Like baseball caps for houses, window awnings block the sun’s harsh rays for infinitely more pleasant summer days. They’re generally made of fabric stretched on a frame, and come in a vast range of styles: stationary or retractable, dome-shaped or rectangular, open or enclosed with sides, off-the-shelf or custom-made. And then there are the valence styles: wavy, arched, serpentine, Greek key, and straight edge are a few choices.
So how do you choose? The awnings we like best are jaunty and hopefulâ€”they speak to us of cool breezes and lazy seaside afternoons. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite styles, in both striped and solid fabrics:
Above: Cedar Baldridge, owner and principal at Baldridge Landscape, chose Spear Awnings (named for their spear-like supports) with classic peaked valences in Dickson Gray fabric for a Houston-area house. About $1,200 to $1,600 each, from Baldridge Landscape.
Above: For a more tailored look, choose a solid fabric with a straight valence. Shown here, David John and Krista Schrock of DISC Interiors designed a custom purple spear awning made of Sunbrella fabric to shade a garage-turned-garden-room in West Los Angeles. For information and prices, see Van Nuys Awning.
Above: A 25-inch-deep Coolaroo Designer Awning has powder-coated aluminum side bars and comes in three widths. From Wayfair, starting at $148. Photograph by Eric Roth.
Above: A black Spear Awning with an exaggerated Greek key valence was installed above the doors of Houston designer Mary Jane Gallagherâ€™s guest house, at a cost of about $2,200. For more information, see W.K. Hill Awnings. Photograph by Kim Etheridge.
Above: Open-End Awnings give a facade a breezy, modern look. For this house in Bel Air, CA, A. Hoegee & Sons fabricated custom awnings at a cost of about $600 per window. For more information, see A. Hoegee & Sons.
Above: The Awntech Dallas Retro Window/Entry Awning has a classic valence and can be ordered in more than two dozen striped and solid fabrics, in widths from 3 feet to 50 feet. Shown in gray fabric on an aluminum frame; from $170 to $3,360 from Home Depot.
Above: At the Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, Texas, an open-end striped awning with a shallow wave valence shades a courtyard. For more information, see Landscape Architect Visit: The Hotel Saint Cecilia.
Above: A retractable open-end slant awning can be mounted inside or outside a window frame. These SunGuard Topaz Awnings from KE Durasol Awnings Inc. are available for windows up to 16 feet wide. For more information and prices, see Durasol.
Above: Enclosed awnings block more sun and glare than open-end awnings. Husteadâ€™s Canvas Creations used natural-colored Sunbrella fabric on Pull-Down Frame Awnings for this beach house in Norfolk, Virginia.
Above: A scalloped wave valence with white piping detail edges the enclosed Coolaroo Traditional Awning, available in four colors, including ebony. They’re available from Wayfair for $165 to $238, depending on width.
Above: If you prefer a rounded silhouette to a straight slant awning, a Dutch Canopy has a segmented frame that folds up when it’s not needed. This one was installed on a house in Bosham, West Sussex, UK. For more information, see Richards Blinds.
Above: Convex in shape, Awntech’s Savannah Window/Entry Awning quarter-barrel awning is stretched across an aluminum frame. An 8-foot-wide version is $633 from Home Depot.
Looking to provide shade (or privacy) from the inside? Read Michelle’s groundbreaking Domestic Dispatches: 5 Ways to Cover 50 Windows on a Budget. Find more exterior shade solutions over on Remodelista, with Julie’s Design Sleuth: Shade Sails.