In many a small backyard shade is a difficult thing to provide due to a lack of square footage. But that does not mean it is impossible to make your small backyard feel just as luxurious and comfortable as larger digs. Here are a few ideas that will leave you and your guests feeling cool and protected all season long.
Turn the Outdoors into a Room
Consider treating your outdoor space as another room, an extension of your existing home or a separate structure by adding a roof and thus turning it into a covered living area. You may not want the entire area covered so plan on extending the footprint of your outdoor room beyond the roofline. This allows you to move from sun to shade, as needed. If your backyard is truly small in size, a large umbrella may be sufficient to function as the roof.
Use a Fence or Wall for Shade
For an easy solution to provide small backyard shade, use the existing features already in place. Throughout certain periods of the day, a fence or wall will provide shade depending on where the sun is in the sky. Use this to your advantage by adding seating right up along the side of the fence that receives the least amount of sun. You can either attach benches to the fence itself or simply add a row of chairs or a sofa pushed up against a wall. This could also function as an outdoor dining area by adding a table in front of the seats. For additional shade and coolness, add some tall, leafy plants at either end of the seating arrangement.
Shade sails are another way to add cover in just the areas of your small backyard where it is needed. You can attach the corners of a canvas sail to tree branches, fence posts or wall hooks and stretch it across the main portion of your small backyard. This is a less permanent solution that looks lovely and can be changed out for a different shade structure in the future, depending on how you wish to redecorate the space. During the winter months when you wish to soak up the sun, it is a simple process to take the shade sail down and store it until the spring.
Market umbrellas or outdoor parasols are another quick and easy way small backyard shade. You may wish to use more than one for optimal coverage. This also allows you to add a bit of pizzazz to your outdoor living space by opting for striped or patterned canopies. You could also opt for a variety of umbrella canopy colors, such as one each in a bright, primary hue. Tilting umbrellas work best as they can move with the sun, providing optimal coverage.
With these ideas for small backyard shade features, you will be sure to enjoy it more and stay cool and protected from both sun and rain all year long.