When temperatures rise, awnings are an essential weapon in the cooling arsenal—blocking direct sun and creating zones of shade. The best development we've seen in a while is the tensioned shade sail, a triangle or rectangular of UV-blocking fabric.
Whittier, CA-based Shade Sails offers an extensive range of sail shades in different configurations; prices range from $59.95 for an eight--foot triangle to $239.55 for a 15-foot square. Off-the-Rack Shades by Gale Pacific are available at Stacks and Stacks.
Above: Simple lean-to shading via a canvas awning at Kasbah Bab Ourika in Morocco.
Above: Photo via OWI.
Above: Shade Sails from Backyard City.
Above: A Square Shade Sail by Gale Pacific is 11 feet, ten inches square; it's $159 from Stacks and Stacks.