How to add some shade to your outdoor areas this summer

Now that the weather is warming up, there’s no better time to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re basking in the sun’s rays, or want to enjoy the fresh summer breeze while still being in the shade, an outdoor space needs to be both functional and stylish to entice both you and your loved ones to utilise it – even more so when you’ve got a swimming pool that’s just waiting for you to use it. From backyard barbecues, get-togethers in the alfresco, dinner parties and so much more, there’s a lot that goes into planning outdoor spaces to ensure useability during those hotter months.

But one of the most important aspects of outdoor areas, that can be ignored for big ticket items such as pools or kids’ play areas, is the addition of shade. While sunny days and clear skies are an amazing recipe for a fun day outside, it’s also important to ensure that you and your loved ones are able to enjoy beautiful weather days while still being protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

While applying sunblock every few hours and wearing protective clothing can help to prevent things such as sunburn, there’s no denying that adding shade to outdoor spaces not only keeps us cool but also protects us from harmful UV rays day in and day out.

Wondering how to make sure your patio, swimming pool area, or outdoor entertainment area can be used year-round, rain or shine? We list fun, simple ways to shade your outdoor spaces while complementing your existing outdoor designs.

Invest in portable shade options

After a quick and easy shade solution for your outdoor space? Think patio umbrellas,  carports, or pop-up gazebos, which are fast to set up and put away if you don’t want a permanent shade over your living areas.

Patio umbrellas are easily available from your local garden and hardware stores, outdoor furniture stores, and other home improvement stores, too: and while these may offer basic options, they’re also a relatively cheap way to provide some shade to your outdoor space that’s easy to pack up when you’re not entertaining friends and family. Remember, however, that because these umbrellas can only shade small areas, they’re best placed above or by outdoor dining tables or outdoor seating by the pool.

Carports, on the other hand, were made specifically to provide shade for vehicles, but have been tried and tested to work just as well as a shading option, too. Because of their original purpose, they’re often larger outdoor living solutions that are perfect for providing shade to larger gatherings. Some carports on the inexpensive side are made from tent-like materials, but other carports are made from tensile steel and weather-proofed for Australian conditions, meaning they’ll last years.

Pop-up carports, on the other hand, can provide temporary shade wherever you may need it, and you can remove it rather quickly, too! While it does provide limited shade just like patio umbrellas, it still does provide significant sun protection while letting some light through if you’re wanting that.

Install a pergola

Wanting slight shade while still accentuating the features of your much-loved garden? A pergola is a perfect way to add some shade to your outdoor space. It’s typically an outdoor structure that forms a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area that’s enclosed by pillars supporting beams and open lattice. Some people even weave vines along the open beams to help filter more sunlight and add a whimsical touch. While traditional pergolas are typically made from wood, modern pergolas are made from tensile steel and even have simple levers connected to the open beams to help you customise the level of shade depending on your needs.

Nowadays pergolas in Melbourne are growing in popularity, with more and more homeowners installing their own pergolas in their gardens, or even as shade for seating and dining areas for get-togethers and dinner parties. Experienced pergola installers usually have great, stylish options available, with manufacturers creating pergolas specifically for Melbourne weather to ensure that your pergola will stand the test of time, day in and day out.

Install permanent roofing

A permanent, solid roof extending from your existing roof can be a good option if you’re looking to add shade to an existing deck or patio. While this may be a more expensive option, going with this outdoor living solution not only ensures that your outdoor space looks cohesive with the rest of your property, but it also ensures elegant and attractive shade transforming your existing outdoor space.

Keep in mind that this may take longer to install, and you may have to look at your council’s requirements for building permits and consult with a contractor to ensure that your permanent roofing is being constructed properly.

Utilise second-story by adding a balcony

Have a second floor? Create a multipurpose addition to your home by adding a balcony over your outdoor living area. It doubles not only as an extra living space for your upstairs area, but also as a roof for the downstairs outdoor space. While it may stretch the budget, it can also be a worthwhile option for those wanting to add even more to their home’s property value, as balconies are sought-after by potential buyers just as shaded outdoor spaces are. Hit two birds with one stone and consider utilising your second-story and adding a balcony over your outdoor spaces!

We hope that these handy ideas can help you find some inspiration on how to add some stylish shade to your outdoor areas for this summer. There’s so much more out there: don’t be afraid to ask around and find the best fit for you!