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Backyard design with Jesus steps and recessed lighting.

6 Features That Will Help Shield Your Backyard From The Heat

As beautiful as Arizona is, there’s no denying that our summers are sweltering. Fortunately, however, adding the right features to counter the heat and sunshine can ensure that you’re able to enjoy your outdoor living spaces all summer long.

As experienced Phoenix landscape designers, the professionals at Creative Environments have designed several different types of features to help our clients enjoy year-round use of their yards. Here are a few of our favorites:


As one of the most popular backyard shade structures, pergolas typically consist of four support beams, no walls, and a latticed roof design. They can be designed to suit any size, budget, or architectural style, making them a great option for adding shade to nearly any backyard. Since their sides are open, pergolas offer a refreshing cross-breeze. Many homeowners opt to train climbing plants or vines along their pergolas’ support beams and roofs, which creates a verdant focal point in the yard.

Covered Patio

One of the most effective ways to shield your outdoor living space from the heat is to construct a covered patio if you don’t already have one. Covered patios provide ample shade and a relaxing place for outdoor dining and lounging. They may be attached to your home by extending the roof over a patio, or could stand alone in a separate part of your yard, such as adjacent to the pool. Covered patios are one of the more costly options and typically require working with professional designers and contractors, such as the team at Creative Environments.

Patio Curtains

A simple and relatively inexpensive way to shield your outdoor living spaces from the heat and sunlight is to hang curtains, drapes, or screens from any existing structure with a roofline—such as a covered patio or pergola. In addition to having an elegant look, curtains will enhance your control over how much light you want to let into your space.

Fans for Covered Patios

If you already have a covered patio, installing ceiling fans can easily boost air flow and provide that cooling breeze you crave in the summer heat.

Natural Shade

Trees and shrubs are great natural shade structures. Additionally, desert wildflowers, bougainvillea, and palo verde trees are popular options that add splashes of color while requiring little maintenance.

Poolside Cabanas

Poolside cabanas are coveted real estate at many resorts. So, why not bring a splash of resort-style luxury to your backyard with a chic and breezy cabana? While there is some overlap between these structures and covered patios or pergolas, a cabana is generally defined as any type of shade structure with curtains or shades on at least three sides, and an opening that faces the pool. Adding couches or outdoor daybeds to your cabana instantly creates a cool, comfortable spot to relax poolside!

Whether you are seeking a simple fix for shielding your backyard from the heat or a more extensive redesign of your outdoor living space to ensure that you can enjoy it year-round, Creative Environments is here to help! Contact us today to get started. Ready to get inspired? Check out our gallery.

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