With the Summer months quickly approaching, many of us are dusting off our sunhats and digging out the picnic blanket in preparation for some fun in the sunshine. For those of us living in apartments who are lucky enough to have a balcony to enjoy, here are our balcony shade ideas to transform your outdoor space into one that can be enjoyed even during the height of Summer.

A retractable awning for your balcony

With balconies often being in direct sunlight with no access to shade, a retractable awning creates a well needed cover as and when you need it. As well as keeping you out of the rays of the sunshine, your residential awning can be used during rainy spells to keep you dry from any unexpected showers. Design the perfect retractable awning for your balcony by choosing the size, style and colour to fit your space and match your aesthetic, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space all year long.

Place an outdoor umbrella

Being one of the more affordable balcony shade ideas, a simple outdoor umbrella can be placed on your balcony to keep you shaded from the direct sunlight where needed. When using an umbrella on your balcony, it is important to be sure that it is sturdy enough to withstand the breeze and will not risk blowing over the edge. We recommend keeping an eye out for titled parasols which can be adjusted to follow the movement of the sun, allowing you to achieve just the right amount of shade if a retractable awning for your balcony is not an option.

Keeping direct sunlight out of the home

On days where the temperature skyrockets, large glass patio windows can become a nightmare. Large windows are amazing for letting in natural light but this also comes with intense heat which can leave your home feeling like a sauna during the hot weather. Instead of focusing on balcony shade ideas, fitting some effective blinds can work wonders for keeping your home cooler. Fabric roller blinds and venetian blinds are two particularly effective methods for keeping the room cool, keeping the rays of sunlight from penetrating the room. During particularly hot weather, keeping the blinds closed all day will help keep your home cool, giving you an escape from the heat when you need it the most.

Create shade with greenery

Large plants and hanging baskets are another of the more affordable balcony shade ideas, providing a barrier in-between you and the sun. Vining plants are ideal for this, growing up any railings or structures to minimise the amount of sunlight that can make its way through. For existing structures, plants like wisteria and climbing hydrangea are ideal but for standing plants which provide a good level of cover, options like bamboo or willow plants make a great choice. As well as providing some shade during hot spells, greenery also creates a level of privacy from surrounding apartments or from onlookers on the streets below.