When Should You Use Exterior Shades?

The front porch on our home faces west, and most evenings, we prefer to enjoy this outdoor room as a way to wind down from the day. The problem? Before the sun has set behind the surrounding buildings, we’re quite literally blinded by the light. Not only can it get too warm to relax on the porch—causing our once cold drinks to sweat all over the coffee table (and ourselves!)—but our conversation will often turn to exterior shades. Lately, all the talk of adding shades to our front porch has us diving into a bit more research on the topic, and I’m trying to find one good reason why we haven’t installed them already! We’ve since added it to our to-do list, but in the meantime, I’m happy to share the pros of what we’ve found.

Filter the sun (and harmful UV rays, too!). First and foremost, exterior shades will solve the biggest issue we have with our outdoor enjoyment! Not only will they filter the direct sun, many fabrics and materials have the ability to block harmful UV rays as well. As the sun gets too intense, lower them as much or as little as you’d like, and enjoy your outdoor rooms to the fullest.

Defend yourself from the elements. There’s not much that beats sitting on the porch during a rainstorm, am I right? But doesn’t it always feel like the rain is coming in sideways, at just the right angle to spray its mist all over you? Light-filtering solar shades will not only allow you to still see out, but they’ll keep the rain where it belongs—outside.

Keep bugs at bay. Protect your outdoor living spaces against mosquitos, other insects, and even everyday dust! By keeping the shades drawn, your furniture will stay cleaner, and by pulling them closed on muggy days, you’ll save yourself from bites and pests.

Enjoy the privacy of your outdoor spaces. Whether it’s your desire to watch the sunset in your favorite threadbare pajamas or maybe you simply have nosy neighbors, you’ll enjoy the additional privacy exterior shades give you in your outdoor spaces. You might as well slip on those bunny slippers, too.

Reduce outside noise. Living in the city, we always have sidewalk noise and traffic noise. To be honest, we’re used to it, and we actually prefer this soundtrack to our home. That said, it’s still nice to close our eyes and pretend we’re on a faraway beach vacation, especially while napping on the front porch swing! Depending on the weight of the fabric you choose, exterior shades can help to cut down on noise, allowing you to snooze and daydream for as long as you’d like.

Keep your interior cool (or warm). When you think of exterior shades, you may have already thought of all the benefits above, but what about the interior benefits? With exterior shades drawn, either on your front porch or on the outside of your interior windows, you’re preventing hot sun from reaching your windows in the first place, allowing you to keep your cooling bills low. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they’re a defense against chilly air in the colder months, adding an extra layer of protection for your home. Think of them as a preventative energy saver year-round.

What do you think—are you ready to make the leap and add exterior shades to your outdoor rooms? For more design tips and tricks, make sure to follow Bali Blinds on Pinterest, or stay up to date with the Bali Blog!

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