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The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Umbrellas

Spring is officially here and that means the unofficial start to your season of enjoying the outdoors with a backdrop of San Diego’s gorgeous landscape. And one of the first purchases for many southern California residents is a new shade feature. But with so many shapes, sizes, materials and styles, how can you possibly choose? Use our ultimate guide to outdoor umbrellas to help you make the decision.

Types of Outdoor Umbrellas

Treasure Garden market umbrella
This Treasure Garden market umbrella is a classic that works well in nearly any backyard.

Let’s start with one of the basics: the type of umbrella. There are plenty of options here and many of them determine the size and shape of your shade feature. For instance a market umbrella is usually square or octagonal and not overly large while sail umbrellas are triangular in shape. In addition to these two popular outdoor umbrellas, you can also pick from a table patio umbrella, an offset patio umbrella, cantilever umbrellas, tilting umbrellas, and freestanding umbrellas anchored to the pool deck, patio or ground.

Bay Master poolside umbrella
If this is the view from your backyard, be sure to take advantage of it by positioning seating appropriately.

A tip from the ultimate guide to outdoor umbrellas: consider certain factors of your outdoor living room. What is the shape of the area you wish to shade? How large is the area? How and where will you secure the umbrella? Match the shape of the space to the shape of the umbrella. For large areas, consider utilizing more than one shade feature. And finally, there are specific cantilever umbrellas made to be secured in a pool deck, such as the Vineyard Poolside model, or mounted permanently into ground, cement or wood.

Styles of Outdoor Umbrellas

TUUCI stingray umbrella
The Stingray parasol umbrella from TUUCI is the epitome of elegant design style.

Another consideration is the style of your shade feature. While market umbrellas, with their classic shapes and varying sizes, are perennially popular, you may want to consider something more unique. Manufacturer TUUCI is best known not only for its premium quality umbrellas for its shade pod collection of outdoor umbrellas with their contemporary shapes reminiscent of those found naturally in the ocean. There’s also the octagonal Shangi umbrella with its curvaceous shade shape and style reminiscent of traditional Oriental décor.

Tuuci Vineyard shade pod
The Vineyard shade pod from TUUCI has a style that looks lovely in any backyard oasis and provides shade for a large area.

A tip from the ultimate guide to outdoor umbrellas: What is your interior home design style? You might find that style suits you best both indoors and out. For instance, a contemporary style makes sleek designs and geometric shapes a good fit for your backyard oasis. There are also plenty of models that blend well with traditional and transitional styles.

Materials of Outdoor Umbrellas

Treasure Garden umbrella with Sunbrella canopy
This stunning Treasure Garden umbrella shows just one vibrant hue available for the Sunbrella canopy

The material of both the shade and frame are additional features to consider for your new outdoor umbrella. Sunbrella fabric or another durable type of canvas material are the most common choices in high-end outdoor umbrellas, and they are available in hundreds of colors and patterns. No matter the type of fabric, a single or double wind vent is usually an option essential to the southern California climate.

aluminum outdoor umbrella frame
An aluminum frame is one option for your custom umbrella

Outdoor umbrella frames come in aluminum, steel, fiberglass and wood. Again, you will have your choice of finish no matter which material you choose. All are made to be quite durable and stand up well to heat, sun, sea spray, wind and rain but in the San Diego area, aluminum rules.

A tip from the ultimate guide to outdoor umbrellas: for the most durable shade feature you can expect to look gorgeous for many years, opt for a tilting aluminum frame topped with a Sunbrella shade.

We hope you’ve found our ultimate guide to outdoor umbrellas a good resource to help you find the perfect shade feature for your outdoor living space.

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