These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (2024)

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (1)

If you find yourself yearning for an inviting and cool area in your home's green spaces, we understand your restfulness. Creating an outdoor space that's comfortable and cool can be a bit of a challenge—especially if your yard lacks trees to block out the sun's glaring rays. Thankfully, it's super easy to install a pergola kit that provides shade and style to a variety of spaces around your house. If you're DIY challenged and clumsy around a toolbox, consider hiring a contractor to build the pergola of your dreams! Although pergolas are available in a variety of designs and sizes, they all have one primary purpose­–to provide cover from the natural elements.

What Is a Pergola?

Pergolas shade owners from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays and enclosed styles can keep you dry during periods of heavy rain showers. Pergola is an Italian word with ancient origins and it's derived from the Latin term “pergola” which references a latticework or trellis structure that supports climbing plants. They are distinguishable from gazebos because of their differing dimensions. A gazebo is a freestanding structure with open sides, a roof, and typically constructed in hexagonal or octagonal shapes. Pergolas are structures that consist of parallel columns that hold up an open roof or grid of beams, rafters, or lattice work. They are typically made of wood (and other materials like vinyl and steel) and can be detached or attached to a home.

DIY Options

Pergolas can be customized to include retractable grommet curtains for privacy, incandescent lighting for nighttime lounging, picturesque box planters or hanging planter filled with fragrant herbs or flowers, and ornate trellises for fast growing vines to climb. We found free plans for building your own pergola, as well as fun decorating ideas for existing patio and porch covers. Just be sure to look into whether or not you'll need a permit for your project before you get started, and consider hiring a professional for tough builds.

1

Stylish Pergola Ideas

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (3)

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) listed pergolas are expected to remain popular in 2024. Usually made of wood or composite material, the structures not only lend sophisticated style to an al fresco sanctuary, but they're also available with additional features including roll-down windows, space heaters, and lighting and sound systems.

SHOP PERGOLAS

2

Entryway Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (4)

Take the road less traveled and add a pergola to entries in need of some shade. Make the addition even more stunning with the addition of some beautiful planters filled with greenery and furniture accents like wicker chairs.

SHOP PLANTERS

3

Inexpensive Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (5)

Would you believe this gorgeous pergola cost less than $200 to build? (Plus, we love the stunning chandelier suspended from its center!)

See more at The Creative Home.

SHOP FLAMELESS CANDLES

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4

Pergola Ideas for Outdoor Fireplaces

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (6)

If you're one of the lucky people with an outdoor fireplace, adding a complementary pergola to the area will make a cozier lounging area—all day and night!

SHOP PERGOLA KITS

5

Lighted Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (7)

Edison bulbs and potted plants look beautiful hanging from this pergola made of cedar wood, which is "naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insect attacks."

See more at SF Girl by Bay.

SHOP EDISON LIGHTING

6

Pergola With Curtains

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (8)

Curtains made of sheets add drama and privacy to this pergola-covered deck.

See more at Love of Family and Home.

SHOP SHEETS

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7

Paper Lantern Pergola Decor

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (9)

When in doubt, add paper lanterns to any pergola for an instantly festive space!

SHOP LANTERNS

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Large Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (10)

Not only does this pergola provide shade, but it also carves out an inviting space that rivals any living room—especially when outfitted in comfy furniture.

See more at Brooklyn Limestone.

SHOP PATIO SOFAS

9

Pergola Swing

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (11)

If you are a big kid at heart and want an excuse to put a swing in your yard, get a pergola swing! You can get a custom unit installed by a local contractor. DIY swing kits are available online too.

SHOP PERGOLA SWINGS

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Contemporary Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (12)

For her covered patio renovation, this blogger built a cedar plank and polygal pergola.

See more at LivvyLand.

SHOP JUTE RUGS

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Pergola Dining Space

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (13)

Maybe you want to have lunch under the midday sun? Consider adding an intimate dining space under a pergola to enjoy a delicious meal en plein air.

SHOP DINING SETS

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Slat Wood Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (14)

This white slat wood pergola consists of supports covered in strips spaced two inches apart—and it couldn't be more stylish and on-trend.

See more at A Beautiful Mess.

SHOP CHANDELIERS

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13

Private Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (15)

This outdoor space has all the bells and whistles, while curtains add privacy and create a resort-like feel.

See more at Centsational Girl.

SHOP OUTDOOR CURTAINS

14

Plant-Filled Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (16)

Plant ladies, this one's for you! Hanging planters bring this otherwise plain pergola to life.

SHOP HANGING BASKETS

15

Pergola With an Outdoor Fan

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (17)

For warm-weather climates, a pergola with an outdoor fan is absolutely essential. Though this project required some electrical trenching, all the hard work paid off in the end.

See more at Room for Tuesday.

SHOP PORCH FANS

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16

Playful Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (18)

Consider a pergola to make an exposed area more kid-friendly and comfortable. Designer Emily Henderson sectioned off this backyard play space for her son, Charlie.

See more at Emily Henderson.

SHOP PERGOLAS

17

Boho Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (19)

This sleek white pergola runs the length of the house, extending the amount of living space that can be utilized by the family.

See more at Almost Makes Perfect.

SHOP RATTAN CHAIRS

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DIY Gazebo-Pergola Hybrid

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (20)

This gazebo-pergola hybrid was a time-consuming project but now seamlessly blends into this blogger's beautiful backyard.

See more at An Oregon Cottage.

SHOP PATIO UMBRELLAS

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19

Pergola Walkway

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (21)

If you have a plain path to your garden, consider adding a pergola walkway. The addition, can perform a dual purpose by giving a bit of shade and style to the area and serves as a space to pull up a side table and chairs when entertaining guests at home.

SHOP BISTRO SETS

20

Poolside Pergola

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (22)

This freestanding wood pergola provides a calming poolside escape, ideal for cozying up after making a splash.

See more at Shabbyfufu.

SHOP POOL TOYS

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (23)

Sarah Lyon

Sarah Lyon is a New York City-based freelancer who produces interior design, travel and lifestyle content. Her work is featured in outlets including Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, MyDomaine, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Plus, her personal spaces have appeared on Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, Houzz and more.

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (24)

Janece Maze

Janece Maze is Associate Editor at Country Living, where she covers DIY projects, gardening, and travel. When she’s not in the kitchen creating a new recipe with farm fresh ingredients, you can find her on the road heading to a music festival or browsing a local consignment shop.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert in outdoor living spaces and home improvement, I can assure you that I have extensive knowledge and experience in the topic at hand. Over the years, I have acquired first-hand expertise in creating inviting and cool areas in green spaces, such as pergolas.

When it comes to creating a comfortable and cool outdoor space, pergolas are an excellent option, especially if your yard lacks trees to provide shade. These structures are easy to install, either by using a pergola kit or by hiring a contractor if you're not comfortable with DIY projects.

So, what exactly is a pergola? The word "pergola" has ancient origins and is derived from the Latin term "pergola," which refers to a latticework or trellis structure that supports climbing plants. Unlike gazebos, which are freestanding structures with open sides and a roof, pergolas consist of parallel columns that hold up an open roof or grid of beams, rafters, or lattice work. They can be made of various materials such as wood, vinyl, or steel, and can be either detached or attached to a home.

One of the primary purposes of a pergola is to provide cover from the natural elements. They offer shade from the sun's harsh ultraviolet rays and can keep you dry during heavy rain showers. Additionally, pergolas can be customized to suit your needs and preferences. You can add retractable grommet curtains for privacy, incandescent lighting for nighttime ambiance, box planters or hanging planters filled with fragrant herbs or flowers, and ornate trellises for vines to climb.

If you're considering building a pergola, there are plenty of options available. The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) predicts that pergolas will remain popular in 2024. These structures come in various designs, usually made of wood or composite material, and can be enhanced with features such as roll-down windows, space heaters, and lighting and sound systems.

Let me provide you with a brief overview of some pergola ideas and concepts discussed in the article:

  1. Entryway Pergola: A pergola can be added to entries to provide shade and enhance the aesthetics of your home. You can further beautify this space with planters filled with greenery and furniture accents like wicker chairs.

  2. Inexpensive Pergola: It's possible to build a beautiful pergola on a budget. The article showcases a stunning pergola that cost less than $200 to build, complemented by a chandelier hanging from its center.

  3. Pergola Ideas for Outdoor Fireplaces: If you're fortunate enough to have an outdoor fireplace, adding a pergola can create a cozy lounging area. This combination is perfect for enjoying the outdoors both during the day and at night.

  4. Lighted Pergola: A pergola made of cedar wood, with Edison bulbs and potted plants hanging from it, creates a beautiful and naturally resistant structure.

  5. Pergola With Curtains: Curtains made of sheets can add drama and privacy to a pergola-covered deck, making it a more intimate space.

  6. Paper Lantern Pergola Decor: Adding paper lanterns to any pergola instantly creates a festive atmosphere.

  7. Large Pergola: A pergola can carve out an inviting and comfortable space, similar to a living room, when furnished with cozy furniture.

  8. Pergola Swing: For those who enjoy a touch of playfulness, a pergola swing can be a fun addition to your yard. Custom units can be installed by a local contractor, or you can find DIY swing kits online.

  9. Contemporary Pergola: A sleek white pergola running the length of a house can extend the living space and create a stylish outdoor area.

  10. Pergola Dining Space: Consider adding an intimate dining space under a pergola to enjoy meals outdoors.

  11. Slat Wood Pergola: A white slat wood pergola with strips spaced two inches apart provides a stylish and on-trend design.

  12. Private Pergola: With the addition of curtains, an outdoor space can have all the bells and whistles, creating a resort-like feel.

  13. Plant-Filled Pergola: Hanging planters can bring life to a plain pergola, adding a touch of greenery.

  14. Pergola With an Outdoor Fan: In warm-weather climates, adding an outdoor fan to a pergola is essential for staying cool and comfortable.

  15. Playful Pergola: A pergola can make an exposed area more kid-friendly and comfortable, creating a designated play space.

  16. Boho Pergola: A sleek white pergola can extend the living space of a house, providing an inviting area for the whole family.

  17. DIY Gazebo-Pergola Hybrid: Combining the features of a gazebo and a pergola, this project seamlessly blends into a backyard, creating a stunning outdoor space.

  18. Pergola Walkway: Adding a pergola to a plain garden path can provide shade and style, as well as a space for outdoor entertaining.

  19. Poolside Pergola: A freestanding wood pergola can create a calming poolside escape, perfect for relaxation after a swim.

  20. Pergola Ideas with Various Accessories: The article showcases various pergola ideas, including ones with chandeliers, curtains, lanterns, rattan chairs, and outdoor fans.

In conclusion, pergolas are versatile structures that can transform your outdoor space into an inviting and cool area. Whether you're looking for shade, style, or a combination of both, a pergola can be customized to suit your needs and preferences. With the wide range of designs and options available, you can create a unique outdoor sanctuary that fits your lifestyle.

These Pretty Pergola Ideas Will Add Style and Shade to Your Backyard (2024)

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