Outdoor shades for all year round entertaining

Thursday 05 Jul 2018

Quality external shading for your outdoor area is vital regardless of the season. Stylish shades can make your home more energy efficient and, most importantly, protect you and your family from the blistering Aussie sun. 

We feature some of the most popular types of shades available to help you decide what suits your home. 

1. The Good Old Umbrella

For an ‘oldie but goodie’ solution to your sun woes, an umbrella can be erected wherever you need it for instant shade. Modern cantilevered umbrellas have heavy duty bases and a pole to one side and can give you a lot of flexibility around direction and height. They’re good if you have a larger area that needs shade as they come in big sizes and the arm can swing around to follow the sun. 

A standard umbrella with a centre pole is a smaller, more budget-friendly option, for a pint-sized garden or deck, and you’ll find a wide range of colours and patterns to suit every taste. 

2. Gazebos for the Garden

Outdoor rooms are growing in popularity, and for many potential buyers are on their ‘must-have’ list. The beauty of a gazebo is that it’s not a permanent feature of your garden, though it may give the impression that it is.

In actual fact it can be easily erected or dismantled in minutes, and with add-on walls and awnings and adjustable roof panels, gives you a shady and functional outdoor space at any time of day, and all year round. 

3. Awesome Awnings

If you want a permanent shade fixture for windows, then awnings can do the job. As well as blocking out direct sunlight, they can also create shade outside your home depending on the time of day and angle of the sun. It’s best to get a folding awning that can be wound out in summer to reduce the need for air conditioning use, and wound in for winter to take advantage of the sun’s rays to heat your home. 

Other types of awnings that are popular are large manual or remote-controlled awnings that extend outward or drop straight down over the deck, balcony or patio. Made from UV resistant, durable fabrics in a variety of colours, these provide instant shade when the sun gets too hot.

4. Attractive Shade Cloth Sails

An attractive and cost-effective option is a shade cloth sail for your outdoor area. If you have a sizeable area to shade, you could erect one large sail, or to make it interesting, two or even three overlapping shade cloth sails to maximise coverage. There’s no major engineering or construction involved with these, but professional installation is advised to keep the sail firm and as tight as possible. 

Sail cloth can be cut and stretched into various shapes, and are a popular choice because they don’t interrupt airflow or block out views. Most shade cloth sails are designed to be a permanent feature so they can be used for entertaining all year round. 

- Richardson & Wrench