7 Tips for Choosing the Best Patio Umbrella
June 26th, 2020
The umbrella you choose for your patio has a lot to do with how you use your backyard. The shade is more than just a way to keep the sun’s rays off you, it actually provides you with a relaxing place to enjoy the outdoors during the worst of the summer heat.
But before you begin searching for the best patio umbrella for you, there are a few criteria that you’ll need to consider before taking the plunge. And while it can be overwhelming to consider the number of umbrellas out there, it’s worth the sometimes painstaking decision-making process.
If you’re tired of letting huge swaths of your property go to waste, see how the right umbrella can help you transform your patio into a space that you’ll actually want to visit over and over again.
Decide Where You Want It
Let’s face it: during the absolute worst summer days, even the coolest spots will still be off-limits for most people. But even if you avoid the sun when temperatures hit three-digits, that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your yard for months.
The right small patio umbrella can cover up a dining room table, create an overhang for deck chairs, or provide coverage for an outdoor bar. That patch of shade can unlock new routines, including sunrises and sunsets with your favorite beverages and snacks. Slowing down with a book or the news outside isn’t pipe dream when you plan ahead for it.
Or you might want an umbrella to cool off the most popular spots of the pool, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time lounging in the water. Most backyards will need at least a few umbrellas, but the investment is worth it if you’re tired of languishing indoors all the time. Plus, once you know why you want it, it can inspire you to do the more practical work of choosing one.
Measure, Measure, Measure
How big should a patio umbrella be? The answer primarily depends on what you’re looking to shade. A small patio umbrella can be an excellent choice for the area around a loveseat or end table. Before you work out the size, you’re going to need a tape measurer to determine how much space you want.
If you’re covering up a specific area, such as a table or small playground set, make sure that you have at least a 2-foot buffer around the area so that everyone has enough room to move around. The ideal height of the umbrella should be between 7 – 9 feet (and this is true regardless of the area you’re shading).
If you’re looking to shade a table, make sure that the shapes roughly match (e.g., don’t buy a square patio umbrella to cover up a round dining table). This is not only a practical suggestion but an aesthetic one. The more visually appealing your yard is, the more likely it is that you’ll actually use it.
Choose a Heavy Base
A table umbrella will get some of its support from the table below, but a free-standing one will need to have a base that can hold up to the harsher winds. In either case, opt for one that’s at least 50 pounds. (Think about getting something even sturdier if the umbrella will be exposed to significant winds).
Consider the Material
It’s a little confusing to tell you to choose a patio umbrella material that can withstand the weather. After all, the whole point of a patio umbrella is to be outside. But just because an umbrella was theoretically made to be durable, doesn’t mean it is. Materials like olefin or printed polyester can start to fade rather quickly in the sun. It can even begin to rot away if too much UV is introduced to the wrong places. To avoid tears and UV damage, consider quality solution-dyed fabrics.
Choose the Color
The color is more than just a way to meet your home decor needs. If you want to squeeze a little extra lifespan from your umbrella, consider buying one in a neutral hue. This can be a great way to disguise dirt and fading that accumulate over time. Please note that this is not a suitable alternative to cleaning the umbrella periodically, just a way to stretch your furniture a little longer. Choose a quality fabric that just needs a quick rinse once in a while as opposed to an all-day scrubbing.
Will a pole in the center of your table block the view of your friends and family? Do your kids have a tendency to use the entire backyard over just one area? Do you host a few get-togethers over the year?
There are design solutions for all of these situations. For example, you may want to get a cantilever (offset) patio umbrella for an unobstructed place to enjoy time with loved ones without having to lean over to be able to see someone on the other side. Some homeowners will group offset umbrellas together to create uninterrupted shade for all their party guests.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dress It Up
When you’re picturing your umbrella, you’re probably picturing it sitting out in the middle of the blinding rays. But when the sun dips its head below, your umbrella can actually serve as a decoration for your backyard too. Think about how your new selection will look bathed in soft candlelight when everyone sits around the table for a late-night dinner under the stars, or take your backyard styling a step further and opt for the bright sparkle of LED umbrella lights to give your outdoor patio the glow it really deserves.
Paddy O’ Furniture Umbrellas
Plenty of our customers ask us what is the best type of patio furniture for them, and we’re more than happy to answer their questions. Choosing patio furniture depends on how big your yard is and what you want it for. But when all is said and done, we really only have one priority and that’s whether or not you’ll actually use what you buy.
A good patio umbrella is an investment, but it’s also a great way to get more from what is undoubtedly one of the biggest investments you’ve ever made in your life. If you want to improve the look and versatility of your property, give us a call today to learn more about our selection. We offer a wide variety of furniture, including tables, fire pits, sofas, and more. And we stand behind every product we sell.
To shop our selection of luxury patio furniture, visit paddyo.com.