21 Pergola Designs and Decorating Tips

Summer is approaching, which means outdoor parties, backyard fun, and tons of entertaining. If you’ve been thinking about how you can revamp your backyard to welcome future guests and family members, then a pergola may just be the outdoor structure you need to add some extra flair. Pergolas, also known as arbors, are outdoor structures that form a shaded walkway or sitting area with the use of vertical pillars, crossbeams, and a lattice. They are usually attached to a building, however in some cases they can stand alone. Below we have curated 21 pergola designs that we hope will inspire you as you begin to plan. We’ve also included some quick pergola design and decorating tips to help you achieve some of the looks below.

1) Robin Dude’s “Hot Tub Cover” via Popular Mechanics
Add a fence around your pergola to give it an “exclusive” feel. This works particularly great for pergolas built over hot tubs and pools.

2) Patricia Orsini and Wolfgang Platzer’s Jacuzzi via Popular Mechanics

Use the lattice of a pergola to securely hang outdoor artwork such as a large mirror or plant holders. 3) Pergola Heaven via Roomzar

Including a picnic table under your pergola creates a simple allure and park-like environment. 4) One-Story Home with Back Porch via Roomzaar

Add roofing material to the top of your pergola to make it appear like it is an extension of your home. This also helps if you’d like to have a ceiling with lights in it. 5) Garage Getaway via Popular Mechanics

Your pergola doesn’t have to be used in your backyard. Add some extra flair by creating a shaded pergola deck over your carport.

6) The Alcove from Design Rulz

For outdoor furniture, be sure to use faux wicker, metal or vinyl versus the real deal. This will stand up to weather better.7) Turquoise with a Purpose via DIY Network
Instead of a canopy, add vines and tall growing plants, like flowery wisteria, to the roof of your pergola to create shade.

8) Crystal Coast Arbor in North Carolina via DIY Network
Leave your wooden pergola unpainted and unfinished to add a rustic, western feel to your backyard.

9) Sandy Elegance via Centsational GirlPlace an outdoor rug on your cement, stone, or brick pavement outside to create a more “homey” feel.10) Pergola Waterfalls via Decorative Concrete Kingdom
Ask your landscaper how you can create a waterfall effect if you plan to build your pergola over a pool.

11) Heating It Up via Energy Products and Design
An outdoor fireplace will make a pergola attractive during cooler seasons.

12) Getting In The Mood via Homefield Living
Interested in a romantic night? Run a string of light over the top beams and support beams of your pergola to set the mood.

 13) Backyard Wonderland via Better Homes & Gardens
Have tons of plants in your backyard or love to garden? Create a walkway under your pergola to create your own personal “botanical garden”.

14) Backyard Palisade via Hometalk

Use rods or the top beam of your pergola to secure drapes that can be pulled close for privacy.

15) Simple Family Deck via Better Homes and Gardens

Paint your pergola white for a classic, American feel.
16) The Whole Nine Yards via Better Homes & Gardens
Take your backyard to the next level by building an outdoor kitchen or bar under your pergola.

17) Patio Swing Under the Pergola via Southern Living

Use outdoor citronella candles around your pergola to repel bugs and to give your space a “tiki bar” feel.

18) Outdoor Cozy Bar via Nicety Live Journal
If you decide to purchase outdoor sofas or pillows, make sure the fabric is waterproof to protect them from those unexpected mid-day summer showers.

19) Old Market Library via Arch Daily
Exposed brick creates an edgy yet minimalist effect. This is great for outdoor saunas or Jacuzzis.

20) Welcome Home via Landscape Online
Sometimes the summer air can be extremely humid. Add an extra level of cool by having an electrician wire a fan into the top of your pergola.

21) Pergola Hammock via Flickr
Build your pergola alongside a wall in your backyard to create a shady, hidden enclave for sleeping or reading.

Pergolas are extremely alluring. They can be used to achieve a variety of aesthetic styles and looks. Whether it’s a romantic, rustic, or familial atmosphere that you desire, you can use simple decor tips to completely transform this outdoor structure. If you’d like to learn more about what pergola design would fit best in your backyard, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.