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Summer Shade

Summer Shade

It is hot, really hot. The summer has come and has made itself known. I love spending time outside on the deck with my kids. Yet I tend to opt to stay indoors when the sun is beating down and makes it unbearable on hot summer days.

My backyard is drenched in sunshine, which is great for growing vegetables, not so good for my fair skin. When I spend time in the great outdoors, it has to be under cover, whether that is a patio umbrella or a big floppy hat. I find a lot of times that I feel confined to the small bit of shade that my patio umbrella offers and when the sun shifts I have to shift as well. The problem is that the umbrella only creates a small area of shade that is mostly on the table itself. I have looked into those awnings that are attached to the side of the house and it is a good option but they tend to be bulky, and a big hit to the budget.

A few weeks ago, I was at my friend’s house and the had a Shade Sail, basically a triangular shaped piece of canvas that stretch between a couple of trees to create an oasis of shade on hot day. Well as a designer, my brain started imagining the possibilities for my own backyard. And so, the research started, here is what I found:
In this picture you can see the basic construction of the Shade Sail. It is a large geometric shape (rectangle, square or triangle) with a d-ring or grommet on each corner. The corners of the fabric Sail are re-enforced to prevent ripping and tearing. You would attach the corner of the sail to a post, a tree or even to your house, all it takes is the installation of a hook to make the connection.
Customized - One of the biggest draws of the Shade Sail is that they come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. You can group them together to fit your exact needs. As you can see in the picture, two shades were used in and overlapping pattern to provide shade over a large pool.

Affordable- The Shade Sail is a surprisingly budget friendly addition to your outdoor space. I searched on several different sites and found them ranging from $30 to $300 depending on the type of fabric and size. Your selection will have a lot to do with the application you plan to use the shade in. If it is temporary for an event, then maybe opt for the lower priced one. If you plan on using the shade a lot for years to come, you may want to opt for the pricey version with the better fabric.

Another option for the creative types out there is to create your own. I love DIY projects, so this is right up my alley. Get a large canvas drop cloth and attach heavy duty grommets at each corner. You can further customize this by dyeing it to the color of your choice, or even tie dye for a fun look. The best part is these are cheap and the edges are already finished, so no sewing. Here is a link to a good size drop cloth-

Temporary- The Shade Sail is made to go up and come down easily. They can be attached with hooks for a more long-term solution or ropes for extra shade on the fly. When it is winter or bad weather, they can easily be taken down and stored. The configuration of the Shades can also be changed to accommodate different size parties and events.

But what if you don’t have something to attach 1 or more corners to? You create them- of course. I found this simple DIY solution to create a Planter post that will be both functional and beautiful in your backyard. The cement at the bottom of the planter creates a good base- just attach a hook to the top of the post and plant your favorite flowers. See the details here…

As always - Have Fun and Happy Decorating!



  1. Thank you for this valuable information, I hope it is okay that I bookmarked your website for further references.

    Orlando home staging


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