What does your dream outdoor living space look like? From the kids play dates and family barbeques through to quiet nights in... designing a space that can suit it all is a big challenge.
One simple place to start? Finding the right shading solution!
The best shading solution will protect everyone from the elements - rain or shine - so you can enjoy the space year-round. Not to mention, the right shading solution will move with you, completing the space to fit your specific aesthetic. To help you select your ideal shading solution, we've pulled together a list of the most common shading solutions with their advantages and disadvantages.
Louvres are slats positioned at an angle to help block the sun and wind. Their main advantage is to create shade whilst allowing air to circulate at the same time. Slats can change their angle depending on the sun orientation and wind direction. They can be motorised, so they retract when you need them to. The downside is that they will need to be mounted onto a fixed structure and offer no UV protection.
When the weather turns bad, retractable screens can be pulled down without blocking the view to the garden. When you want to let air circulate, you can pull them up - it's like making walls disappear. The problem is, they may not be the best solution if you want open space. Even when the screens are up you will still be in a semi-enclosed structure with a roof. They're fixed, so they're there for good.
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.
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 an outdoor area like a schoolyard as they're 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. Every space will have its own ideal solution, but if you want to have flexibility, style and uninterrupted UV protection all in one, your best option outdoor umbrellas. Check out our range of high-quality umbrellas here.