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9 Delightful Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

9 Delightful Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

A great source of shade and structure, pergolas also bring beauty and function to a yard. When placed over a patio, deck or in a corner of the backyard, they instantly create an appealing outdoor room. Use these ideas to find the right design for your space.

1. On the Deck

A pergola is one way to bring dramatic change to a basic wooden deck, the results of which can be stunning. Consider using climbing vines to beautify the structure’s supports and overhead slats — not only will they provide additional shade, they’ll add a natural touch to the design. For ambiance during outdoor dinners or gatherings, consider hanging outdoor string lights from the structure.

2. Attached to the House

If your patio area is located right outside the back door, then a pergola attached to the house might be a good option for you. The pergola serves as a convenient shaded refuge, as it extends the roof outward and stretches the shade under the eaves. The structure can easily be integrated into your home’s exterior by constructing it out of similar materials and sticking with colors used elsewhere in the landscape.

3. Trellis and Pergola Combo

Put trellis screens to work in tandem with your pergola to transform your deck into a more private retreat. The overhead shade created by the pergola makes sitting areas more comfortable, while the trellis blocks sounds and views from neighbors. To further increase privacy and shade coverage, choose pergola and trellis designs with narrow openings and feed climbing vines through them. As the vines grow and begin to fill in the spaces, your private haven will get more and more secluded.

4. Create Zones on Your Deck or Patio

Pergolas can stand alone or they can work with other outdoor structures, like patios and decks. One effective way to use a pergola in these situations is to place it in a way to help separate or define various zones, like a seating or dining area.

5. Making Pergolas More Private

Although most pergolas are open on all four sides, adding privacy screens can help bring seclusion to one or multiple sides. If you’d like your pergola to maintain a connection and openness to the surrounding landscape, consider screens with open detailing.

6. Use It as a Transition

Pergolas make a great transitional element to ease the passage from the house to other hardscape resources, like a deck or pool. It makes a great shading structure that ties in with the home’s architecture. Be sure to consider the spacing of your pergola’s roof boards when determining how much shielding you’ll need from the sun.

Another way to use a pergola as a transitional piece is out in the landscape. While pergolas are often stopping points in garden settings, the structure can also be used to offer a waypoint on a path, like punctuating the way between the front and back yard.

7. Pergolas and Curtains

Adding fabric to a pergola can be a very useful design element, especially when protecting the area from sunlight or unwanted attention. A good idea is to hang curtains between the pergola’s posts so that they can be pulled open or closed as needed. You’ll want to choose a fabric that resists fading and weather damage, so be sure to find one designed for outdoor use.

8. Give Your Pergola a Solid Roof

While the majority of pergolas are structured to be somewhat open to the sky, there’s no hard rule about integrating it into the roof of your home. You can even cover the top of the pergola in shingles to maximize shade. Integrate it further through color choices — use similar hues for the pergola as those in your home’s exterior.

9. Wood Pergola for the Garden

When incorporated into other landscaping, a pergola becomes a focal point in the garden as well as a destination. A natural wood pergola with a stunning peaked roof and arch is a charming home for a garden bench. Add a few bright planters to help soften and disguise the structure’s base among the surrounding vegetation.

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