Not all patio umbrellas are created equal! Luckily there are a large range of umbrellas out there in different sizes, styles, colors and price points – so many that it can definitely get overwhelming. We chatted with our design team to hear some of their top tips when when shopping for an outdoor umbrella – check them out so you can shop confidently!
Tips When Shopping for an Outdoor Umbrella
Evalutating Your Space & Aesthetic
First, it’s important to evaluate your space, the use of your space and the traffic through your space. Do you have room for a stand alone umbrella or should you look for a table that allows for an integrated umbrella? A good rule is to allow for 3’ around the umbrella to circulate!
Think about placement first and aesthetic second. Make sure the umbrella will achieve the desired sun blocking without impinging on views and circulation. This is especially critical if the umbrella will be a more permanent fixture and therefore harder to move.
For aesthetics you need to ask yourself if you want the umbrella to blend in with the landscape or pop with a vibrant color. If you want your umbrella to meld in the natural setting, think neutral colors like white, grey, and beige or even subtle greens and blues. If you want your umbrella to make a statement check out umbrellas in a vibrant color or even a pattern.
Choosing the Umbrella Fabric
We love Sunbrella, which is an acrylic fabric. It’s durable and long lasting! It’s an investment, but worth it for a long life span. Try to find an umbrella with the color as part of the material and not dyed, this will help retain the color in outdoor conditions.
When your umbrella isn’t in use, it’s a great idea to store it. Either bring it in a garage or find an umbrella cover for the material and the stand – this will help it last much longer.
Choosing the Umbrella Stand
Materials depend some on where you live and what you want to spend! For example when it comes to the stand:
- Cast Iron and Powder Coated Metal are very durable, but may rust in high humidity areas.
- Plastic is very common and won’t rust won’t crack, but it’s not always the highest quality look.
- Concrete is very durable and won’t rust, but it’s less common and harder to find.
So do a little research and then make a decision that fits your lifestyle and budget best.
Cantilever versus Traditional?
Cantilever umbrellas are large, but cover a lot of space for shade. They can typically pivot, but are usually more expensive and require more room. Traditional umbrellas can be integrated into furniture and moved around easily. There are more traditional options available and you can find them at many different price points. They can be more unstable than cantilever umbrellas because they are lighter so understanding the elements faced by your umbrella is important.
Crank Lift versus Push?
Crank lifts tend to be a little smoother than push lifts, but also take more time to open and close. Both options are widely on the market and it really depends on the quality of the umbrella. Tilt umbrella options are also really useful because you can tilt their position to block the sun.
Like our Tips When Shopping for an Outdoor Umbrella? Let us know what else you’d like to learn more about.
Feeling inspired? Check out some of Tilly’s favorite backyard designs in 2020!