Patio, Perfected: 11 Amazing Amazon Finds for a Shady Outdoor Oasis

Baby, it's hot outside! Learn how I beat the heat with outdoor essentials that turned my too-sunny patio into an inviting oasis that makes every day feel more like vacay.

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June 11, 2020

Here in relatively balmy Knoxville, Tenn., outdoor living is a reality most of the year, and while I'd maxed out my home's interior spaces with lots of antiques and vintage finds, the patio was a bit of an afterthought. The classic 1940s metal patio furniture I scored at an estate sale was beautiful but starting to show its age, while my patio's full-sun exposure was taking its toll on the brightly colored indoor (whoops!) cushions I'd used to cozy-up my now-rusting metal beauties. It's time for a refresh and just in time for summer entertaining and lazy afternoon lounges with my pups.

Shady Summer Patio

Shady Summer Patio

Baby, it's hot outside! Turn your too-sunny patio into a shady oasis with a cantilever umbrella, durable outdoor rug, colorful furniture, pillows and throw and a summer-stocked bar cart.

Photo by: Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

Sarah Busby; Styling by H. Camille Smith

I needed a shady solution to temper the sun, plus durable outdoor furniture and pillows that can stand up to the elements while still fitting my traditional sense of style and love of color. Read on to learn which products I chose to turn my underused, overexposed patio into a tropical-inspired outdoor oasis that’s now my favorite 'room' in the house.

HERE'S WHAT I PICKED:

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$244.91
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Generously sized and a treat underfoot, this colorful charmer adds a serene shade of blue to ground my patio while providing a soft surface for my pups. And best of all, stains aren't a worry; a quick rinse with the hose and time in the sun to dry will keep this pretty pattern looking its best for many summers to come. For max comfort, consider adding this outdoor rug pad, too.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$279
Photo Courtesy Amazon

The cheery turquoise color isn’t the only thing this Adirondack chair has going for it — it's also supremely comfortable and — wait for it — nearly maintenance-free! Just remove any surface dirt with a damp cloth and dish soap. Constructed from HDPE lumber (high-density plastic made from recycled milk jugs), this sturdy seat won’t crack, rot, chip or deteriorate over time — even the color won’t fade. And, bonus: Polywood chairs can even be left outdoors year-round.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$139
Photo Courtesy Amazon

For the ultimate in kick-back-and-relax, the coordinating ottoman provides the perfect spot to prop up my feet. Like the folding Adirondack chair above, I can just remove the pin to fold it down for easy storage.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$509
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Ample shade was a must to turn my too-sunny patio into an inviting oasis, but I didn’t want a full-time cover like an awning or pergola. Enter the cantilever umbrella. The umbrella’s canopy is easy to lift to the desired height, then crank open to create a shady span that feels 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding space. I can even swivel the canopy’s position on the sturdy base (sold separately) to match the sun’s shifting location.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$28.98
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Lightweight but surprisingly absorbent and fast-drying, these 100-percent cotton towels, inspired by traditional Turkish linens, beautifully combine form with function. Also known as a fouta or hammam towel, their quick-drying material and massive size (61" x 82") make them an ideal outdoor throw that’s perfect for popping in a bit more color or cozying up an outdoor chair.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$112.99
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Perfectly scaled to work as a handy side table, this stool’s ceramic surface can weather rain or sun with ease. For a stylish stacked effect, I paired the tall stool with its shorter sibling for double the visual impact and storage space.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$40.99
Photo Courtesy Amazon

A rich, cobalt blue glaze and embossed sunburst pattern make this planter a real eye-catcher. I added a potted mandevilla (this planter is a cache pot — so no drainage hole) for a bit of tropical flair.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$37.99
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Your pup will have it made in the shade with this pressure-activated cooling pad that cushions and cools your furry best friend. My Schnoodle, Sophie, likes hers so much that we even take it with us in the car for long trips and on vacay so she can sleep cool and calm all night — no matter where we are. Note: This mat is only for use outdoors in a shady area; never leave the cooling mat in direct sun.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$49.99 (Set of 3) $40
Photo Courtesy Amazon
20% Off!

Timelessly on-trend, these well-constructed pillow covers look just like pricey indoor accents but feature a durable construction that can stand up to the elements. Sold as a set, coordinating the colors and patterns for a designer-worthy look in a snap. (The water-resistant inserts are sold separately).

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$43.10 (Set of 2)
Photo Courtesy Amazon

Constructed entirely of weather-resistant polyester, this pair of plump pillows is perfectly sized to cushion your lumbar area to make relaxing in the great outdoors even more enjoyable. Coordinating welt trim adds a fashion-forward finishing touch that would also make these pillows right at home indoors.

Photo By: Sarah Busby
$65.33
Photo Courtesy Amazon

A beautiful accent to any shady patio (direct sun will burn them), this palm adds tropical flair and, bonus: the palm's sculptural leaves are perfect for creating a lush, living screen for an added bit of privacy.

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