blog cartoonRetractable Awnings are getting fancy in everyday outdoor living. Sophisticated in design they provide near-instant protection from sun or rain when you need it. Gone are typical striped canvas awnings as a first choice. Retractable awnings enhance your outdoor living experience and are surprisingly cost effective. Like a good appliance in the kitchen, retractable awnings offer long-term value; even worth more than what you pay for them.


blog cartoonYes, we love being outdoors, but we need protection from UV rays on scorchingly hot days. Especially, in our outdoor living spaces.  We want to provide a comfortable, enjoyable space for keeping families and friends out of direct sunlight and heat. Most of us barely give it a second thought as we swim or sunbathe, but not everyone likes frying their skin.

Tah dah! Retractable awnings to the rescue! In the McFee Property with its gorgeous poolscape, these fun-loving homeowners opted for a retractable awning over their poolside bar. You can see the varying degrees of protection their awning provides. Retractable means able to be drawn back or back in; it allows you to decide.


These handy retractable awnings let owners control the weather. Quick protection from both sun and rain makes for a smart outdoor living space. Live in a city with irregular weather patterns? The open or closed features of retractable awnings are perfect for your landscape.  Take for instance the Kelsey Property. These insightful homeowners live in semi-wet Vancouver, Washington. Their choice of a pergola with retractable awning over their outdoor dining room gave them options for rain or shine. Imagine dinner under the stars with the convenience of covering up if a quick rain shower tries to dampen the party.


In the Castle Property, an outdoor living room boasts an alternative level of control over nature: Adjustable, rotating louvers! Want more light and sunshine? Open Sesame! Or during temperamental weather, with a push of a button, enclose this cozy nook for family gatherings. These smart homeowners chose a second louvered pergola on the upper patio covering the grill-kitchen. Good idea for summer or winter. Grilling under protection from the elements makes for a happier chef and better steaks and burgers! Control is at your fingertips.

Open Sesame

Did someone say, open at the push of a button?

The Whys for Retractable/Louvered Awnings

  1. Awnings allow time spent outdoors to be more comfortable.
  2. They protect outdoor furniture as well as indoor furniture. (Shade to sun-exposed rooms may prevent the sun’s bleaching effect)
  3. Retractable awnings save money in the long term. If attached to the home they provide shade to the interior. They save air conditioners from working as hard to cool the home, resulting in lower electric bills. They cover outdoor furnishings, appliances, and provide decor saving wear and tear.
  4. Stylish retractable awnings have longer lives than non-retractable. While non-retractable awnings are cheaper, they’re also more likely to be damaged during bad weather.
  5. Retractable awnings mean that you can move it in and out. The awning rolls up into a cassette that protects it from the weather when not in use.

On a Personal Note

Well blog family, it’s a wrap on this weeks blog featuring retractable awnings. They truly are unique and important in landscape design. This summer I attended an outdoor event where the property needed one of these useful outdoor living features. It was scalding hot and if not in the pool, guests were roasting or crowding under any viable shade. The gazebo was packed with shade-seekers and the food was melting under the direct attack of our magnificent sun.

Alas, but for a retractable awning, we would have enjoyed the venue much more.


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Thanks for stopping by Portland,

Get Outside and Enjoy the Fall Leaves!

Kim Thibodeau, Exterior Design Services

Landscape Blogger – Awning Supporter

Photos/Videos: BE Burk Photography


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