Outdoor Patio Shades

We’re adamant about our patio enjoyment time and continually look for topics and products to discuss that can help you do the same.  For the sake of this article, we are going to be talking about how to get various types of shade for your patio.  This broad category of patio shades is made up of some related products and we will discuss those briefly here, but for more in depth discussions of those, you can tour our site.

So, what makes an outdoor shade suitable for your particular needs and space?  Well, this all depends upon your requirements for shade and other needs.  If what you are really seeking is a permanent type of shade structure, under which you can put all your patio furniture and tables, then a patio cover is what you need.  There are various types of patio covers from which to choose.  The most popular of these is the pergola.  With its handsome features and simple lines, it is possible to craft one to fit most any patio space and home decor.  These can provide large shaded areas for your patio either using a lattice roof type of style or by having a proper canopy overhead.  A great look is to have vines and other greenery grow up and over the top of your pergola creating a cool, green dappled shaded area.  Talk about ambiance!

Other types of patio shade include things like a patio canopy, awnings or blinds.  Though possible, awnings and blinds don’t usually form shade in an overhead manner.  Typically if you are looking at patio blinds or curtains, you are seeking to enhance an otherwise shaded area from above.  So, what you would have is an outdoor shade like an awning or canopy and then further enhance and envelope your patio space with these other features.

Specifically addressing the patio shades component, these are usually a type of roller shade.  As the name implies, this type of shade rolls down to create a ‘wall’ for shade.  This is especially helpful to block those angled rays from the intense sun.  In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, you can keep them up out of the way – this is assuming you live in a climate where you can enjoy your patio year-round.

Other types of roll-down shades are things like a retractable shade or awning that comes out when needed.  These outdoor blinds are very similar to your indoor varieties, they are just made to withstand the elements of nature.  Blinds made to be outdoors are made with more durable materials like heavier vinyls, polyester and canvases.  They also have aluminum or stainless fittings and parts so that the rain and moisture will not rust them or stain your awning shades.

We talked above about how awnings are usually not an overhead shade provide, but this is not always the case.  There are certain manufacturers that have made a retractable awning that functions much like a sunroof in your car.  These are like hybrid awning-canopies.  They are installed on a patio cover type structure that can look much like a pergola.  However, the difference is in how these awnings can be retracted.  There are several panels that can all be independently opened or closed providing shade in an almost personal way.  These make great flexible shading.

Outdoor Shades – Standout Winner and Our Patio Place Pick

These shade sails are our favorite type of outdoor patio shade.

In case you missed our article on patio canopies, we mentioned one of favorite outdoor shades – the Australian shade sail.  These are so named because they look like a sail on a ship.  They were developed in Australia where temperatures can be quite extreme – similar to the desert southwest of the U.S.  Basically, they look like large sails that are stretched or mounted between several poles, often 3 or 4, depending upon the shape of the sail.  They are under a fair amount of tension between their anchor points, so it is critical that they be mounted to fixed points, like a building or rigidly mounted poles or posts.  They can be layered or staggered for great effect.  Consider getting them in a variety of colors and use these outdoor shades to add some splash and life to your patio space.

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