pergola ideas

31 Best Pergola Ideas to Improve Your Outdoor Space

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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A pergola, formerly known as a patio roof, offers protection from the sun, rain, and wind while also expanding the seating area of your house. Pergolas are large architectural structures made up of rafters, beams, and posts that may be joined to or separated from home. Keep reading to find some of the best pergola ideas for your space.

Although the words gazebo, arbor and pergola are sometimes interchanged, an arbor is a structure used to support vines or guide foot movement inside a garden. There is a pergola design for you, whether you want an island retreat in your backyard or a simple area to enjoy a glass and a moment of calmness.

1. Extending the Porch

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A pergola adds architectural beauty to your deck or patio space while providing much-needed shade. This all-black variant looks fantastic with the wooden porch and provides the sense of a much bigger outside space. The appearance is completed with a modest seat and a hanging swing affixed to one of the beams.

2. Pergola with Curtains

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Billowing drapes suspended from tension rods connected to the pergola's beams create an amazing bohemian vibe. You may draw curtains back to let air and light in or draw them open for romance in private. The room is enhanced with string lights, potted plants, and wooden patio seats.

3. Waterfall Statement

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This setup explains how to mix the two for a spectacular impact. The waterfall design complements the tropical-style landscaping while providing multi-sensory advantages to the location. It's an excellent method to protect casual chairs while complementing the elegant stone and steel beneath the foot.

A customized style like this isn't for the faint of heart, but the startling impression it creates will be well worth the investment. If the lush ferns and other architectural foliage have piqued your attention, check out our tropical garden ideas section for additional inspiration.

4. Supersized Pergola

Image Source: Future PLC/Colin Poole

If you like entertaining family and friends and have a big patio area, pergola designs might be the perfect finishing touch. An attractive building like this defines the zone, and despite its scale, the light-toned wood and airy height prevent it from appearing oppressive.

Hanging fern baskets soften the effect even further, adding some much-needed green to the ceiling. Pergolas are also useful for placing a pendant light or two over your outdoor dining table after darkness falls to keep the atmosphere softly lit.

5. Shaded and Sunken Space

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If you're going to include climbing plants into your pergola design, look for fragrant kinds for an added touch of luxury. Take, for example, this gorgeous design. It is made up of aromatic white star jasmine plants that are interwoven over a structure built of recycled wood and scaffolding poles.

Additional vegetation adds an old-world, almost untamed character to the area, but cool gray hardscaping maintains the tone modern. Sinking the zone below the rest of your plot will also help to define the zone's limits and make it seem more secluded.

6. Greenhouse Pergola

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The family library is brought outdoors in this location. The pergola's sides and arched canopy are inspired by the greenhouse design. The orange cushions complement the pergola's wood, throw pillows, and curtains, while the red tomato pillow complements the hue of some of the books. The white pavers with the grass strips around them offer texture and design.

7. Hanging Chair

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The slimline pergola brings this sitting arrangement together well. Its black color complements the on-trend tiles and pared-back fence panels surrounding, creating a dramatic focal point. It also serves as a solid base for this season's must-have sitting option, the hanging egg chair.

Modern garden designs should usually include statement furniture and vibrant color palettes, as this example demonstrates.

8. Thatched Roof

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The dining section of this pergola is shaded by a thatched roof; however, rather than slats, the thatch is supported by wires. The wires continue beyond the thatch to support vines that climb the pergola's front columns, transforming it into a trellis. The cheery orchard motif is continued with bright lemon and lime-colored accents.

9. Climbing Plants

When covered with clambering climbers, Pergolas may be a lovely addition to garden walkway ideas. Wisteria, roses, or aromatic clematis may be used to recreate the appearance.

It's impossible not to feel happy when strolling under a canopy of fragrant flowers and thick foliage. More choices may be found in our list of the greatest climbing plants.

10. Moonlight Parkside Pergola

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This sleek, modern black pergola will illuminate the pathway from your driveway to your home. Fix lights to the slats and place a transparent cover between them to keep the rain out. As visitors enter your property, lighting fixtures in the planter and on the posts flanking the driveway greet them with extra light.

11. Painting

Image Source: Fiona Walker Arnott

By painting a pergola, you can make it work for your design. A pastel color scheme, such as the one seen above, brightens the area and gives a garden a summertime atmosphere. The outcome will seem modern and lively when combined with slick pavement and trendy furnishings. If you want a gentler atmosphere, use some cottage garden ideas.

12. Pergola With Daybed

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This pergola provides the necessary cover for sleeping outdoors at any time of day or night. Shade is provided by a thatched roof, and airy white tiebacks may be lowered for seclusion. Turn on the LED lights wrapped around the side and cross support at the front of the pergola to create a lovely spot to enjoy the night.

13. Bold Color Scheme

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A dramatic complement to any outdoor environment, black, charcoal, or deep gray is ideal if you want an industrial edge. Pairing it with neutral accessories is a certain way to produce a modest but elegant feel if you go this route.

If you want something a little more whimsical, pair the inky tone with a bright yellow color. The use of warm patterned fabrics in a sunshine-like tone in this scenario above contrasts well with the black. Hanging baskets and festoon lights are a lovely way to finish the design.

14. Botanical Pergola

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A pergola that stretches the whole length of a sunny walkway might provide shade. Flowering plants in planters fixed between supports span the path above, bringing beauty, scent, and shade. The sides of the walkway are shaded by hanging baskets, tiny trees, and plants in tall pots.

15. Metal Pergola

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As this great metal design demonstrates, wood is far from the only material that can be used to construct a beautiful pergola. Fiberglass, vinyl, and even galvanized metal are all cheaper alternatives to wood. Metal has the advantage of having a distinct yard feature as well as a higher possibility of having a long lifetime.

16. Bar Pergola

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Create an outdoor bar for your guests if you're entertaining outside in the summer. A natural effect is created by using rough stone pieces of varying sizes and hues, with a marble countertop providing contrast. The pergola awning is attached to the home, and the bar is constructed around it. Seating should be casual stools.

17. Urban Pergola Roof

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With its slats and cloth spread between its supports, this rooftop pergola shaded a seat and linked to a planter's sides. Small plants grow in the planter while vines climb the supports. The surrounding space includes other plants, a water feature, and a meditation place.

18. Garden Gazebo

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The light-colored wood on this gazebo-style pergola and the furniture underneath it has been simply varnished, allowing the natural wood color to catch the light and make a striking emphasis against the hedge. The front and rear arches of the pergola define the area, while vivid flowers in urn planters round off the sun-drenched aesthetic.

19. Stylish Dining Area

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Do you think it's good to eat outside but don't want your food to be entirely exposed to the elements? Protect food – and visitors – with a pergola.

Your new dining room will seem snug and personal with the addition of string lights and a candle or two - ideal for an exquisite dinner party with friends.

20. Rustic Pergola

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This pergola evokes an English rural manor's sitting room. The roof is supported by Grecian columns. At one end of the room, a massive stone fireplace roars. Dark stone pavers swirl in interrupted circles and two dark wicker chairs sit in formal balance on the other side of the coffee table from a dark wicker sofa.

21. Corner Pergola with Lamps

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This pergola supports your garden by giving vertical space for staggered planters at each end of the bench. The bright pillows strewn across the white cushioned seat and back of the bench reflect the colors of the garden flowers, adding to the nook's joyful appearance.

22. Pagoda Style

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This inviting pergola has all you need in an outdoor sitting space to spend a crisp autumn night in the northeast. Warm shawls are stretched over upholstered chairs. A fire pit is built into the coffee table. In the backdrop, a stone fireplace burns, and a dinette table and outdoor kitchen are set to serve a substantial supper.

23. Polynesian Bliss

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You can relax and observe your poolside dominion from the regal white seating in this pergola. The residents are shielded from the sun by white cloth canopies stretched along the roof and slatted sides.

One table has alcoholic beverages on hand, while another has a beautiful white lantern for the night. A pole lamp bows, implying a cooling fan-wielding attendant.

24. String Lights

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Lantern-style string lights with vibrant multicolored bulbs will brighten your next summer gathering. Run a metal tension wire around the pergola's beams and fasten it with screws to get the garden party started.

Then, using cable ties, secure the wire to the individual lamps. Plug the lights into a nearby outdoor outlet, and you've got yourself some fun lit up.

25. Grilling Outdoor Space

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This pergola evokes an Asian palace, complete with the grill in its appropriate place on the patio's dais, where the throne would be. It's an appropriate environment for devoted followers to gaze in wonder at the king or queen of the grill's regal deeds and savor the rich royal wealth.

26. Outdoor Spa

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Have you ever wanted to include hot tub ideas in your garden or outdoor living space? A combination of the pergola and hot tub, like this covered hideaway, is a lovely addition to a room, whether you're all about giddy, music-filled garden parties with your pals or a glass of bubbly with your significant other.

27. Thatching Pergola Cover

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Sitting under this pergola will make you feel like you're already in Tahiti or Polynesia if that's where you want to be. Thatch is used for covering the pergola's arching roof.

The open wicker furniture contributes to the island vibe, but tropical plants like potted palms, bird of paradise, orchids, or plumeria are added to complete the look.

28. In Full Swing

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Suspend a porch swing from your pergola for a whimsical look. Get a porch swing with a heavy-duty metal suspension chain, tie the chain to the pergola's beams, and then relax, read, snooze, or ride. Hanging flowering plants on each side of the swing adds to the cheerfulness of the scene.

29. A Walk in the Woods

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The construction of this one-of-a-kind pergola includes a living tree. Additionally, the tree's trunk and one limb appear to break through the stone wall as it is erected around it.

The pergola's roof is supported by the trunk and other branches. The right touches include a wood plank table, tree stump stools, stoneware place settings, and wildflowers.

30. Mediterranean Screen Style Pergola

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The lovely designs of the screens on this pergola create the perfect backdrop if your home's architecture has an Old World Mediterranean influence or if you want to add that warm, romantic appeal. They add pattern, texture, privacy, and an interesting interplay of light and shadow without adding any additional color.

31. Wooden Pergola Setting

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The picnic area is shaded by this pergola, which has broad open sides that allow a panoramic perspective. The style of the porch pergola is reflected in this detached wooden pergola.

The picnic tables, chairs, and flooring in the picnic area and the seating in the porch area have a natural aesthetic that binds the spaces together. Picnickers are free to come and go due to the openness.

Things to Consider When Picking The Best Pergola Ideas for Outdoor Living Space

Consider the following before launching a pergola project:

  • Orientation: which is either north, south, east or west.

  • Material: Hardwood, plywood, metals, prefabricated materials, cloth, and glass are some examples.

  • Budget: Labor and materials will be the two most major expenditures. If you have a restricted budget, DIY abilities will come in handy.

  • Building Regulations: A building inspector or planning commissioner must approve most outside buildings. Setbacks and height limitations should be governed by your local government authorities.

How to Anchor Pergola’sPergola

We recommend using Postcrete to secure the posts into the ground to produce a solid pergola. Depending on ground conditions, post holes should be 300mm [about 12in] broad and 700mm [27.5in] deep, with 2–3 bags of Postcrete poured in,' he says.

All pergola posts must be positioned upright and in line at all times as the installation progresses, or the pergola will not be structurally solid. To assure total precision, a reliable spirit level must be used throughout the procedure. Following a pergola construction guide will teach you how to do it yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Pergola Ideas

1. What is the proper height for a pergola?

To provide enough headspace, a pergola's minimum height should be no less than two meters [6.5 feet]; however, some pergolas may be taller.

When considering the height of your pergola, confirm any site-specific important specifications prior to building. Remember that the higher the pergola, the more unstable it will become and the more difficult it will be to maint

2. Where should the pergola be facing?

Consider facing open-roofed pergolas so that they intercept the sunlight before it reaches your dining area for the optimum shadow covering for most of the day.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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