Create some shade: 10 covered patio structure ideas

Having an outdoor area to enjoy your favorite activities is essential. However, if your backyard doesn’t have a versatile covered area, it can be challenging to indulge in the elements. Adults and kids alike love to be outside but because of weather conditions you may need a shady area to utilize. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to create some shade for your patio and how to reclaim your outdoor living space.

Why having shade on your patio is a must have

The summer months are unquestionably the best time for your family to enjoy your backyard! But-as much as we all love the sunshine, it can sometimes get too intense or leave you feeling worried about dehydration and sunburn. This is why adding a shady area on your patio is so important! When the heat gets to be too much, you can simply kick back in a stylish shady spot with a refreshing drink in hand.

In addition to protection from direct sunlight, full shade allows you to enjoy the outdoors for longer periods of time. Your kids will want to play longer in their playhouses where the heat can’t get to them, and you’ll be able to create an elegant area for entertaining guests. A shaded spot will also help protect your furniture from damage caused by extreme heat or changing weather.

10 ways to create shade on your patio

1. Standing pergola

It’s not necessary to change the entire landscape of your backyard just to acquire shade. By simply adding stylish structures such as afree-standing pergola, you can easily create a cool shady area without hassle. A luxurious free-standing pergola not only provides your family with relief from the sun, it also extends your living and lounging space, effectively adding another room to your property. A pergola provides a balanced amount of shade, perfect for enjoying time outdoors.

Pergola backyard

2. Climbing or hanging plants

Climbing plants can be grown next to the stands of your pergola to further enhance your pergola’s shading capabilities. Growing vines can not only provide you with additional shade, it can also enhance your pergola’s privacy as well to give it a more luxurious leafy look. If you feel your climbing plants are young and insufficient, you can also hang plants on the sides of your pergola. 

3. Fashionable fabrics

A great way to increase both your privacy and shade, adding hanging curtains to your pergola can be an effective way to achieve both! You can choose the color of the curtain to match your pergola to ensure that it perfectly partners your outdoor aesthetic. With hanging curtains, you’ll be turning your patio into a unique and stylish outdoor living space, providing stylish settings for entertaining guests and a sublime space for an afternoon nap.

4. Parasols

If you don’t have space for adding larger shade structures, you can simply use a parasol. Parasols offer effective shade and give you the flexibility to easily transport it to different areas of your backyard. A Parasol is an affordable and quick way to add shade to specific areas in your backyard or patio.

5. Gorgeous gazebos

A more shaded option than the perfect pergola is a gazebo that comes complete with a solid roof for weather protection and a spacious shady area ideal for outdoor dining and entertaining. You can create a zen like lounge space, a fairytale fort, a divine dining area or even a home cinema beneath the sturdy roof - the options are endless!

wooden gazebo

6. Using tarpaulins

Tarpaulins are inexpensive but still look great and they give you enough shade without having to spend too much on renovations or buying new structures. This is also perfect for those who don’t want to create a permanently shaded area in their backyard. Installing a tarpaulin in an area where you can unravel it whenever you need is an effective way to create shade on demand. Choosing light-colored tarpaulins will give you that luxurious look used by garden designers all over the world. 

7. Planting trees

If you’re looking for a natural shade, you could opt for trees or shrubs that provide the optimum amount of shade. An eco-friendly option, choosing glorious greenery can make your outdoor living space more elegant. The only disadvantage of choosing to add trees or topiary is the time it may take for them to grow and provide the perfect shade. Worth the wait for their gorgeous greenery, trees provide a fabulous feature that will be admired for years to come. 

8. Set up a canopy

Using a pop-up canopy offers the same flexibility of tarpaulins, instantly creating a shaded area in your backyard. It can be placed anywhere and its main benefit is that it’s easy to move. You can store it easily in a small space and it’s an effective, inexpensive option that still looks nice. 

9. Building higher fences or walls

Although they don’t offer overhead protection from direct sunlight, high fences and walls allow you to enjoy your outdoor space later in the day when the sun falls behind them. The amount of shade you can gain from this structure will depend on factors such as the position of the sun when it is setting and the direction that your property faces. You could of course still utilize high fences and walls with a tarpaulin and other modified sunshades to fully create a large area with shade.

10. Balcony

One of the best ways to create a shaded space is within your home design itself. If you happen to have a balcony installed, then you can utilize this as your overhead shade solution. Modifying your outdoor space in line with your balcony can increase the functionality of your outdoor space and provide an enchanting area for outdoor enjoyment. 

Overall, adding an area of stylish shade to your beautiful backyard will ensure absolute enjoyment whatever the weather, and provide you with the perfect space for your luxurious outdoor seating or area of family fun. From outdoor patio structures to easy and efficient add-ons, the options for adding shade are endless. 


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