difference a season makes. In winter, any reference to umbrellas
conjures images of pedestrians struggling against sideways rain and
children in rubber boots splashing through puddles on the way to school.
Okay, so children don’t walk to school in the rain anymore - you get
the idea. But now that summer’s here, that ubiquitous bundle of dripping
black nylon held together by unreliable aluminum spokes morphs like a
butterfly into the very image of summer itself. An umbrella can
instantly transform a lifeless, mundane space into a friendly, welcoming
refuge that says, “take a break, come and sit here.”
honor of the official arrival of summer this month, we are featuring
six ways in which Linda chose umbrellas to create just the right
ambiance for the perfect outdoor getaway. With today’s selection of
umbrellas in every price range and limitless sizes, shapes, colors and
patterns, you can take advantage of this practical and versatile design
element to recreate your home for summer.
uses umbrellas for both function and design. Functionally, we need
protection from the summer sun to be comfortable in the heat and to
avoid skin damage. But beyond the basics, umbrellas can be a relatively
inexpensive and creative way to solve a number of design dilemmas and
turn a previously unsightly or unused space into a distinctive focal
point. An umbrella is a great way to define and enhance your outdoor
spaces, while providing shade and privacy outside and enhancing your
view from inside.
What is your vision for your yard or patio? Consider the ways in which an umbrella can help you achieve it:
Do you have an area that you’re not using, such as a side yard or a
spot outside your bedroom? A small table, one or two chairs and a
cheerful umbrella will beckon you outside to read the morning paper or
chat on the phone.
Many of us have a section of the yard or patio where nobody goes, even
though there is furniture there. An umbrella will draw attention to it
and make it more inviting. People are drawn to shelter, and umbrellas
create a sense of shelter and intimacy.
Spruce up your backyard without expensive hardscaping or new furniture.
Add a colorful umbrella where there aren’t any, or replace your old
ones with color and shapes that relate to your home. If your outdoor
umbrellas are visible from inside the house, be sure to coordinate with
the interior as well, picking up colors and shapes from furnishings to
create harmony between indoors and out.
Create privacy from a neighbor that overlooks your yard with one or
more umbrellas. They can also be effective to screen a window or front
porch from glances of passers-by on the street.
Sunshine filtered through warm gold, pink or orange-toned umbrella
fabric makes everyone more beautiful by day, as does the soft reflection
of twinkling lights or candles by night.
The good news is
that you can find umbrellas almost everywhere. Local hardware stores,
TV/online shopping sites (QVC, HSN), big-box mall and catalog stores
(Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware), pricey custom designer
houses (Santa Barbara Umbrella is one of Linda’s favorites) all offer
options at almost every price point. You can get them with tilting
canopies, solar lights, bug zappers, weatherproof fabric and almost
anything else you can think of. Good quality umbrellas will last longer
than poor quality, but if you take care of your umbrellas and put them
away in the winter, even inexpensive ones can last for many years.
not just for that hole in the center of your table anymore. Choose one
that makes you smile, take it home, and set the scene for the summer of