Looking for the right shade option for your outdoor space? Interior design expert James Treble has you covered…
Prepare your exteriors for the hot summer sun with the new shade solutions.
THE NOT-SO-HUMBLE UMBRELLA
A simple umbrella is an “oldie but a goodie” because it gives you shade in an instant – and there’s one for every budget. The standard umbrella with a centre pole is forever being reimagined in a host of new colours and patterns, so it’s easy to find one that suits your style. Cantilevered umbrellas, which have a pole to one side, don’t take up space in the centre of your table and are made in much larger sizes. If it works for your garden, consider a wall-mounted umbrella with a swing arm, so you can adjust the area that gets shaded throughout the day.
Ben Shanley, outdoor living buyer for Bunnings, says umbrellas are an easy and portable option. “Newer models have more flexibility to adjust direction and height, and allow you to maximise your sun protection,” he says. Premium cantilever umbrellas offer heavy duty bases with retractable wheels. “This lets you follow the sun around your backyard or easily store your umbrella away when not in use,” he says.
With the option of add-on walls and awnings, many of the latest gazebos enable you to create a complete outdoor room. And increasingly more have the appearance of a permanent structure, yet can be erected or dismantled in minutes. “The butterfly style gazebo is a popular design, as it allows all-weather cover,” says Ben Shanley. “Innovative designs include adjustable roof panels that can be rotated or retracted to create shade at any time of the day.”
Awnings provide a smart way of blocking out direct sunlight and creating shade outside your home. Basically, they extend the eaves of the home, removing the effect of direct sunlight from above. This contributes to heat reduction inside the home, which can lessen the need for home cooling and so reduce energy bills.
Awnings come in various configurations. Popular for decks and balconies are folding arm awnings (that extend outwards) and straight drop awnings. Large manually or electronically operated awnings work extremely well for alfresco areas and over verandas or balconies, and come in a wide range of stylish colours made from sun-tough, UV-stable fabrics. You can choose from contrasting or complementary colours that work with the exterior of your home or add a lovely and instant holiday vibe with classic and striking colourful stripes.
Jenny Brown, national marketing manager for Luxaflex window fashions, says the beauty of a folding arm awning is its incredible energy efficiency. “You can keep the heat off the windows in summer, and then retract the awning during the winter months when you need the heat of the sun,” she says. And while many people consider folding arm awnings old-fashioned, the latest fabrics make them modern. “Many of the new fabrics are Australian-made and designed to co-ordinate with Dulux and Colorbond,” Jenny says.
Straight drop awnings are also a great option for outdoor spaces like patios and balconies. Positioned between columns or posts on a terrace or balcony, they can be easily and quickly dropped down when the sun gets too strong.
SIMPLE SHADE CLOTH SAILS
Shade cloth sails are a cost-effective and adaptable way to add shade to your outdoor areas. Sail cloth can be cut and stretched into various shapes and installed over a range of locations like decks, courtyards and terraces, without the time or cost involved in engineering and constructing conventional solid structures such as pergolas or solid roof additions. Installation is easy, via thin non-obtrusive poles, and often combined with connection points attached to the home. The sails don’t interrupt natural airflow or obscure views and can be overlapped to cover large or awkward shaped areas.
Jenny Brown says there’s a move towards dark, plain coloured fabrics and motorisation. “With the advent of smart technology it’s now possible to operate both internal blinds and straight drop Evo awnings with the touch of a button on a Pebble remote, or even through your smartphone or tablet device,” she says. Luxaflex’s PowerView motorisation also allows you to set scenes which operate automatically. “So for the hottest part of the day, you can ensure blinds and awnings are in the optimum position, even if you’re not home,” she says.
Applaro gazebo, 300cm x 300cm x 275cm, $349, from Ikea.
1. Regis cantilever umbrella in Kiwi, from $1045, from Shade Australia. 2. Mimosa Andaman cantilever umbrella in Sand, 3.5m, $549, from Bunnings. 3. Beachkit hula thatch patio umbrella, 230cm, from $229.95, from Shade Australia. 4. Jungle Canopy beach umbrella, $249, from Sunday Supply Co.
Como folding arm awning from Luxaflex.
Evo straight drop awning and Pebble remote from Luxaflex.
Up the wall Ikea’s Flisö parasol, $29.99, and Bramsön base, $35, have a flat edge so they fit neatly into tight spaces.