Clockwise from upper left: Curran, Janus, Curran, Pottery Barn
If you haven't already stocked up for summer (or if yours have broken recently), here's your chance. With the advance of super hot days, market umbrellas can transform your outdoor space into a cool getaway on balcony, rooftop and patio. Here's my 2009 list of top choices as well as some good sales' notices...
For outdoor decor, these are your absolute workhorses, and I recommend spending as much as you can afford, as a quality umbrella lasts longer and looks a ton better...
Janus et Cie
>> Janus et Cie: These guys are top of the line imports for fancy homes. Market umbrellas are a European creation, and all these are imported from the Continent. Mucho $$$.
>> Curran: An excellent source for Barlow Tyrie and Tuuci umbrellas and oriented towards retail customers. Pricing and service here is very good.
>> Westminster Teak: For the teak lovers out there, these are much $$$ but totally PC - "All our teak is sourced from Java exclusively from the highly reputable Perum Perhutani plantations, which are managed by the Indonesian government."
Smith & Hawken
>> Restoration Hardware: I like these as a high/mid solution. They are beefy, durable and use Sunbrella fabric, which holds its color well. Deep sale here.
>> Crate & Barrel: Excellent prices and nice style for very good, but not excellent umbrellas. Take care of them, and they'll last you. VERY deep sale here.
>> 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. Could be a total score for non brand-name, but very good umbrellas.
>> Pottery Barn: I haven't bought these, but a number of readers have spoken highly of PB umbrellas. 20% sale on now.
>> Patioshoppers.com: Another new source for mid to low end umbrellas, but a wide selection and some fun, quirky designs as well. Sale here.
>> Smith & Hawken: They always do a nice job in this category but they've just gone out of business. Head to the stores and you may find umbrellas in their liquidation sale.
>> Overstock.com: Overstock rules the discount world and their lineup of umbrellas is impressive.
>> Ikea: On the low end, you just have to look at these guys.
>> 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. Big sale here.