Throw shade: How to beat the heat with sails and shelters for your outdoor space

House Proud: When the mercury rises, lower the temperature with these cool ideas for keeping the sun at bay

Take a bough

There is nothing like the cool sanctuary of shade when the mercury rises. There are many ways to seek it this summer. One of the simplest and most effective is to install yourself under the boughs of a large tree, as seen here with the aptly named weekend range by Studio BrichetZiegler for French marque Petite Friture. The aluminium collection comes in eight different colours including the aptly named blush, a sunburn pink. It includes stackable chairs, €295 for the armless style, pictured, and €395 for the carvers and two different-sized dining tables, one 180cm long, €1,300, the other extending to 220cm long and costing €1,500. The collection includes a stool, €250, a bench, €650, and a bar cart, €765, all to order from Lost Weekend.

Soft landing

If you happen to be lucky enough to be louchely lounging by the seaside in a hammock right now and find the sun too hot, you could simply drop drown beneath and improvise, using the hammock to shield you from the midday sun. You can set up camp here atop a beach towel. The selection of 45cm and 50cm square cushions seen here are from Mind The Gap and cost from about €169 each, ex delivery from the UK-based premises. The Tropilex two-person Sublime Natura, at The Hammock, is similar to the fringed one shown, and costs about €99, ex delivery.

Weather awning

If you have a largeish outdoor space with the right orientation, you can build a simple timber awning that will keep both sun and rain out. The one pictured is a particularly stylish and simple way to throw shade, but it is worth noting that it will give little shelter from wind and rain, key Irish weather elements. Its height shouldn’t exceed 3m, which is the level to which you can build a garden room with a mono or single pitch roof. The traditional-look cobble paving by Risseu is a collection of porcelain stoneware tiles inspired by courtyards and urban gardens of the city of Genoa, available from Refin. Pictured is Scuro whose three-dimensionality comes in both indoor and outdoor options.

Fringed benefits

When the sun comes out this fringed Amina parasol will add a touch of glamour to patios and terraces. Its shade folds closed when not in use. The pale grey version with pink trim is reduced from €107 to €99 on Wayfair, the American behemoth which recently started delivering to Ireland. You will also need to buy a base separately or repurpose an existing one.


Pop-up protection

This gazebo is a pretty instant way to add shade and is particularly useful if you have small kids and want to protect them from the rays without having to keep slathering them in high factor. The pop-up piece costs just €79.99 at Woodie’s.

Hoist up the sails

A sail shade is a really smart and practical solution for smaller spaces. Available in triangular, square or rectangular shapes, it can be hoisted in minutes and can fold up to store in a small drawer, so ideal for smaller homes where storage is a premium.

While UV and mildew resistant, this heavy duty canvas design, above, which comes in a beige colour and extends to 3.6 metres, is not waterproof. Its corners are fixed with d-ring hooks and the package includes two short ropes, each 1.5 metres long to help position it in place. It costs €25, ex delivery from midlands-based online store The Garden Shop.

The beauty of a sail shade is that it is also portable, so you can take it with you on a picnic or to the beach, as long as you have somewhere to hang it. Clara Sail Shades sells a range that is UV-protected and also waterproof. An equilateral two-metre provides perfect coverage for one, and costs about €45, ex delivery from the UK.

The Dyning canopy, available in white only, measures 300cm by 200cm and costs €35 from Ikea.

Trending: A beacon of style

Add drama to a porte cochère with a statement beacon. Shown here is the beautiful Salla chandelier by Cameron Design House, which was designed especially for the RNLI Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and is inspired by a traditional lantern with a twist of sculptural modernity. The London lighting design firm collaborated with award-winning garden designer Chris Beardshaw on this space, which won a gold award at the show garden event.

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors