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Outdoor Shade Ideas for your Patio or Backyard

12 Outdoor Shade Ideas for Your Patio or Backyard 2024

Does the idea of spending more time in your backyard space appeal to you, but the reality of sitting in the brutal Alabama heat leaves you feeling unexcited? You are in the right place! Shade is the key to getting more use out of your patio space this summer, and we’ve put together a handy list of 12 outdoor shade ideas you can consider adding to your space.

We hope this guide leaves you feeling inspired! When you’d like to call in the help of your local shade professional, please call 256-269-4415 or contact us online to learn more about the options available to you.

Benefits of Adding Shade to Your Yard

Before you decide which shade idea will work best in your space, let’s review some of the benefits of creating a shady backyard or patio space:

Improved Energy Efficiency

Sun shining into your back windows or doors can cause your air conditioner to work harder, putting excess strain on your system and increasing your bills. By adding shade to your backyard, your house will stay cooler on its own during the summer.

Increased Privacy

Some types of outdoor shade solutions, like retractable screens, can give you privacy in your backyard. Dark screens, particularly, can almost completely block the view of your patio space from your neighbors, so you can feel more comfortable in your yard.

Weather Protection

Outdoor shades not only offer protection from the sun, but they can also shield you from wind and rain. This allows you to use your backyard on days with less than ideal conditions and it also helps protect your patio furniture.

Blocked UV Rays

While spending time in the sun offers plenty of benefits, it can also become harmful. From damaging your skin to affecting your eyes, excess UV exposure can take a toll on you and your family. Adding shade to your backyard can help you spend time outside without worry.

Increased Use

A comfortable and functional backyard area can extend your living space so you can get the most out of your home. By adding a shade solution to your patio, deck, or general backyard space, you will likely find yourself spending more time outside, relaxing, entertaining, and more.

Protection Against Insects

When you’re spending time outside, it’s never fun to be joined by critters like spiders and mosquitoes. Certain types of shade options can help reduce the amount of bugs coming into your personal space. For example, a retractable screen can keep insects away when it’s lowered.


12 Outdoor Shade Ideas to Consider

No matter what kind of patio or backyard space you have, you will surely find an idea on this list that will work for your space. The time to get inspired starts now!

1. Retractable Awnings

A retractable awning is a versatile and practical way to add shade to your backyard. Thanks to its high-quality motor, you can retract it when not in use. This gives you flexibility so you can enjoy both sunny and shaded moments in your backyard.

Our awnings come in various styles, materials, and sizes, with more than 300 custom fabric options so you can choose a stylish solution that allows you to create a more comfortable outdoor environment.

2. Umbrellas

Patio umbrellas are largely recognized as a classic and portable option for providing instant shade in your backyard. With a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, outdoor umbrellas offer flexibility to match different outdoor settings.

Their portable nature allows for easy repositioning, ensuring shade is available where and when needed. You can also easily take your patio umbrella to a new house should you move. Whether centered over a dining table or covering a lounge area, patio umbrellas are a practical and stylish option to consider for your backyard.

3. Patio Covers

A patio cover is another popular shade solution to consider for your backyard. Typically attached to your house or installed as a freestanding structure, a patio cover offers reliable protection from the elements.

Here at Sun Solutions, we are proud to install high-quality patio covers from one of the top brands on the market: Renaissance. Available in several styles and designs, these top-of-the-line patio covers serve as an extension of your indoor living space, providing a sheltered area for outdoor activities.

These patio covers are made from durable aluminum and come in different colors to complement your backyard aesthetics.

4. Outdoor Curtains

Chic outdoor curtains can add a touch of elegance to your backyard while providing functional shade and privacy. You can hang them from pergolas, gazebos, and other outdoor structures, helping to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere in your backyard.

When choosing the right outdoor curtains, look for weather-resistant fabrics to help ensure durability against the elements, so you can enjoy a charming outdoor retreat in the comfort of your backyard. When you want a practical and aesthetic shading solution, outdoor curtains are a great option.

5. Pergolas

A pergola is a timeless and visually appealing structure that can enhance your backyard’s aesthetics while providing partial shade on sunny days. The open framework of a pergola allows some sunlight to filter through, creating an appealing dappled effect.

Consider planting climbing vines around your pergola to help enhance its shading capabilities in a way that looks beautiful as well. Many of the homeowners we work with like pergolas because they are versatile, serve as a focal point for outdoor activities, and provide an architectural element that complements a variety of backyard designs.

6. Strategically Planted Trees

Planting trees in key areas of your backyard is a natural and eco-friendly way to introduce more shade to the space. Deciduous trees, with their broad leaves, provide ample shade during the summer while allowing sunlight to filter through in the cooler months.

Adding shade trees to your outdoor area is a sustainable solution that not only enhances the aesthetics of your backyard but also contributes to a cooler and more comfortable outdoor environment. Look for shade trees that thrive in our Alabama climate and complement your overall landscape design. 

7. Motorized Pergolas

A motorized pergola takes the classic pergola concept to the next level by adding convenience and adaptability. Thanks to the motorized louvers, you can effortlessly control the amount of shade and sunlight in your backyard with one of our motorized pergolas.

This modern and automated solution gives you the flexibility to adjust the amount of coverage in your backyard based on weather conditions so it is an even more enjoyable and versatile space.

8. DIY Sun Shade

Are you feeling handy? Creating a DIY sun shade allows you to add a personal touch to your backyard while creating a customized and budget-friendly solution. You can repurpose old materials to keep costs down even further and showcase your creativity in the process.

However, keep in mind that most DIY shades won’t last very long, so they are better as a temporary shade option rather than a long-term solution you can use year after year.

9. Motorized Screens

A motorized screen is a dynamic and adaptable shade solution that could be perfect for your backyard. Whether used to enclose a patio or provide extra privacy, motorized screens can be easily raised or lowered all with the touch of a button.

These automated screens offer an element of convenience to your backyard, allowing you to control the level of shade you want at any given time.

10. Vinyl Enclosures

Another option is a vinyl enclosure, which is a durable and weather-resistant solution that helps create protection and shade in your backyard. You can install these enclosures over a porch or create a three-season room, allowing you to get more use out of your outdoor space while shielding it from the elements.

To complete the design, add convenient doors and windows, which will help create a welcoming environment.

11. Sun Sails

Sun sails, which are also known as shade sails, are a modern way to add extra shade to your backyard. These tensioned fabric options come in numerous shapes and colors, helping you to create an eye-catching design while offering excellent sun protection.

Sun sails are easy to install between existing structures or on freestanding poles, making them a popular option with local homeowners. 

12. Tents

Adding a tent to your backyard is a great temporary shade option when you need extra protection for a special occasion. Whether it’s a pop-up canopy or a stylish event tent, these structures offer portable and instant shade so your guests stay comfortable.

When you are not looking for a permanent shade solution, a tent could be just what you need.

The Best Outdoor Shade Solutions for Local Homeowners

Which of these outdoor shade ideas appeals most to you? Most of the options on this list can be installed by our experts at Sun Solutions. If you’re interested in learning how to get more use out of your backyard space, we’d be happy to chat with you and answer your questions. To get started, please call 256-269-4415 or contact us online today.


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