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ShadeFLA: December 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Top 6 Outdoor Holiday Entertaining Tips

Each family has their own winter holiday traditions, and depending on where you live, that may include an outdoor party. Hosting your guests in a backyard or local park allows adults to enjoy some sunshine and space and gives little ones a chance to run around and explore.

With the holidays just around the corner, ShadeFLA offers some tips for outdoor entertaining!

1) Check the weather regularly
This may seem like a no-brainer, but to host a successful outdoor gathering it is essential to know what weather to expect! Check often in the days leading up to the event to get a good idea of the temperature range and whether or not there will be a chance of rain. Make sure to have a backup plan, such as an alternative indoor venue, ready to go if need be. On the day of your event, be sure to check the radar frequently to get a feel for where the clouds and rain are heading.
Let's hope your weather doesn't look like this!

2) Offer guests spots to warm up or cool down
Here in Miami, we often have a warm holiday season, but depending on where you are, the temperatures may be cooler. Depending on the weather, make sure you have a warm-up or cool-down zone ready for your guests. If it's heat and humidity that you are dealing with, try setting up oscillating fans and outdoor misters, or create some shade with patio umbrellas or a tension sail. If the weather is on the chilly side, a small bonfire can be a huge hit! If you have heat lamps, place them strategically near comfy sofas, and provide plenty of pillows and blankets so guests can snuggle!
Cool down zone in the shade of tension sails

3) Decorate with candles for a bright holiday look
Whether in a menorah, advent wreath or centerpiece, candles create a festive ambiance and subtle glow to light your festivities. If wind, pets or small children threaten traditional flames, try flameless flickering pillars, which will last the whole night!
Nothing beats that candle-lit glow

4) Keep alcoholic beverages on a sturdy, out of reach table
Most holiday gatherings include pets or small children. To keep that eggnog and spiced punch safe and out of the mouths of little ones, designate a taller, sturdy table as the "bar." Set it apart from other food stations to prevent "traffic jams."
We love this DIY look

5) Let guests entertain themselves with a hot chocolate bar or cookie decorating station 
While you're busy greeting new arrivals and getting the food ready, keep your other guests busy with an interactive food station. Both kids and adults love adding toppings and mix-ins to hot chocolate or decorating sugar cookies. To keep things easy, pre-mix the hot chocolate in an insulated coffee dispenser and complete the bar with insulated cups or ceramic mugs, marshmallows, crushed candy canes, caramel syrup, and Reddi-Wip. Cookie decorating is is a pinch if pastry bags are pre-filled with colored frosting and you use sprinkles straight out of the jar.
Image result for outdoor hot chocolate bar
Don't forget the marshmallows!

6) Use natural decorations for a rustic chic look
We love using seashells here in Florida, but there are so many other options depending on where you live! Pinecones, autumn leaves, small bundles of twigs, Christmas tree greenery, or smooth stones can all be used to set the scene at your table, buffet, or bar. For a glittery look, spray paint your decorations in silver or gold.
Image result for spraypainted pinecone table setting
Pine cones and greenery add a classic festive touch

We hope you enjoy your outdoor celebrations this holiday season! What are some of your best tips?

ShadeFLA is a leader in shade design and outdoor living. We are proud to offer tension sails, patio umbrellas, cabanas, heat lamps, misting fans, retractable roofs and more!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Introducing Louvered Roofs - The Latest Shade Technology from ShadeFLA!

Louvered roofs are made of angled slats that allow sunlight and air to pass through.

The louver angle is fully adjustable from 0-170Ā°.

Please note:
ShadeFLA is also now offering the CEU HSW course "PAMA 101: Enhancing Your Design with Awnings and Canopies." Please call us at 
to arrange a session. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tension Sails: Function Meets Eye-Catching Design

When it comes to shade, sun protection should be your #1 concern. But with a little planning and creativity, your shade structure can become an eye-catching architectural feature!

Shade fabric has been specially crafted to protect against the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays, resulting in a decrease in temperature of up to 10 degrees. The shade fabric is also breathable to prevent heat from being trapped underneath the structure. 

In addition to creating more inviting environments for people, tension sails can be used to keep pets cool and healthy! We recently installed a tension sail structure at the Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption Center. 

The 11-sail structure shades the puppy play area so that the dogs will not overheat during their daily exercise. 

Tension sails can also help shield buildings from harsh morning or evening sunlight, cooling the building and reducing energy bills!

In addition to being highly functional, tension sails can add an artistic element to your design. Different colors, shapes and angles make each tension shade structure unique.

ShadeFLA will walk you through the process from design to installation. Contact us to arrange a consultation! 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Miami Voted One of America's Top Cities for Winter Travel

Travel + Leisure magazine recently ranked Miami #7 in the nation for winter travel! To no one's surprise, our year-round mild weather and dazzling beaches bring travelers back year after year. Besides the obvious reasons, Travel + Leisure mentions Miami's hospitality scene as a feature that draws visitors:

The Florida city has seen a major hotel and restaurant boom, thanks in part to the wizardry of Alan Faena.
The Faena Hotel turned heads upon its opening last year during Art Basel, a Miami tradition that has become a world-renowned art phenomenon. As Travel + Leisure notes:
In the first week of December, the city is completely and brilliantly consumed by Art Basel.

If you're planning on visiting Miami this December, Art Basel is certainly an event not to be missed. Hotels and resorts cater to Art Basel guests with design-forward architecture and glamorous pool parties. In keeping with Miami's pop art scene, Faena Hotel's Damien Hirst sculptures and a glitzy "cathedral" entryway set the bar high for luxury accommodation in South Florida.

At Faena's Pao restaurant, one can enjoy unique dishes such as pork adobo rice with green mango pico, or sea urchin with sweet corn pudding.

ShadeFLA is proud to have installed retractable screens at Pao. We have also installed Sun Squares and retractable roofs at other South Beach hotels such as The Betsy and Loews Miami Beach.

Monday, October 3, 2016

5 Artsy Shade Structures You Can Install Before Art Basel

Exterior screens
With this year's concerns over the mosquito-borne Zika virus, exterior screens are a must-have. The breathable fabric allows air to flow through while keeping out insects. The screens also block strong morning and evening sunlight. 
Lead time: 4-6 weeks
Retractable Roofs
Extend or retract the roof at the touch of a button. This product is customizable with various sizes and fabric pattern options.
Lead time: 4-6 weeks
Tensioned Shade Sails
If artsy is what you're going for, then tension sails are the product for you. The eye-catching structures will wow your guests while keeping them cool. 
Lead time: 6 weeks
Sun Square Retractable Sails
These stylish sails retract automatically in high winds.
Lead time: 6-8 weeks

TUUCI Umbrellas
The marine-grade umbrellas combine function and style like no other. 
Lead time: 6-8 weeks 
ShadeFLA designs and installs custom high-end shade structures including awnings, cabanas, tension sails, retractable roof pergolas and umbrellas.

Friday, September 16, 2016

ShadeFLA Intern Awarded Honorable Mention for Fabric Structure Design

Former ShadeFLA intern Michael Alexander received honorable mention in the Industrial Fabric Association International (IFAI) 2016 Student Design Challenge. Michael's design for a bold, shade-providing structure at the entrance to Brickell Key in Miami, FL, was recognized in the category Fabric Structures. The winners of the competition will be announced at the IFAI Expo in October in Charlotte, NC.

IAFI is a not-for-profit trade association whose 1,800 member companies represent the international specialty fabrics and technical textiles marketplace. The IFAI challenge asked students to design a fabric structure that provides shelter and architectural interest for a public or commercial site. Michael took inspiration from sailboats for his design, which features white, triangular shade sails. The fabric is Serge Ferrari Precontraint 502, which offers high UV resistance and heat and weather protection. Michael's design incorporates a steel frame, hand grommets and C-channels, also in white.

Michael is a 4th year architecture student at the University of Miami. He is currently studying abroad in Rome, Italy, where his focus is on city sketches. His project concept for this semester is to create a public museum for the imperial fora, which is a series of public squares constructed in Rome between 46 BC and 113 AD.

ShadeFLA was honored to have Michael as our design intern for eight months. While with the company, Michael created designs for clients in Google Sketchup, handled permitting of projects in progress, and visited project sites. He completed his internship in August. As Michael says, "I could not have asked for a better way to end my internship!"

(ShadeFLA team;  Michael is pictured second from the left)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Miami's Coziest Poolside Cabanas

It's almost the weekend - which means it's time to choose where we'll be lounging come Saturday! Summer isn't over yet and the pool is still our destination of choice. Miami has more than its fair share of luxurious and unique pools, from the natural grottos at The Venetian Pool to The Raleigh's curvy lagoon. 

It's not just about the pool itself though - it's also about your options to escape the heat after a few hours in the sun. That's where pool cabanas come in! The ideal pool cabana effortlessly combines function and style to provide you with a cool, private refuge flush with pampering amenities.

Below is a list of ShadeFLA's favorite poolside cabanas, from the brand new to the already famous.

This brand new hotel opened in the spring of 2016 and features cute, stylish cabanas with bold Miami flair. The cabanas are located poolside and include a comfortable sofa, curtains with colorful trim, and full protection from the sun's heat.

1 Hotel South Beach has four pools, but our favorite is definitely the the rooftop pool located on the 18th floor. The adults-only pool is surrounded by luxurious cabanas with ocean views.

The SLS is notorious for hosting some of the wildest pool parties in the city at its trendy pool. When the house music and crowds get to be too much for you, escape to the cute cabanas with striped cushions and cozy love seats. 

Any list of Miami's top cabanas would be remiss if it failed to mention The Fontainebleau, home to Miami's most iconic pool deck. Celebrities and locals alike flock to the pools for concerts, pool parties, or just to enjoy a day in the sun. The Fontainebleau offers a wide variety of cabana options for every occasion and price point, with amenities such as wi-fi, daybeds, TVs, and more. 

What are your favorite cabanas in Miami? What features do you look for in a cabana? Let us know in the comments!