Patio Awning Fabrics are not what they used to be!

Pinnacle awning with multi striped fabric

If you haven’t taken a look at the fabric selection available for patio awnings lately, it’s time to look again! Even I was surprised when I took a look this week at the vast variety of fabric offerings Innovative Openings offers from Durasol and Sunesta, and the truth was right there in front of me: awnings ain’t what they used to be!

Awnings, Old School

The patio awnings I remember from my youth had one basic incarnation: bold stripes and a scalloped valance hanging from the front. Now, there’s nothing wrong with crisp, high contrast stripes, in the right setting. But it’s not for every setting or every home, and it’s not your only choice anymore!

The New Choices in Solid Colors

Elements microstripes fabric
Elements Microstripes fabric from Durasol… a sophisticated, fine pattern that reads as a solid… in sophisticated colors, too!
warm solid awning fabric color
Look at the beautiful glow this warm, solid colored fabric casts underneath!
sunesta low contrast striped awning fabric
An elegant, low contrast striped fabric from Sunesta… almost reads as a solid.

When I talked with Liz  in the showroom, they pointed out that a lot of customers are interested in solid fabric colors for awnings this year… and when you see one on a house, you can see why. The visual emphasis remains on the architecture, and there are many colors to choose from… you can contrast or complement your home’s color scheme. Solid color awnings look like they were built with the house, and that can be a very pleasing effect. There are also wonderful textures creeping into awning fabrics, making them look more elegant and fashion forward. The light shining through a solid fabric color can create a beautiful, warm glow underneath… rendering a lovely place to relax and enjoy the moment.

A Whole New Generation of Stripes

Elegant Black and Gold stripes

Understated Elegance

Let’s face it; stripes will never go out of style! All kinds of different approaches to stripes are making awnings an even more beautiful choice for a wide variety of architecture and style sensibilities. For more sophisticated spaces, lower contrast stripes and and combinations of elegant neutrals can be just the ticket. Black elements can tie in to iron details on a home’s exterior, and look extremely handsome against brick surfaces. Textured tone on tone stripes lend a tailored, buttoned-down kind of look perfect for clean-lined contemporary home.

Light, warm tan calms this nautical stripe

The New Nauticals

Blue and white are a time honored, proven color palette, but can look a bit dated in an equal stripe. There are dozens of updated nautical striped awning fabrics now that bring that same crispness with a toned down and even more organic look, often adding multiple shades of blue, and neutral tans and grays to bring down the contrast, giving these stripes an all grown up look.


Tying it All Together


Every designer knows that patterns, including stripes, present an opportunity to “tie things together”. Relate house colors, patio furniture colors, custom verdigris copper downspouts, the palette of your plantings, the tones of your stone patio… just about anything. “Tying it together” gives us cohesive design, and a pleasing rhythm that soothes us, and a multi-colored stripe brings that opportunity. See the fabric on the right? Reds, golds and browns, with a neutral background a just a hint of black in the slubs… a stripe like this could help you pull it all together!


Textures, Even in Stripes

Texture is created in different ways, and all of them can bring interest to your patio awning. Another, subtle layer of detail that makes a design equal more than the sum of its parts… Look at these different types of textures:

Texture shows through when sunlight shines through the fabric- this fabric also has “slubs”, those thicker, darker threads intermittent throughout the weave. Love it!
Lower and medium contrast stripes create a texture of their own.
The weave pattern itself- here in pumpkin and cream- creates texture and pattern.


Can You See It?

Often, it’s hard for people to “see”, or “visualize” what an awning fabric might look like when the awning is assembled. Veronica shared that we sell plenty of awnings in the fabrics we have on the showroom models, because people can see what it’s going to look like. Well, awning manufacturers are doing a better job these days of making fabric swatch cards that give you a better idea. Most cards have an illustration of an awning “mocked up”, so at least you can see the fabric pattern on an awning shape. They also have a “peekaboo” window that allows you to look at the fabric with light coming through, and that helps. Maybe before too much longer, they’ll come up with a computer simulation program like Hunter Douglas’ Design Your Own app… until then, let our staff at Innovative Openings help you visualize fabrics, and find YOUR perfect awning!

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