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A patio umbrella is a great summer backyard addition. They add playfulness to your outdoor space and bring with them a retro charm. Meanwhile, they are practical too. They can bring a slither of shade on those much-needed summer warm summer evenings and can help create a destination point in your garden. I'm loving the trend for bright color pops and patterns in the backyard, especially during the summer months.
An umbrella adds to a garden to bring a touch of tranquility. 'An umbrella in an outdoor living room provides shade and protection, and to provide a grounded feeling in that area,' says designer Susan Skornicka.
'It serves to sit above the seating and block a bit of the afternoon sun while holding the space, creating a cohesive and safe feeling. It also adds interest and is pretty to look at from all angles, often casting lovely shadows.'
With that in mind, I have scoured the web to find the most pretty patio umbrellas out there to buy now to elevate your outdoor furniture.
9 patio umbrellas to buy now
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This pagoda-style patio umbrella has a distinctive shape and a beautiful color-blocked canopy made from durable Sunbrella acrylic to protect from the elements. Its frame is made from sturdy aluminum and stainless steel meaning you can leave it outdoors and not have to store it when not in use.
There is something about this stripe pattern that has a French Riviera feel and implies sophistication. It's material is polyester and the pole is made from solid acacia. There is an adjustable height so it can protect against varying levels of sunlight.
This 9' hexagon shaped umbrella is made from solid aluminum coated in silver for the ultimate durability and strength. There is also a silver base to keep it sturdy whatever the weather. There are a range of great color combos, but I love the timeless pink and green combo.
This design from Ballard Designs is available in three options with a classic two-tone combination with a scalloped edging. Made with Sunbrella canvas, the material will resist fading, stains and mildew and the pole is rust-resistant.
Business & Pleasure are the ultimate when it comes to sun umbrellas (see the one above in the sale) , and I love the fringing to give a beautiful boho look. Pink, mustard and blue have a distinctive 70s look, and it casts 60 inches of shade when open. There is also a matching bag making it a transportable option from the backyard to the beach!
For a bargain buy, this 7.5'x7.5' has a simple charm to it. Its fade-resistant construction means it will last the test of time, and the pole is light wood for a natural feel. The push-up lift and push-button tilt function make it super easy to work too.
Another from Business & Pleasure, this recent launch is from the Amalfi collection, and includes a blocky, graphic print that comes into its own when opened. The pole is made from reclaimed timber laminated wood and the fabric of the canopy is UV and water-resistant with strong fiberglass ribs.
Who can resist the red and white combination of this umbrella. It's so charming and evocative of summer. It's available in a variety of other combinations, but this is my favorite. A weighted base (sold separately) keeps the umbrella steady.
For a bargain buy, this is in my basket. It's still a pretty good buy though. It's powder-coated, with rust resistant construction. The fabric is fade resistant and there is a handy tilt function so you can angle it towards any harsh sunlight. A burst of red will bring color to your patio.
Should I leave my patio umbrella outside during summer
Whether you should leave your backyard umbrella outside during summer depends on what material it is made from. One one end of the spectrum, the more expensive umbrellas that are made from quality Sunbrella material will withstand the test of time.
Sunbrella performance fabrics are made of 100 percent acrylic and have UV pigments spun into the yarn so the sun doesn't damage the material. You're also looking for a good quality metal pole to make sure it's sturdy.
Aluminum is a good material to keep your eyes peeled for. Meanwhile, if you settle for a cheaper option with a wooden pole and polyester fabric, you may want to fold your umbrella away and store it when not in use so you get more use out of it in the long term.
Whether or not you should leave your patio umbrella open is another question entirely. Closing your patio umbrella after use at the end of an evening entertaining al fresco is a good habit to get into. Practising this will help it stay in better shape for longer and makes it less likely to fall over in the wind.
What type of patio umbrella is best in the wind
When you're buying your outdoor patio umbrella, to ensure it doesn't fall over in the wind, you want to make sure it is anchored in some way. An anchoring system or structure that is attached to the bottom and weighted will create a stable umbrella that doesn't blow over in the breeze. You can also buy furniture weights for pretty cheap which will help keep your furniture from blowing away.
Putting your patio umbrella in the center of a table is also a good shout that can balance the structure and make sure it doesn't tip over. Look out for dining tables with holes in the center to support your umbrella.
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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