These inexpensive patio shade ideas are light on the pocket, but still look great

Want to make your backyard a haven during summer? These inexpensive patio shades won't break the bank, but won't ruin your aesthetic either

An outdoor space with a patio shade
(Image credit: Salva Lopez. Studio credit Studio Andrew Trotter)

With the summer heat now in full force, you might be realizing that your patio needs shade to make it useable during the daytime. Instead of building or adding a brand new (and often complex) structure for your patio, consider shade options that can be opened and closed at will, moved around, and stored when the winter arrives. They just so happen to be a little lighter on the wallet, too. 

Here are some of the best outdoor furniture we've found that will give you much-needed relief this summer, without blowing the budget. 

Budget-friendly parasols 

Livingetc knows design. We spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, bringing only our edit of the very best to you. Find out more about how we review.

Outdoor curtains

Stylish sun sails 

An outdoor dining

(Image credit: Celina Digby)

What's the best budget-friendly way to create shade in a backyard?

There are multiple ways to cover the patio or courtyard garden but if your summers are short, and you don't want to invest in a large outdoor structure to protect you and your furniture from the heat, then it's best to go with budget-friendly ideas. Things that can cover the exteriors, and be taken down when not needed, and do not require a contractor to install the shade. 

The market has several options, such as fabric or canvas canopy; even materials like lattice and bamboo are popular options that can be placed above the seating area, and that allow dappled light onto the space. 'We love using fabric pergolas because they expand your usable living area and allow you to have a semi-shaded area while still having light,' says Lauren Lerner, principal designer, and CEO of Living with Lolo. 'We often add retractable awnings as well so the tops can be completely covered as needed.'

'If you want to catch some rays, you can go with loungers that are semi-uncovered that allow sun exposure,' says Brad Ramsey, principal designer and founder of Brad Ramsey Interiors. 

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.