11 Modern Pergola Design Ideas

11 Modern Pergola Design Ideas


If you have a porch that doesn’t see a lot of use, then a pergola could be the perfect investment to make this year.

You could choose to purchase a pergola that installs quickly and provides immediate shade. You can also build your own pergola with a little lumber, some lattice, and treated wood for your posts.

A pergola can be a temporary or permanent installation. It can attach to your home or stand independently on its own. They are the perfect addition to any outdoor gathering space because the resist summer heat, reduce precipitation exposure, and add an element of design to your property.

If you already own a pergola, these ideas can still be used to help you upgrade the look of your structure.

Fantastic Ideas for Using a Pergola Today

#1. The Basic Frame Look

A pergola can be an effective addition to any porch, even if it offers a very open frame. All you need besides the framing for the four posts is a central support and two supports between the edge and center. The reason why this idea works well is because it supports the use of fabrics for shade. Weave the fabric through the support beams and you’ll create temperature supports without reducing access to light.

#2. Climbing Vines

Pergolas are a natural trellis. Climbing vines love to weave their way up the supports columns to the slats on the roof. From there, they will begin to weave through the slats to create a natural roof. Depending upon the vines you choose, you could complete this look in 1-3 growing seasons.

#3. A Raised Floor

Many pergolas are built around the edge of a concrete patio. Instead of sitting on a concrete slab, consider raising the floor instead. Use a landscaping cloth over the concrete and secure it at the edge of the patio. Then place landscaping blocks of your choice around the edge of the patio. From there, you could use gravel, sand, or other natural materials to complete the look you want. If you use sand or gravel, you could also set flagstone, or other natural elements, into the flooring for a unique look.

#4. New Furniture

A patio with a pergola can be a beautiful addition to any property. A useable patio with a pergola becomes a valuable addition. Even if your pergola is fully protected from precipitation, your furniture should be able to withstand the environmental conditions that are common at your geographic location. Take sunshine, heat, cold, dust, and wind into account when selecting your furniture choices.

#5. Area Rugs

When you add an area rug to your patio, it makes the space feel more like a room. Choose a color that is different than your pergola and home exterior to create a look that really pops. As with your furniture, be sure to choose a rug that is capable of withstanding weather elements for the best possible experience.

#6. Use Glass Balustrades

If you want to create more of a confined space within your pergola, try using a glass balustrade to complete your look. The tempered glass of the balustrade will resist damage. You’ll receive a transparent look that provides some safety. It will also work to block some wind elements or reduce the movement of gravel or other flooring choices.

You could also install glass ceiling panels across the roof of your pergola to create a stronger shelter that will still allow you to look out at the stars or enjoy some sunshine on a beautiful day.

#7. Create Some Privacy

You can create walls for your existing pergola by adding curtains to each side of your frame. Curtains give you two distinctive advantages: better privacy and shelter from direct sunlight. The sun will shine through at different angles during the day. With curtains in place, you can draw shade at the direct angle of light without compromising your access to the outdoors from your porch or patio.

#8. Work with Your Landscape

Pergolas can stand on their own. Most properties have a natural spot where a pergola works well with the existing landscape too. If you have a location where trees can supply some shade, then a basic pergola with a solid back wall provides shelter and privacy simultaneously. You could even build the patio underneath the pergola after it has been placed.

#9. Decorative Transitions

Some pergolas serve a minimal function, designed to be more decorative than anything else. Adding a pergola to your home can offer a missing accent that gives the property a better curbside appeal. Add textural components as you repeat the color scheme of your home to create a transition between your porch or patio and the remainder of the home.

#10. Try Hardscapes

Combine a pergola with an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to create a 3-seasons outdoor area for almost any home. It will give the area a casual look, serving as a defining element to any backyard. Use hardscape elements to extend the look, if you wish, or to incorporate your pergola with the rest of your natural landscaping.

#11. Pergola Accents

If you don’t have a lot of space for a pergola, consider creating one as an accent instead. You can affix a small roof to the exterior of a home to create a natural seating area along a path or small deck. You could also use a two-beam design, braced with lattice between, to create a small freestanding structure. Sometimes, the pergola serves better as a backdrop instead of as a primary structure.

What Have You Done with Your Pergola?

If you plan on building a pergola, think about these design elements as you create your structure. It is much easier to create the perfect look when you already have an idea about what you wish to create. Then be sure to show off your new creation!

For those who already own a pergola, what have you done to enhance the look of it? Did you incorporate any of the ideas mentioned here?

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