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Outdoor shade solutions for every home and budget

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Looking for the right shade option for your outdoor space? Industry expert Ainslie Dunn has you covered.

Creating a shady outdoor retreat is now easier than ever, with a number of shade options available. No matter the size of your outdoor space (or budget) there is a shade solution available. From outdoor aluminium shutters to external awnings and blinds there are plenty of ways to create shade and protect yourself and your home from Australia's harsh summer sun.

"The key to keeping your home cool in summer is to prevent heat from entering in the first place," says Ainslie Dunn. "Up to a third of summer heat gain comes through the windows. Shading them from the outside with well-designed eaves, outdoor shutters, pergolas, external blinds and awnings is a good solution."

Whether you're looking for ways to keep your home cool this summer or you want to transform an outdoor space into the ultimate entertaining area these stylish shade solutions should have you covered.

Awnings not only look great and provide shade, but also have the added benefit of increasing your home's energy efficiency.


Awnings provide a smart way of blocking out direct sunlight and creating shade outside your home. Basically, they extend the eaves of the home, removing the effect of direct sunlight from above. This contributes to heat reduction inside the home, which can lessen the need for home cooling and so reduce electricity bills.

Awnings come in various configurations. Popular for decks and balconies are folding arm awnings (that extend outwards) and straight drop awnings. Large manually or electronically operated awnings work extremely well for alfresco areas and over verandas or balconies and come in a wide range of stylish colours made from sun-tough, UV-stable fabrics. You can choose from contrasting or complementary colours that work with the exterior of your home or add a lovely and instant holiday vibe with classic and striking colourful stripes.

Ainslie Dunn says the beauty of a folding arm awning is its incredible energy efficiency. You can keep the heat off the windows in summer, and then retract the awning during the winter months when you need the heat of the sun," he says. And while many people consider folding arm awnings old-fashioned, the latest fabrics and European engineering make them modern. "Many of the new fabrics are designed to co-ordinate with Dulux and Colourbond," Ainslie says.

Straight drop awnings are also a great option for outdoor patios and balconies. Positioned between columns or posts on a terrace or balcony, they can be easily and quickly dropped down when the sun gets too strong.


+ Fabric pergola’s and roof systems can extend quite far as the posts in the front support the weight of the fabric and side tracks, and they can be attached to less structurally strong walls. + Folding-arm awnings need to be installed on a structural wall, but are fantastic for courtyards, decks, patios and verandahs. They can be fitted over doorways and offer a design element to your home. + Straight drop fall from the roof line on a verandah or a balcony and are excellent for increasing privacy and sun protection. + Retractable applies to most of these types of awnings. As the name suggests, they fold in and out. At the top end of the market, motorised retractable awnings allow you to work with the sun through the day.

+ Canopy Awnings For that special and unique solution, Canopy awnings are available in various shapes, sizes, colours and styles making them a unique and eye-catching product for your home. Available as a fixed application, they can be situated outdoors over windows, doors or walkways.

Louvred roof systems

Ainslie Dunn says louvred roof systems are revolutionary patio cover with rotatable and open-sliding aluminium blades offers optimum outdoor living.

The roof consists of roof blades that can be rotated to control sun protection and ventilation. It can also slide open to provide the maximum amount of sunlight and an uninterrupted view. When closed, the roof is perfectly flat. 

The louvred roof is so versatile says Ainslie, it can be constructed in different ways: free standing, attached to an outer wall, or connected on the Pivot side. You can also add louvred shutters and or roller blinds to the structure.

Aluminium Louvre Shutters – Are such an attractive option says Ainslie. They are extremely effective in providing privacy, light control and air flow for balconies and external spaces. By angling the louvres at different angles, you are able to maximise your privacy without the loss of natural light and air flow. There is now a new stunning textured “matt” finish available for an updated look.

At ehi we are passionate about creating magical, beautiful, functional and enjoyable spaces to be in. Pop into our showroom to see our full range of our outdoor solutions.

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