10 Shady Patio Ideas for Landscaping 

When it comes to your patio and the surrounding space, you want to make the most of it. It serves as a great setting for outdoor gatherings, parties, or simply a place to relax and pass the time. In that space, you might discover that you have a lot of shade or none at all. 

Adding shade or designing within it can make for a wonderful way to liven up your patio space and make it beautiful. It also provides several benefits: 

  • Cooler Temperatures: When the weather is hot, shady spots offer relief and a chance to cool down. 
  • Sun Protection: Shaded areas and structures can protect you from the harsh UV rays in the daytime, reducing the risk of skin damage. 
  • Protection for Furniture and Equipment: Outdoor furniture and equipment can fade or become damaged by sunlight and other elements. Shaded areas can keep them protected and able to last longer. 
  • Versatility and Value: There are many ways to add shade to your space, with some shaded structures having multiple uses for them, and also creating great curb appeal. 

At Oasis Landscaping & Irrigation, we understand outdoor design is important to creating the outdoor space you want. To help create that, here are ten ideas for how to improve your patio area with the shade you have and the shade you want to add: 

1. Define and Add Multiple Shaded Spaces 

When you’re taking advantage of the space you have inside or around your patio, it’s best to first define the space you have and designate areas you want to focus on. If you have a large outdoor area, it’s similar to having an open floor plan. Adding several spots for shade can create multiple spaces for you or your guests to enjoy.  


If you’re looking to section off spots for shaded spaces, hardscapes are a way to enhance these areas. Stone or brick walls, pathways, and flooring can complement a designated space, while also remaining cool under the shade.  


Having spaces in the shade doesn’t mean it has to be dark. Installing lighting fixtures within the area or around it can provide an aesthetically pleasing touch without creating heat. This could range from small fairy lights to garden lights along the pathways to your patio or shady spot.  


Decorating shady areas plays a big part in creating visually appealing spaces. From patio tables to daybeds, furniture can create a space for people to relax or gather, and add to the overall theme you wish to achieve. 

2. Incorporate Underdecking Beneath Your Deck 

A great use of shade is transforming the space beneath your deck, or underdecking. This creates a wonderful extension underneath for a cozy outdoor space. Through the use of drainage systems and under deck ceilings, it can become a dry place to safely set up furniture and appliances that require electricity, or store away other items that need protection from the elements. They’re versatile and beautiful spaces that benefit from the shade they create.  

3. Add Small or Seasonal Shaded Spaces 

If your outdoor area or patio doesn’t have a large amount of space, incorporating small additions can help to create seasonal shady spots, or fixtures that won’t take up too much space. Whether it’s during the rainy season or hotter months, these additions can help shield you from sunlight and the elements: 


Umbrellas are a popular choice for patios and outdoor spaces. Ranging from small to expansive, they can cover your patio easily when it’s sunny, and you can close them when needed. They come in a variety of colors and are often included in matching patio furniture sets. 

Sun Shade Sails 

These shades are made of highly durable fabrics meant to create an effective canopy to block out sunlight. They range in size and are a perfect way to temporarily shade a small space on your patio. Materials for these sails can vary, with some being waterproof in case of rain, and others able to reflect light to reduce heat. When you don’t need them up, they can be easy to remove and store.  

Retractable Awnings 

These awnings are a more permanent structure, but flexible to use. Shade can be added or removed at any given time at the flip of a switch or the click of a button. Installing one outside the door to your backyard, deck, or patio can extend your shaded space, and easily be retracted when you need to let some more light in. 


Curtains are an easy way to create more shade within your patio or shaded structure. You can close them when you need to, or open them to let some light in. Outdoor curtains are made to be more durable and can be perfect for blocking out UV rays and heat. 

4. Plant Trees 

A natural way to incorporate shade around your patio area is by adding trees to your space. They can be planted around your patio, they can complement other shaded structures, or they can fill in spaces in your backyard to create more shady areas to relax under. The colorful foliage not only keeps your outdoor space covered but adds beautiful greenery to the area for you to admire. There are a variety of beautiful trees to choose from to fit the aesthetic of your outdoor space: 

  • Flowering Trees: Magnolias, crape myrtles, white dogwoods 
  • Shade Trees: Birches, elms, oaks 
  • Fruit Trees: Peach, apple, fig 

5. Plant Shade Tolerant Greenery 

Don’t overlook garden ideas due to the shade. Besides trees, plants like shrubs and flowers also provide shade on a smaller scale, and many plants can thrive in that environment. With the help of a garden designer, you can add colorful, shady gardens along your patio, pathways, and more with shade-loving plants that fit the season. 

Flowers and shrubs can add color and texture to your outdoor space, and provide more natural beauty to your home. Shade-tolerant plants for Georgia’s climate include: 

  • Azaleas 
  • Hydrangeas 
  • Bleeding Heart 
  • Columbine 
  • Begonia 
  • Foxglove 

6. Set Up A Pergola 

If you’re looking to complement your patio through an extension or add more shade to a nearby area, a pergola is a great option. These sleek structures offer an appealing way to provide partial shade on their own, or full coverage with the use of curtains or a canopy. Options like a lattice pergola can also allow you to incorporate flowers into the latticework that borders them, and add more color to it. These spaces are great for garden tables, benches, and firepits.  

7. Build a Gazebo 

For a more standalone shaded space, a gazebo is another permanent structure you can add near your patio. With slanted roofing and built-in flooring, they offer not only shade but protection from the rain and UV rays around the clock. You can also add shutters or walls for more coverage. Gazebos can be built to rather large sizes, and be able to house a large number of people for social gatherings.  

8. Install a Fireplace or Firepit  

An excellent addition to your patio space can be a firepit or fireplace. In a shaded or covered area, firepits offer a source of heat when the weather is colder, and being placed within a shaded spot can keep them safe from strong winds or rain. They make for a comfortable structure to sit around with family and friends, as well as a way to cook outside.  

9. Add an Outdoor Kitchen 

Outdoor patios offer much more space for large families or party guests than the interior of your house can at times, which makes the addition of an outdoor kitchen great. They also help to avoid unnecessary heat that can build up inside your house from an active oven. Outdoor kitchens can range from basic grilling stations to full kitchens and bar setups, making your patio area a perfect place to grill out or serve drinks. 

Residential landscaping. Outdoor kitchen

10. Create a Pool Cabana 

If you own a swimming pool, you might be looking for a shaded place to relax after taking a swim out in the sun. Like gazebos, cabanas offer shade from the sun but remain much more airy with their use of fabrics and curtains to cover them. With the addition of chairs or a daybed, they can become relaxing spots to cool off and unwind. 

If you’re looking for ways to enhance the shady spots of your patio and outdoor space, reach out to Oasis Landscaping & Irrigation. We provide high-quality landscaping and irrigation services to the North Metro Atlanta area, and we want to help you create a beautifully shaded space to enjoy. Contact us today!