The contemporary style is naturally popular since it focuses on trends relating to the present. Of course, such an in-the-moment style is always changing. Indeed, contemporary designers have always borrowed from different styles such as modern, Art Deco, and futuristic. Though the style is always evolving, two key elements are a focus on form and adherence to a neutral palette.

If you have a contemporary home patio, you want the same creature comforts as with any other style. One method for ensuring you’re comfortable even at midday is to install a patio awning. Awnings may feel traditional style-wise, but you can easily choose one that complements your contemporary aesthetic.

Wall-Mount Awning

The wall-mount, or fixed, awning is one of the common installations for patios. The contractors affix one end of the awning to your house’s wall with brackets. The other end of the awning is attached to the front bar. If the awning is long enough, you have support poles to keep that end stable.

Fixed awnings come in a wider choice of shapes, such as dome and waterfall than retractable awnings. Since contemporary style focuses on form, consider one of the geometric shapes such as quarter barrel, or convex. Stay away from ornate valance styles since they will detract from the shape of your awning.

You can also consider a metal awning, which will offer a very distinct shape. With these awnings, contractors install aluminum sheets instead of fabric. The sheets can feature some texture, such as raised lines or strips, which adds to their stylish profile.

Retractable Awning

A retractable awning features the same basic form as a fixed variety. The main difference is a retractable awning feature jointed arms with cables inside. When you operate the arms, they push the awning out or pull it back in, where the fabric rolls around a roller tube. The operation can be crank-driven or motorized – consider the latter for a mod take on your contemporary awning.

You don’t have as many shape choices with retractable awnings – they usually offer a traditional profile. However, as with fixed awnings, consider omitting the valance for a crisper silhouette. Likewise, look for fabrics in the neutral hues. That said, if you’re leaning in the mod direction, consider a bright awning with no patterning.

Freestanding Awning

Wall-mount awnings offer shelter from inclement weather in addition to sun protection. However, they do need to be installed to the wall of your house. If you don’t need shelter or don’t want a permanent installation, consider a freestanding awning.

One style of freestanding awnings consists of a base with upright poles that hold the awning framework. These awnings are usually retractable. You also have the fixed freestanding awning that features four posts supporting the awning framework. The retractable awning is portable, while the fixed style is a more permanent installation.

When considering freestanding awnings, focus on the aesthetic ideals of form and colors. You often see freestanding awnings that almost deconstruct the structure to its barest elements – that style would be ideal for your contemporary patio. You also see awnings in which the neutral fabric contrasts vividly with the framework, which holds with both aesthetic ideals.


The canopy is the most freestyle of awnings styles because you omit the framework altogether. Canopies consist of a large swath of weatherproof fabric that you stretch across the area you want to be covered.

Also called shade sails, the canopy is ideal for the contemporary patio because it’s nothing but form and color. Shade sails can come in squares or triangles, and they’re often beige. While they’re entirely portable, you can have the contractors set up poles in your specific area to affix the fabric.

Enjoy your contemporary patio no matter the weather by having an awning installed. Let Designer Awnings & Canopies devise a contemporary awning for your outdoor living.