One feature very much in demand for the summer patio of Reno homes is a shaded area. These areas provide a place for you, your family, pets, and guests to retreat from the summer heat while still enjoying your outdoor space. Providing shade for your patio doesn’t have to be an expensive project. It doesn’t have to involve an extensive home improvement project either. Having a shaded area makes your patio more versatile and that adds value to your home. Consider these shade ideas for the Reno summer. One is certain to fit your lifestyle and outdoor decor.
Ideas for Summer Patios With No Overhead Shade
If your summer patio lacks any covering overhead, you can provide shade quickly, easily, and with little expense.
- Breezy, open canopies provide unobstructed views of your landscaping and Reno’s spectacular natural setting while offering a cool place to relax. Canopies come in a variety of styles and colors. You can find 10′ x 10′ canopies or larger for much less than $300. Some are less than $100. Many simply pop up. If your canopy doesn’t come with mosquito netting, you can purchase it separately. The cost should still be under $300.
- Gazebos provide more structure, and they are a bit more expensive than a simple canopy. Nevertheless, gazebos ranging from 10′ x 10′ to 10′ x 13′ or even 13′ x 13′ cost less than $300. Most come with mosquito netting.
- For a more whimsical, free-form source of shade for your summer patio, try a shade sail. Sun sails or shade sails come in a variety of sizes and colors from neutral to vivid. Some manufacturers even produce printed sun sails.
Most sun sails are rectangular or triangular, but some manufacturers offer ovals and circles. If you order directly from the manufacturer, you might be able to request a custom-designed shape. Most sun sails cost much less than $100. That low price encourages the creative use of multiple sun sails of varying shapes and colors mounted at varying angles. If your patio is next to your house, you can attach one edge or corner to your house and use trees or poles for the other supports. If you anchor your poles in large, cement-filled flower pots or planters, you can change the location and position of your sun sails, although you might need to use a dolly.
Ideas for Summer Patios That Have a Pergola
Pergolas don’t provide much shade, but if your summer patio has one, you have a ready-made structure to support overhead shade.
- If you like the idea of sun sails in multiple colors, you don’t have to give up on that look just because you have a pergola. Measure the interior of the openings in your pergola. Make wood frames to fit inside all or some of the openings. Stretch canvas or rip-stop nylon in the colors and patterns of your choice over the front of the frame. Staple it to the back, keeping the fabric taut and smooth. You can arrange your panels any way you like when placing them in your pergola. When you would rather see the stars or let the sun shine down, you can remove them.
- For a natural, Oriental look, you can lay bamboo across the top of your pergola, creating dapples of sunlight on the patio.
- For a different natural look, lay thatch across your pergola. Bamboo thatch creates a tiki look.
Ideas for Providing Shade for the Sides of Your Summer Patio
At sunrise and sunset, you may find that you need a way to provide shade for the sides of your patio. Plants and fabric offer two different approaches for creating that shade. Both have a variety of display options.
- To add fragrance and color to your patio, arrange blooming plants on inexpensive shelving. For variety, add textural interest with interesting rocks, plaster castings you create yourself, dried gourds, or even eye-catching but inexpensive purchased items. As an alternative, create a vertical herbal garden with potted herbs. If you’d like a vertical vegetable garden, buy one or more inexpensive trellises or create a cord trellis. Plant cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas, green beans, and gourds in planters and let them climb up the trellis or the cords. If you have a sturdy pergola, you can grow your shade from the top down with vines in hanging baskets.
- With the variety of choices of fabric weight and color or print, you can create anything from a floating, billowing, romantic, fairy tale look to an exotic middle eastern or tribal look to a formal, tailored look. Pull down shades offer another simple option.
Do-It-Yourself Shade for Summer Patios
- Do-it-yourself king Bob Vila offers 10 more inexpensive ways you can add shade to your patio. If you still haven’t found exactly the right look, browse through this collection of ideas from Pinterest.
With so many ways to create shade for your summer patio, one should perfectly reflect you, your lifestyle, and your decor.