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A shade ensemble offers privacy with a view

Exteriors, Features | January 1, 2014 | By:

A street-level condominium courtyard lacked the privacy for dining, swimming and relaxation, and the owner, who used the condo for high-end holiday rental, looked to Shades (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Phuket, Thailand, to transform a fishbowl into an oasis.

The maker of shades and free-standing fabric structures designed four products—shade sail, privacy screen, roller blind and dining-area screen—that provide not only privacy but the illusion of being alone on a tropical island. The two-level design covers and shields both a “sala” (dining room facing neighboring buildings) and a sunken swimming pool from rain, sun and the curious eyes of neighbors.

Shades (Thailand) used white architectural PVC capped by a custom-made fiberglass cone over the sala, supported by mild steel rafters and beams. The shade sail is made from Ferrari Precontraint® Soltis® 86 PVC mesh, printed with bright tropical images on a 35-meter UV-curing high-resolution ink jet printer. The manually operated roller blind of PVC-polyester mesh allows diners in the sala either privacy or a courtyard view, while the PVC-mesh privacy screen gives swimmers relief from gawkers, and the shade sail protection from the sun.

The ensemble was such a hit that four other homeowners in the developed area called Shades (Thailand), interested in their own makeovers. The project won the company a 2013 Award of Excellence in IFAI’s International Achievement Award competition. For more, visit

Katherine Carlson is a freelance writer from St. Paul, Minn.

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