5 Patio Shade Ideas for Your Outdoor Spaces
by Kathie Robitz
When the sun threatens to spoil your outdoor fun, you don’t have to run inside. Many of the best patio shade ideas offer an easy, attractive solution to exposure to the hot sun and its ultraviolet rays. Some are permanent (or semi-permanent); others are easy-to-assemble and portable. Here are five great examples.
Among patio shade structures, a retractable awning offers you the most versatility. You’ll have the sun when you want it and shade when you need it. Fabricated from a rot- and moisture-resistant material, a retractable awning is easy to install and adds instant style and color to your outdoor living space. Some retractable awnings are motorized; others are operated manually.
When it comes to patio shade ideas, one of the most popular today is a fabric gazebo. You can erect one of these attractive tent-style structures in the morning and have it ready at lunchtime. Portable pop-up models assemble in minutes, and you can tote them anywhere. Ones with mosquito netting also keep insects from buzzing inside.
The right patio umbrella can be the perfect patio sun shade. Whether it’s a dining table umbrella or one that’s freestanding, it’s the right size that counts. Depending on how many people can be seated at a dining table, you’ll need an umbrella with a diameter that ranges anywhere from 6 feet for a small table for two people, to 11 feet for a 60- to 72-inch table that seats six to eight.
A structure that partially blocks the sun while letting in cool breezes, a pergola can add beauty and function over a patio. Vining plants can even be trained to create a soft covering overhead on a steel or pressure-treated wood pergola. Another option is an easy-to-assemble metal and fabric pergola. Either one offers shady shelter on the sunniest days.
A quick remedy for beating the heat of the sun is with an outdoor canopy. It’s portable and goes up in minutes. Use for patio shading or in a particularly sunny corner of your yard to block ultraviolet light. Its strong aluminum backing guarantees a cool and comfortable outdoor shelter.