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Shading your outdoor space

submitted by Chris Roberts, Plush indoor and outdoor, www.Plushindoorandoutdoor.com

Family get-together days are back, making summer shelter vital for outdoor living spaces. Dining tables and chairs will be at the top of many people’s outdoor shopping lists.

These tables unfortunately will have an umbrella hole. I say “unfortunately” because the center of the table is the worst place to try to shade your outdoor space.

Surely we have all experienced jockeying for the one spot at the table that’s shaded. The outdoor shade market is littered with cheap 9’ octagonal umbrellas, which makes us believe we must stick one through the hole in the center of the table.

So, how best to shade your space?

If you already have that 9’ umbrella, purchase a suitable freestanding base. The shape and footprint of the base are as important if not more important than its weight. A twenty-four inch square base is a good place to start.

If you have not yet purchased an umbrella, consider cantilever umbrellas (umbrellas that lever in from the side). Even the smallest cantilever will provide great shade.

Cantilever umbrella bases typically have a large footprint. In-ground mounting is a great solution; just make certain the manufacturer of the umbrella provides this option.

Similar to the cantilever are sun shades. Sun shades provide great shade without the need for an umbrella base.

Installation might be too much for the weekend warrior but if you’re in the position to hire a professional to handle the installation, you won’t be disappointed.

UV rays are harmful to us as well as our outdoor furniture, especially the cushions, so be sure your design allows for shading the space with the type of shade products you like.