20 Ways to Beautifully Shade Your Outdoor Room

Add cover to your outdoor living space and create a beautiful, refreshingly cool hangout the whole family can enjoy.

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November 25, 2014

Photo By: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Photo By: Photo Credit: Jenifer Jordan © Gibbs Smith, Charles Faudree Interiors, Charles Faudree, Jenifer Jordan (photographer)

©Sarah Dorio Photography

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Photo By: Debbie Talianko

Striped Awnings

Functioning awnings help minimize the exposure to the sun in this sophisticated outdoor dining space. Design by Barry Dixon
From: Barry Dixon

Intimate Pavilion

Seeking shade has never been more romantic in this outdoor dining pavilion with soft, flowing draperies and an Italianate chandelier. Design by Charles Faudree

Fabric Strips

Strips of fabric overhead add a soft elegance to the clean lines of the sunken concrete dining room and help focus the view to the surrounding countryside. Design by Jamie Durie

Scrap Wood

The dappled lighting in this covered patio was created by the use of wood latias and helps protect the area from the desert sun. Design by Dorothy Willetts

Painted Pergola

This bright colored pergola not only adds shade, but acts as a dramatic design element. Design by Claudia Schmutzler

Outdoor Draperies

Turn your outdoor space into a shady, peaceful retreat by giving ready-made drapery panels a quick and easy designer update. Get the step-by-step instructions >>

Trellis Coverage

Designers Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri built a large trellis with an attached bench that's perfect for outdoor entertaining.

Pergola + Draperies

A pergola and breezy fabrics provide shade without sacrificing sunlight, while cozy furnishings and blue accessories dress up the space. Design by Debbie Talianko

Shady Panels

Designer Shanon Munn creates a retreat with lounge-style furniture and neutral colored shade panels that drape that entirety of the master deck.

Durable Outdoor Curtains

Curtains made from durable outdoor fabric hang along the side of the new pergola to allow celeb homeowners Anne Heche and James Tupper control the amount of sun entering the space. Design by Jamie Durie

Natural Shade

If you don't want to wait for a tree to grow, take your patio to the tree. Here, Jamie Durie created a gathering spot whose central focus is a beautiful sycamore.

Adjustable Roof

The open roof areas hold colorful shade cloths in the summer and allow light through the winter. The center remains open for the fire pit. "Tricky covenant requirements in a small space required design finesse," says designer Steve Appolloni.

Retractable Awning

A retractable awning lets you entertain in the shade during the day and enjoy stargazing at night. Design by Christopher Grubb

Beautiful Climbers

Decorative vines are vigorous and attractive climbers that can soften the lines of the pergola while still augmenting the shade.

Pretty Pergola

The cover for this poolside outdoor dining grotto is a unique upper deck accessible by nearby stairs. Design by Jamie Durie

Rope Netting

Rope netting and hanging plants create lightly dappled shade for a Bohemian-style pergola. Design by Jamie Durie

Shade Panels

These gorgeous shade panels stretch across the spans of the pergola, creating a colorful, contemporary "ceiling". Design by Jamie Durie

Bold Shade Panels

Bright orange panels shade this modern lounge area and offer a bright touch for the color-loving homeowners. Design by Jamie Durie

Plant-Filled Pergola

Container gardens filled with sun-loving, low-maintenance plants create the shade in this pergola. Design by Jamie Durie.

Just for the Kids

If you're worried about the kids spending too much time in the sun, put one of these in the backyard for a great place to cool off.

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