balcony awning

Avoid the sun with these great balcony shade ideas

You’ve set up your balcony just how you want it, with cool furniture and luscious plants. But have you thought about balcony shade? It’s great to be able to enjoy your outdoor space, but the sun can be harmful and tiring, especially during the summer months. 

It’s a good idea to invest in shading options for your balcony. That way you will be able to enjoy the space even in the hot summer months when the sun can be blindingly bright and scorching hot.

There are many options, from balcony curtains to an umbrella or a canopy. Whichever you choose will also protect your indoor space, by preventing harmful sun rays to enter your apartment. 

There are a few things to consider before you set out to pick your balcony sun shade option:

Your balcony’s size

Not all options are suitable for all balconies. If your balcony is small you might not have space for an umbrella. If it is large, you can have more flexibility and even pick two or three different shade options.

Your balcony’s orientation

When looking to protect yourself from the sun, you need to know where the light is coming from. Which way is your balcony facing and what times of the day does it have the most sunlight?

Your balcony’s style

If you’ve already decorated your balcony and you’ve followed a specific style or inspiration, you can extend this to your shade options as well, so that everything will be tied together and look harmonious.

Balcony shade options

There are so many options and ideas for getting the best balcony shade, let’s explore some of them!

Curtains or drapes

Balcony curtains are a great and versatile option that can fit into almost any balcony, especially if your balcony has a cover already. But keep in mind that you can’t really use curtain fabrics that you would use for indoor curtains, as these can rip easily or get damaged by moisture.

balcony curtains
Balcony curtains are a great option that offers shade and privacy at the same time

Choose durable fabrics specifically for outdoor use. These come in many designs and colors and usually have the added bonus of being waterproof and UV resistant. 

Another option is pull-down shades or screens that can save space and are super adjustable. 

Balcony umbrella

Investing in a balcony umbrella is a great idea, except maybe if your balcony is too small. Umbrellas come in all sorts of sizes. You can easily move them exactly where you need depending on the sun’s position. And when you don’t need the umbrella you can easily gather it and store it away.

balcony umbrella
Balcony umbrellas are the perfect antidote to the hot sun

If your balcony is big enough, you can keep the umbrella for arranging the shade exactly where you need it and combine it with other shade options for best results.

Tent or canopy

If your balcony doesn’t have a cover and it faces the sun most of the day, investing in a tent or canopy will be the best decision you ever make. Depending on your balcony’s size and style, you have a couple of options: you can choose either a full balcony tent that can be lowered and gathered according to your needs, or a retractable balcony canopy that you can install in a particular area.

balcony canopy
A breezy balcony canopy will bring coolness and shade

You can use canopies or awnings in smaller areas, even directly outside of windows so that the shade provided in the balcony will extend to your indoor space as well. 

When it comes to balcony covers, another cool idea is the sail shade. That’s a triangular piece of durable fabric with eyelets at the corners that you can attach wherever you need with strong rope or twine. It can give a lovely airy feel and sun protection to your space.

Pergola or trellis

They say that the best shade is offered by trees or plants, and it’s true. The shade and coolness you get from greenery cannot be compared to umbrellas and tents. How can you incorporate that on your balcony, where it’s difficult to have a full-grown tree to provide shade? 

Balcony Pergola
A pergola with fabric covers, plants, or even bare, is a lovely touch to any balcony

A wooden pergola or trellis is your best bet. You can install these wooden constructions fairly easily and they come in many styles and sizes. A trellis is mostly vertical and you can add it to your balcony instead of a screen. You can add a climbing plant or pots with flowers to create a vertical garden that will offer shade as well as privacy.

A pergola is a wooden covering which you can keep plain, add fabric or other coverings, or use it for vines and climbing plants. If your balcony is large enough, the look of a pergola with luscious greenery hanging from it will be amazing. It will offer you shade, coolness and peace. 

Depending on your balcony size and the style you want to achieve, there are countless options for achieving shade. Sometimes you can combine privacy and shade with just one decoration item. Take inspiration from our suggestions and go forth to create your very own peaceful and stylish outdoor space. 

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