Shade Structures & Cabanas – Ideas for Creating an Outdoor Paradise in Your Backyard

As we discussed this morning on the Pete and Brenda radio show…  It can be hard to relax in your yard when there is always something to do, but perhaps beefing up your outdoor setting with a cabana or shade structure will help you to relax outdoors.  Also, by creating a room setting you’ll be expanding the living areas of your home…

Inspirational Outdoor Design Ideas Poolside Striped Cabana


If you haven’t started already, now is the time to start working on your outdoor oasis so that you can enjoy it as soon as summer begins… (I can’t wait!)  Great places to get started on now are the more time consuming projects that will help create shade.  However as I always say for indoor rooms, you should have a design plan before you get started.

Start with Plan

Your outdoor room design plan should include a layout plan, ie the “floor plan” for the space.  For example, I’m going to add a structure to surround two lounge chairs in one of my outdoor rooms.  This structure will need to fit in a certain floor layout, and I need to make sure the two new custom lounge chairs will fit in that space.  I’ll also want to add an outdoor area rug, fabric panels and lighting.  It will be similar to this structure below and I can’t wait to get started!  Stay tuned for more details on this project…

Outdoor room decorating ideas from Decorating Den Interiors, Portland, OR, .

A free-standing structure to hold fabric panels for shade


Below is another way to construct your cabana haven.  You can use less expensive material for the construction of this structure, (such as piping rather than wood), and notice how the fabric creates the top of this cabana rather than the ceiling made of wood above…
Outdoor furniture and decorating ideas in Portland, OR by Decorating Den Interiors.
Or why not create a smaller version of a shade canapy.  This is a great concept…
Outdoor furniture and room ideas by Ragan Corliss, Decorating Den Interiors, Portland, OR, .
Below is a luscious example of a pre-made canopy structure with custom outdoor fabric.  If only we had this setting for our backyard…
Outdoor room and furniture in Portland, OR, .
Outdoor fabrics have come a long way, in fact they’re being used indoors more and more for their durability…
Outdoor fabrics
Design Plan
Consider Purpose of the space
–Rest & relaxation:  Lounge chairs, cushions, pillows
•Save vs. splurge
–Dining area
Outdoor Space Components
–Dining table or accent tables
–Planting containers
– Bar
–Ways to stay cool
•Water fountain, misters, shade, umbrellas, canopies, draperies, trees in containers
Projects to Get Started on Now…
In addition to creating a shade structure to hold fabric panels or a canopy, here’s another great and easier DIY project for adding shade, privacy, and a great design element for your outdoor room.   Create a free standing screen which you can make from attaching shutters or doors together.  This is also a great way to renew and reuse salvage products…
Pinned Image
Below:  Notice how the trees and shrubs in the containers add to the shade and privacy factor, especially in combination with the door screen and free-standing umbrella.  You can use tropical plants in place of evergreens when using containers, and then just move them indoors during the cooler weather.  The products below came from Al’s Garden Centers in Sherwood, OR…
I also like the look of custom-made canopies such as the ones shown above and below.  Plus large umbrellas can be a bit spendy!
Alternative to outdoor umbrella
I hope you’re feeling inspired to turn your outdoor space in something spectacular.  There is more to come on designing outdoor spaces, including some great DIY projects!   Subscribe to this blog or fan us on Facebook for notifications.
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