5 Minute Guide to Outdoor Shade

What does your dream outdoor living space look like? From the kids' play dates and family barbecues to quiet nights... designing a space that can suit it all is a big challenge. Outdoor furniture is an important part of the outdoor experience and umbrellas are a great shade option.

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The best shade solution will protect your friends and family from the elements, whether it is raining or the sun's coming out to play. Everyone loves the outdoors so make the most of it all year round, not just the 3 months of summer when it's going to be too hot.

It's important to consider where you are in the world, as the sun will be in different places throughout the year and the right shading solution will move with you and your place, completing the outdoor area and blending into your design choices. To help you decide on the perfect shade, we've pulled together a list of shade-problem-solvers and some Pros and Cons to help make a


Louvres are slats positioned at an angle to help block the sun and wind. Controlled with leavers, or even a remote. They're great to shade your space whilst allowing air to circulate at the same time.

Slats can change their angle depending on the sun's orientation and wind direction. It's unfortunate that they are permanent and expensive, they'll need to be mounted onto a fixed structure and offer no UV protection.

Outdoor umbrellas 

Classy and modern, outdoor umbrellas come with many benefits.

They're the most flexible shading solution, as they are modular and mobile - ideal should you feel like rearranging the space for each season. The canopy can be slanted with the sun's movement and give you shade all day.

You can also customise the canopy colours and style to suit your home's aesthetic and a high-end model will provide additional UV protection. Cantilever models can be placed on the side of the area, so they will take up none of the usable space while still shading the area. Umbrellas are also available with a full spectrum of colours that can help you meld into any aesthetic you're interested in.


Shade sails are mounted on a three- or four-pole structure, depending on the shape, and are stretched overhead. However, the whole structure – both supporting poles and sails – is permanent, so you may not get full coverage throughout the day. They're better in an outdoor area like a schoolyard as their height won't get in the way or be tampered with by curious kids.

Creating shade for comfort

If you have the feeling that your outdoor space is not comfortable enough, the problem may be with how you create shade. Outdoor furniture is a good start but shade will finish the piece. Every space will have its ideal solution, but if you want to have flexibility, style and uninterrupted UV protection all in one, your best option is outdoor umbrellas. 

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