Awnings, outdoor blinds and the ‘designed lifestyle’

The practical pluses of awnings and outdoor blinds are, to put it bluntly, something of a ‘no brainer’ in a climate such as Australia’s. While the joys of the Australian lifestyle are great – think long hot summers by the pool or hanging out in a coastal hideaway – there’s no doubt that our climate is one of the most demanding in the developed world. Health drivers such as the prevalence of skin cancer, along with the sheer discomfort of living with intense heat or solar glare in the summer’s more punishing months, mean we Australians have become increasingly adept at enjoying the sun while safeguarding ourselves and our homes against its more harmful side effects. The result, particularly in terms of our preference for ‘al fresco living’ is that shading provided by outdoor blinds, outdoor shade blinds and other kinds of external blinds is regarded as a necessity those of us interested in investing in the long term value of both our real estate and our lifestyles!

The rise of the design conscious consumer

Aside from the solar shading functions provided by outdoor blinds, the market has changed in recent years to focus increasingly on clients’ expectations in terms of how such items actually look and work in other words, product design and aesthetics.

According to one commentator in the awnings industry, whereas once homeowners simply wanted a shade for their backyard, they now view purchasing awnings external blinds as an important investment that requires detailed research and knowledge of all the options available. Markilux has a dedicated Youtube channel that outlines and and demonstrates the stringent testing the their range goes under. Buying outdoor blinds is now as critical and long-lasting a decision as deciding what flooring finishes should be used in the kitchen or bathroom or what kind of bath should be installed in the ‘ensuite’. And homeowners’ choice may be as much influenced by the style and profile of the awning, and other ‘deeper’ aspects of design integrity, as by the shade it provides.

“Homeowners are increasingly attuned to quality products and in particular the design aesthetics of awnings, outdoor blinds, outdoor shade blinds and other kinds of external blinds. The rise of the internet in the last decade or so has driven this trend, with consumers now able to do extensive research into the design ‘points of difference’ offered by various products. In particular, they’re looking more closely, not just at how the product looks, but at how it’s engineered. Many more discerning consumers want to see evidence of the thought and design intent that has gone into these products, and they’re happy to pay for those things.”

Markilux + design innovation in external blinds

In recognition of this demand, high end brands such as Markilux make committed and ongoing investments into their research and development activities. In fact, in recent months the company opened a new improved research department in Germany, featuring expanded floor space to enable it to continue improving its expertise and precision in the engineering and manufacturing of outdoor blinds, outdoor shade blinds and external blinds in general.

One reason for this commitment to innovation is that other companies and manufacturers in the same industry tend to replicate products designed by Markilux, itself a sign (albeit an undesirable one!) of the company’s leading edge.

Award winning designs

As a result, Markilux is well known for innovative designs that stand out, many of which are winners of prestigious design awards. The outdoor blinds, outdoor shade blinds and other external blinds that bear the mark of these awards represent the best that modern design and engineering can offer.

Markilux 6000 folding arm awning

Winner of the prestigious Red Dot Design Award, the unique folding arm design of the markilux 6000 enables one product to embody a wide number of design options. A key feature of this leading design in outdoor awnings and outdoor blinds is that the elbow joints in the folding arms boast a highly tear-resistant bionic tendon made from high tech fibres, for optimum power transference to the front profile. The Markilux 6000 also offers almost silent friction-free motorised operation.

The markilux 6000 sets new standards in design, quality and durability for sun shading. extras include LED lighting in the front profile, a motorised extendable drop valance for shading from low lying sun and infrared heating for those colder autumn days or evenings.

These design features are behind the product’s enviable profile as a winner of The Red Dot Design Award. Established in 1955, The Red Dot Design Award is an international product design prize awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. Designers and manufacturers can apply for the prizes and the winners are presented in an annual ceremony. Award winning products are showcased in the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen.

Markilux 6000

Markilux ES-1 folding arm awning

Another award-winning design, the markilux ES-1 has received both the Red Dot Design Award and the IF Product Design Award for outstanding design. The iF Product Design Award was introduced in 1954 and is held every year by the iF International Forum Design. It attracts more than 2000 product entries each year. In many ways, this awning embodies the principles of a product that not only looks impressive and elegant but also offers superlative engineering and functionality, evidenced by its sleek lines and fine choice of materials. Strong gas pistons in the arms ensure optimum cover tautness, even when the markilux ES-1 is not completely extended.

Meanwhile this premium offering in outdoor shade blinds offers unparalleled protection, with a stainless steel cover cassette providing comprehensive protection to the cover and fabric roller tube. Well adapted to the most demanding weather conditions, the markilux ES-1 Semi-matt brushed marine grade stainless steel protects all functional elements of the markilux ES-1 from corrosion, while the exterior blind’s arm and joint parts, screws and assembly components are also 100 per cent fabricated from marine grade stainless steel. The ES-1’s overall appearance is also perfect for the creation of an attractive alfresco living area or ‘outdoor room’.

Markilux ES-1

Markilux 1700 folding arm awning

Another ‘Red Dot’ winner is the Markilux 1700/1700 stretch awning, which was also nominated for the German Design Award. Its open awning design is both stylish and visually balanced, but is also underpinned by an outstandingly strong and stable construction, which means large areas up to 700 cm × 400 cm can be covered. The ‘stretch’ version of the markilux 1700 means this most elegant of outdoor blinds can also be offered with more projection than width, making it well-suited narrow terraces, decks and balconies. The folding arm technology features Markilux’s highly tear-resistant bionic tendon made from high tech fibres. This design enables the best and smoothest possible power transference to the front profile and virtually silent, friction-free operation. The Markilux 1700 also comes with an elegant valance.

Markilux 1700

Markilux 1600 folding arm awning

The markilux 1600 is also an award winner, namely the IF product design award. It has a truly distinctive design profile supported by functional superiority enabled through the elliptical gas piston-tensioned arms, which provide outstanding tautness to the shading fabric. Other features and close attention to detail make this design a winner; for example the cover has an internal brush so that dirt and dust do not end up in the cassette as the awning is being retracted, while a specially designed mechanism allows the coverboard to adapt itself to the pitch of the awning. The awning is available in a wide range of standard and specialised frame colours.

Markilux 1600

A well designed range

Aside from award winning designs for individual external blinds, the Markilux collection also offers design edge in terms of the sheer breadth of products on offer. The result is a wide array of shading solutions designed to fit any size area and meet a range of other needs, such as versatility, privacy and aesthetic appeal.

Expansive areas covered by the Markilux 5010 folding arm awning

For larger sized projects, the classic yet contemporary styling of the markilux 5010 offers a truly impressive maximum width of seven metres, with a maximum projection of four metres. This is really one of the best outdoor shade blinds and outdoor awnings for creating an expansive and comfortable ‘outdoor room’ with great weather protection. And despite its expansiveness, it also features a truly classic, elegant look in terms of key features such as its cassette.

Markilux 5010

Outdoor shade blinds for smaller spaces

By contrast, the markilux 990 folding arm awning is well suited to more confined areas. Featuring great contemporary design in a slim line cassette, it keeps both size and weight to a minimum thanks to its u-shaped front profile, into which the folding arms disappear. Designed to be attached to either a wall or soffit, the folding arms of the markilux 990 are available with a bionic tendon, with a large selection of covers and accessories also available. Other great design features include end caps in brilliant chrome, as well as a stylish light bar with adjustable LED spotlights. These are dimmable and their colour temperature can also be adjusted by remote control.

Markilux 990

Design for living


These are just some of the great designs from Markilux, which has ploughed years of design and engineering expertise into creating a huge and truly comprehensive range of external blinds, outdoor blinds, outdoor shade blinds. With a wide range of fabrics and frame finishes also available, it’s now possible to turn the simple business of providing shade for your outdoor spaces into a pivotal design decision that really will change the way you live.