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Shady ideas for a patio

When the hot summer sun beats down you need a place to take respite that's cool and relaxing. A structure, whether fixed or freestanding, natural or constructed, should provide enough shade to cool down your guests or family and stay out of the sun's harmful UV rays.


With more homeowners looking at outdoor living options, it's good to know that with the right covered structure, you can transform any deck or patio into an outdoor area where family and friends can relax.

Take the time to think through and carefully plan the type of shade structure you want for your garden or patio. You need to take into account municipal regulations, property lines and neighbours. Determine the size of the structure you need based on how you will be using it. If you want to entertain or dine outdoors, be sure to allow plenty of space for a dining table and chairs.

Pop into your local Builders Warehouse to see what timber you can use to construct the frame and work around a design that has minimal impact on the environment by using natural, reclaimed or eco-friendly materials wherever possible.

Shade or patio umbrellas are ideal for anyone renting a home, and now you can buy shade umbrellas that are big enough to cover a large area of garden or patio during the hottest time of the day. Shade umbrellas allow you to move them around in a garden that has little or no natural shade at all, making them worth the investment.

A pergola or patio roof that allows in plenty of natural light, but blocks a fair amount of sunlight, will allow for the setting up of a shading seating or dining area.

Build your own pergola or awning with tips and tricks you will find in our Garden section. You have the option to leave the pergola open, cover with awning fabric, or plant vines or hardy creepers to create a natural canopy.

With smaller tree species you can train the trunks to grow in a particular direction using large stakes, as with this covered dining area. Plus, you won't have to wait too long until the trees reach a height where they will provide enough shade.

Transform any pergola or shade structure into an outdoor living room by building a comfortable seating area, or buying outdoor furniture that is comfortable. An outdoor sectional upholstered in all-weather fabric creates an instant conversation area. Choose outdoor fabrics to add a splash of colour to your new outdoor living space.

More than just an eye-catching feature, a pergola provides essential shade during the summer months, as well as provide a roofing option for an outdoor retreat. With more homeowners using the garden as living space, erecting a pergola is an inexpensive alternative to brick construction.

images via architectural digest


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