Patio Ideas: Creating Shade Outdoors in Sag Harbor, NY

Relaxing in the sun is what summer’s all about, but when the blazing sun makes you run for cover, you’ll want accessible shade in your landscape rather than having to retreat indoors. You have three options when it comes to creating shade on your Sag Harbor, NY, property: natural shade (trees), permanent shade, and temporary shade. Here are some patio ideas for implementing these approaches this year.

Natural Shade

Trees offer wonderful dappled shade. Planted strategically, they can provide shade to patios and also significantly reduce summer heating costs. They also add natural beauty, they invite songbirds to your backyard, and they offer the perfect place for hanging a swing or a hammock.  

Trellises are free-standing structures created with a wooden or metal open lattice framework. They are designed to support climbing plants such as roses, bougainvillea, grapes, or clematis. Trellises allow a bit of sunlight to filter through from the sides, and can be installed on a permanent shade structure to enhance shade and privacy.


Permanent Shade Solutions

Patio Ideas: Creating Shade Outdoors in Sag Harbor, NY

Permanent shade structures beautify your landscape and offer protection from the sun and, in some cases, rain. They also add value to your home and give you an opportunity for a fast escape from the sun (no struggling with an umbrella or awning, or constantly repositioning yourself to stay in the shade).

Nothing says romance more than a gazebo! A gazebo will offer protection from both sun and rain, and you can add privacy and shade with curtains, roller shades, or trellises. They are best suited for traditional homes although a clean design with minimal ornamentation could work well with a modern home. Use light-colored fabric to diffuse light for a romantic effect, or allow fragrant climbing vines to enclose your gazebo and give it a more “in nature” or tree house feel.

Pergolas are the classic shade structures that provide visual interest with their wonderful shadow effects. They are typically used to shelter outdoor seating areas and outdoor kitchens and can be designed to complement any architectural aesthetic. Add outdoor curtains or a trellis on the most sun-baked side, for extra sun protection and a gorgeous custom look.

Another option is a patio roof. If your patio is immediately adjacent to your home or you have limited space to work with, it may make sense to install a roof attached to the house rather than a stand-alone permanent shade structure. A patio roof helps blur the line between indoors and out. Install a trellis or use modern teak slat walls, roller shades, or outdoor curtains for additional privacy, shade, and windbreak.


Temporary Shade Solutions

Temporary shade solutions help you customize your landscape with the seasons. They work particularly well in small spaces or for temporary shade for gatherings when you don’t need a permanent shade structure.

Made from heavy-duty UV-resistant outdoor fabric, shade sails are a viable option for a modern look. They come in a variety of colors and shapes, and can be installed either solo or in groups to create a unique and artistic shade solution. Shade sails are easily attached with carabineers and tensioners to existing structures, trees, or poles. They are heavy-duty enough to remain installed during the hotter months, but are intended to be taken down seasonally as they will not withstand a heavy snow load.

The mainstay of temporary shade is the patio umbrella. A patio umbrella can be free-standing with either a center pole or an offset pole, or as part of a dining table. Offset poles give the greatest level of flexibility when it comes to perfectly positioning the umbrella. Since they come in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns, they complement any decor and add a festive “I’m on vacation!” vibe to your backyard.