How to shade an apartment balcony

So you have this great apartment space and no ideas for balcony shade?

Learn how to transform your outdoor space into a cozy and safe retreat, with protection from the sun and UV rays. You can choose an option to best suit your outdoor furniture regardless if you have a small or large balcony and there are multiple options for covering your outdoor balcony area. Let’s begin. Your first step to determine your shade is to decide if you want a permanent, retractable or adjustable shade solution? Balcony shade options include…

Shade Sails

shade sail


  • Shade sails offer good sun protection and are relatively simple to put on and take off
  • Typically made of resilient materials like polyester or canvas
  • A shade sail is secured to the balcony railing using ropes or straps
  • You can select the sail that best meets your needs because they come in a variety of sizes, colors and forms.


  • Sail sagging is where the shade said dips towards the middle and flaps in the wind – it can be noisy
  • For good reason, shade sails are a common solution to shade a balcony, however cannot be adjusted once installed.


Wall Mounted Umbrellas

wall mounted patio umbrella


  • The wall-mounted umbrella is ideal for smaller areas or limited space
  • If you have a smaller balcony or not enough floor space for a larger patio umbrella, the wall mount umbrella is perfect
  • Wall mounted umbrellas provide maximum coverage with a very minimal intrusion into your space
  • Some offer a range of tilt positions to best shade you from the sun


  • You will need to install the umbrella using a wall bracket. Some walls are not sturdy enough to cope with the loading

You want a high quality umbrella to last you a lifetime. Wall mounted  umbrellas such as the Shadowspec Retreat™ are the perfect addition to your apartment balcony and shade for compact spaces.



balcony pergola pergola


  • As long as your balcony is strong and can handle the additional weight a pergola is a good option
  • A pergola is a sturdy and permanent outdoor structure made of pillars or posts that hold up beams or an open lattice
  • Pergolas are often constructed of weatherproof materials like stone, metal, or wood
  • You can include climbing plants for added natural shade


  • While they do screen some direct sunlight, sun and rain can still enter through their open roof structure


Retractable awnings



  • A retractable awning is a great option to shelter your apartment balcony from the sun
  • As a retractable awning doesn’t need supporting frames or poles, the space below is completely unobstructed
  • With a retractable awning, you are able to choose how much shade you need
  • They are often used for shade, but can also be adjusted to offer some protection from rain when positioned correctly


  • If your retractable awning is left open unattended or used in high winds it can be costly to fix

In conclusion…

No matter what your outdoor area and house design is, there are plenty of options to find quality shade that suits you. You can choose tried and true simple designs like pergolas or awnings, you can look into more clever shade options that fit into your unique outdoor area like shade sails and wall mounted umbrellas.

Shadowspec umbrellas are here to help guide you to find the best shade solution that works with you, even if its not with our products, we can help point you in the right direction.

We have a range of cantilever, wall mounted and centre pole umbrellas to ensure you find the perfect shade option.

Have a question? Contact a shade consultant for an obligation-free chat

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