No doubt you’ve already started getting your backyard ready for the season, and perhaps plan to buy some new patio furniture. But if you’re still searching for a shade solution—especially if your dining table lacks a center hole—consider investing in a cantilever umbrella. Their offset design also makes them ideal for lounge-style seating areas, and most feature adjustable height and canopy tilt. They’re also an excellent way to add a pop of color or pattern to your space as a focal point, and there are a slew of sizes and canopy shapes on the market to suit your setup.


What to Consider

The first thing to nail down is the umbrella’s size. The rule of thumb is that it should be 2 feet wider than your dining table on all sides, but you may want to add a few extra inches to that measurement if you have deep chairs. The same generally holds true for coverage of lounge chairs or other furniture. While it may be tempting to buy an umbrella that’s much larger for the extra shade, keep in mind that it’ll look awkward if it isn’t proportionally balanced with what’s underneath. Cantilever umbrellas usually start at about 6 feet wide (though it’s possible to find them smaller), and run up to 13 feet wide (and in rare cases, larger).

Another consideration is the canopy’s fabric. The majority are made from polyester, though a high-performance fabric, like Sunbrella (Acrylic Canvas), is typically more durable. Of course, you’ll want something that’s water-resistant, blocks UV rays, and won’t fade, plus the umbrella’s frame should be treated so it won’t rust. Other features to look for include the tilt and rotation of the canopy, along with the umbrella’s opening and closing mechanism.

It’s worth noting that weighted bases are always included.