban environment, your neighborhood or block can influence your awning’s appearance. You may want to choose an awning similar in color or style to other nearby homes; or go with old-time black-and-white stripes in historic neighborhoods.
You should also be cognizant of the size of your home (or the portion which will be the site of your awning). A spacious convex awning might swallow up a bungalow’s facade, while a petite, arch-shaped awning might be lost in the expanse of a sprawling mansion. Finally, it’s perfectly acceptable to pick out an awning with the inside of your home in mind. Many awnings can be made to naturally complement your interior design choices — especially those present in your foyer or entry hallway.
This Dutch colonial home benefits from the old-world charm (and shade) of this scalloped fabric awning.
Whatever elements you consider when deciding on an awning, going through the process of comparing colors, fabrics, designs, and shapes is a fun and memorable experience in and of itself. And it also helps you keep in mind that your awning is much more than a shade-providing home addition; it’s a fashion statement that helps bring out your home’s unique charm and character.
Written by Harry Helmet