A home is a stage that we can design to suit our own lives, and Ute Laatz has fulfilled her long-held wish to design her own home. In just four months, she completely renovated a three-apartment building in the city of Neuss by the Lower Rhine. Facing southwest, the 1920s brick building basks in the sun all day long, especially in summer. A total of eight matte black, smart-controlled WAREMA front-mounted awnings with drop arms protect the windows and facade from the heat, while their Mediterranean look evokes memories of strolling through Italian alleys.

In January 2019, Ute Laatz, editor for renowned lifestyle media brands and author of interior design books, was driving to work in Düsseldorf. Just for a moment, a property advertised in the window of a bank caught her eye and she decided to pull over. She was so fascinated by the house in the picture, a brick building built in 1927 with the unmistakable clear and simple features of New Objectivity architecture, that she called her husband straight away.

They soon went to view the property: although it was in need of extensive renovation and the three-apartment structure made it seem cramped, Ute Laatz and her husband were excited, and all they could think about was what they could do with the building. Even now, Ute Laatz thinks it took a healthy dose of naivety to take on the project, and yet she is convinced that the house found her, not the other way around.

With its window awnings, the renovated three-apartment building is now a southern European dream home.

They signed the contract in June 2019 and had to work quickly if they wanted to move in before Christmas that year. During the viewing, Ute Laatz noticed that the house hadn’t been renovated since the 1970s, and that had only been rudimentary.

She quickly realised that apart from the floor plan, everything would have to be changed. Two-core cables on the walls, no insulation in the attic, no foundation beneath the old PVC – in just four months, the Laatz family and a team of specialists (tradespeople, electricians and plumbers) renovated the building from the ground up. The room layout was also completely redesigned so that Ute Laatz and her husband could live on the ground floor and their children could create their own kingdom on the top floor.

The work was largely finished by December 2019 and the Laatz family moved to the tree-lined street with the feel of a beautiful boulevard. The kitchen looks out onto an old Belgian barracks, now a protected building, that later influenced the architectural style of the houses built around it – clear, objective and sober.

The building faces in an ideal south-westerly direction with no north-facing side, so the sun shines practically all day round through the new wood windows with division bars and concrete borders typical of buildings of the time. Before the family moved in, these were painted in a rich, almost golden sandstone tone that blends in with the barracks, which have real sandstone facades.

Although the interior of the building gets lots of daylight, the family’s first summer in their new home made them realise that heat builds up very quickly and the living spaces – particularly the kitchen and bathroom – get very hot. As she searched for the right sun shading product, Ute Laatz thought about her many holidays in the south of Europe. Italy Spain and France are some of her favourite destinations, giving her the idea that window awnings with drop arms on the external facade could look really special with their Mediterranean aesthetic. Ute Laatz quickly found what she was looking for from WAREMA: eight front-mounted awnings with drop arms and awning fabric that extends to the front, rather than vertically along the facade, installed in front of the windows on the ground and top floors with a manageable amount of structural work.

People often stop in front of the house to take a closer look at the facade, not least (according to Ute Laatz) on account of the special awnings and their symbiosis with the architecture.

But the awnings also have a functional impact: even when lowered completely in the blazing sun, there is enough light in the rooms so that Ute Laatz rarely needs to use artificial light.

The interior is also significantly cooler in the warmer months because the awnings reliably protect the windows from the sun’s rays.

The family definitely wanted to make sure that if the sun shading were to be retrofitted again, it would be flexible and easy to use with smart controls. They opted for minor line routing procedures for the automation.

The products are fitted with the WAREMA WMS radio system and its extension WMS WebControl pro, the hand-held transmitter plus and the weather station plus, allowing the family to enjoy total flexibility when operating and presetting the products.

Particularly in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom that are susceptible to heat, the family benefits from the convenient option to let the awnings lower automatically when the sun is strong, even when nobody’s home.

  • Modern sun shading system, visual privacy and glare control
  • Mediterranean look with awning fabric that extends to the front
  • Clear view to the outside and sufficient light in the interior even when the awning is extended
  • Maximum freedom to create with designs, frame colours and fabrics
  • Suitable for new builds and retrofitting
  • Developed and manufactured in Germany

The window awnings are the ideal complement to the aesthetic of Ute Laatz’s dream world of premium wooden furniture, orange-coloured sisal flooring, natural sandy and green tones, decorative second-hand finds and tropical plants.

She now loves to spend her time cooking with her husband by the well-protected, large Danish kitchen window, relaxing in the bathroom with fully glazed sauna, where exotic plants interact with the awning to emphasize the Mediterranean look, or writing wonderful stories about dream homes (hers and others’) in her cosy office bathed in light

WAREMA offers you much more than just sun shading systems: our customised solutions create comfort for your home.

Visit us at one of our Sunlight Experience Centres or contact your local partner directly to get a quote for your own customised solution. With our specialist dealer search, you are guaranteed to find the right partner for your project!