A breeze in your hair, rays of soft filtered light, a country landscape to help you escape from reality for a few hours. All great if you live in a place where temperatures never exceed 25°C: heat is our main enemy in the summer season.
In summer, to really enjoy the garden, patio or balcony, you need to find ways that allow you to shelter from the sun. It certainly wouldn’t be viable to move the air conditioner outside (it wouldn’t be very eco-friendly either!), but thanks to sunshades and garden umbrellas we can reduce the temperatures slightly.
Natural colours and romantic garden furniture
It is said that light colours “reflect the sun” and it’s maybe for this reason that they are commonly used in the gardens of countries bordering the Mediterranean (but not exclusively). In reality, this is not quite the full picture: they do filter the sun’s rays, but light colours are less good at shielding you from the sun than dark colours. On the other hand, they tend to let in more light and retain less heat.
Which colour should you choose then? For years the most widespread trend has been towards natural colours such as beige, ivory, off white, sand and cream. These shades are perfectly suited to the two styles that have most influenced outdoor design in the last two decades, Scandinavian and Provencal.
Sunshades for patios and gazebos
In order to hang your sunshades you will need to have a pre-existing structure, such as a patio or a gazebo, even if it’s not permanent.
Choose a sheer material, so that light and some air can filter through when there’s a gentle breeze. You could also think about using a ventilation fan in the new “room” to keep the space even cooler.
This solution is ideal for a lunch in the garden with friends, when the heat (especially with the barbecue going!) gets too much.
Light-coloured garden umbrellas
For smaller spaces the garden umbrella is an excellent solution: they come in different sizes, can be moved during the day according to the direction of the sun’s rays and do not require a pre-existing structure to lean on.
For a really special finish, match your umbrella with wooden and wicker furniture and cushions in pale colours such as white.