Cool of the Shade - Santa Barbara Design Sun Umbrellas
Adding cool with their haute styles, Santa Barbara Designs' umbrellas blend impeccable craftsmanship with timeless design to sizzling effect.
Words by Laura Collacott
There are sun umbrellas and then there are Santa Barbara Design sun umbrellas. Set apart by way of their craftsmanship, fine materials and smooth mechanisms, these built-for-a-lifetime brollies are coveted by those in the know and found in yacht clubs, luxury hotels and sublime private residences the world over.
The company began making fine parasols in 1981, inspired by the shades found in the palm fringed open-air markets of the Mediterranean. This elegantly simple silhouette has become the signature for Santa Barbara products, adapted and styled into a host of designs to complement any design scheme.
In the tropics, where the terrace and garden are as much a living room as any with formal walls, the parasol has an important aesthetic role. A well-pitched umbrella can transform a space, adding exotic alfresco flair or underscoring a refined décor with clean lines and daring colour.
Built to withstand the extreme sun, surf, wind and rain conditions of the Caribbean, Santa Barbara Designs use marine-grade, weather tested materials and parts that are custom-crafted and hand-finished by artisans in Southern California. In their quest to craft the perfect parasol, only high-grade wood is used, varnishes and fabrics are UV-resistant and fittings are stainless.
Naturally it is not just about function. It is also about form, and each year brings new aesthetic trends adding colour, pattern, texture and finish options.
This season, designers found inspiration from haute couture fashion collections to world culture. Striking Stripes reflects the ubiquitous nautical stripes found on the catwalk this year and flaunts crisp lines in bold colours. Linings are coordinated with stripes or block-coloured, another trend borrowed from fashion. Edges are straight with contrasting banding or enhanced with scalloped, keyhole or fringe valances. The Petite Flamenco Collection, with its dramatic flouncing and trim, echoes the ruffles of a smouldering Spanish flamenco dancer’s skirts. All are available in a spectrum of sassy colours.
They are upscale and refined; sophisticated but fun. More than a simple umbrella, Santa Barbara Designs represents a vibrant, outdoor lifestyle.
To learn more, visit: www.sbumbrella.com
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