What is the best outdoor umbrella for you? Well, it depends on a number of factors. But, don’t worry. We will help you decide what is the best shade solution for you!
How large is your outdoor space? How is the décor – classic or modern? What kind of furniture do you have – classic or modern? Take these into considerations before choosing your perfect outdoor umbrella.
The Centre-pole Umbrella
The centre-pole outdoor umbrella matches a classic setup to a tee. It has a single sturdy pole running from the centre of the canopy to the base. In some cases, you might have a two-piece centre-pole that gives you the option to tilt the canopy to a certain degree.
Garden furniture look trendier under a classic centre-pole umbrella. It matches seamlessly with the foliage around and lends your outdoor space some much-needed panache.
Out on the beach, a centre-pole outdoor umbrella is a must-have accessory. It is the only thing standing between you and the UV rays from the sun. The vents in the canopy make sure that strong gusts can pass through easily while you chill in the shade of your umbrella.
You can experiment with canopy designs and fabric. A nice valance with a scalloped or a straight edge really works well with a vibrantly coloured canopy. You can have multiple contrasting layers stitched together and even have different coloured fabrics for the inside and outside surfaces. Let your creativity do the talking and choose what looks cool in your outdoor setup.
The Cantilever Umbrella
The cantilever umbrella is the modern version of the classic outdoor umbrella. It mixes modern styling cues and function in the right proportions to give you a trendy shade solution.
The cantilever umbrella has an off-set post or mast. The canopy is attached to the mast with a swivel-arm. In most cantilever umbrellas the arm can be rotated 360 degrees around the mastfor you to track the sun and block it. The canopy can be tilted up or down for maximum shade.
The cantilever umbrella is perfect for those who hate the centre-pole coming in the way of their intimate conversations. Besides, it looks really fashionable with a modern furniture setup and in places like the poolside deck.
Read our post “All About The Cantilever Umbrella” to know more.
The Frame and The Pole
The all-essential frame of the outdoor umbrella isn’t just a drab object. It amplifies the overall appeal of the umbrella. Here are some frame-materials you can choose from.
Wooden frames give outdoor umbrellas a timeless feel. If your outdoor space is a garden or some place with foliage, the wooden frame augments the environment. From hardwood to bamboo, you can choose from a wide variety of natural materials.
Costs tend to vary depending upon the material chosen, but it certainly doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet! Take care of the umbrella and it will serve you for seasons on end.
If you live in a particularly moist and windy part of the world, you might want to look at other options for the frame-material.
Metal frames are built to last. They are sturdy and corrosion resistant, and can l end a minimalist vibe to your overall décor. Stainless steel, marine-grade alloy steel and powder-coated aluminium are popular materials for manufacturing frames for outdoor umbrellas.
While aluminium is lighter than steel, it can warp in high winds.
Metal frames come in a lot of finishes and you can choose one that perfectly matches with the design and style of your outdoor setup.
If you are looking for something that is really light weight but extremely durable, then go for a fibreglass frame for your outdoor umbrella. It is flexible, doesn’t rust or rot, and can last for a really long time.
A fibreglass frame can be slightly more expensive than the other varieties, but it makes for a really good long-term investment. Plus, you have the added advantage of colour options. Fibreglass frames come in a variety of colours so that they can blend perfectly with the canopies above.
Many modern outdoor umbrellas employ fibreglass ribs with aluminium poles to give the customers the best of both worlds.
A quick word on the pole of your outdoor umbrella: the centre-poles tend to be between 11/2to 21/2inches in diameter. If you live in a particularly windy part of the globe, choose a pole that is sturdy enough to withstand windblasts.
What size and shape to choose?
Your outdoor umbrella needs to complement your outdoor space and blend into it. Here are a few things to do before deciding on the shape and size of your outdoor umbrella.
Make sure that you have all the furniture arranged in proper order. Don’t cram them into a tight space. Leave two to three feet on all sides of your lounging area and voila! You have the optimum canopy size for the perfect shade!
Outdoor umbrellas come in a variety of shapes – octagonal, hexagonal, square and rectangular. While the octagonal canopy carries a classic look, the square and rectangular canopies are more fashionable and suit modern architectural themes. Besides, the square canopy gives more shade than an octagonal canopy of a similar size. To know more read our post on “Square vs. Hexagonal Outdoor Umbrella”.
The canopy is what protects you from the sun and the rain. It is also the most visible part of your outdoor umbrella. The colour and design choices you make for the canopy speaks volumes about your fashion-sense.
Outdoor umbrella manufacturers offer customers a vibrant palette of colours and prints to choose from. Areyou a business-owner? Promote your brand by customising your outdoor umbrella canopy with your brand colours and logo. This turns your everyday-accessory into a cheap but effective promotional material.
With a properly designed canopy you can instantly turn an unutilised space into a lounge for friends and customers to chill. You can choose from a wide variety of materials, from olefin and acrylic to polyester. They block the UV rays and the rain and keep you cool and dry while you chill in the shade of your custom outdoor umbrella.
Outdoor umbrellas come with a variety of mounting options. The freestanding umbrellas have heavy bases made of a variety of materials and finishes. Choose one that matches the décor of your place. The fixed-base outdoor umbrellas can be bolted on to floors and walls, or fixed to the ground using in-ground mounting methods.
Now you know how to choose the perfect outdoor umbrella for your outdoor space!
Outdoor umbrellas are one of the most versatile accessories ever invented. What else saves you from the sun and the rain and lets you make a fashion statement at the same time?