April 14, 2022

5 Great Ways to Create Shade in Your Custom Landscape Design

Custom landscape design usually makes you think of flowers, plants, and beautiful beds around your home and backyard. But spending time outside with your landscape is so much more enjoyable than just looking at it through a window.

Today’s post highlights five ways to create a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor living space almost year-round.

Create An Outdoor Living Space

The main goal of creating an outdoor living space is to make a place outside as comfortable and enjoyable as the inside. The old uncomfortable metal or plastic patio furniture most of us grew up with is a thing of the past. Thankfully, so is the fact that it just sat in full sun on a bare concrete slab attached to the back of the house.

When you look at outdoor spaces today, you see many that are nearly indistinguishable from living areas inside the house. Modern outdoor living incorporates rugs, lamps, chandeliers, tables, sofas, and fabrics that all look like they belong in the den or an upscale sitting room.

If you’re looking to create a high-quality outdoor living area, we highly recommend that you read this post and then contact our team of design professionals. Helping you design high-end outdoor areas is just one of the many services we offer.

As you’ll see, with just a few basic touches, you can create an outdoor living space at your home that you’ll love spending time in, whether it’s an apartment with a simple balcony, a sprawling estate, or anything in between.

Covered Outdoor Living Spaces

First, you’re probably going to want your outdoor living area to be covered. Especially here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area! Our summer temperatures can be absolutely unbearable if you don’t have some kind of shade to escape to when you’re outside.

Several things can happen if you leave your outdoor areas exposed to the sun:

  1. You’ll only be able to use it when it isn’t raining;
  2. Even then, it will get too hot to enjoy;
  3. Whatever you put out there won’t last nearly as long.

By planning to cover your outdoor living spaces, even just a little, you will dramatically increase your opportunities to enjoy them and your level of comfort when you do. Here are a few ways you can cover them:

Pergola – This simple wooden structure has been a fixture in backyards forever. You’ll often find them supporting swings or shading seating areas, fire pits, etc., somewhere in the yard away from the house. Some homeowners use them to provide shade over those exposed patio slabs we mentioned earlier.

Pergolas have tons of size and design options–they’re limited only by your imagination, which can enhance your outdoor living without costing a ton of money. You can also get pretty creative with how you use them as well. You can:

  • Leave them partially open and let sunlight filter through the boards that make up the “roof”
  • Cover the top with fabric for a more constant, even shade
  • Grow vining plants such as clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine, or climbing roses

Gazebo – You may immediately think of the classic octagonal wood structures we’ve seen in backyards and park settings for years. (And something like that may be exactly what you need.) However, many less permanent options are available for smaller yards, renters, or homeowners on a budget.

Big box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot carry several styles. Companies like Alvantor also carry a wide variety of screen houses and bubble tents designed to fit the way you want to live outside.

Shade Sail – Depending on the style of your home, a shade sail could be a great way to partially cover your deck or patio and provide some relief from the sun. These are made from heavy-duty outdoor material that is stretched between several supporting posts (or anchored to your house). It creates a relatively modern look, and, as the name implies, they look a lot like the sail on a ship.

USA Canvas is a company in the Dallas area specializing in sunshades and sails for all kinds of applications. (No affiliation and they’re not an advertiser. We just like recommending local companies when we can!)

Partial or Full Roof – More and more, we are seeing homeowners (as well as many commercial properties) extend the roofline of their buildings out over their patios to create a large area that looks like an addition to the house minus walls.

It’s by far one of the most expensive ways to cover your outdoor space, but it gives you the most significant number of options for how you can enjoy it. Because of the increased protection from the elements, you can furnish seating areas, outdoor kitchens, and fire pits areas using many of the same features you would use inside the house!

Want to surround yourself with comfortable rugs, pillows, accessory lighting, art, and electronics? Put an actual roof over it all and let your imagination run wild.

Screened Porch/Sunroom – The final option we’ll highlight is a more traditional screened porch or sunroom. Unlike building a roof over a patio or deck that extends away from the house into the backyard, this is simply enclosing an existing porch already part of your home.

If your home already has a back porch as part of its design, this is a great way to extend your outdoor enjoyment throughout the year. It already has a permanent roof, so rain and sun aren’t a problem. Screens or glass will keep out unwanted bugs.

And because none of those things is an issue, you can open your interior living spaces directly onto the porch, seamlessly blending inside and out when the temperatures are pleasant.

Dallas Landscaping Services and Custom Backyard Designs

A quick search for any of these topics on Google or Pinterest will instantly bring up tons of images and ideas for how to make these outdoor living spaces a part of your life.

If you’re in Dallas, TX, or surrounding areas, our team would love to partner with you to help provide the landscape services and custom backyard designs you need!

Contact us today to get started!

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