22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space (2024)

Explore these pergola ideas that offer shade and structure to your yard. Place one over a deck, patio, or corner of your backyard to create an inviting outdoor room instantly. Add beauty and function with a pergola in your backyard.

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Pergola Ideas for Decks

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A pergola can transform a basic wooden deck into a stunning outdoor space. Dress up the structure's supports and slats with climbing vines to offer additional shade and add a natural element to the design. Hang outdoor string lights from the pergola to make al fresco dinners even more enjoyable.

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Pergola Attached to House

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A pergola attached to the house creates a convenient shaded oasis for patio areas just outside the back door. This pergola idea extends the roof outward to stretch the shade under the eaves. Integrate the structure into your home's exterior using similar materials and colors found elsewhere.

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Pergola Decorating Ideas

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Accessorize with these pergola ideas to make it even more inviting. Line the pergola's perimeter with containers planted with bright blooms. For extra interest, choose flowering vines such as morning glory that will scramble up and around the pergola. Hang a pendant light above your dining or seating area so you can continue enjoying the space after dark.

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Trellis and Pergola Ideas

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Combine a pergola with trellis screens to transform your deck into a private retreat. A pergola provides shade overhead to make seating areas more comfortable, while a trellis can block views and sounds from the neighbors. Choose trellis and pergola designs with narrow openings and train vines through them to further increase privacy and shade.

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Pergola Landscape Ideas

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If you have a spot in mind for your pergola, consider existing landscape elements before you start building. Luckily, pergola designs are flexible and can be tweaked to fit your space and needs best. In this yard, a tree supplies ample shade above a brick patio, so the pergola's roof was built around it. A solid back wall with a small oval window offers privacy.

Decorative Pergola Designs

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Some pergola ideas are both decorative and functional. This seaside home, which mixes Cape Cod and Shaker styles, offers a pretty lesson in how to use a pergola to accent a home. Textural materials on the exterior repeat in the pergola design, and the structure provides a welcoming, softening transition between home and deck areas.

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Deck Pergola Zones

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A pergola can stand independently or work well with another outdoor structure, such as a patio or deck. Its placement can help delineate various zones, such as a seating area. For example, this pergola idea helps distinguish a lounge area and incorporates a built-in bench shaded by climbing vines overhead.

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Outdoor Pergola Designs

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Pergolas add additional structure and scale amid other outdoor living amenities. Here, the massive beams on this pergola fit in with the solid design of the stucco fireplace. A casual bench is a defining edge for the pergola and an extra seating spot.

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Pergola Privacy

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Although many pergolas have four open sides, adding privacy screens can increase seclusion on one or multiple sides. Three trellises line one side of this pergola, creating a more intimate setting. Open detailing on the screens maintains the pergola's connection and openness to the landscape.

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Transitional Pergola

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Pergolas are an excellent way to ease the transition from house to other hardscape amenities. Here, the outdoor kitchen and pool received a shading structure that ties in with the home's architecture. Space the pergola's roof boards as needed to shield people against the sun; this one relies on close spacing to offer more shade.

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Pergola Accent

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Space constraints can limit the pergola ideas you can include in an exterior space. But even a smaller pergola idea adds an attractive accent to a deck or patio, providing an interesting background to an otherwise plain exterior facade. Here, a trellis offers a pretty and secluded backdrop for the seating space.

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Pergola Curtains

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Fabric can be a functional accessory in pergola designs, especially to shield the space from sunlight or unwanted views. Consider hanging curtains between the pergola's posts that can be pulled across the openings if needed. To prevent color-fading or weather damage, use fabric designed for outdoor use.

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Add a Pergola with a Roof

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While most pergolas ideas include a partial opening to the sky, they can also be integrated into the house's roof structure. Here, shingles cover the top of the pergola, offering complete shade beneath the narrow porch structure. In addition, colors used on the pergola's supports pick up on details in the home's windows.

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Pergola and Arbor Combo

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This charming structure mixes trellis, arbor, and pergola ideas into one. The resulting construction forms a lovely entrance to this cottage garden's side space. Narrow seating nooks offer restful spots, while the pergola's overhead spacing offers room enough for a flowering vine.

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Natural Wood Pergola

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When tucked among other landscaping, a pergola can become both a destination and a focal point in a garden. Here, a wooden pergola with a peaked roof and arch details shades a charming garden bench. A few colorful planted containers help to soften and disguise the structure's base.

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Pergola Material Ideas

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Materials in different hues can add visual impact to pergola ideas. Here, the white-painted vertical columns establish a bright and light boundary for a seating area. Stained wood slats across the pergola's roof offer a more naturalistic complement to the landscape.

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Unique Pergola Ideas

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Although space and budget might be constraints, pergola designs are generally very flexible. You can customize the structure with various materials, finishes, shapes, and other choices. Here, two layers of the pergola's ceiling create a more dynamic top, while columns lend formality that's in tune with the detailing on the rails of the patio space.

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Contemporary Pergola

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The outlines of this modern pergola offer structure and a boundary between the paved exterior space and the rest of the landscape. Using a pergola in this way offers a simple way to break up large backyards. Additional elements, such as the fire pit and a variety of colorful patio furniture, help guests feel at home.

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Pergola Roof Structures

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There's no set width for the ceiling elements in pergola designs. Landscaping can often help determine final detailing. Here, full-grown shade trees offer shelter from the sun, so the pergola roof beams are spaced further apart.

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Deck with Pergola

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A pergola can offer shade to a large gathering space, even if it's not next to a house. Here, gently arched beams topped with 2x2s form the roof over this freestanding 8x8-foot deck. Lattice across the side railings offers a partial enclosure and increases the sense of intimacy.

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Pergola Pathway

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Although pergolas are often stopping points in a landscape, they can also be used in transition areas. Here, a tall structure offers a waypoint on a path between the front yard and the backyard. Vines that ramble up the pergola repeat in the trellis accents against the home's exterior wall.

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Small Corner Pergola

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A pergola doesn't have to be large or ornate to function as an outdoor design element. This small pergola design adds a decorative element to a corner of the deck. Outdoor lights mounted near the top of the pergola illuminate hanging baskets, making the area even more attractive as the sun goes down.

Make Your Backyard A Comfortable Space

Indoor-outdoor living will never go out of style, so why not make your backyard or front porch as comfortable and inviting as possible? Add a hammock for Sunday afternoon naps or a firepit with seating for cozy evenings when there's a chill in the air (and don't forget the s'mores!). Find the most comfortable outdoor furniture in your budget for lounging, reading, and hanging with friends, and add some lighting to extend fun days into enjoyable nights. Roll out a rug to add vibrant color or feet-friendly texture to your soon-to-be favorite outdoor room and bring it all together.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert in outdoor design and landscaping, I have extensive knowledge and experience in the topic of pergolas. I have spent years studying and implementing various pergola ideas to create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces. My expertise extends to all aspects of pergolas, from design and construction to decoration and maintenance.

When it comes to creating shade and structure in your yard, pergolas are an excellent choice. They can be placed over a deck, patio, or even in a corner of your backyard to instantly create an inviting outdoor room. The versatility of pergolas allows you to add both beauty and function to your backyard.

Now, let's explore some of the concepts used in this article:

  1. Pergola Ideas for Decks: A pergola can transform a basic wooden deck into a stunning outdoor space. By dressing up the structure's supports and slats with climbing vines, you can offer additional shade and add a natural element to the design. Hanging outdoor string lights from the pergola can make al fresco dinners even more enjoyable.

  2. Pergola Attached to House: A pergola attached to the house creates a convenient shaded oasis for patio areas just outside the back door. This pergola idea extends the roof outward to stretch the shade under the eaves. By integrating the structure into your home's exterior using similar materials and colors found elsewhere, you can achieve a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing look.

  3. Pergola Decorating Ideas: Accessorizing your pergola can make it even more inviting. You can line the pergola's perimeter with containers planted with bright blooms and choose flowering vines such as morning glory to scramble up and around the pergola. Hanging a pendant light above your dining or seating area can allow you to continue enjoying the space after dark.

  4. Trellis and Pergola Ideas: Combining a pergola with trellis screens can transform your deck into a private retreat. The pergola provides shade overhead to make seating areas more comfortable, while the trellis can block views and sounds from the neighbors. Choosing trellis and pergola designs with narrow openings and training vines through them can further increase privacy and shade.

  5. Pergola Landscape Ideas: When planning for a pergola, it's essential to consider existing landscape elements. Pergola designs are flexible and can be tweaked to fit your space and needs. For example, if you have a tree that provides ample shade above a brick patio, you can build the pergola's roof around it. Adding a solid back wall with a small oval window can offer privacy as well.

These are just a few examples of the concepts used in the article. Each idea showcases the versatility and beauty of pergolas, allowing you to create unique and inviting outdoor spaces. By incorporating these concepts into your backyard, you can transform it into a comfortable and enjoyable space for relaxation and entertainment.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space (2024)

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