Instant sunblock

Fabric shades block glare yet allow a view
Sharon Cohoon

Trumpet vines and a decorative iron grill weren't enough to tame the sun on the ramada of Joseph and Toni Fammartino's Santa Fe home. When Mark Licht of Clemens & Associates designed the ramada, he planned for shade to be cast by the vines overhead and on the grill behind the curving bench. Yet the Fammartinos still found the afternoon sun too intense during the summer.

To cut the glare, the Fammartinos installed roll-down shades, or "vertical roll curtains" as the awning industry calls them. The curtains are made of Awntex, a vinyl-laminated polyester fabric that costs about $10 per square foot installed. When they're rolled down, they block 90 percent of the sun's rays. The curtains also give the Fammartinos more privacy, as Joseph explains: "From the inside looking out, the curtains allow us to see through, but from the other side, the shades are opaque [during the day]. So the space feels private now."

Design: Mark Licht, Clemens & Associates, Santa Fe (505/982-4005)

Installation: Santa Fe Awning, Santa Fe (505/474-6460)