We're just going to come out and say it: If you don't have a pergola in your backyard, chances are you're not making the most of your outdoor square footage. So, what is a pergola? It's a structure typically built with roof beams, without a solid roof or walls. The benefit of the average pergola is its ability to define and establish outdoor spaces, such as dining areas or seating lounges.
And although it's an open structure, you can create privacy by covering the top, adding drapes, latticework, screens, or growing crawling vines.
Read on for 14 pergola designs that will instantly make your backyard a 10 out of 10.
What's better than one pergola? Two. And the only thing better than two separate pergolas is having them stacked one on top of the other. The second floor doubles as it's own pergola as well as a second-floor balcony, while also providing shade for the ground floor. The result is a gorgeous hangout from top to bottom.
If you're looking to dress up your patio with a built-in pergola, don't stop there. Use the overhead beams to hang rattan lamps in varying shapes and sizes. You'll have plenty of light to entertain guests at night and your setup will look equally Instagrammable during the daytime too.
If your backyard square footage allows for it, creating separate vignettes that span the length of your space makes for the ultimate in outdoor design. Block out a dining area with a pergola, create a separate space for a fire pit, and another with outdoor couches for lounging, all with their own purpose and style.
Before you build your pergola, it's important to consider the options for building materials. Different woods will give you endless design options. We love how the light wash of this pergola complements the color scheme in the patio furniture.
If you treat your outdoor pergola as an extension of your space, you'll forget what it even looked like before. Attach the overhead build directly to the exterior of your home and decorate the area as you would any other room in your house. An outdoor rug and candlelight makes your porch a perfect gathering space for warm evenings.
If you own a condo or apartment with a small patio, there are still opportunities for big pergola dreams. This tiny patio is proof you can have it all, even on limited square footage. Install one end directly attached to your home to save space, with beams spanning the length of your patio. A few cozy touches and you'll be welcoming guests in no time.
If you're looking to hide from your neighbors (we can't blame you), adding a rattan shade above your pergola adds extra shade and privacy. Just be sure to secure the cover so it doesn't blow away when high winds blow your way. Finally, installing some outdoor curtains not only add an element of design, they work wonders for when you want to shut out the neighbors.
If the DIY route is not one you're willing to take—we get it, building an outdoor structure can feel daunting—there are plenty of pre-built store-bought pergolas on the market. Add your own flair via outdoor decor and market lighting.