I really like to spend time outside the house, watering the plants in the garden, sipping coffee on the porch or reading a book on a lazy afternoon. All these relaxing activities that include a lot of fresh air usually make me forget about everything that burdens me, at least for a while. That’s why I, like most of the nature-loving Australians, gave my best to design the outdoor space to meet my needs all year round, by choosing the fitting outdoor essentials. I learned that when designing an outdoor area, it’s an imperative to pay attention to every single item, from the furniture, to the decorative details such as rugs and sofa cushions, to the suitable planters for your favourite plants. But nothing can beat the importance of an umbrella, as it is a must-have addition to every successfully designed outdoor space.
No matter whether you regularly use your patio or deck for entertaining guests, or you just hang around with the family on a quiet evening, outdoor umbrellas are ingenious additions to your outdoor area. They protect you and the outdoor furnishing from the harsh UV rays and sunlight during a hot midsummer day, and provide a cosy shelter in case of rough, windy and rainy evening.
Before purchasing, consider various different types and sizes of umbrellas. The size is the most important feature of an outdoor umbrella, since it determines how much shade you’ll receive and reflects the overall appearance of the space that it’s used in. If the umbrella is too small, it has a limited functionality and probably won’t provide enough shade. On the other hand, your small patio will look overcrowded and unnatural with a too-large umbrella, and it just won’t feel right.
Depending on your needs, you can choose between a freestanding and offset umbrellas. The first type is in fact a standard outdoor umbrella that is usually designed to rest in the center-hole of your outdoor dining table. With the right freestanding umbrella you can even give a complete change of appearance to your dining space, without having to buy a new dining setting. However, if your dining table doesn’t have a hole, or you simply don’t have room for an outdoor dining setting, you should check the offset type, also called cantilever umbrellas. Even though they’re more expensive than the table umbrellas, they are becoming increasingly popular, as they can be placed anywhere around the house. They allow to easily change the direction of the shade from your dining setting to the day bed without moving the base of the umbrella.
You should also go through the different umbrella fabrics available on the market, before the final decision. This doesn’t mean to just choose an attractive pattern that will match the rest of your outdoor décor, but to find quality, durable and weatherproof canvas fabric. Decide between the mildew-resistant polyester, the budget-friendly olefin or the durable and colourful acrylic. Whichever your choice is, don’t be afraid to pay more to get more, as an umbrella is the ideal accessory for your outdoor sanctuary at all times.