Shady luxury backyard with pool waterfall and dog sitting on ledge

January 22, 2021

Inspiring Design to Create Outdoor Shade Anywhere

Direct sunlight can make outdoor air temperature feel 10 to 15 degrees warmer. The heat from sunlight can be beneficial on a cool winter day. When summertime arrives, however, you will need shade to keep outdoor living areas comfortably fresh.

Whether you are working with an expansive yard overlooking the ocean or a compact urban space sharing waterway views, options abound for adding shade to outdoor living areas. Explore stylish and creative ways to create shade for any outdoor space. 

Summer garden clematis vine plant flowers outside closeup of blooms with sunlight and white fence in backyard

Create Shade With Landscaping

Exquisite landscaping can create shady, intimate places for any residence. Shade should not only be a consideration for living spaces on the grounds of a home. When shadows fall directly on a structure, there may be a reduction in energy bills.

For outdoor living spaces, use a row of shrubs or a large bush to shade a patio or driveway. Planting hedges near a walkway can provide shade for a sidewalk. To create shade from the top-down, build a trellis for climbing vines to shade an intimate patio area. Vines can also shade walls during their first growing season.

Large, mature trees can create shade in expansive yards. Some of the best shade trees to add to landscaping plans include oak, maple, elm, and tupelo trees. If there is enough space in the yard, plant a live oak, southern magnolia, or Florida elm tree.

In more tropical locales, a few well-placed palm trees will keep the property shady year-round. Coconut palms and date palms are popular choices, while the exotic lipstick palm adds an eye-catching pop of color. Hiring a landscaper or landscape architect will ensure plant selection will not only benefit a residence upon installation but for years to come.

Related: 3 Products That Make the Most of Waterfront Views

Beautiful Terrace With Space in the Shade Sea View

Create Shade With Furniture and Accessories

Natural elements are essential, but modern outdoor furniture trends can provide a valuable shade source. A pergola makes an attractive addition to any outdoor living space. Using one that comes with a retractable canopy will provide shade on the hottest days. Meanwhile, in the evenings, homeowners can celebrate full moon views with the rooftop open or create intimate nooks for entertaining by closing the canopy tops.

For a more natural look, include ivy or other vines in pergola designs. By adding greenery, homeowners can achieve a more romantic aesthetic in an outdoor space. 

To block early morning or late afternoon sun, install sturdy, stylish outdoor curtains around the perimeter of the pergola or gazebo. Another option is convenient rolling shades that can be mechanically raised or lowered in an instant.

For shade that blends natural and architectural elements, consider a trellis. Create a classic chateau garden-style setting with a trellis wrapped in ivy or lush flowering vines. For a more modern look, choose natural materials such as bamboo, copper, or river stones.

Any outdoor space can never go wrong with a luxurious patio umbrella. Explore umbrellas with adjustable opening angle systems that can provide shade no matter where the sun is. Aluminum construction ensures the outdoor umbrella is sturdy enough to withstand most weather conditions.

Related: Outdoor Furniture Trends

Design To Keep Your Outdoor Living Spaces Cool Year-Round

Shade for outdoor areas is essential when you reside in a coastal region. Homeowners and designers can choose natural elements, such as trees, shrubs, or vines, to create shade for a yard or patio. Additional details, such as a well-placed pergola or trellis, as well as stylish oversized umbrellas, can be sprinkled across a landscape to shield homeowners and guests from the sun. With a plan for creating shade in place, we invite you to explore ways to make the most of your waterfront views.

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