12 Outdoor Shade Ideas for Your Patio, Deck or Backyard

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Adding shade to your patio makes it more comfortable in Summer, and can help protect your patio furniture from the elements all year round.

From building a pergola, to installing a shade sail, or adding more plants and trees, there are many options when it comes to outdoor shade ideas. We’ve listed 12 of the most popular outdoor shade ideas that can be placed on your patio, deck or in a backyard area.

Use a Patio Umbrella

sun shade patio ideas

A patio umbrella is an inexpensive patio shade idea that can easily be moved to different positions, or taken with you when you move home. From table umbrellas to large cantilever umbrellas, there are many options available to provide the necessary shade for your patio.

Build a Pergola

backyard patio shade ideas

If you live in area that is exposed to strong sunlight, then pergolas can be one of the best outdoor shade ideas. From timber pergolas, to more modern aluminum and with tilting slats (as pictured above) there are many styles of pergolas to compliment your home.

Building a timber pergola at home is a great DIY shade ideas for those on a budget. Growing vines over your pergola can also help assist with shade. Whether it be a beautiful floral vine, or a practical fruit vine such as passionfruit, you can create modern or vintage looks with ease.

Pop Up a Canopy

outdoor patio shade ideas

Popup canopies are a budget friendly temporary outdoor shade idea for your backyard or patio. You can easily put them up and down, storing away safely when not needed. They can be positioned on grass areas or on patios and secured with simple weights.

A pop up canopy offers temporary shade over play areas, and can be an ideal choice whilst you save for a more permanent structure, if desired. Popup canopies are also great in offering additional shade for outdoor events in patio to accommodate large guests. You can buy a simple popup canopy for under $100.

Install a Retractable Awning

sun shade ideas for patio

Awnings are attached to the structure directly so that they can offer protection from rain as well as sun. You will find a variety of colorful fabrics available in the market that will add class and color to the deck or patio. You will need to set up a retractable model and decide if you wish to cool off under the shade or bask in the sun.

No matter what model you pick, make sure it is made of metal or fabric since they will be more long-lasting than other materials.

Plant Trees

back patio shade ideas

Growing a tree is a long term strategy, but an eco friendly way to shade your patio in the long term. Consider the size the tree will be when fully grown, how the root system may impact your patio, and how long it will take to grow. Planting an inexpensive tree is a budget friendly way to get started with shading your patio.

If you have a larger budget, consider purchasing a more mature tree and having it strategically positioned to provide the most shade over your patio during the middle of the day.

Build a Timber Screen

DIY patio shade ideas

Building a screen is useful for shading the side of your patio, providing some extra privacy or separation of space. For an even more budget friendly DIY patio shade idea, consider installing lattice on the sides of your patio and growing a floral or fruit vine over it.

Install a Shade Sail

patio cover shade ideas

Shade sails have become increasingly popular over the years for their ability to be installed cheaply, withstands the weather, and provides a large area of shade. Installing a shade sail over your patio or deck can be a DIY project you can tackle in one weekend; and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Build a Gazebo

small patio shade ideas

Building a gazebo is another permanent structure that you can construct over your patio. It will create a shady sanctuary and protect you from harmful rays. Small gazebos can be used as a sitting area in a garden, decorated with hanging plants like a feature arbor, or larger gazebos can hold tables and chairs for outdoor dining.

You can add extra appeal by training vines to grow up lattice-work along the sides or hanging flower boxes around the outer area.

Plant Bamboo

patio shade ideas for windy areas

If you want both shade and privacy, then you can think of planting bamboo grove since it is the fast growing grass and offers both the perks. You can opt for clumping bamboo that will not give off rhizomes and take over the patio like running bamboo does. This will let the plant bamboo give privacy and shade along fences or around the patio without dispersing into other areas.

Install an Outdoor Roller Blind

patio side shade ideas

Does the afternoon sun impact the use of your patio? Consider attaching an inexpensive outdoor roller blind to your patio. Roll it down whenever you need some extra shade, and roll it back up when you don’t. This is an inexpensive patio shade idea and certainly one you can DIY in no time.

Add Curtains to Your Patio

cheap patio shade ideas

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a designer looking patio. These tab top curtains are installed on a shower rail, fixed to the beam of the patio. Choose airy linen curtains, budget friendly polyester, or a blackout style for the ultimate shade for your patio when needed. Tie them back around the poles of your patio when not in use.

Put Up a Yurt Style Tent

patio privacy shade ideas

It’s is a round, tent-like structure that is mostly used by wandering Mongolians for housing. In modern eras, yurt has become popular among the North American people. You will find them putting up yurt as an alternate shade option to be used in the deck or patio. Not only that, it has also been loved much for its versatility as well as sturdiness.

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