Using Colour In Your Outdoor Space

04 April 2024
Is it okay to have bright colours in your outdoor living space when neutrals are on trend? Here are some tips on successfully incorporating colour into your elegant exterior colour scheme.

Contemporary colour schemes for both interiors and exteriors centre around neutral palettes. So much so that bright colours can seem unwelcome, even in outdoor spaces. Stark or barely-there white and grey hues dominate interiors. The subtle tones of weathered steel, stone, and natural timber, and complementary dark trim make beautiful features and accents inside and outside. Black is increasingly popular, not only in trim but also in exterior cladding including roofs. Even plantings are frequently grouped and coordinated in elegant, limited palettes with an emphasis on non-flowering foliage.

Working well with this long-running trend of subtle neutrals is Charcoal 770, the best-selling canopy colour in Shade7’s outdoor umbrella range. Customer preference for this colour has been consistent for decades. Traditionally paired with a standard anodised silver aluminium mast, Shade7 introduced optional black anodised aluminium Riviera masts to better suit the trend towards black exteriors, and the preference for black masts increases each year.

Why is Charcoal so popular as a canopy colour? Woven in Recasens acrylic canvas, Shade7’s Charcoal 770 is made of dark and light threads running together. The varied weave gives it great versatility; it seems to go with everything. In direct sunlight the effect is of a pale silver-grey. It can appear soft taupe in warm light, and mid to dark charcoal when in shadow. And, thanks to the light and dark threads, it is extremely forgiving of dust and dirt, making it much lower maintenance than light-coloured canopies.

So where does bright colour fit in? Is there any room for vivid hues in such refined, subdued settings? If colour brings you joy, then the answer is yes, absolutely. And although a full Boho or tropical palette in your outdoor space may not work, there are ways to incorporate colour without sacrificing the elegance of your outside space.

For anyone yearning for bright colour while loving their modern neutrals, the answer will be to make the most of outdoor accessories as an opportunity to go bold with colour. In seating, this may be scatter-cushions. In dining, dynamic crockery and vivid table dressings. And in the world of outdoor umbrellas, colourful umbrella canopies make a stunning feature.

For Shade7 customers, this could mean taking a bold step away from safe neutrals such as Charcoal 770 and Off White 117 in favour of Navy Blue, Yellow, Orange, Turquoise, Pistachio and more. Even with Shade7’s new black masts, while Charcoal is still the preferred canopy option closely followed by Black and Off White, a growing number of customers pair Orange, Yellow and other coloured canopies with black anodised aluminium masts for dramatic effect. Although not strictly a colour, the Black/White stripe 17 canopy has also been paired with the black mast, as well as with the silver mast. And smaller umbrellas such as the Venice and Venice Tilt are often the perfect opportunity to bring cheerful, attractive stripes or colour into outdoor patios.

There is a reason Shade7 features a Yellow Riviera on their Riviera brochure and website page – Yellow creates a dynamic, vibrant pop of colour against ocean, bush, and muted architectural tones. Many customers who choose bold colours describe the pleasure and joyful uplift their bright colour brings each time they open their colourful umbrella.

If you are considering incorporating an outdoor umbrella into your landscaping design, make sure that replacement umbrella canopies are readily available. This is important regardless of colour preference, as canopies are constantly exposed to the elements so the possibility of replacing it at some time needs to be covered. If your outdoor umbrella is from Shade7, replacement canopies will be readily available and can be refreshed without much effort, even seasonally or whenever you feel like a change. And of course, using a Shade7 cover bag will double the life of your premium canopy.

Did you know that Shade7’s website features a handy tool that lets you view each canopy colour on a digital umbrella at the click of a button? To see what each colour in the Shade7 canopy range might look like on your umbrella, visit the configurator tool  or call into the beautiful Shade7 showroom at 1096 Great South Road, Mt Wellington.

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