5 DIY Ways to Add Shade to Your Deck or Patio
Spend more time enjoying your outdoor spaces this year with these shady solutions you can install yourself.
Confession: I don’t get enough use out of my deck. I’d love to spend more time out there, but after an hour or so of squinting, sweating and getting sunburnt, I end up going inside. If you, too, are in serious need of some shelter from the sun, I’ve rounded up five affordable projects for varying skill levels. Add these to your to-do list, and spend your spring and summer made in the shade.
Dress Up a Shade Sail
Installing a shade sail is a low-cost way to create a cooler, comfier outdoor space. We took a basic, store-bought sail and prettied it up with some grosgrain ribbon. Wrap the support posts in sisal rope for a coastal look.
Make This: Embellished Shade Sail
Deck Privacy Curtains 01:05
Curtains do double duty in an outdoor space, providing both shade and privacy. But what if I don't have anything to hang curtains from, you ask? Using planters and 2x4s, designer Brian Patrick Flynn came up with a clever way to install curtains without making structural changes to a deck. Watch the video above to see how he did it.
Plant a Vertical Garden
Living Privacy Wall
A small porch becomes a private party space with this imaginative makeover by landscape designer Jamie Durie, who created "pocket gardens" around the perimeter, forming a living wall.
Even if you have a brown thumb, you can create a gorgeous living wall using easy-to-care-for fabric pocket planters. Hang a group of them on a deck or patio, and voila! Your average outdoor space is now a lush, secluded oasis.
Make This: Pocket Vertical Garden
Size Does Matter
Corporate offices, shopping malls and medical centers are beginning to utilize green walls in ways that introduce both nature and a sense of serenity into environments that might seem more antiseptic without them. This installation at the Edmonton International Airport gives some idea of the scale of this project by Green Over Grey.
Vertical gardens—aka green walls—allow plants to grow on a structural support with nutrients and water distributed to the plants from within the container. Designed for both exterior and interior spaces, these unique garden sculptures can transform any area into a green space like this living wall from Green Over Gray.
Here's one way to make your business stand out from the competition. Inspiration Furniture in Vancouver, British Columbia, hired Green Over Grey to design one of their exterior walls as a magnificent living garden stretching from the sidewalk to the rooftop.
A Real Living Room
When we say living room, we mean it literally in this presentation of a vertical garden for a home or office. Equipped with waterproof panels and an automatic irrigation system, this living wall from Green Over Grey can accommodate flowering perennials, groundcovers, succulents and even small trees and shrubs.
Redefining the concept of live art, these Grovert Living Wall Planters by BrightGreen add beautiful accents to any wall and are available in various frame designs in wood, metal, copper, simulated stone and more.
Welcome visitors to your home with a live nature display in a polymer planter from BrightGreen which can be hung separately or in groups. Plants can be watered manually by installing the GroVert Irrigator or through a built-in drip line system.
Today's green wall products offer a wide range of choices from high-end architectural designs to more affordable options like this versatile Grovert Living Wall Planter which offers a variety of frame options for specific color palettes.
Make a Privacy Screen
Like curtains, a privacy screen can block out light while adding privacy from nosy (or well-meaning) neighbors. Use basic home improvement store materials to make this stylish, herringbone-pattern screen. The secret to the design is laying the boards out at a 22-½ degree angle.
Make This: Herringbone Privacy Screen
Build a Pergola
If you're an experienced DIYer, you can even pretty up your patio with a pergola — and it doesn't have to break your budget. Grab a of couple handy friends and make this simple wood structure in just a few days.
Make This: How to Build a Pergola
Anne Heche's Shade Solution
These canvas panels are easily moveable, so you can block out the sun (or let it in) as it shifts throughout the day. Designer Jamie Durie mounted the panels on heavy-gauge wire for durability and maximum adjustability.
Your Own Personal Cabana
These private lounge spaces are artfully immersed into the pool; the infinity edge merges the cool waters with the private cabana, creating a unified, harmonious experience. Bamboo roof slats and white linen canopies provide shade while creating a well-defined private retreat.