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Style Magazine

Sun Screens

Mar 27, 2015 11:54AM ● By Kerrie Kelly

Photos courtesy of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.

Patio cover possibilities seem endless these days, but the right choice for you is dependent on your outdoor lifestyle. Here are five options to get you daydreaming about the sunny days ahead.

1 / Solid Shingles

Solid patio covers—built as a simple addition over the patio—use the same shingles the roof does and deliver a polished version of outdoor living space. A gabled construction adds an architectural element to the home’s exterior that adds style and value. Solid patio covers are ideal if you entertain outdoors a lot or enjoy family meals on the patio fairly regularly. If winter storage of your patio furniture is an issue, a solid patio cover is a great choice. 

2 / Solid Metal

All the same benefits apply here, but where the solid shingle look is great for more traditional architecture, we love the sophisticated look that a painted metal top can bring to a more contemporary or transitional home. It creates a real opportunity to expand square footage using fabrics, rugs and furnishings that look like they may belong inside. Thanks to the advancements in indoor/outdoor furnishings and materials, you can maintain the same palette on the patio that you have going on in your interior space.

3 / Solar Panels

Trending these days are eco-chic solar panel patio covers that let in a little light, but also collect energy. This obviously offers the most tangible return on your investment from the energy savings alone, but the forward thinking and contemporary styling are a definite upgrade when it comes time to sell your home.
Photos courtesy of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.

4 / Lattice

The open lattice look doesn’t offer all the cover of some other options, but the filtered sunshine and the chance to add a little green to the architecture with a climbing vine are instantly soothing. You can actually purchase attached open lattice patio covers already constructed in wood or aluminum. Make sure to opt for the aluminum if you’re considering that climbing vine; otherwise, prepare for a bit more maintenance, or to embrace a weathered wood aesthetic.

5 / Retractables

Our current favorite, retractable patio covers, bring all the casual style of the open lattice or pergola look, along with some of the comfort and protection of a solid cover. The option to choose the fabric, pattern, and color allows you take a little more control over the styling. A quick pull lets the sunshine in, and another gives you a little shade when the temperature climbs…versatility at your fingertips.
With a little planning and construction, you’ll be ready for summer in no time!

Kerrie L. Kelly is an award-winning interior designer, author and multimedia consultant. She has authored two books: ‘Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide,’ published by Oxmoor House, and ‘My Interior Design Kit,’ with Pearson Professional and Career Education. To contact her, visit or call 916-919-3023.