11+ outdoor shade ideas to keep you cool this summer

Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

How time flies! The hottest months of the year will arrive soon. We all know how hot the Australian summer can get! But, that doesn’t stop an outdoor-loving Aussie like you from hanging out in your alfresco. What you need is a nice outdoor living design equipped with protective shades to keep you cool from December to February. These outdoor shade ideas should come in handy: 

1. Sail patio covers

Sails, if not used on a boat, can be stretched to cover your patio. It’s low cost and it comes in a wide variety of colours, so feel free to choose one which complements the environment and your space’s design. Of course, you have to make sure that the size of your sail covers much of your outdoor space. It can stay up all year round, but take it down when heavy snow starts to fall.

Designer tip: Choose sails with UV protection, waterproof, and windproof properties. These are heavy duty and needs a stronger anchorage to keep it steady.


Outdoor Shade Ideas

2. Awning

As designers, we highly recommend a retractable and waterproof awning in your outdoor areas. It’s flexible: you can lay it when the sun or rain is too strong or fold it back when the weather seems fine.

Designer tip: If budget is not an issue, a motor controlled retractable awning is a great home addition. Otherwise, use a hand crank but keep it out of children’s reach.


Outdoor Shade Ideas


3. Sunshades for your deck or patio

Supported by a stable structure, a sun shade fabric stays still above your outdoor living or dining areas. The fabric filters light and reduces glare without disturbing the natural wind movement. With the right fabric, sun shades will not darken your deck.

Outdoor Shade Ideas


4. Sliding wire shade or outdoor canopy

Similar to sun shades, a sliding wire shade or outdoor canopy needs at least four strong poles for support. Here, you are in control of the shade’s coverage. All you need to do is to slide the shades along the steel cables until you reached the desired look.

5. Electronic louvres or outdoor blinds

This one is a fuss-free option for your outdoor living and dining areas. Imagine having full sun and rain protection with one touch of a button—easy, right? Unfortunately, being able to regulate all the elements comes with a hefty price tag.

Designer tip: Go for electronic louvres with built-in rain detectors. You’ll love how the blades close automatically, protecting all your outdoor furniture while you're away.

6. Pergola

Pergolas are one of the most popular outdoor shade choices in the country. It’s an easy building project and can be personalised to complement the design of your house. Talk to your designer regarding building Corinthian, Roman, or Japanese-styled pergolas.


Outdoor Shade Ideas

7. Lattice or arbour

Using plants to create shade is cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly, and undeniably lovely. Set up a structure such as a lattice or an arbour and let vines and climbers grow overhead.

8. Laser-cut metal screens

Up for something dramatic and artistic in your outdoor living and dining areas? The laser-cut metal screen might be for you. However, the screen’s busy design might cast a distracting shadow in your space at noon.

9. Wooden slats

This outdoor shade fits most contemporary homes in the country. It’s sleek and can be integrated easily in your property. Only use durable wood that’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). 

Outdoor Shade Ideas

10. Tinted Corrugated Polycarbonate Roofing

If you want something that lets the light in but keeps the rain out, the corrugated polycarbonate roofing will work for you. It comes in transparent and tinted glass. Opt for the tinted one for better sun protection.


outdoor shade ideas

11. Umbrella

This is perfect for seating areas beside the pool. Pop an umbrella to give you a temporary shade. Attach your umbrella’s pole to a solid base to help it withstand the winds.

Outdoor shade ideas

12. Thatch

Thatch roofing is a great addition to your pergola. It’s low-maintenance, long-lasting, and the tropical look can blow all your stress away. Decorate it with lights and outdoor lanterns.

Outdoor Shade Ideas

Find designers in Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast

Liked these outdoor shade ideas? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.



How to Pass the Local Building Council

The real deal about disappearing range hoods.

Learn how to light your kitchen properly.

Start planning for free

Find more articles, guides and inspiration in the planning dashboard. Save them to your dream board, and start planning your dream space today.

You may also like

Join our design community

Forgot your username or password?

Download our '5 crucial things you must know before starting any build project' guide for free today

Simply fill in your details below and we’ll send a copy straight over to you

See how much you could save with a free, no-obligation quote today

Simply fill in your details below and we’ll be in touch to discuss your project

  • Drop files here or

Download The Free Guide Now

Fill in the below to get instant access: