Need Some Shade? Give Your Backyard A Stylish Makeover This Summer!'s featured image

A favourite design magazine feature for many is the big-budget vs. low-budget room makeover. It’s jaw-dropping to see the creative results ordinary people can achieve on almost zero-budgets. Designers will scour rich neighbourhoods on garbage day, tear apart second-hand stores, and repurpose previously owned items in the most creative ways.

There’s the art of spray painting old lamp bases gold that turns them from glim to glam; there’s the re-imagining of unloved bookcases that get turned sideways, shelves removed, short legs added and voila a new tv stand; and there’s the spend-it-all on just reupholstering the sofa, chaise lounge or settee technique, which can make a room look brand new – even if nothing else was touched. Inspired by their uber dollar stretching ways, we’ve got some tips to help you add stylish shade to your outdoor space.

Buy in Bulk

We all dream of having those solid patio umbrellas you see in the movies, the kind that look like they’ve been designed by NASA. But once you start flipping over price tags at a high-end outdoor furniture store you start thinking that maybe you don’t need to bother. You need to bother. Sun rays damage our eyes, our skin and can even ruin a good meal. You’re probably not alone in your desire, so ask your family and friends if anyone else is shopping for one. Big-ticket items are always less expensive when purchased in bulk. If three of you buy, you’ll definitely be able to negotiate a discount.

DIY Patio Awnings

If you run a search for patio awnings, you might think they’re only meant for the rich and famous. Sure, there are custom patio awnings that can cost more than a practical car, but there are so many ways to achieve sun protection that still looks nice. There are pop-up tents, like the ones you see at farmers’ markets and aluminum-frame canopies that look nice and won’t break the bank. Catering companies that specialize in outdoor venues and high-end weddings need to keep their tent stock looking impeccable. Call around and ask if you can buy some unwanted stock at a discount. Otherwise, shop garden centres and hardware stores at the end of the season when they’re trying to get rid of everything. Discounts are good, and floor models are even cheaper! Also look for shade cloths or modern funky tapestries that can be draped strategically over posts or strung permanently or temporarily to protect an area you want shaded.

Plants, Plants… and more Plants!

There are endless kinds of climbing vines that can be strung along wire so that they eventually create a shade cover of sorts. Some of these are just decorative, like ivy, and some are edible like sugar snap peas. These peas won’t cover your head, but you can design several walls of them to block out areas where direct sun would hit your back in the afternoons. Vining plants like clematis, climbing hydrangea and wisteria will not only provide shade, they’ll be absolutely gorgeous to look at too.


Need more free time to focus on your backyard and patio this summer? Let MOLLY MAID take care of the indoors while you get to soak up the sun on your stylish new patio!



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