Pool Spa Life
Pool Spa Life

Shades & Umbrellas

Made in the shade

Umbrellas and shade structures

Take a break from the heat with these shady ideas.

There’s no denying the Australian sun can be harsh – on you and your guests, your pets and your garden – so part of creating your backyard oasis should be providing shelter from the elements. Don’t let an otherwise perfect day by the pool end in sunburn when there are so many creative ways to add respite from the heat.

Location, location, location 

A well-placed umbrella or shade structure can completely transform your backyard instantly. Think about how you and your family use your space, so you can determine which areas will benefit the most.

  • Adding a little shade to dining and entertaining areas means everyone can relax and enjoy the outdoors while still staying nice and cool…bring on the long lunch!

  • Adding shade beside poolside chairs and lounges gives off an instant resort vibe.

  • If your pool is exposed to sun all day, part shading over a section offers relief from the sun for swimmers – especially the little ones. It can also deliver added benefit, like reducing evaporation and limiting problems with debris.

  • If you’re growing delicate flowering plants, fruits or vegetables, they might like a little reprieve from the midday sun as well.

  • Think about how the sun moves during the day, so you can plan for shade when it’s needed the most – during the hottest hours when the sun is high.

Shade options

There are plenty of options to choose from, for every budget and requirement.

Market umbrellas

Market umbrellas are available in an almost limitless range of designs, colours and material choices. They are an economical and portable shade option and can be easily moved and angled to offer protection wherever it is required, at any time of day. They can also be folded and stored when not required.

These umbrellas will vary greatly in price based on the materials used in construction – this includes the centre post, the ribs, the stand and the umbrella fabric itself. Look for sturdy construction from materials that can stand harsh outdoor conditions. You’ll want an umbrella with fabric that can withstand UV rays and think about a vented options if your space is prone to wind.

Cantilever umbrellas

Cantilever umbrellas can be free standing or fixed and are intended to cover larger areas. The cantilever design means that you can easily reposition, rotate and change the angle to suit, without the need to move the entire umbrella. You’ll generally have 360-degree rotation with a generous shade proportion, allowing you to cover several large areas throughout the course of the day.  

Shade sails

Shade sails are a great choice for pools, decks and patios. They consist of a flexible canopy that is tied to multiple anchor points – which are generally on permanently installed posts. Shade sails are available in a range of materials, but you’ll need one that offers protection from UV radiation. They are a customisable option that can be easily tailored to suit your needs and have the added bonus of being removable when not required, so you can take them down in winter and let more sunlight in.

Gazebos and pergolas

A more permanent solutions, gazebos and pergolas work well if you want to create a distinct entertaining area or extend your living area and create a wall-less outdoor room.

Strictly speaking, gazebos are constructed with a solid roof, whereas pergolas feature a slatted roof that allows light and air to flow in. You can easily train a vine to grow across the roofline providing shade without trapping heat.

Blinds, awnings and canopies

Outdoor blinds are a great option for gazebos and pergolas, or any area that can accommodate, including decks and patios. They can help protect furniture and block the hot afternoon sun in specific areas, letting you enjoy more of the day without needing to retreat inside

Awnings and canopies can be freestanding or permanent. Many options feature remote control functionality and can also include automated retraction in certain conditions like high wind.

There are so many options, it can be a bit overwhelming. Search for pool landscape and outdoor suppliers, along with shade structure specialists, so you find the best advice on every available option and uncover the ultimate solution for your needs.  

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