Get shady: 12 Pergolas, awnings & shading


Here we showcase 12 ways to enjoy your outdoor space this summer beneath a cool, sheltered canopy



An Entanglements modular pergola offers an elegant, sheltered abode to your outdoor space. These sturdy, modern additions to Entanglements’ range of pergolas are handcrafted, high-quality-designed, custom-made pieces that are inspired by the Australian landscape. The Banksia Nut roof reflects the natural environment and visually enhances the exterior space. Solid awnings can be replaced with dappled screening fixtures for a stunning sun filter. Current trends include rusted metal, powder-coated galvanised steel, sturdy architectural composite materials
in a range of colours and effects, and stainless steel for contemporary homes.


cabana design

Turn your outdoor space into a stunning personal oasis and a place to escape the daily grind. A cabana designed by A Total Concept can seamlessly transform from a place of solitude into an entertainer’s dream. Cabanas may incorporate luxurious bathroom amenities together with kitchenette facilities, daybeds for relaxation, poolside wet bars and a dining area for entertaining. As it can be fully enclosed, this cabana could double as an extra bedroom for visitors or a study. A Total Concept can prepare an individual creative design solution integrating the cabana, pool and garden and obtain council approvals, prepare details and specifications and organise construction.


House of Bamboo

For keeping the sun off your head, sails are a simple and practical solution. Sails can be designed in almost any shape, size, material or colour that you desire. The typical sail is square, rectangular or triangular, curved around the edges, and can be installed affixed to your house, over a patio or verandah, or free-standing in the middle of the yard. For added flexibility, there are also demountable or retractable sails which, like retractable awnings, give you a greater range of options for your outdoor space. The NatureShade from House of Bamboo is one such shade that can be rotated 360 degrees to follow the sun’s path and provides attractively filtered light and shade.



C4sun automatic shade sail systems are engineered and manufactured in Germany and are available in many shapes and sizes. The sophisticated technology for tensioning the sail and reducing wind pressure is concealed within the masts, which house various stainless-steel cables and routing mechanisms to ensure safe, maintenance-free operation. C4sun’s innovative, trademarked system allows the sail to give when hit by strong winds and then automatically revert to its original shape. The shape of the sail has a slightly upward domed surface, which ensures rainwater drains off at the sides and never collects in pockets, even during heavy or persistent rain.


Tropical Lifestyle huts

Bali huts and thatched-roof gazebos are another shade option and can give your outdoor area a tropical, resort-style feel. The natural grass materials used in creating the roofs of many thatched-roof huts can also provide shade that is considerably cooler than other synthetic materials. The Bali hut is designed to suit any ground type and is available with optional add-ons such as timber decking and handrails. The exclusive thermal-control Balinese thatched-roof hut from Tropical Lifestyle is finely crafted and 100 per cent waterproof, giving you shelter up to 10°C cooler than the outside during the warmer months while providing a warm insulated area during cooler months.


temporary gazebo

If you desire a more temporary structure without compromising on all the benefits of a traditional gazebo, the Äpplarö gazebo from IKEA is an ideal option. Made from fabric that blocks at least 97 per cent of UV rays, the Äpplarö is complemented by gorgeous solid acacia legs.


stylish parasol

The humble umbrella can often be overlooked among the many options for shade systems on today’s market. However, modern shade umbrellas come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes, as well as options for ease of use. Cantilever umbrellas and awnings, in particular, are proof that the technology that goes into umbrellas has come a long way in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Cantilever umbrellas are stylish and flexible, some designs featuring a 360° range of shade, and they’re also great for saving space. The Baggön parasol from IKEA has simple, clean lines and is versatile in its design. Being a cantilevered umbrella, it can be used over a dining area or next to a few sun lounges.


Outrigger awnings

Awnings are a versatile addition to any outdoor space and they can be installed as permanent, demountable or retractable sources of shade. Awnings can be cut to a variety of sizes and shapes to suit different homes and most are of quite sturdy construction, making them ideal for standing up to areas with high winds and heavy downpours. Retractable awnings have the advantage of shading an area from heat or rain when needed, but opening it up when conditions are just right. “Retractable awnings are the most effective and energy efficient way to keep your house cool in summer, then allowing the sun in during winter,” says Andrew Perry from Outrigger Awnings. “And they allow more ventilation in the home by protecting windows and doors from rain.” Pictured here is the B03 Cantilevered Batten Awning in Ferrari 502 PVC rainproof fabric from Outrigger Awnings.



Both permanent and retractable awnings and sails have canopies that come in a range of materials. Some will allow natural light to filter through while still providing a source of shade. There are awnings that will be more fitting for either older or newer homes, or will require less maintenance than others, so consider what type best suits your needs. When looking at materials for awnings or shade sails, Andrew from Outrigger Awnings suggests “making sure your manufacturer uses premium-quality UV-treated fabrics that reflect heat and glare”. Pictured here are retractable vertical sails from Outrigger Awnings.



The folding-arm awning range from Blinds by Peter Meyer has recently undergone a redesign and facelift. “Reinventing the hugely popular Solare Teknica 6000, 6500 and 7000 series of folding-arm awnings has been done in conjunction with our European supplier with a focus on reaching new benchmarks in aesthetics, strength and functionality,” says Peter Meyer. The latest folding-arm awning range uses a high-tech Dyneema tape which is self-lubricating, impervious to salt degradation and highly resistant to abrasion. The systems also boast a unique double-sprung arm and the awnings can be made with a market-leading projection of up to 4m.


award winning pergola

Winner of an Australian Design Award, the Solar pergola from Patio Living has been carefully designed to accommodate the differing positions of the sun in the summer and winter months. The timber battens have been placed strategically on an angle so that the pergola shields the sun’s rays during summer and takes advantage of the lower positioning of the sun during winter, capturing the warmth and light.



Despite a nation-wide love of the outdoors, the harsh Australian climate means it’s not always viable to sit outside exposed to the elements. Apollo Patios offers partially or fully enclosed glass or screening which will add another liveable area to your home. Available in a variety of styles and designs, each enclosure comes with a free design service and an Apollo Durasheen paint-coat finish with a 15-year manufacturer-backed warranty.


Image courtesy of A Total Concept.

Originally from Grand Designs Australia Magazine Volume 3 Issue 4