8 Smart Ideas for Creating Shade for Your Outdoor Spaces

The benefits of an outdoor space are endless. It’s a place to entertain, unwind, and enjoy the great company of your friends and family. But then, sometimes, the hot sun can put a damper on your backyard party.

If you’re looking for shade-solution ideas for your outdoor space, consider adding these seven smart ideas to your next landscaping project for your home.

#1 Add a gazebo.

Adding a gazebo to your front or backyard provides a conducive seating area for doing different activities like reading, a place for visiting guests, and simply relaxing.

Sometimes, gazebo shades help with home meetings or coffee sessions. A gazebo also adds outdoor spaces that generate their own protection and shade.

Additionally, areas around the gazebo acquire shades as the sun moves through the sky, providing shade and areas where children can play or even a place where pets can rest. Sometimes, gazebos can also act as an ornament feature in your backyard.

#2 Build a dining courtyard.

If you live in a region that’s generally sunny throughout the year, a clever way to create shade in your backyard is to build a dining courtyard.

You can use lava veneer from Hawaii on your home’s front elevation to help soak in and radiate the heat, and build block walls to block the sun and provide shade. Make sure to install soft lighting and ceiling fans to have cool dinners on hot evenings.

#3 Install patio umbrellas.

One of the fastest ways to add shade to your outdoor spaces is to invest in patio umbrellas, especially if you’ll be hosting some guests in a few days or hours, but you lack adequate shady spots in your outdoor living areas.

While it may take some time and a bit of searching to find the perfect umbrellas, you can find some basic options in different colors at patio furniture stores like these, home improvement stores, and garden centers.

If time is on your side, you can order patio umbrellas of your choice online or have them custom-made. Since umbrellas provide shade on limited spots at a time, this option is appropriate when you have specific spots that need sun protection, like a patio dining table.

Alternatively, you can opt for garden parasols (see here), to provide additional shaded spots in your outdoor living areas. A parasol is similar to an umbrella, but it consists of a canopy supported by metal or wooden ribs mounted on a metal, wooden, or plastic pole.

Some parasols are waterproof, while others simply offer protection from the sun.

#4 Invest in a pop-up canopy.

There are times when you only need extra shade occasionally, and it’s not worth the cost to invest in a permanent shade structure. In such a scenario, you can simply buy one or several pop-up canopies to provide temporary shade whenever you need it.

This option is great because it offers the convenience of moving the canopy as needed, and you can keep it out of sight when it’s not in use. Although you may want to get a higher-quality product, you’ll be forced to spend more.

The other benefit of a pop-up canopy is that you can get them at a rather low price almost anywhere. You can also set pop-up canopies pretty fast, so it’s a great option when you want to provide shade and sun protection in your yard quickly.

#5 Install marquees in your patio.

Marquees are yet another kind of canopy, but they are a bit different. A marquee is generally used to offer protection from weather elements, as guests approach an entryway or move from one structure to another.

For instance, if you have a covered patio in your backyard and a covered porch adjoining your home, you can install marquees to provide shade over the walkways linking the patio to the porch.

However, you don’t have to use a marquee made of canopy fabric. To create a natural marquee, grow some vines over an arched trellis.

#6 Install a pergola.

A pergola is a permanent, assembled, and installed structure with an open roof system. It’s a rather versatile structure in terms of architectural styles, and it can significantly boost your outdoor spaces’ visual appeal.

It’s for this reason that pergolas are so popular in many homes. They are also popular because they offer various options to suit almost any budget, so it’s one shade structure you can also afford. Additionally, pergola plans and kits are available at home improvement stores. You can take on the task as a DIY home improvement project.

#7 Grow vines.

You can plant vines to enhance the shade of your other outdoor structures, such as walls, fences, arbors, and pergolas.

The great thing about vines is that you can grow them between a fence and another outdoor structure to serve as a natural marquee. You can achieve this by training the vines along a curved trellis or twine strung between two outdoor structures.

Another easy way to create shade using vines is to grow them on a fence that doesn’t offer any protection from the sun, such as chain-link fences and split-rail fences. This is also another great way to increase privacy from nosey neighbors.

#8 Use trellises for a vertical effect.

trellises backyard outdoor spaces

Trellises are both functional and beautiful, and when installed as a part of your home’s landscaping, they can make a significant impact on the space.

Trellises like these not only provide shade, but can also be used in more ways than one – you can plant them with vines or flowers for a beautiful look that adds greenery and color to your outdoor space. Make sure you choose the design according to the size of your yard.

In a nutshell, there are numerous options when it comes to adding some shade to your outdoor living areas. Some options are permanent while others are temporary.

Ordinarily, temporary shade options are less expensive compared to permanent structures, and they require less maintenance.

You can also be creative and come up with a variety of shade options. Overall, you must strike a balance between functionality, your needs, and your budget.

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