How to Style Your Outdoor Space

Whether you have a fully landscaped yard or a small inner-city courtyard, these simple tips will help you transform your exterior space into a stylish and comfortable living area perfect for entertaining friends or simply relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. From seating to shade, keep reading to learn how to best style your outdoor space.

The first step in creating your perfect outdoor living area is to consider the type of furniture you will choose to fill the space.

While a full dining set is perfect for hosting dinner parties and providing a practical outdoor dining area, a daybed or outdoor lounge set will create a more relaxed and inviting space. Outdoor furniture needs to ‘fit the purpose’ – while a 12-seater dining set may seem like a great idea, if you only entertain that many guests once or twice a year it may be more practical to go with a smaller setting that you can expand on with other pieces when you need to.

Regardless of the type of outdoor furniture you prefer, it is important to choose furniture made from strong materials that can withstand our harsh Australian weather. Most metal, cedar and all-weather wicker pieces will stand up to whatever nature throws at them, whereas some fabrics can deteriorate quickly. Be sure to choose strong materials that will continue to look great for years to come.

Umbrellas Can Be More Than Just Weather Proofing
Whilst people usually consider an outdoor umbrella from a purely functional perspective, they are also a great addition to finish off the look of an outdoor area from an aesthetic perspective, especially in Queensland where people tend to live in their outdoor areas more often. This means they can be enjoyed all year round – not just in summer when the sun is searing!


Far from the humble umbrella mum used to pull out at the beach, these days there is a huge variety of sizes and styles to suit any space, from a simple free-standing umbrella through to wall-mounted models that can swing and tilt to block the sun at any angle.

Folding or hinged umbrellas are a great choice for areas with limited space, as they can easily be hidden away when not required, whereas middle-post umbrellas are perfect for spaces where there is no existing structure to use.

If the traditional umbrella shape isn’t to your style, there are now a variety of different shapes available, from sail-shapes to umbrellas that resemble a giant tropical leaf. Mixing up the shapes you choose, particularly with a large feature like an umbrella or shade, can help to create a unique and modern style in your outdoor space.


The same principle applies here that we mentioned around furniture earlier – it’s important to choose the right product that will last the distance. Whilst there seems to be a large range of umbrellas on the market, from very affordable to more expensive; quality and craftsmanship should be a key consideration when looking to purchase, not just style. Remember, your outdoor umbrella will likely be left battling the same elements as the rest of your outdoor furniture, so you want to make sure the fabric is durable and fade resistant, and things like hinges and other moving parts are made of quality materials that will be resistant to corrosion and weakening due to UV damage. Our umbrella range is among some of the highest quality on the Australian market, so if you’re looking for quality, it’s a great place to start looking!

For lighting, consider choosing solar-powered lamps or torches. Solar lighting removes the need to run any electrical cords from the house, and they automatically charge during the day and then come on at night. It’s also important to consider the hue of your lighting – while bright white light is great in areas where good visibility is important, more orange or amber hued lighting will provide a warmer feeling to your space.

Another great lighting option are bamboo torches. Not only are they cheap and easy to install, but the real flame brings an authentic ambience to your space. Plus, by using citronella oil as the fuel in your torches you can easily keep away mosquitos and other insects, keeping your outdoor space itchy-bite free – a real bonus for anyone living in the tropics!

Choosing the right furniture, shade and lighting options lays the foundation for an impressive and inviting outdoor space, once you’re happy with these fundamental elements, you can start the really fun part – choosing accessories!



Mobile Outdoor Umbrellas
The Aussie sun can be harsh and the summer rains heavy but with the right cover, you can enjoy the great outdoors, anytime. Instaco supplies an extensive range of quality outdoor umbrellas suitable for use in the patio, garden, pool and cafes in Brisbane and beyond. We have residential and commercial umbrellas available to suit all markets and our friendly team can help you choose the best quality outdoor umbrella for your needs and budget. Browse our extensive range of umbrellas to find stunning solutions for your pool area, patio or entertaining space. Still not sure?

Speak to Instaco


Fixed Post Pool Umbrella
Whether you are designing your dream home, renovating or simply trying to make the most out of the available space, Instaco have an outdoor umbrella or shade solution to suit. We distribute a truly innovative range of fixed and mobile umbrellas perfect for outdoor areas in Australia. From enormous cafe-style umbrellas to pool-side shade and wall-mounted products for apartment living, no matter your location or dwelling we are likely to have the perfect umbrella for you. Not sure what umbrella you need?

Ask Instaco


Cafe & Commercial Umbrellas
Instaco specialise in the supply and installation of heavy-duty commercial quality umbrellas. Our cafe and commercial range of umbrellas are versatile, lightweight and extremely simple to operate. We offer both European and Australian made quality components and a range of beautiful, durable fabrics designed to extend the life of our outdoor umbrellas and keep them looking their best for longer. Contact Instaco today and one of our professional staff can explain the options available for your next project.

Get in touch with Instaco

Bringing your business into the 21st Century

Technology has come in leaps and bounds in the past decade and there is a lot for businesses to harness to help make service offerings more streamlined and ensure the comfort of customers. If you own a business with an outdoor presence, there are lots of new tools you can use to make the most of your outdoor area. Here are just a few technological advancements that could be of use:

Retractable roofs and umbrellas
The ability to open and retract a shade cover easily and quickly is a great addition to any outdoor space, whether it be a café, school or other outdoor space. Instaco’s wide range of folding patios and umbrellas make it easy to create cover from sun and rain, but also take it away to keep a space clean, avoid damage and keep an area open during better days.

Pool covers
Solar blankets and indoor thermal covers are a great addition to pools to ensure warm water all year round. Solar blankets can trap hear and retain warmth, as well as stop water loss, perfect for outdoor pools, adding months to the swimming season and keeping the pool clean when not in use. Thermal covers work with indoor heated pools, insulating the pool to help keep the heat in and eliminate evaporation.


Weather sensors
Pergola roofs are a great way to offer shade and protection from the elements, but when the Queensland summer is showing its best side, you may want to open it up! Products like the Eurola Star and Top Star pergola offer sun, wind and rain sensors that automatically extend or retract the system according to the weather. This particular pergola is also motorised and can be operated via internet and smartphone.

Want to bring your business into the 21st century? Take a look at our retractable awnings and other shade solutions today!

How you can customise your Marquee with Instaco

A marquee is a great tool as a portable shade solution but also for branding purposes. When choosing a marquee, there are a number of things you need to look into, including customisation. At Instaco, we have lots of ways to make your marquee unique. Here are just some:

Choose a style
Our marquees come in a number of styles, each suited to different situations and applications. One of our most popular styles is the pop up marquee. Easy to set up and take down and small enough for storing yet big enough for most uses, pop up marquees, as well as our light commercial pop up and maxi commercial pop up varieties are a great choice. For those who want something a little bigger for larger events, our event and corporate tent marquees provide a large shaded space and lots of room for branding. The style you do choose should be based on the main use of the marquee and your budget.


Choose a colour or design
All of our marquees come in a wide range of colours. Our pop up marquees have six stock colours and 20 premium colours. We also offer printing on our marquees, allowing you to place your brand or message squarely on the marquee for the best exposure.

Choose extras and accessories
Whether you want a full fit out of promotional materials or just need some weights to keep your marquee in place, there is sure to be an accessory to suit. Some add-ons for promotional purposes include printed banner flags, door walls and awnings. If you need to keep your marquee on solid ground, our sand bags and steel weights can help. We also have spare parts, floor tarps and even furniture!

What we need from you
Once you’ve decided what you want, it’s time to give us a call! But before you do, make sure you have some basic logistics down – size of the marquee you want, if there is a particular style that would suit your organisation best, colours or designs for the marquee and any other preferences you have. Our experts will handle the rest!

Want to get started? Call (07) 3277 7749 to get in touch today!

Picking the right shade solution for your business

A fundamental part of any business with an outdoor space is the cover you use to shade and protect your clientele. Whether it’s the hot summer sun or a strong downpour, the right cover can keep customers sheltered while also adding to the aesthetics of your space. If you are looking at shade solutions for your business, consider these Instaco products:

Retractable roof
Many businesses, particularly retail stores, feature large skylights within the roof of the building or open areas for shoppers to rest. While this can be a pleasant and beautiful addition, it can also create heat and glare and sometimes shade becomes a necessity. This is where retractable roofs come in. With the ability to easily open and close the shade, they are a great way to cover an area easily and quickly. For smaller spaces or courtyards, folding arm shades are also a great option.

For cafes, restaurants and stores with a strong outdoor presence, a shade umbrella is an attractive and affordable solution to protect customers from the elements. Available in a wide range of style and sizes and made from heavy duty materials, they are perfect for any outdoor space. Lightweight and easy-to-operate, an outdoor umbrella is great for spaces where you may want to pick and choose when the umbrella is up and when to pack it away.

Shade sails and covers
Whether it’s for a carpark or walkway, shade for your staff and their belongings is a part of your duty of care. Offering the perfect combination of premium sun protection together with strength and durability, shade sails can be used in many applications to protect from the elements.

Don’t forget about your outdoor space! Make the most of it with the right shade structure. Instaco can help with their shades and umbrellas, so take a look today.

What to consider when choosing a marquee?

What to consider when choosing a marquee

Marquees can make an effective tool for a wide range of organisations. They can not only provide shade from the elements, but also offer a space for advertising or sending a particular message, as well as designating an area for your business and define a meeting space at outdoor events, to name just a few scenarios. However, before you go and buy the first marquee you can find, it is important to know what to look for.

If you are considering buying a marquee, take a look at these tips:

Size and style
Marquees come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to find the right fit for your needs. The first step is to measure the size of the area where the marquee will be used. Next, you need to find the right style for your needs. What is the purpose of the marquee? Do you want something easy to set up? Is your priority the branding on the marquee? What kind of shape do you need?

Marquees are more than a shade cover – they can help spread a message or advertise your brand. Take advantage of this with quality printed pieces. Check if the company you are looking at offers more than one colour, if they use screen printing or digital (or both!), whether they can print multiple areas and what kind of quality printing they can offer.

Canopy material
There are a handful of common marquee materials available with varying degrees of quality and different price tags, comprising of polyester, Acrylic Canvas and PVC. Polyester is the cheapest but also the lowest quality and should typically be avoided unless it has been solution-dyed. PVC is very strong, 100% waterproof and durable but also costs more. Similarly Acrylic Canvas that has been solution dyed is very long lasting and durable. A mid-range material is Polyester that has been solution-dyed. It sits between cheap polyester and PVC in regards to quality and cost and is the most popular choice for a wide range of applications, ensuring it can stand up to UV damage.

Frame features
Quality marquees will come with a quality foundation. The frame’s poles should feature a large diameter and be made from a strong material, like steel or aluminium, to ensure it stands up to the elements. It can also help to have adjustable legs to accommodate different heights and feet with peg holes to keep the marquee stable.

Accessories and extras
A good marquee provider will also have various accessories included so you get the full package with your marquee. Some standard extras include a storage bag, ropes and pegs. Other items, such as marquee walls, spare parts and special attachments usually come at an extra cost.

Looking for a company that ticks all the boxes? Talk to the experts at Instaco for all your marquee needs or take a look at our marquee range here.

Top 4 Reasons to Invest in Patio Umbrellas

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A patio umbrella is a great investment. The fixture is not just a shade for your outdoor living space, but can also control the lighting levels, increase the value of your property, offer sun protection and much more.

Below are the top four reasons why you should invest in a patio umbrella:

1.     Added property value
Patio umbrellas may just seem like a simple add-on. However, this extension can make your house more marketable in the real estate market. There are buyers who might be interested in a covered outdoor space. They might consider converting the space into a garden or a working area, making a patio shade is appealing.

There are also buyers who are judging the exterior of the house. The aesthetic of the property is often a large factor when it comes to making a purchase. An attractive outdoor living space can help you attract investors or property buyers. A patio umbrella might just be the nudge they need to close the deal.

2.     Increased use
There is a chance your patio sees little use certain periods of the year. A patio umbrella can make it a more enjoyable, “all-seasons” space.

The covering fixture acts as a temporary roof.  There are a huge number of options you can do with the covered area. The umbrella can act as a shade from the sun in summer, cover from light rain in spring and a shield from the cold in winter.

3.     Better lighting and temperature
Reading, playing or doing anything outdoors can be hard on due to the bright Aussie sun. It’s also hard to relax in a bright area, especially when it is the middle of a blazing summer.

A patio umbrella can fix this dilemma by providing UV protection over your outdoor living space. This helps to adjust the light entering the area. By blocking the UV rays, you can also keep your patio at a more comfortable temperature.

4.     Protecting your patio timber planks and furniture
Many homeowners have wooden patios. Although they are resistant to some sun exposure, they are still vulnerable to water and can fade from the harsh sun. By using a patio umbrella, you can protect your patio against the rain and sun at all times. The UV protection also allows you to place sun sensitive furniture to your outdoor living space.

Patio umbrellas are a great addition to your outdoor living space. Invest in a patio umbrella right now at Instaco by calling (07) 3277 7749.

Tips for choosing the right place for your cafe

One of the key factors in making your café a success is its location. This can determine the number of visitors your coffee shop will receive and can also affect your monthly expenses, such as rent and energy bills.

Below are some tips to help you choose the right place for your café:

Check the foot traffic
Everyone loves a good coffee. However, many of us go to cafés which are easy to get to on a typical day. Coffee shops in locations with less foot traffic are also less likely to be visited by potential customers.

To find a place with large amount of foot traffic, look for areas with nearby offices, schools, hospitals and transportation terminals. List down these locations and visit them. Once you’re there, have a notebook ready and list down the averahe number of people entering food establishments. The numbers you will get from doing this can give you a clear indicator as to which location can give you the most potential customers.

Available parking space
For food establishments, locations with parking space are pure gold. Nearly half of your potential customers come from the road. Without an appropriate space to accommodate their vehicle, you might have less than the expected visitor count to your café.

A location which provides a parking area for your café is a must for most establishments. Consider looking for nearby establishments with available spaces to accommodate a customer’s vehicle. This includes shopping centres and public garages.

Outdoor area
One important aspect of your coffee shop is an open area. As mentioned above, cafes are social establishments. For some of your potential customers, they often want to enjoy their drinks while out in the open. An open area helps you attract more customers to your café.

When judging the open area of a possible location, consider also the different shaded structures you can install, such as outdoor umbrellas. Adding some shade to the outdoor area keeps your customers comfortable.

Leasing fees and café size
Some coffee shops make the mistake of choosing a location with a high lease and a small area. Even if the place has high foot traffic, the establishment is limited in accommodating more customers due to the space. This often results in a costly renovation to add more space or in relocating the café.

Always determine if the cost of the leased space is justified with the size of the area. You can easily determine this by calculating the expected income from the number of customers you can serve. If you can’t cover the monthly lease with the expected income, negotiate a new term with the land owner or find a new location.

Choosing the right location for your café with the tips above can take more time than you might expect. However, finding the right spot ensures your coffee shop will thrive for many years to come.

If you need durable and attractive shade structure for your cafe, Instaco has you covered. Call (07) 3277 7749 to have a representative assist you today.

Louvre Shutters versus Curtains?

Installing louvre shutters is a great alternative to traditional curtains. The blinds offer an ingenious design that can be used in the home or office, coming in a variety of materials, including timber.

Below are 10 advantages of installing louvre shutters:

1.     Easy to adjust
Curtains are not as easy to adjust as louvre shutters. Imagine the former as an on/off switch and the latter as a control knob. Curtains can only be pushed to the side or rolled upwards or downwards to allow light in.

On the other hand, louvres can be adjusted to allow a certain amount of light in. This gives you more control over the brightness of a room. This can help you adjust the amount of natural light entering the room.

2.     Cheaper to replace
Louvre shutters are composed of individual slats. Should any individual slats crack or break, you can easily replace it with a new one. This is a cheaper alternative than having to replace an entire curtain if it gets damaged.

3.     Variety of materials
Louvre shutters can be fitted with different types of materials. This makes them more versatile. Some common options are timber or aluminium.

4.     Easy to maintain
Slatted shutters are easier to clean than curtains. Curtain sheets are notorious for attracting dust. Removing dirt or stains can take a lot of effort. Neglecting to clean them might leave irreversible marks or damage on the curtains.

Louvre shutters simply require you to wipe the surface with a duster and a wet cloth. Should any of the slats get stained or marked, you can simply scrub the area with a more heavy duty cleaner to remove it. If you can’t remove it, you can easily replace the damaged slat with a new one instead.

5.     Better privacy control
As mentioned previously, you have more options on how much light you can let in with louvre shutters than curtains. Since you are able to adjust the slats to a certain angle, you can decrease the visibility of the room from outside. This function allows you to maintain the privacy of your house without blocking out the light.

6.     Unaffected by strong winds
For some people, the rapid sway of a curtain from strong winds can be annoying. This scenario is not only distracting, it can also be damaging. Heavy curtains can bump into objects as wind blows them about and cause them to fall and break. Louvre shutters are unaffected by strong winds. Therefore, they will not annoy you or break any of your expensive items.

7.     Additional security measure
There is nothing more important to home owners and their family than everyone’s safety. Louvre shutters can guarantee this by providing additional protection on your windows. The added security can prevent criminals from attempting to break into your home.

8.     Longer lifespan
The materials used in louvre shutters have a longer lifespan than most fabrics used for curtains. Your windows are constantly exposed to the elements. Unlike fabrics, aluminium and timber slats can withstand extreme temperatures, as well as physical damage.

Uniform look
Louvre shutters have a uniform and organised look in comparison to curtains. This makes them suitable for both residential and commercial properties and means they will match seamlessly with current décor.

10.  Customizable upon installation
There is always the risk of buying curtains which are the wrong size. Louvre shutters don’t come with this risk. You simply pick a framing option with the right size for your window. With the correct frame chosen, it is just a matter of attaching the slats to the shutter.

Interested in getting louvres for your home or office? Get in touch with Instaco on (07) 3277 7749 to talk to a representative today.

Best Tips in Creating Your Own Playground in your backyard

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Playgrounds are a great option for keeping your child active and engaged with the world. Being able to play outside can promote an active lifestyle which they can carry with them as they grow up. However, there are certain hazards within a yard which can also be a danger to your children and it is important to keep the space safe and fun for everyone.

Below are some tips to consider in creating an enjoyable and safe playground in your backyard:

No bugs in the box
Ants and other small bugs can put a damper your child’s time in their sandbox. Most parents use repellent products to prevent their kids from getting bitten. However, this solution often doesn’t work and can irritate skin.

Sprinkling a handful of cinnamon in the sand box is a natural way of preventing bugs. As an added bonus, you can also make their sandbox smell like apple pie!

The right materials
Many homeownerspick timber over plastic when creating their own backyard playground. This is often due to the natural aesthetic of timber instead of the commercial, cheaper look of plastic play sets. Here are a few things to consider if you are using wood for your children’s playground:

  1. Keep the wood from touching soil. It should be elevated via a metal bracket or other inorganic building material. Wood buried within the soil it can get wet, making it a target for termites.
  2. Add a coat of waterproof resin to the wood. This improves the lifespan of the timber materials despite its constant exposure to the elements. 
  3. Treat any minor cracks as soon as possible. Cracks or any type of hole can hold moisture, which can damage the material over time.
  4. If you do choose plastic, make sure it stays clean and free from abrasions. Regularly check for damage.

The importance of padding
There is always a chance a child might trip or fall while playing. This usually results in just a few scratches or cuts but in the worst case scenario, your child could have a sprain or major injury. You can prevent this by adding some shock absorbing materials within the play area. Some examples of this are rubber or wood mulch. Instaco provide safety pads and padded bollards to professional sportsteams and local sporting groups, often custom fitting safety padding around sporting equipment and obstacles.

Provide some cover
A hot sunny day can discourage your children from spending time in their playground. The heat can dehydrate and the sun can burn, making it uncomfortable and possibly damaging to your child.

Always consider adding some kind of shade when you are creating a playground for your children, such as a portable canopy shade or permanent shade sail structure. Canopy covers on portable marquees are lightweight and versatile, which allows you to relocate it to a different location with ease. There are a large number of available fabrics and design styles for a more permanent canopy, coming in different materials including mesh, Clear films and Ultra long life PVC to make the shade blend with your playground design.

Use the tips above to make sure your playground is safe for your children without ruining the fun!

If you are looking for shading with optimised UV protection and a stylish design, consider Instaco. Visit their website or call (07) 3277 7749 to have a representative help you complete your backyard playground with the proper shading.

Instaco sell and hire marquees as well as selling outdoor umbrellas, shade sails and patio covers