Shade from a Covered Porch

Patio shades can come in all kinds of price ranges. However, the less expensive options usually have some drawbacks to them. For example, look at the relatively inexpensive fabric sunshade or shade sail options. Even though outdoor fabric is made to withstand rain and wind, usually it becomes worn over time.

I find the most long lasting shade providing options are those adding new architectural elements to your home. This also helps ensure that it matches the style of your house. You can also use modern materials like PVC or vinyl so that it will be easier to take care of.

A covered porch almost always has a country aspect to it. This is definitely the elegant side of the country look though. Painted wood beams or PVC approximations are in keeping with this design. Also look for white or porch steps and traditional railings and banisters. This helps to finish off your porch even if it isn’t up high. This definitely makes it a lot more sophisticated than a deck.

Covering a Porch with Fabric

If you don’t have a covered porch you can still use some country styled ideas that will use fabric. Look for outdoor fabrics in bright colors. These are readily available in blue, red, and yellow. In most other decorating styles there just isn’t a good way to implement these outdoor fabrics just because they are so colorful. Look for shades or floor to ceiling window treatments to create an enclosed patio effect. Plus, even when these are pulled up it still makes a design statement because of the bright color.

You can also add fabric just for decoration. Even if a pergola or covered porches already provide you with shade you could attach valances too. Get one in colorful stripes. This creates an awning effect but it’s a lot cheaper.

Most patio shade ideas really aren’t that decorative so I like to start out with this as the base of design. Then you can elaborate with other focal points so that the actual shade covering is just a minor detail that also happens to be both beautiful and functional.

For the country look you could take the same bright colors that you see on your outdoor fabrics and shade coverings and use them on other areas. You can paint your window frames in bright reds or yellows. Usually this is much too bright to actually use on the siding itself. However, on a window frame it draws attention to the architecture and still matches neutral colors of siding.

Sometimes though, you can just let the view add the color.

Ocean View from a Covered Balcony

Whites and Muted tones can Accentuate the View

Matching with the Patio Itself

For the patio itself look for a stone or brick. If you do have a concrete patio then you’ll need to refinish it to keep within the rustic feeling of your shade coverings. You can also get a cobblestone effect with stamped concrete, but usually this is pretty outdated because people can tell that it is fake. However, since the country style does have a sense of humor you can still make it work.

The key to any successful covered porch or patio is to make it feel like an outdoor room. You can create an entryway into the space just by placing large planters on either side of the stairs. Make sure that they are heavy enough that they won’t blow over in the wind. For a country style patio start off with your shade ideas and work your design out from that point.

Another country look goes into more of a cottage or shabby chic direction. You’re going to need to paint all of your posts, railings, and fences in a bright white. You can also use PVC vinyl materials if you don’t want to have to worry about painting.

Swing on Covered Porch

You can Hang a Swing from a Sturdy Porch Cover

A Shabby Chic Themed Shaded Patio

A shabby chic look will usually be the trickiest type of theme just because it needs to be delicate while still durable for outdoor use. If you’re working on a covered porch then you can even paint the flooring to look like tile. You can also paint on an area rug too if you want to define the space better. This is also a look that can benefit a lot from stencils such as botanical prints. Usually you just find it indoors on artwork but you can also make it a durable enough for outdoor use.

For the actual shade covering on a shabby chic patio you want to finish it off very precisely. This could mean that you paint any exposed beams in a bright white finish. You also might want to add in hanging lighting like chandeliers or candelabras, although you always need to make sure that you don’t leave these pieces unattended. Even if you aren’t going to use them for lighting it gives a much more grand effect to your covered patio than simply relying on string lights. You can also finish off the porch cover by installing bead board over any exposed beams.