22 Stunning Pergola Designs to Transform Your Outdoor Space

A pergola can transform your outdoor space into a living area with shade, privacy and comfort for relaxation and entertaining

Offering shade and structure, a pergola is a great way to add beauty and function to your yard. Place one over a deck, patio, or corner of your backyard to create an inviting outdoor room instantly. Explore these pergola ideas to help you find the best design for your backyard.

1. Pergola Ideas for Decks

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

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. Integrate the structure into your home’s exterior by using similar materials and colors found elsewhere.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

3. Pergola Decorating Ideas

Accessorize your pergola 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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

4. Trellis and Pergola Ideas

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

5. Pergola Landscape Ideas

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

6. Decorative Pergola Designs

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.


7. Create Zones with a Deck Pergola

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 design helps distinguish a lounge area and incorporates a built-in bench shaded by climbing vines overhead.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

8. Outdoor Pergola Designs

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 serves as a defining edge for the pergola and an extra seating spot.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

9. Pergola Ideas for Privacy

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space
10. Use a Pergola as a Transition

Pergolas are a good way to ease the transition from house to other hardscape amenities. Here, the pool and outdoor kitchen 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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

11. Build a Pergola Accent

Space constraints can limit the pergola ideas you can include in an exterior space. But even a smaller pergola design 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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

12. Easy Pergola Design Ideas

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

13. Add a Pergola with a Roof

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

14. Combine a Pergola and Arbor

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space
15. Try a Wood Pergola

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

16. Pergola Material Ideas

Materials in different hues can add visual impact to pergola designs. 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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

17. Unique Pergola Ideas

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

18. Contemporary Pergola

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

19. Pergola Roof Structures

There’s no set width for the ceiling elements in pergola designs. In fact, 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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

20. Deck with Pergola

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 8×8-foot deck. Lattice across the side railings offers a partial enclosure and increases the sense of intimacy.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

21. Pergola Pathway

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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

22. Small Corner Pergola

A pergola needn’t 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.

22 Pretty Pergola Ideas to Update Your Outdoor Space

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