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Outdoor Umbrellas to the Rescue

While most of us are looking for some fun in the sun this summer, it doesn’t take too long before we are looking for a little relief from the sun. Outdoor umbrellas are the perfect solution. They provide the necessary break from the harsh rays without having to pack everything up and heading indoors. However, not all outdoor umbrellas are created equal. Here’s how to select the perfect outdoor umbrella for your home.

Outdoor Umbrella at the Pool
Outdoor Umbrella – Poolside

Size of Outdoor Umbrellas

The size of your umbrella depends upon more than whether or not you plan on sharing your shade with anyone. Naturally, the larger the umbrella, the more shade that is created. While the space where you plan on placing the umbrella may not be ideal for a larger umbrella, it may be worth considering. This is because larger outdoor umbrellas means you have to make less adjustments for the different positions of the sun (if you plan on staying outdoors for an extended period of time).

Common outdoor umbrella sizes range from 8-13 feet and are available in an abundance of designs and styles. But more on that later. There are also a few shapes to choose from as well, including space and the more traditional octagon.

Types of Outdoor Umbrellas

The type and size of umbrella you end up purchasing also depends heavily upon where you plan on placing the umbrella. For example, the outdoor umbrella that would be ideal for placement next to a chaise lounge would be a poor fit for placement over a large table used for outdoor dining.

As with most furnishings, there is the traditional way of doing things and their modern counterparts. With the outdoor umbrella, the traditional approach is the pole going through the center of the table and attaches to a base that usually serves as the anchor for both the umbrella as well as the table itself.

The more modern design is what is known as the cantilever umbrella, which simply means the umbrella hangs from a base that is offset. So, there’s no obtrusive pole going directly down the middle of the table that you have to work around.

Common Sizes of Outdoor Umbrellas

Trying to determine which size umbrella is the right one for your table? Here is a quick-reference guide:

  • If your table is 36 inches (in diameter), select an umbrella that is between 6-8.5 feet
  • Up to 48 inches; go for a table that is between 9 and 10.5 feet
  • Up to 60 inches; a table that is 11 feet or longer should do the trick.

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