About this project
Add a little romance to your outdoor area
We love our outdoor area in our Manly home. It certainly is our 3rd space!
The retractable roof was the starting point to create an outdoor area that doubled up as another living room. The retractable roof gives us protection from the sun and rain and over the years, we have made ourselves very comfortable there with furniture, pot plants, lighting, cushions and heating. The outcome is that it is our go-to place to relax, share meals, enjoy too many drinks and exchange stories and laughs with friends and family.
It’s beautiful there overlooking the trees and hearing the birds sing all day. But, like all projects around the home and garden, it is by no means perfect (I’d love some new outdoor chairs!).
One drawback of the area was the sun beaming through in the afternoon as the sun sets lower in the west…we needed shade! It made the area quite hot and glary, even on some winter afternoons. We decided we needed shade and began exploring our options.
Straight drop awnings were an obvious choice as they are made for just this purpose. But we felt they would look too hard-lined. We were after a softer look.
During our trip to Spain and Greece in 2016 we noticed many cafes and bars not only had overhead awnings or retractable roofs for the alfresco dining areas, but included softly draped curtains that not only shaded us from the sun, but created a beautiful ambience as they billowed in the breeze (albeit hot breeze!).
It was then that we decided what to do – have some outdoor curtains made!
Not an easy thing to do given that they are not very popular or often seen here in Australia. We were on a mission.
Retractable roof, comfy furniture, potted plants and BBQ all make the deck our 3rd space!
With the help from Alison of Piega, we sourced a suitable outdoor fabric – a lovely sheer polyester that tied in with the rest of the décor. The tracks were discreetly mounted between our Duet Retractable Roof rafters on the western side. The curtains were custom-made to follow the angle of the rafter and drop to about 10mm off the floor.
The ‘S fold’ heading gives the curtain a modern, yet relaxed feel and when not drawn, they stack back neatly and tie up against the south-western posts. Unfortunately, we only have a ribbon to do this job right now. Our next mission is to source a rope curtain tie back.
Setting us back about $2500 it was all worth it. We love the look and they work beautifully to reduce the direct sun onto the deck. When the breeze is up they billow beautifully adding a romantic and stylish element to our outdoor area.
A couple of extra bonus points are that in winter, when we use the heater it will also help in keeping the heat in a little, and in light rain, the curtains keep the rain off the deck.
Even tied back, the curtains look great on the deck