This Shade-Throwing $100 Find Turns Any Outdoor Space Into a Cool Escape

Heat wave? What heat wave?
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On the brink of a heat wave, we can’t help but be consumed by thoughts of shade: Where to find it, when to move with it, and, most important, how to create it on our own. An umbrella is usually the first tool you think of when you’re craving coverage, but news flash: The really sturdy and stylish kind can get expensive (Serena & Lily’s beloved pagoda umbrella is a cool $1,300). That’s where shade sails come in. 

table under shade sail
Photography by Michael Irwin; Design by Anand Sheth; Landscaping by Dune Hai

All you need are three to four points of connection (a facade wall, a fence, or some other post), around $100, and a deep contempt for being hot. On their own, shade sails might not look all that appealing. They’re essentially large triangular or rectangular canopies—usually beige—made from dense, UV-blocking polyethylene fabric. But when hung at interesting angles or layered over one another to create a long stretch of shade, the coverings can turn an underutilized or blah gray concrete side yard into a serene escape. 

patio with shade sail
Photography by Aaron Bengochea

We mention the side yard because these sails often measure 8 feet long, give or take, making them perfect for narrow areas. (Although that’s not to say you can’t hang one over a deck or backyard patio.) For shady side yard inspiration, look no further than this L.A. landscape design by Anand Sheth.

shade sail over pink sofa
Photography by Michael Irwin; Design by Anand Sheth; Landscaping by Dune Hai

The architect mounted shade sails in key hangout spots: one over the dining table and another over the sofa so those areas are actually comfortable during the daytime. Get yours before the thermometer reaches triple digits.

Shop the Look

Sand Beige 24' Triangle Shade Sail, Wayfair ($139)

Yescom UV Block Triangle Sun Shade Sail, Wayfair ($39)

UV Resistant Rectangle Sunshade Sail, Amazon ($66)

8 ft. x 8 ft. x 8 ft. Sand Beige Triangle Sail, The Home Depot ($24)

Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.

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