Phew!!! We have reached the infamous Dog Days of Summer a tad early this year(like the beginning of June!). 90 degree days seem the rule instead of the exception and we need to roll with the heat and beat it with some shade structures. The great thing about getting a structure built for shade are the options available to allow not only shade but cooling too. Of course the fortunate of us might already be lucky to have an existing screen porch. Today open porches are also a popular outdoor hang-out and with the addition of a ceiling fan a good way to beat the heat. Pergolas are a fantastic at achieving some shade without the price of building a roof structure. Pergolas(arbors or trellises) can include a tinted polycarbonate roof to keep the sun’s rays diluted and as a bonus provide shelter from the rain. They can be wired to include a ceiling fan for stirring of the sluggish summer air.
On any shade structure a stylish contemporary look are outdoor drapes. In fact major retail and catalog companies like Pottery Barn, Frontgate, Ballard Designs and others have a good range of curtains for your porch, pergola or other shade structure. Outdoor curtains not only keep out the sun, but offer some privacy while adding a new dimension of livability to your outside living space at a small outlay of cost. The Sunbrella Company makes a great line of outdoor fabrics and the drapes can frame your outdoor structure and blur the line between outdoors and in.
The last two pictures shown are actually of our back porch which is a pergola with a polycarbonate roof and we added some light weight curtains to make it a little cozier and less sunny. It was a pretty simple fix and turned out better that we imagined.