Outdoor Porch Shade Ideas

A small outdoor patio with retractable shades for sun control and comfort

This blog covers the enclosed patio option from another angle, focusing on providing shade and making the porch a more relaxing place to be. From retractable awnings to motorized shades – this is all about blocking out the sun and cooling down the front or back porch.

The outdoor living spaces around your house can be some of the most enjoyable parts of the home for relaxing and entertaining. A well-furnished and pretty front porch or enclosed patio can dramatically increase the size of your home’s ‘livable’ area, allowing you to enjoy the fresh outdoors and adding to your property’s value.

However, the one thing that can cause problems for all of that is the sun. Whether it’s getting just too hot, shining in people’s eyes or fading your furniture and fittings over a long exposure, too much sun can be terrible for your outdoor areas.

The solution is getting outdoor shades that can block out the worst of the sun’s effects. Not only can solar shades help with light filtering, but different designs can also help protect from insects or give the space added privacy. To help you determine what size, angle and style would work best for you and the specific space here, we’ll look at some of the best outdoor porch shades and patio covering ideas.

8 Ideas for Outdoor Porch Shades

1. Retractable Awnings

When it comes to sun shades, awnings are one of the most obvious solutions. Too much sun overhead, roll out some fabric to block it out. The great thing about awnings is they can just be rolled back in when you don’t need them, and many electric motors can now be controlled from your smartphone. Awnings can also be created to fit pretty much any space and required projection, as well as coming in a huge variety of fabrics and styles.

2. Outdoor Porch Shades

If you’re looking to keep the sun off the porch or verandah at your home, you’re in luck, as there is an incredible wealth of porch shade ideas out there. They can be horizontal, vertical or slanted to match how the sun gets in. They can be light screens to let in air but no insects or heavier duty to provide a full UV block for everyone and everything on your porch. A mechanical or manual rollable option will give you more flexibility around the amount of light getting through. However, fixed shades may provide more design options.

3. Umbrellas

Umbrellas are a classic and low-tech way to keep the sun off certain areas in your outside living spaces, like seating or a dining table. The good thing about sun umbrellas is that they are flexible and generally easy to set up. They also come in a wide variety of styles to suit the decoration ideas you’re going for and can be taken in when not in use. However, they do have downsides in that they can generally only provide a relatively small area with protection and are not very good at stopping horizontal sunlight. They can also be quite susceptible to winds, meaning they must have heavy bases, which can be difficult to move about.

4. Roll-Down Solar Screens

For front porch shade ideas, roll-down screens are some of the best outdoor porch shades you’ll find. Outdoor roller shades come in a number of fabrics and can be custom fitted for your specific space. With an outdoor roller shade for your porch, you have the flexibility of adjusting the amount of light, and with bottom-up and top-down options, you can also create all the privacy you need.

5. Custom Screens

Screens are the classic outdoor porch shades and have been used for centuries to keep sun, rain and insects away from outside living areas. The concept of the screen hasn’t changed much over that time, but new technologies and materials now give you a real choice when it comes to deciding what’s best for the needs and look of your home. As outdoor porch shades, a screened-in porch is a very common amenity, especially in the south. Still, with modern manufacturing possibilities, you can also screen off very large outside areas as well.

6. Pergola

If you’ve got the space and will, a pergola can be a beautiful patio shade. Basically, it’s a simple construction with four columns and roof beams, and a canopy is pulled along the roof to give shade to the area below. A lattice pergola is a similar design but without any canopy, intending to deliver the minimum of light blockage. Not only does it keep the sun off, but it’s also a really cute design feature and provides lots of DIY and upcycling potential.

7. Extruded Screening Systems

Another advantage of the improvement in outdoor porch shades is how to screen systems can be combined with metal extrusion to cater for maximum width and height openings without the tightness or consistency of the screen material being affected. Extruded screen systems can also add in chair rails for extra safety, kick panels to protect against active pets or sudden water flows and spindle systems to protect children as well as adding a design feature.

8. Trees

One of the most obvious outdoor porch shades is having a verdant tree outside it. Trees have long provided natural shade for the sun’s worst extremes and, at the right angle, can give protection from rain as well as privacy from the street. While certainly an environmentally friendly option and adds a touch of class to your home, trees can also be difficult to maintain, take a long time to grow, and the leafy ones that are best as outdoor porch shades also create a lot of yard work and porch sweeping come fall.


Outdoor living spaces are the best spots for relaxing, entertaining and getting some cool fresh air. Unfortunately, the sun can have a big impact on how much you get to enjoy those spaces. Between the heat making people uncomfortable, the brightness getting in your eyes and the UV rays bleaching your furniture, the sun is a big issue for outside living. Luckily outdoor porch shades have a wealth of variety in forms, styles and materials, meaning you can find exactly what you need to keep the sun off and that fits your home perfectly.

No matter what the space of your outside living area our custom design and expert fitting teams can give you the shade you need. To find out more about outdoor porch shades from Screenmobile, you can read about them here or find your nearest Screenmobile location.

Request an Estimate