7 Types of Outdoor Sun Shade Decor Ideas

All will level up the style of your outdoor space.

If you have a patio or deck space, you’ll probably need some sort of shading to protect you from those rays when the sun gets hot! While we all love sun exposure, it’s not always wise to be a complete sun worshipper. It’s generally smart to play it safe when it comes to direct UV ray exposure and to ensure that everyone stays safe when hanging out on the patio or on the deck.

With this goal in mind, we have put together a list of several ideas for outdoor shading. Some of these can be quite costly, while others are surprisingly inexpensive.

All will level up the style of your outdoor space.

For more information and inspiration on each of these outdoor shading setups, head on over to OutsideModern.com!


Awnings often bring to mind the old-timey Victorian semi-circular window structures, or the underside of the mid-century design ethos, with ugly green vinyl awnings peaking out from the tops of the windows of a ranch house.

But no longer!

Modern retractable awnings can be super stylish in design, and with remote controls, can be easily opened and closed as needed, providing shade when you need it, and sun when you want to feel those rays directly.

Cantilever Umbrellas

Cantilever umbrellas are among our favorite outdoor shade systems and have many advantages over other outdoor shade designs. They bring the pole of the umbrella away from the center of the canopy, enabling the pole to sit behind an outdoor sofa or living set. This allows for conversation and circulation to flow naturally, without a pole blocking views and creating awkward spaces.

One major aspect to be aware of with a cantilever umbrella is that you must weight it down properly. Most cantilever umbrellas for sale do not include a base, and unless you’re going to be bolting it to a deck or concrete patio, you’ll need to get a weighted base capable of supporting the umbrella you’ve chosen. Ignoring this can lead to injury and damaged furniture!

Patio Umbrellas

Patio umbrellas are the classic shade device for decks and garden spaces. Sure, they’re probably the most common outdoor shade device out there, but they can still be quite striking when employed in the right way. We especially love the old style wooden umbrellas like this one shown from This Old House, as well as modern style umbrellas with bright, contemporary colors on the canvas.

Choosing a patio umbrella with a Sunbrella canvas can significantly increase the useful life of the umbrella, as these materials are much higher quality than many other patio umbrella materials, and will last for years.