Not too long ago, we were under the impression that door awnings were all striped, scalloped, and rounded – the kind of thing that might adorn an old-timey storefront, or your grandma’s cottage. (Conveniently, the word makes us think of “yawning.”) Then we had the pleasure of touring this lovely Paris apartment by designer Philippe Harden, complete with its perfectly contemporary, minimal awning jutting out over the patio door. Hello, beautiful! That’s the kind of window accessory we want to get to know a little bit better.
Functionally speaking, door awnings are actually quite useful despite their frilly reputation. They provide sun protection both indoors and out, and even guard against elements like rain and snow. And of course they can come in all sizes to accommodate your needs and wishes: Want to cover your back patio without building out a whole screened in porch? Awning. Need a little something over those bare windows? Awning! Really want to build out a proper entryway but just can’t afford it at the moment – awning. The key is to go as simple as possible. A rectangle of dark fabric on steel supports, tucked right inside the door or window jamb like Philippe’s, looks sophisticated without being stuffy. You could even go for stripes or colors on such a modern shape if you’re feeling nostalgic. Below, a guide to getting it right:
Themed awnings: One of the many perils of watching too much Fixer Upper – you don’t want corrugated aluminum hats over your windows, or rustic corbels supporting a pergola-esque roof extension. We promise, you’ll regret that. Even if you live in an actual farmhouse!
Heavy-looking awnings: Want to immediately induce anxiety in anyone who comes over to your house? Hang a slab of zillion-pound steel right over the entryway and secure it with slender supports that feel like they could break at any second.
Indoor awnings. No no no no. Please no.
The Yes Pleases
Paper-thin awnings: A crisp little lid on an otherwise minimal entryway.
Bermuda vibes! Slatted awnings called Bermuda shutters can be attached to the top of a window frame and propped open a bit at the bottom. Filtered sunlight ahead. Note: Be sure to fit them to sit inside the window frame.
Fabric, if you keep it simple: Think less swags and swoops and more crisp lines. See? Stripes can even be a good thing.