These are the most beautiful backyard umbrellas and outdoor shelters that will elevate your alfresco space

These backyard umbrellas and outdoor shelters are seriously cute and will make an elevated addition to any backyard space

A backyard umbrella sheltering an outdoor space
(Image credit: Studio del Castillo. Photography: Isamu Sawa)

From the boho and playful to the more structural and contemporary look, backyard tents and outdoor umbrellas are a surefire way to make the most of your extra alfresco space. No matter the size of your backyard, they can provide a dedicated zone for entertaining and add a touch of whimsy during the summer months. 

'Backyard tents and shelters are a nice addition to a relaxing space,' says Kat Aul Cervoni, landscape designer and founder of Staghorn NYC and The Cultivation by Kat. 'They can provide coverage from sun and sometimes rain, give privacy, helps define a special destination and can help define a style or set a mood.'

Spending long and languid summer evenings, perhaps sipping on something cold and fizzy might be just a pipe dream for now (I am in fact writing this with a blanket wrapped around me). But I've been doing some serious daydreaming, wracking up quite a hefty basket filled with cute pergolas, parasols, and cabanas that I can imagine in my backyard this summer. Have a scroll for a pick of my favorites from the best outdoor furniture brands

Best for arched patio umbrellas

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The arched patio umbrella provides a structured look that I like. Providing shade and looking smart and chic all at once, the cantilever base prevents it from interrupting furniture groupings and, when used with a dining table, keeps the middle of the tabletop free.

Best for playful cabanas

A backyard cabana in white

(Image credit: Business & Pleasure)

A cabana is a cute addition to any backyard that can bring a boho feel. Easy to set up and adding a touch of whimsy, cabanas are perfect for a backyard party or trip to the beach. Large when open but compact to carry, I've been loving Business & Pleasure's offering. Here are three that I've got saved in my basket.

Best for parasols

A backyard parasol

(Image credit: Article)

While parasols are closely associated with poolside outdoor furniture or a trip to the beach, they can make a nice shaded seating area. Transform an unloved corner of your backyard with an umbrella for that immediate summer feel - add a gas grill or outdoor bar and you're good to go.

Best for pergolas with a canopy

An aluminium framed pergola

(Image credit: Walmart)

A pergola is a bit more of a permanent structure for your backyard, and a perfect solution for entertaining during the summer months ahead. A pergola offers outdoor structure consisting of columns that support a roofing grid of beams and rafters, topped with fabric. Make sure you go for a waterproof fabric and pick from a frame that is rust-proof. Aluminium is a go-to for this kind of outdoor shelter. Here are three of my favorites.

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at 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.