One of the sweetest joys of my summer is spreading out under a market umbrella on Sunday with the paper, coffee and muffin. Not only does an market umbrella keep off the sun, but it also creates a "room" effect that draws you in and keeps you feeling cozy, even in a wide open environment. For outdoor decor, these are your absolute workhorses, and I recommend spending as much as you can afford, as a good umbrella lasts longer and looks a ton better...
Without further ado, then, here are some good links and my list for 2008:
>> Top Market Umbrellas 2007
>> Good Questions: Best Outdoor Umbrella Picks?
>> Janus et Cie: These guys are high-end and excellent. Market umbrellas are a European creation, and all these are imported from the Continent.
>> Curran: An excellent source for Barlow Tyrie and Tuuci umbrellas.
>> Westminster Teak: For the teak lovers out there - "All our teak is sourced from Java exclusively from the highly reputable Perum Perhutani plantations, which are managed by the Indonesian government."
>> Restoration Hardware: I like these as a high/mid solution. They are beefy and durable.
>> Smith & Hawken: They always do a nice job in this category AND they're having a sale too....
>> Crate & Barrel: Excellent prices and nice style for very good, but not excellent umbrella. Take care of them and they'll last you.
>> Santa Barbara Designs: These are more unique, colorful and fun than any others we've seen.
>> Cushions & Umbrellas: This is a new source with a very nice website and good pricing.
>> Overstock.com: Overstock rules the discount world and their lineup of umbrellas is impressive.
>> Home Decorators Collection: Great selection of very affordable umbrellas. Don't expect them to fare well in bad weather. We've bought these when money was tight, but they barely make it through one season.
>> West Elm: Style and low prices. There's even a sale on right now....