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Patio Umbrellas

Umbrellas and outdoor activities go together like the sun and the sky. Paintings and photography often include a colorful umbrella in beach scenes, relaxed afternoons on a grassy meadow or dining with friends in an Italian courtyard. At Pottery Barn, we know you love fresh air and warm sunlight. A backyard or patio makes a great backdrop for some personal chill time or for entertaining guests. We offer lounge furniture, dining tables, outdoor rugs and patio umbrellas that help you design the open-air space of your dreams. What makes patio umbrellas so awesome for your deck? How can you find the one that’s right for you? Here are a few tips.


One major appeal of patio umbrellas is the shade they provide. Being outside is irresistible, but sometimes you don’t want the sun’s full rays beating down on you. With a patio umbrella, you control how much sunlight you receive. That way you can enjoy the sights and sounds of your garden, or share a cup of coffee with friends who pop in to visit, while still staying cool. There are patio umbrellas for any outdoor area, from a large dining table to an informal sectional arrangement.


Patio umbrellas also provide health benefits. Protecting yourself from UV rays keeps your skin hydrated and supple. Many skin cancer organizations recommend having shade nearby when outdoors, especially during the hottest hours of the day. Does that mean you can’t enjoy an open-air lunch? Not at all. A patio umbrella over your dining table lets you take in the gorgeous natural beauty of your surroundings, munch on a homemade sandwich or crispy salad, and chat with friends, all while completely comfortable.


There are several different sizes and shapes of patio umbrella to choose from. Which one is right for you? Well, when deciding on the size of your umbrella, there are a couple different factors that can help you. First, think about how big your dining table or conversation area is. Many experts recommend leaving between 2'-4' extra on each side. For round tables with a diameter of 4'-6', going with a patio umbrella of at least 8' means everyone can be in the shade. There are umbrellas of up to 11', so it’s not hard to find something that fits your space.


Round umbrellas fit circular tables easily, but they’re not the only space you can use them. Placed in between a pair of chaises, they give your patio, balcony or poolside space a spa-like ambience perfect for donning a plush towel or robe, grabbing a cool drink and enjoying a refreshing swim. There are rectangular and square patio umbrellas also that complement similarly-shaped dining tables. Rectangular umbrellas add a chic and modern feel to lounge areas. Close your eyes, take a nap or read a novel, totally forgetting about stress of any kind.


What are cantilever umbrellas? They have a heavy base that is designed to be used totally independent of any kind of table. In other words, you can place the umbrella anywhere you want, instead of in the center of the table. This option is great for sofas and sectionals too, since you can put the base behind your seating and have it extend outward to shade everybody. Cantilever patio umbrellas rotate, tilt and lower to take into account the sun’s movement during the day. They’re easy to adjust, and very durable.


Another practical consideration has to do with the type of canopy fabric you want. Our high-quality Sunbrella® fabric is resistant to weather, moisture, soil, fading and stains. It also provides protection from 98 percent of the sun’s UV rays. That makes it easy to care for, and keeps it looking beautiful for a very long time.


Natural white tones are customary for patio umbrella fabrics – and give the space a relaxed Mediterranean look – but they’re far from the only choices you have. Bold colors like red, turquoise and tangerine add excitement to outdoor areas. You can even create your own color palette between umbrella and lounge seating cushions. Stripes can be playful or preppy. Accentuate spa living with a light green patio umbrella paired with a sustainably-harvested teak or mahogany frame.