Enjoy more time outside during hot summer months with these simple ideas to keep things cool in a backyard gazebo.

Do you love summer as much as I do?

There’s just something about those hot days that seem to stretch on and on.

Some days can get pretty sweltering though.

If temps creep into the upper 90s, I’m either gonna stay inside where there’s AC, or I’m in the pool.

But if it’s mid-90s or below?

I’m happy to sit outside on my front porch, or back deck, or the patio.

The longer I’ve lived in North Carolina, the less the heat seems to bother me.

But if I’m being perfectly honest (and why wouldn’t I be honest?!), some days are too hot to just sit out in the sun.

You need to have some shade.

Costco cedar gazebo on a patio next to a pool with a house behind it.

It’s really pretty amazing what a difference there is between sitting in the sun and the shade, isn’t it?

About a year after we put in our pool, we decided umbrellas just weren’t cutting it.

We love the pergola AnnMarie and Chris have on their patio, and she always decorates that space so beautifully!

But they don’t get the same kind of sun on their patio that we do because of where it’s located.

We needed something that would offer a little more shade so we invested in a backyard gazebo.

And it’s awesome!

I love decorating it for the holidays.

It became one of the focal points of my twins’ graduation party.

Recently we’ve made some additions to our Costco gazebo to make it even cooler during the summer.

Literally!

Costco gazebo with overhead ceiling fans, string lights sits on a paver patio next to a pool. Cushioned chairs sit under the gazebo with potted ferns.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to keep your backyard gazebo as comfortable as possible on even the hottest summer days.

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Add More Shade!

Wait.

What?

Isn’t shade exactly what an outdoor gazebo is all about?

Well sure.

But the sun isn’t always directly overhead.

Our house blocks the sun in the morning, but come mid-afternoon, the sun starts shining into the gazebo.

The first year we had our gazebo we just kept moving our chairs.

Eventually we were all over in the one corner that was still shady!

That’s when my husband discovered these fantastic Coolaroo Sun Shades.

Woman rolls down a transparent roller shade on the side of a Costco gazebo on a paver patio next to a pool. Cushioned chairs sit under the gazebo with a bee throw pillow.

We mounted a sunshade on all four sides of the gazebo.

I didn’t think we needed one on the side where the house is, but I was wrong!

My husband was right.

And I don’t mind admitting it!

You see, there are a few hours each day when the sun hits the windows along the back of the house which bounces the light (and the heat) right into the back side of the gazebo.

It’s actually one of the reasons why our shady corner was so small!

Woman rolls down a transparent roller shade on the side of a Costco gazebo on a paver patio next to a pool. Cushioned chairs sit under the gazebo with a bee throw pillow.

These sun shades come in a variety of colors and widths to work with all kinds of shade structures.

Let me tell you, these roller shades are an amazing solution!

We got them from our local Home Depot, and the color blends in perfectly with our Costco cedar gazebo.

You can easily adjust them to be just the right height for blocking the sun.

But they have an added function:

Privacy!

Costco gazebo with overhead ceiling fans, string lights, and rolled down roller shades on a paver patio next to a pool. Cushioned chairs sit under the gazebo with potted ferns.

When the shades are closed, they provide a fantastic privacy screen from neighbors!

Somehow when the light is hitting the shades, they become opaque.

But…

From inside the gazebo?

You can still see outside!

My dad would tell you it’s physics, but I call it magic.

Costco gazebo with overhead ceiling fans, string lights, and rolled down roller shades. Cushioned chairs sit under the backyard gazebo with potted ferns.

I really recommend adding roller shades to your backyard gazebo to keep it so much cooler during the summer!

I don’t have scientific proof of just how much cooler, but it’s the difference between sitting outside and feeling sweaty and sitting outside feeling the warmth of summer.

But we’re not done getting things cooler just yet…

Keep The Air Moving With Fans

We had a floor fan that we would bring out to keep air moving on really hot days.

With the high humidity we have here in the south, a fan really helps you feel less sticky.

But while the floor fan helped, it was also kind of a pain.

The patio space between our house and the pool is pretty narrow (thanks to the location of our septic tank and repair fields), so having something else to walk around was a trip hazard!

And this clutz doesn’t need anything to help me trip…

Fortunately, our cedar gazebo included three hooks in the ceiling for hanging.

And let me tell you, having these portable, plug-in ceiling fans is a total game changer.

Costco gazebo with overhead ceiling fans, string lights, and rolled down roller shades. Cushioned chairs sit under the gazebo with potted ferns.

We tried just one fan in the center, but since our gazebo is rectangular (12 x 16), you couldn’t feel the air moving at the far edges.

Placing two fans on the outer hooks did the trick.

And there’s still a spot to hang a pretty chandelier someday…

To minimize swinging, we positioned the fans just below the rafters and attached the cord so it was flush with the rafter.

They’re also just below the cords for the outdoor string lights that we can control with our Alexa.

Two overhead ceiling fans suspended from the ceiling of an outdoor gazebo with string lights

It’s amazing what a difference these fans make in the gazebo!

Plus they look pretty cool when you look up at them.

I love that their shape adds some curves to the very linear ceiling.

Looking up at two overhead ceiling fans suspended from the ceiling of an outdoor gazebo with string lights

The fans have an added benefit besides keeping the space comfortable: the air flow is strong enough to keep away bugs!

Which makes this outdoor gazebo the perfect spot to host an outdoor dinner.

My last tip for helping your outdoor space be cooler during the summer is to keep water handy at all times.

Or sweet tea.

Or maybe a refreshing mojito!

Do you have any tips for keeping an outside space more comfortable when it’s hot outside? Tell me about them in the comment section at the bottom of this post!

Rattan and wire tray with 4 mason jar glasses and a pale blue glass pitcher filled with water

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3 Comments on How to Make Your Backyard Gazebo Comfortable for Summer

  1. We just used one of the Coolaroo shades from Home Depot on our back porch. What. A. Difference!! It is such an affordable option to custom shades.

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