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3 Steps to Landscaping with Retractable Awnings

Aug 22, 2008
Home owners these days are embracing a trend to make better use of their outdoor spaces, moving outside and using their back yards for relaxation and entertaining--not just a place to park the grill. If this movement back into the outdoors is something that resonates with you, then you are likely interested in learning how to make your outdoor atmosphere as comfortable and beautiful as possible. You'd like to design a relaxed outside environment that incorporates both sun and shade, blending energy and calm, making plants, animals and people equally at home.

Retractable awnings aren't yet a household phrase, but they can go a long way toward helping you create the landscapes you visualize. Here are 3 steps to help you mix utility and fashion as you design an outdoor living space that will serve as an extension of your home.

1. Map out your current outdoor areas. Which are the high-traffic spaces? Where are decorative flowers, shrubs, water elements and rock walls located? If the landscapes in your property are not already set, you may want to think about contracting a landscaper or gardener to help you design a master plan for the area. After you identify the various "staging areas" in your yard, you'll be able to identify the preferred areas for sun and shade. Where do you want your grill to be located? Seating? New flower beds?

2. Picture your finished property. When the shovels, wheelbarrows, mulch bags, etc., are put away for good, what pieces of the puzzle should be in place that are currently missing? Make sure you identify them now, because adding a fish pond or gazebo "at the last minute" might make your landscaper (or husband, as the case may be) break out in hives.

What types of activities will take place in your "finished" yard? Do you want to include a play area for the children? See yourself serving drinks by the pool? Eating an intimate, romantic meal with your significant other? By gaining a holistic picture of where your landscape is headed, you'll find it much easier to choose the elements necessary to pull it off. These additions could include new lighting, flower beds, a deck, trees, privacy fence, rock landscapes, or retractable awnings.

3. Settle how much money and maintenance you want to expend. Some outdoor elements, like annual flower gardens, well-groomed grass, and water features, require a lot of upkeep and money to maintain. Other pieces of the puzzle, like patios, decks, and patios, are a lot easier to maintain. On the very top of the efficiency grade are awnings, which require no maintenance and meet an important need in the designs of outdoor environments: regulating direct sunlight to eliminate scorching heat and UV rays.

People are like lawns in the sense that overexposure to the sun causes wilting and exhaustion. Therefore, a carefully thought-out property will blend warm sunlight and cool shade for smooth transitions between action and rest. Retractable awnings help to define the different spaces within your yard and they have the potential to instantly transform a blazing surface into a cool oasis.

In the outside situation, the brilliance of retractable awnings resides in the economy, variety, and style they add to your landscapes. Straightforward to install, they can be unfurled or stored in less than a minute, either by hand or automatically via a remote control button. The practical result: You can enjoy drinks in the shade or get a tan in the same area. And today, retractable awnings are made in a wide variety of colors--vivid Caribbean blues and greens, soothing pastels, solid earth tones, and striped modern designs--all intended to expand the ambiance of your home into the outdoors.
About the Author
AJ Vanderhorst writes about retractable awning ownership . A world of bright aesthetics and cool, flexible, outdoor living awaits your discovery. Explore contemporary awnings at Retractable Awnings .
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