First it’s too cold, then it’s too wet, then finally it’s too hot to enjoy time outdoors, which means that much of the year is spent looking longingly at our gardens from behind a window. It doesn’t have to be this way though – a garden awning enables you to make the most of outdoors whatever the weather.
This means you can host parties, barbecues and other gatherings in the garden without looking nervously up at the skies every five minutes – secure in the knowledge you won’t be forced to retreat indoors clutching paper plates and punch bowls if the heavens open.
And it’s not just useful for big social occasions, because an awning also has plenty of everyday applications. It’s great for shielding you from the sun and the wind while you sit and read a book on a summer’s day – with all the benefits of fresh air without having the breeze turning your pages.
An awning also does an effective job of protecting your curtains and furniture from fading in the sun. And if you’re worried about the hassle of having to manually work your awning, you can now get remote control awnings, and even ones with clever light sensors, which unfold automatically when the sun is out.
Arguably though, it isn’t until the evenings that an awning really pays dividends. Teamed with a patio heater and outdoor lighting, an awning enables you to transform your evenings, creating a warm, inviting and comfortable environment.
As well as the practical benefits to your lifestyle of having one, modern awnings have a major aesthetic appeal for those interested in home and garden design. They are now available in so many styles – from classic Mediterranean inspired striped awnings to sleek modernist sail-like designs. You can also choose your own fabric from a selection of modern fade-resistant materials, to ensure you get the exact look you want.
Once you have an awning in place, you can really let your creative side run wild in bringing the indoor to the outdoors. An attractive table and chairs will be one of your most important buys to help you create a perfect outdoor eating area. You can then jazz up your seating area with colourful cushions, or by hanging white fairy lights from the awning above. For the perfect atmospheric late night party, you can get some thick woollen throws for your seats and add a fire bowl to really create a cosy, rustic setting.
Greg Larkin is MD of Cordula, a leading provider of patio awnings, glass verandas and garage doors in the UK. http://www.cordula.co.uk/