Gabrielle Johnson

Guest Blogger

Gabrielle Johnson

When editor, writer and stylist Gabrielle Johnson bought her first house earlier this year, the first thing she did was paint over each and every beige wall. She's slowly making the space her own and hopes it will be housewarming-party-ready by 2015, maybe 2016.

5 Ways to Create Backyard Shade

Posted by Gabrielle Johnson Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:52 AM EST



Throwing shade isn’t always a bad thing. When temperatures soar this summer, you’ll feel grateful to have invested in a cooling, shadow-casting structure or accessory that will transform your backyard from desert wasteland to urban oasis.




Is there anything more romantic in the summertime than having your very own gazebo? We’re picturing this aluminum-and-steel version as the setting for all sorts of Pride and Prejudice-style encounters, or simply the ideal locale for a spot of tea and scones. Either way.


Canadian Tire Pavilion Hardtop Gazebo, $2,000




U6-round-sunbrella-apple-umbrella-with-black-framembrella, Ella, Ella


The easiest way to make a decor scheme pop is with a vibrant, cheery accessory — and yes, your back deck should have its own decor scheme. This apple-green umbrella ticks all the right style boxes and will shield your peepers from the sun when you’re dining al fresco.


Crate & Barrel 6’ Round Sunbrella Apple Umbrella, $284







Pergola-Home-DepotPergola Perfection


Pergolas can be pretty on their own, but once you’ve trained vines to grow over the crossbeams — bougainvillea, wisteria and climbing roses are especially gorgeous and fragrant — you’ll have a spectacular shady structure on your hands.


Home Depot Outdoor Living Today Breeze Pergola, $2,299







Round-Wooden-UmbrellaStripe it Rich


Nothing says classic East Coast preppy-chic better than stripes, and it’s a look we favour regardless of our actual geographic location. Create a Hamptons-esque setting with this jaunty grey-and-white striped number and wait for the rich neighbours to stop by.


West Elm Round Wooden Umbrella in Steel/White Stripe, $146





Accordion-UmbrellaCrisp Canopy


This durable retractable canopy, which provides up to 98 per cent UV protection thanks to its Sunbrella fabric, is just the ticket when you want to control how much sun your skin sees this summer (we like to keep ours Vampire White).


Restoration Hardware Retractable Accordion Umbrella, US $5,595

Topics: Backyards, Outdoor, Decks, Porch, Spring, Summer


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