3 Ways To Add Shade to Your Outdoor Space

The sun is out and the birds are chirping. Why not take a cool beverage and a book outside to read? Or, maybe you would prefer laying in a hammock and taking a nap. There is just one problem. The sun is beaming you directly in the eyes.

Most homeowners who enjoy spending time outside understand the struggle with umbrellas. They never seem to shade the right spot. Family members end up circling the umbrella pole in a coordinated dance to stay in the shade. If you are tired of the dance, then it may be time for a more permanent solution.

Fabric Shades

Fabric shades are a flexible option because they can be put up or extended when you want shade, and put away if you would like a little sun. Unlike pergolas or patio covers, these shades can be replaced if they wear out or if you decide to go with a different color scheme. They are also much less expensive. A deck cover can extend the life of your deck and furnishings by preventing fading and cracking caused by intense heat.

For a less expensive option, choose a fabric shade that is manually erected using clips at each corner. The clips can be attached to your home, trees or poles set into the ground. If you would rather not mess with storing and manually clipping shades to your house every time you want shade, then there are retractable models that go out and in with the push of a button.


If you like to be close to nature and don’t mind a little clean-up, then trees are an ideal option. This natural solution may cost more upfront, but trees planted around outdoor spaces only add value to a home. They also won’t need replacing after a few years. If you are trying to add shade to a deck or paved area, then purchase patio trees that can grow in large planters. Keep in mind that more trees mean more leaves, birds and bugs. You may have to scrub bird poop off your lounge chair, but for some, a little clean-up is worth it.


Pergolas are a permanent, classic way to add shade to a deck or patio. They are aesthetically pleasing and offer a compromise between full sun and total shade. A pergola is made from beams or lattices being set on top of columns. The dappled shade breaks up the sun’s rays to provide a cool space to hang out. If you would rather have more shade than the pergola provides, then you can grow vines around the structure. As vines grow in, you’ll receive more shade.