How to choose the best outdoor shade solution for your home How to choose the best outdoor shade solution for your home CREDIT: Adam Jay

Choosing the right shading solution for your outdoor space

Friday 6 May 2022, 3:24PM
By Adam Jay

With an increasing number of homeowners wanting to extend their liveable space by creating a comfortable outdoor area, outdoor shading options are in demand. Installing the correct shade or shelter solution can be the difference between enjoying your outdoor space year-round, and having to retreat inside every time the wind or rain picks up — so it makes sense to invest!

Because there are so many outdoor shade products on the market, however, there are a few questions to ask yourself prior to investing in a durable outdoor shade solution. Here’s a handy guide to help you create that outdoor living space, complete with shade and shelter.


Get to know the main types of shading solution

Shading solutions typically break down into four categories: canopies, louvres, awnings, and screens. The size and outlook of your outdoor space, as well as your budget and style requirements, will naturally dictate the type(s) of shading solution that are best for you.

Luckily, the range of top-quality shade and shelter solutions from Shade Design is sure to have you covered (literally!), no matter the size, outlook or style of your outdoor area. See if you can recognize your ideal shade solution from one of the following descriptions.



Canopies are a popular style of shading solution which effectively extend the square metreage of your useable living space, all while providing reliable protection from the elements. Shade Design’s canopy range is supported by strong, durable aluminum framing, and comes in a variety of materials, including acrylic (for a glass-like look), PVC (to allow an extra bit of light to filter in), and polycarbonate.


Louvres are essentially giant outdoor blinds or shutters which can be opened up or closed as the occasion demands. If the sun is a little harsh or a storm arrives in the middle of your al fresco dinner, you can easily adjust your louvres to protect your guests. Shade Design makes the job easy with a fantastic collection of motorized louvre roof systems featuring an automatic rain system and sensors. You won’t have to lift a thumb!


To provide shelter over your outdoor area or over any uncovered entryways to your home, an awning could be your perfect solution. Because awnings don’t require posts or to be fitted to the ground, they can help to maximize your available outdoor area.

Shade Design’s popular retractable awnings can easily be folded out manually, and come with high wind ratings (30-35km) so you can rest assured that your shade solution is secure even in Wellington-strength gusts. Another option is Shade Design’s fixed frame wedge awnings, specifically designed to offer shade and shelter over windows or entrance ways.


If you have an outdoor space that’s already covered by a canopy or louvre system and is begging to be bordered off and made into a room proper, then a screen-style shade solution may be just what you need. Vertical screens help add privacy as well as protection, creating a sheltered outdoor area that you can enjoy no matter the weather.

Shade Design’s PVC and mesh screens come in a variety of functionalities including Zip-track, hand-rolled and crank, depending on your preferences. Zip-track screens offer a particularly innovative technology which does away with those annoying ropes and zippers, allowing for seamless opening and closing.


Think about conditions (and materials)

New Zealand’s saline conditions are notoriously tough on most materials. If you’re investing in a fixture that’s going to be exposed to the elements, you need to choose a high-quality product that has been made specifically for the terrain. Because you want your shade solution to stand the test of time, it’s best go with a manufacturer like Shade Design, which puts an emphasis on building tough shade and shelter structures that will endure.


Think about colour

When fully extended, awnings, louvres and canopies can be fairly substantial in size, which means that they do have an impact on the overall look of your outdoor space. That’s why it’s important to think carefully about colour when selecting your shade solution.

Neutral colours — white, cream, beige, and black ­— are naturally a popular choice for shade and shelter solutions, since they suit any existing colour palette as well as any future changes in décor or paint that you may have planned for your outdoor space. If you want to be a bit bolder with your colour choice, make sure to consider the overall effect of the hue on your outdoor space: darker colours will serve to close things in a bit more, while lighter tones can be a smart choice for visually opening up smaller areas.


Think custom

Although the range of ready-made shading options on the market is impressive, some spaces — and some homeowners — demand a more personalised solution. Luckily, you can work closely with the folks at Shade Design to create a custom shade solution that fits your style and size preferences, as well as your budget. No matter the aesthetic or functionality you’re aiming for, Shade Design is sure to deliver you an intuitively-designed and durable shade solution. So get in touch now!