50 Shades of Summer

SUMMER!! Finally… good grief it feels like its been forever since my post on patio season, but I think now it’s actually here. This weekend is absolutely gorgeous and we are supposed to get record breaking temps here on Vancouver Island!! Woohoo!  Time to dig past my sweaters and pants in my closet to try to find something to wear that will be cool enough to get me through. My inner “okanagan-lizard” can not wait to get outside and soak up as much sun as I can get, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone. This much sun and heat may be TOO much for some people, especially here on the island. I think it’s safe to bet with the record breaking temps, there will be a record breaking number of fans being bought this weekend.

So in the spirt of this beautiful, hot weekend – today is going to be all about seeking shade!!

There are so many unique ways to create shade around your home that somehow totally slip right under our radar.. Well not today folks. It’s time to get creative, so that no matter how hot it is outside, you can still entertain and “chill” without having your guest sweat through their shirt or have their make up run down their face. Lets face it, Sharon didn’t come to your BBQ to end up looking like she’s been stranded in a desert for 4 days. Don’t do this to Sharon.

Plus no body likes “swass”…


Everybody loves a pergola when they see one. They provide the best of both worlds… lil’ bit of sun.. lil’ bit of shade. Don’t let the creativity stop there!! Adding some climbing vines to the top of your pergola will bump up the amount of shade you get, and also the charm. How adorable!  Or if you are in a super hot area and your plants will get scorched,  then try a decorative panel to the top. Have designs cut into the panel to let that sun in.. and save Sharon from the scorching.

bless my weeds
saved from bless my weeds
DIY Network
saved from DIY network
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Retractable Awnings.

Perfect for “I want alllllll the sun” and then the “if I get any more sun, I’ll die” moods. Get these for super easy transitions between your two moods. These have come a long way from the typical awning. With a clean lines and modern colours you are sure to love the way they look (they’ve come a long way since the bulky end with the fringy flap and faded stripes). These would be great if you get that random summer rain.. which we all secretly love – only if they are just that. Random.

Mix and match the two ideas together to have a gorgeous pergola with a practical retractable cover!!

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These babies got my heart skippin’ a beat.  They are so simple, but look so unique! Layer them up for more coverage and more interest. Or try using one large sail and have the corners be a different heights. There’s tons of possibilities with these guys… size, colour, shape, height.. even the way you layer and set them up. Also, if you’ve got the tiniest amount of sewing knowledge.. you could even DIY the shit out of this one. Do it girl.. do it.

saved from dimagio-garden.stfi.re
build direct.com
saved from builddirect.com

The Classic Curtain.

Super simple. Super Classic. This is a style safe, easy way to save yourself from that 3 o’clock side sun that is a killer. The bonus with curtains is that because they are so easy, you can switch them up every few years as your style or patio decor changes. Very helpful if you are of the indecisive nature.

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A totally cool way to set you apart from the sun is to use plants. Great for you, great for your patio, and great for the environment. One way is to create a tier of rows of hanging plants. Use plants that like to climb or droop to create shade. Another amazing way is to get some mesh and some quick climbers to make a shady area that will have your friends gushing at how awesome it is. Be warned. You may end up hosting a lot of barbecues once your friends see this one.

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gardening viral.com3
saved from gardeningviral.com
gardening viral.com2
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gardening viral.com1
saved from gardeningviral.com

Well.. I didn’t get to 50.. but I hope you guys got some great ideas to keep you cool this summer! Mix and match these ideas to what works best for you and your guest, your environment, and your budget. I think the best patio is one that has layers of detail that aren’t just great to look at, but also functional. Plants, shade, sun, comfort, and of course a few friends and a few drinks.

Hope your weekend is filled with all the good things. Happy Summer, everyone!!


One Reply to “50 Shades of Summer”

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