24 Apr 2017

“Parasol Pretty”: In The Shade

Parasol Pretty: In the Shade on vickiarcher.com

Finding a pretty parasol for the garden, the pool or a roof terrace is a challenge.

At least in France or in the UK.

Perhaps I don’t know where to look but so far the outside umbrellas I have found are fairly sterile; practical but without an ounce of pretty. A good umbrella can make the smallest of spaces look totally fabulous. Add a  few wonderful pots and some various shapes and sizes and just about anything can be transformed.

One of my latest crushes involves roof terraces.

I don’t have one, would love one but am unlikely to find one on my real estate adventures. We do have a move on the horizon but sadly I don’t think a roof terrace will be mine. Hopefully a courtyard garden or terrace will be enough to play with and for one of these to have pride of place. Give me a pagoda shaped parasol any day.

Around the pool I could see an old-fashioned striped version or a fabulous colour and shape with matching striped towels. Somewhere deep inside I must be channelling childhood memories of Beverly Hills and The Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki; all pink and a vision to behold forever.

I like the old fashioned nature of a parasol in the garden rather than some mechanical contraption swinging off on all angles; they are the exterior umbrellas of choice oftentimes in France. I suppose they are practical if the massive arm swing when trying to erect them doesn’t wipe you out. They remind me of preying mantises with arms and legs going in many directions.

As the weather warms up in Europe I can’t help but think of the summer months ahead and ways to invigorate outdoor spaces.

I came across these beauties on my search and if you are in need of a little “parasol pretty”, look no further. xv

“Parasol Pretty”: In The Shade

pink ari pagoda fringe  ||  daiana two-tier black and white  ||  beige ari pagoda  fringe  ||  hot pink two tier

image, shoreditch house london

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Vicki Ford

How wonderful!! Such a great opportunity to express design and showcase colour yet in such a practical way. This is like: “Sun Couture”. Whenever I see one of those multicolour fine stripe numbers on a hot summer beach, I instantly go back to an untouchable place from childhood. Bravo for highlighting this wonderful item and the lift you have given my spirit in showcasing just a few of the many beguiling options on offer. Vicki/ QLD.


I love that expression, “sun couture”.. I should have used that for this article :) From now on I will think of these beauties in that way..

Taste of France

I love blue and white striped parasols (to match blue and white bains de soleil cushions), but they do tend to fly away with the wind! They just lift right out of the heavy pedestals. We finally built a pergola to shade the dining area and get around the problem, but poolside, parasols are welcome but sometimes need chasing.


I know the problem… We have to take ours down when the mistral blows.. But ours are no way as pretty as these!
Did you find anything other than the plain style ?


This has inspired me! I may have to do something silly like sew ball fringe around the edge of my standard form umbrella…

Terrel Drendel

Vicki, Love these! Those wide stripes remind me of the cushions that were on my Grandparents patio furniture when I was a child. In the States another great source is Ballard Design. Great price points and lots of Sunbrella fabrics, but maybe not a lot of cute umbrella edges. They ship! The wind is tricky. We came home once with the umbrella on the roof and another time with the plate glass of the door smashed from the same umbrella! I love LizK’s idea of embezzlement of the umbrella edge!
PS. Just came back from Paris and Venice and yes, saw lots of dresses with flare, nipped in at the waist and thankfully below the knee length!


Check out stores that import from India or elsewhere in Asia. I saw an awesome bright pink and orange tassled beauty outside a shop in Qu├ębec. The owners were importers and had fallen in love with the parasol (based on the type originally used for keeping the sun off while riding an elephant!) I have checked other import retailers and some do have these. They must be taken in though as definitely not waterproof but would be divine on a terrasse or small balcony!

Our French Oasis

When we were lived in New Zealand we had the most amazing huge parasols. We had a pair of them across the pool, each one was a diameter of 4metres, and they were in the most fabulous lime green. They stretched right across the pool, shading our young children and baby as they swam. They were incredibly sturdy with bases which were bolted through the concrete. They were guaranteed to stand hurricane category one force winds, but fortunately we never had to put them to the test! Shade is vital, especially when spending a lot of time in the water as one can burn even quicker without realising it and these looked pretty too!

D. A. Wolf

So pretty! As much as I love blue and white in everything from striped towels to parasols to dresses to transferware… I must say that the red and white stripes above are delightfully invigorating. You’ve put me in the mood for spring to arrive full force! With or without a rooftop terrace and pool in the picture. ­čśÄ


It is so cheerful and looks like a holiday :)
My new home has a swimming pool .. the chairs are all white but the umbrellas a green. With palm trees nearby, it all looks so very tropical and cheerful. Even though I never ever go to a pool .. but I admire it from afar :)

Anita Rivera

Good morning dearest Vicki! I am at least a day late in all my blog visits….you know, one thing I noticed while in Nice was that no one wears HATS. With my sensitive skin, I had to wear a hat everywhere, but everyone was laughing at me, until a local told me why. You only wear a hat unless you are part of a wedding party! But the sun worshippers prefer the kiss of the sun, and I just wonder if maybe parasols are just not an important part of the culture; very pretty are these parasols, awnings, but I wonder if people just simply prefer the sun. LOVE YOUR PHOTO!


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