Growing up, we would spend hours upon hours in the pool. College years were spent basking in the sun trying to obtain the ultimate tan. Then, back in the pool with young children. I have been soaking up the sun my entire life. Of course, it wasn’t until I was older when researchers realized how bad the sun is for your skin. Well, that’s just great. Today, my skin is as spotted as a leopard and I have had to succumb to wearing wide rimmed hats and full on sun screen. It’s a harsh reality of aging that I decided to embrace rather than fight. I wasn’t about to give up my lazy days by the pool, I just needed to create an outdoor area that provided more shade.
How to Create a Shady Outdoor Space
What did we already have to work with? The giant oak tree in the east corner of the yard was the perfect starting point. It was full enough to filter the sun during the early hours. So we moved the chaise lounge chairs to back up near the tree and purchased an artsy end table to define the new space. Prepping for the mid-day hours would be the bigger challenge. We were going to need coverage to block the direct sun rays. Because we already had lounge chairs, we decided to go with a modular sectional with patio umbrellas at each end. The over-sized, sturdy cantilever umbrellas were the perfect choice for coverage. Great for adjustment depending on the time of day, these umbrellas include a tilt arm that allows for up to 54 degrees of tilt to the left and right. It’s looking like the perfect setup for cocktails and company! Add a wicker storage chest to double as an ottoman slash table, then colorful outdoor pillows for comfort and style. Finally, outdoor planters provided a bit more shade and elegantly sectioned off the new retreat.
Now, I no longer worry about getting too much sun. I simply lounge by the pool from a different angle – a perfectly shaded view point where I can look out and watch the kids playing in the pool. Between the sunscreen and shade, I suspect that my children will weather better than I have.
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