I discovered shade sails in a catalog over a decade ago. It was love at first sight. Shade sails are a durable, practical and stylish way to shade your patio or deck.
Our first patio table came with the typical center hole for an umbrella. We dutifully purchased a canvas umbrella attached to a pole and called it shade. Ho-hum.
This system of shade is inefficient as well. The umbrella canvas is unstable, generally fading, fraying or deteriorating within a few years. If you want to move your table, you have to drag the heavy base along with it, then re-orient the umbrella. You can’t use a traditional tablecloth because you have a big pole in the middle and for those of us that like to entertain, a pole in the middle of your table does not a centerpiece make!
Shade Sails Soar
I’m a Canadian living in California with a British Aisles complexion. In other words, I take my shade seriously. The shade sails rock!
We purchased a 16 foot triangular sail in dark green for our garden patio. It’s the perfect size for the space. My sailor husband rigged turnbuckles and sailing rope to two corners of the house, creating anchors for the sail. He improvised the third anchor using a steel pole attached to the back fence. We hoist the sails when the weather turns warm, and leave them up through October.
Shade sails are made from reinforced knitted polyethylene fabric. They don’t rot, mildew, shrink, fade, fray or tear and they are resistant to UV-degradation. We’ve had ours for seven years now and it still looks new.
From a design perspective, they are a lot of fun. We attached patio lights along the edges and hung the sail high enough that it creates the feeling of an outdoor room. All this for $150 bucks!
When we installed a deck in our front yard a few summers ago, we added a rectangular sail shade in light green. We leave it up through Halloween so we can put our “scary” inflatable spider on top, then take it down for the winter.
In addition to shading the patio and deck, the shade sails keep our house cooler. Is it any wonder it was love at first sight?
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