With summer schedules packed full of barbecues, drinks on the patio, gardening work, or snoozing by the pool, it’s easy to subject yourself to sun burns and heat strokes. Although we love the warmer weather, it’s important to shield ourselves effectively from harmful ultraviolet rays. Whether you’re considering enhancing an existing patio or are interested in building a brand new structure, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite methods of incorporating shade into your yard. These stylish and money-saving tricks are simple enough for any homeowner to take on!
Adding a sail shade to your yard is the perfect way to keep your favourite patio chair cool on a hot, sunny day. They also have the added benefit of being able to implement an architectural design element while being super easy to make. Whether you want the shade to fall along the side of your house or under nearby trees, measure the area you want to keep covered. Choose a large fabric to cut into a triangular shape, then follow the hem and sew the edges of the material. Make sure to punch out eyelets in the three corners and use either rope or strong twine to attach your sail to poles. Although the light weight sail won’t be able to sustain all weather conditions, it will create a beautiful, shady place to relax outdoors.
If your patio has existing support beams but no roof to keep the sun out, add an impromptu cover with a sheer curtain. As simple as it sounds, throw the curtain on top of the current structure, ensure the material hangs off equally in all directions and pull tight. Finally, tie the material to the poles with ropes to make sure your new canopy doesn’t blow away. You’ll still be able to enjoy the warm weather but won’t have to worry about burning!
Umbrella on wheels
Umbrellas are great for blocking the sun but won’t do much to keep you cool if they can’t move with you. To create your own rolling umbrella, put an old patio umbrella into a large gardening pot and fill it with cement and rocks to maintain its stability. For a decorative touch, throw in some soil and flowers and paint the exterior of the pot to match your existing furniture. To incorporate wheels, hoist the pot onto a planter caddy, which can be found at any home hardware store. You’ll be able to take the shade with you while running around your patio!
String Along Roof
Retractable roofs are great to keep the sun away, but can also be an expensive investment. Get the same effect for less by hooking up a wire to a pulley system and threading the wire through the grommets of a curtain. Hang the curtain over a pergola to filter out the sunlight and keep your deck cool throughout the summer.
To find endless inspiration for your backyard oasis this summer, be sure to head to the Ottawa Home & Garden Show, taking place March 23rd to March 26th at the EY Centre.
MARCH 23 - 26, 2017