SHADE BLOG

Articles and Ideas for your outdoor space from our outdoor experts

Your Guide to Backyard Summer Safe Shade

Posted by Jonathan Blampied on Feb 13, 2020 12:55:16 PM

Seeking respite from the sun is part of the human condition. Shade is a practical form of sun protection that has helped humans thrive throughout our history and when coupled with SunSmart initiatives, form a strong foundation of outdoor enjoyment. There’s no need to fear the sun, just respect it.

Institutions such as the Cancer Council of Australia actively promote sun safety and being sun smart. The 5 core steps of being SunSmart are well known:

 

  • Slip-on covering clothing
  • Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on sunglasses

 

Each of these SunSmart pillars is essential to look after your friends and family. We are in the business of shade and we’re passionate about sun protection.

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What is the best shade for my home?

UV Radiation (UVR) exposure is the root cause of harmful effects on humans and is what we’re aiming to prevent. Well-designed and positioned shade can reduce UVR exposure from the sun and is a great preventative measure to help reduce the risk. We suggest installing a shade system over your outdoor area to make sure you can enjoy the great Australian outdoors without undue risk.

You should choose an outdoor shade product with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor above 35. At this level, the product can provide all-day protection from UVR.

Quality outdoor shade products such as our umbrella range feature canvas coverings.

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When do we need to seek shade?

Sun protection is advised at all times throughout the year (not just summer) when the UV index sits above 3. In Australia, this can be all year round with only Hobart and Melbourne sitting below 3 in winter.

We’ve known for a while now that you can still get sunburn when it’s cloudy so make sure you’re looking to shade for your family gatherings to ensure everyone is looked after. The best shade provides protection from direct sunlight with excellent coverage from above and the side to account for UVR reflection from surfaces. It’s also important to factor in the suns position throughout the day.

Our Shade Recommendations for Australian Summer

The best thing for outdoor enjoyment is a shade solution that you can be sure will protect your friends and family from damage.

  • High UPF rating on shade fabric or canvas
  • Movable to allow for all-day shade
  • Remember the other 4 pillars, you need them all to stay safe

Most of all, have a great time bringing your friends and family together and enjoy all that the Australian summer has to offer you. Don’t forget to have a quintessential BBQ with your loved ones and relish the company they provide.

For more information on our shade solutions have a look at our product range or get in touch with a shade specialist for expert advice.

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Topics: Sun Protection, Outdoor Shade, outdoor living

Shadowspec Umbrella Case Study - Stand out from  the rest

Posted by Jonathan Blampied on Nov 16, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Nothing explains a customer’s buying experience better than a first hand account. Derek from Western Australia was over the moon with his selection of Shadowspec SU4 Tilting Offset Umbrellas. 

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Which Shadowspec Umbrella did you purchase?

We bought four Shadowspec SU4 cantilever umbrellas for our community resource centre courtyard. 

What do you like about the Shadowspec SU4 Tilting Offset Umbrella?

Apart from being very easy to handle, we found them to be very adaptable to our needs. We can roll them around on our concrete surface, we can put them up at any angle, and we can keep them closed down under their cover when they are not needed, and they handle the winds in this area very well (which can sometimes be near cyclonic!).

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How would you describe the value of your Shadowspec Umbrellas?

The true value of these umbrellas comes from the fact that it has actually increased the usability of our outdoor space. Our biggest resource in this town is people and tourists, and a lot more people have actually been utilising the space because of the comfort and shade that the umbrellas bring.

Were you worried about buying the umbrellas online and whether they would arrive undamaged?

Yes absolutely. To be honest, we were very dubious when it came to ordering online, and especially as to what state the umbrellas would arrive in. I have to say, there was absolutely no damage, we had no problems at all. On top of that, the fabric used by the manufacturer is exactly as described. The umbrellas are perfect for our needs and also for the climatic changes that we have here, especially factoring in the harsh sun and the flying sand (we are located directly across from a beach).

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Could you put a dollar value on what you think the Shadowspec umbrellas are actually worth over a period of 10 years?

Undoubtedly, I believe that the umbrellas are worth in excess of $10,000. The product itself is very stable, we are so pleased with it. Especially as we know we won’t have to think of something else to replace these umbrellas anytime soon! We thought we might just use one or two each day, but we actually use all four on a daily basis. I can’t emphasize their value enough, we have people coming to us on the regular and commenting on how magnificent they are.

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What was your buying experience with Shadowspec like?

It was extraordinarily simple. I was tasked with the job of finding an appropriate solution for our problem here - high winds, glaring sun and very light coloured concrete, adding to the harsh glare of the sun.

I narrowed the choice down to one of three or four outlets to find which would be the best value for money. Yes there are of course cheaper umbrellas available, but I’m quite certain they would be blown to bits by now. I took the suggestion of Shadowspec back to the rest of the committee, we studied it in depth, and within a day of making contact with Shadowspec via their provided phone number, we had all the information needed to make an informed decision.

Initially we were going to order just one umbrella to test the quality first, but we decided to actually go ahead with all four and I could not believe how quickly they arrived! They arrived from the other side of the country, to our door within five days, almost before we’d even paid for it!

What made you decide to go with Shadowspec for your outdoor umbrella?

After closely looking at the specifications and taking into consideration that Shadowspec were actually located very far away from us (which logically worked against our decision), we decided to trust our gut instinct on this one. We went with the salesperson’s recommendation on which umbrella model would best suit the space, and it worked out absolutely perfectly. We couldn’t be more delighted with our decision.

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Has anyone commented on your Shadowspec umbrellas?

Absolutely. The umbrellas were actually the talk of the town when they first arrived! The resource centre is very widely used, and the umbrellas offer the perfect resting spot for people between their jobs and travels. We’re so pleased with how enjoyable and usable they have made our outdoor space, and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

 

Thanks for the wonderful testimonial Derek. Unsure which umbrella would be right for your shade requirements? We can help! Request your free shade layout plan below and we'll be in touch shortly to discuss your best option.

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Topics: Australian Sun, cantilever umbrella, Outdoor Shade, Quality, Patio Umbrella, Outdoor Area Ideas, wind resistant umbrella

5 post-winter upgrades to enhance your outdoor space design

Posted by Jonathan Blampied on Sep 4, 2017 2:48:56 PM

Seasons are changing and it's time to get back outside.  After a long winter is your outdoor area looking a little worse for wear? If it's anything like ours, it hasn't had much use in the past 4 months and could do with a bit of a tidy up! how-to-clean-up-outdoor-area.jpg

Image source: CC0 Public Domain

Here in Australia we have gorgeous summer weather and long evenings, encouraging us to enjoy our backyard, patio, courtyard and verandahs (or decks). These places, sometimes referred to as "al fresco" areas, are such an important part of our home, we should give them just as much thought and attention as the interior. 

Here are some design ideas to consider and pit-falls that you should avoid if you're thinking about making some renovations to your outdoor space this summer. 

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1. Lack of Shade 

The hot sun can be unrelenting anywhere in Australia - especially if you don't have shade! No one can handle being out too long in the heat of the day, so paying attention to shade covering for your outdoor area is a must. There are many different types of shade, read more on our blog for information on how to make the best choice for you. Giving careful thought to the shade layout can add a lot of value to your home. Get the free service of a shade layout plan from Shadowspec using our shade umbrella and awning systems. 

Request your free shade payout plan

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2. Balance

The balance of your outdoor area is important. Too much paving or concrete can make the space seem uninviting or cold - and all outdoor spaces need a touch of nature! It's important to get the ratio of greenery right so your al fresco area is a comfortable place to be. There are a number of ways to add these touches, from floor planters to hanging herbs and flowers. Be mindful to research the type of plants you can use, thinking about what will grow in your soil or with the correct amount of sunlight.

3. Layout

Layout needs to be considered in order to make the most out of your space. Think about who will be using the area and what you will be doing with it. Will children use your backyard? Do you require fencing? Are you planning on using it for outdoor entertaining? Where will you find your shade? Ask yourself these types of questions to help ensure the space is laid out in a way that is functional for you. 

VIEW THE UMBRELLA RANGE

 

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4. Messy and unkept

Repairing messy or stained areas with peeling paint and distressed wood is an easy job that can make all the difference to your house. Doing a tidy up come summer, whether it's just a new stain on any wooden areas or lick of paint, is a cost effective way to update your space and make it a more appealing area to use. Think about what you could do to give your outdoor area a mini-update for the summer months. Shadowspec shade umbrellas and awnings are a great way to add something extra to your space and are made using premium 'sunbrella' fabric, which resists fading and looks great for many years. 

 

5. Poor Lighting

If you are using your outdoor area during the evening or want some overflow space for dinner guests, lighting needs serious consideration. Poor lighting will discourage use of any outdoor area and make it an unwelcoming space to be in. Adding lighting is a very cost effective way to update your space, even simple strings of fairy lights can make a huge difference to the overall ambience! Alternatively you can get lighting options with your outdoor umbrella, feel free contact our team to discuss these.  

 Read more about how to maximise your outdoor area by clicking here.

At Shadowspec, we are your outdoor shade umbrella & awning specialists, helping you plan your outdoor area - no matter what your needs. 

VIEW UMBRELLA RANGE

 

Topics: Outdoor Shade, Patio Umbrella

Australian Winery Grows with New Room

Posted by Jonathan Blampied on Jun 15, 2017 9:49:42 AM

The award winning winery and restaurant, Hollydene Estate, in the Hunter Valley, NSW, made the decision to increase their outdoor capacity by adding tables and shade for their customers. 

But how to do that with unpredictable northern NSW weather?

The Problem: Not enough space for a growing restaurant

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Unhappy about turning people away due to capacity problems whilst in full service, Hollydene estate needed room to spill outside and make the most of their gorgeous outdoor scenery and space. 

In order to give their customers the best dining experience, they had to overcome the problem of the weather and its elements. The brief was covering 40 extra seats in their outdoor, alfresco dining area. 

It was important to Hollydene that their eventual solution didn’t overrun the aesthetic of the venue, matched the shrubbery and earthy tones that are aligned with a prestigious winery. 

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The Solution: A new outdoor room with Shadowspec Umbrellas

Shadowspec’s Outdoor Specialists worked with Hollydene to develop a variety of layout options, umbrella canopy colours and advice on how to make the most out of the beautiful location.

We recommended our Shadowspec Unity™ to cover the tables whilst keeping the masts to a minimum and providing full coverage of the tables to showcase the beautiful courtyard and the water feature in the centre. Take a look at our proposed layout which ensured that the umbrellas are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

The requirement to have shade when it is sunny, but is easy to dismantle during the colder months that are native to the Hunter Valley area meant that Shadowspec Umbrellas were the perfect solution. 

 
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SHADOWSPEC UNITY >

The Results: A great space & happy customers


Hollydene were very happy with the end result and these photographs illustrate how well the umbrellas work to increase the restaurant’s seating space and potential.

We are proud of our team of Shade Specialists who are great at working with customers to develop a shade solution for their outdoor space using Shadowspec's outdoor cantilever umbrellas

 
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Are you interested in improving, creating or designing a new outdoor floor plan for your restaurant or cafe?  CONTACT A SHADE SPECIALIST >
 
Need help finding which umbrella is best for your product? Try our selector tool:
 
UMBRELLA SELECTOR TOOL

 

Topics: Outdoor Umbrellas, Cafe Umbrella, Outdoor Shade

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