The Perfect Backyard Umbrella

This post is sponsored by California Umbrella, but all views are my own.

Our backyard recently underwent a redesign and update. Our goal for our backyard was to make it extremely functional, appealing for our active, four-seasons-outdoor-loving family, and aesthetically pleasing.

The first thing we knew we wanted to incorporate were striking, oversized, colorful umbrellas. We wanted to keep the look neat and tidy, smart and chic and when we found these beauties, there was no contest. California Umbrella, established in 1946, creates a wide-range of umbrellas in an array of beautiful, bold colors. You can shop on their website and sort by residential, commercial and even by shape and size. They offer everything from 6 feet to 11 feet umbrellas, square, rectangular, cantilever and more.

Josh and I are particularly drawn to the nostalgia of their Malibu Point Series as well as their pagoda style umbrella in energetic, retro colors that at once reminds us of a fanciful scene from Mad Men, and a backyard barbecue, bell-bottomed and cocktail-clad moment our grandparents were lucky enough to live in real time. (And if not, it feels good imagining them this way, anyway.)

You can imagine our excitement when we discovered the Malibu Terrace series in the color Sunny-Side Smarties! The double decker, whimsical, scalloped edge – hand-stitched, in-house with contrasting white trim – and, my favorite part… the playful, bright white, round bulb at the very top was straight out of our Slim Aaron’s daydream.

In the past we’d used 120-pound umbrella bases to secure our poolside shade, and California Umbrella offers them! – but we were ecstatic to learn that the backyard redesign and turf install team we were working with, frequently installs countersunk umbrella holes! They set PVC in cement, and when you’re not using the umbrellas, you don’t even see the holes. Genius. This feature allows our California Umbrellas to completely take the spotlight, without the interruption of an umbrella base.

The umbrellas are perfectly oversized. Side by side, they give us a whopping 16 feet of shade along the straight edge of our pool. Josh created this rendering to figure out how far apart we should install the umbrellas to ensure they didn’t touch in the middle, and to figure out correct placement so we’d have enough space to comfortably place four, evenly spaced chaise loungers underneath.

We’re currently sourcing the loungers – so stay tuned – but in the meantime, we love the look with our black and white striped, cabana bean-bag chairs. Durable, easy to hose off, and light enough that everyone – even our youngest guests – can pick them up and drag them around to the location of their hearts’ content.

One other detail we often don’t consider, but something to keep in mind – is how to store umbrellas during inclement weather, or in the off-season. Big box store umbrellas can come in a box, but they’re very narrow and difficult to shove your umbrella back into for storing and often not the best construction. California Umbrella ship their umbrellas in thick, sturdy corrugated boxes also meant for storing your umbrellas long-term. Adequately-sized and meant to last, you can rest easy knowing you have a protected place to easily store your umbrellas when not in use.

If you’re looking to up your backyard game you need to check out California Umbrella. Their selection is vast, their craftsmanship is unparalleled, their nod to retro and nostalgic design details feels custom, and their longstanding presence in the market speaks to their quality. Literally something for everyone!

About Lindsay

Making Home Magical.

Hi, my name is Lindsay! Thank you for coming by! Josh and I are having a riot over here tackling our biggest project yet: turning this Texas-sized house into our home!


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