When it’s hot outside, it’s tempting to stay indoors in the air conditioning. But with some creativity, you can enjoy your yard while staying cool. Adding shade to your outdoor living spaces makes them more pleasant, adds to the visual appeal, and may even increase your property value. No matter what type of space you have, there are plenty of ways to shade your outdoor living spaces. Here are six popular options.

Shade Your Outdoor Living Spaces: Garden Umbrellas

Umbrellas are portable, relatively inexpensive, and a great option if you have a small space that you want to shade. You will find umbrellas in a variety of colors and styles to match your outdoor décor. Cantilever umbrellas are a good choice if you want to be able to adjust the angle of the shade and don’t want to deal with a center pole.

Shade Sails

A shade sail is a fabric shade attached to three or more points to create a shaded area. Shade sails are practical and attractive for large spaces such as a patio, play area, or pool deck. They come in various colors and materials, including UV-resistant polyester, and they can be custom-designed to fit your space.

Shade Your Outdoor Living Spaces with Awnings

Awnings usually attach to the side of your home to shield decks and patios from the sun. There are many different styles and materials available, including retractable and motorized models, and they come in various materials, including fabric, metal, or canvas. Choose an awning designed to withstand high winds if you live in a windy area.


A pergola is an open-air structure made from posts and beams. Pergolas can be freestanding or attached to your home, and they’re often used to support vines or other climbing plants. Building a pergola is a permanent shading solution. Hang string lights on the pergola to create a beautiful outdoor living space after dark.

Shade Your Outdoor Living Spaces with an Arbor

An arbor is a great alternative if you don’t have the space for a pergola. Arbors are smaller than pergolas and usually have lattice sides to support climbing plants. While they don’t provide as much shade as a pergola, an arbor is a nice addition to any garden and makes a great shaded spot to relax when you add a bench.

Plant Trees

If your yard is large enough, trees are a way to shade your outdoor living spaces naturally. Unless you plant mature trees, you’ll want to choose a fast-growing species like tulip poplar. In addition to much-needed relief from the sun, planting trees will help keep your home cooler and add privacy.

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