At Brew Bistro and Lounge restaurant in Westlands, the elegant outdoor roof slides over when it starts to rain and retracts when the sun comes out. It is more like playing peek-a-boo.
The retractable automated outdoor sheds installed with LED lights offer Kenyan developers an alternative to umbrellas or permanent iron sheets.
This new technology by Proshed Kenya is not limited to restaurant patios, homeowners in upmarket estates who want to spend time outdoors, but still find relief from the heat and rain are investing in the luxury roofs made in Italy.
Moses Mburu started the luxury shed business three years ago, becoming the authorised dealer for Italian-based Corradi Srl, a company that designs and manufacturers elegant outdoor accessories.
‘‘The retractable awnings are part of the smart home revolution and are especially for home owners who appreciate the finer things in life,” said the managing director of Proshed.
The cost of the retractable roofs depends on the size, with the smallest going for Sh1 million.
Gone are the days when pergola architectural garden adornments looked like an afterthought. Advancement in technology means that you can now decide to be indoors or outdoors with the simple press of a button.
Heat and dust can also damage your patio, especially if it’s wooden. If you love entertaining guests or lounging in open-air patios, complete with fully upholstered sofas, potted plants, carpets and lamps, Mr Mburu says you can opt for bespoke roofs that match your architectural styles, from classical to contemporary, made from aluminium or wood. The perimeter sides come with automated blinds or aluminium and glass. Buyers can also choose different designs that retract in various ways or patterns.
Proshed also imports retractable decks for swimming pools. The cover either slides on top of the pool from the side or it slides upwards from the bottom of the pool-floor. When the deck covers the pool, people can walk on it.
A number of homeowners invest millions of shillings indoors, neglecting the outside.
“If you look around at houses being built, you realise that everyone in focusing on the inside and forgetting the outside,” said Mr Mburu.
In addition to their Corradi dealership, Proshed also sells fabric tensile structures and carports.
Apart from the three retractable roofs and shutters at Brew Bistro, Proshed has fixed sheds at Maison Fahrenheitin Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, in homes in Kigali, Kampala and Nairobi’s Runda estate.
“These personalised patio awnings, allow you to maximise the enjoyment of any outdoor area, transforming it into a welcoming haven, even in the strongest sun, wind or rain,” he says.