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These pergola ideas will add style and shade to your backyard

Take your outdoor oasis to the next level with pergola decor and design ideas

pergola covering an outdoor kitchen
Arcwind / Unsplash

When you’ve chosen a pergola to adorn your landscape, there are many ways to complete the look you want. From an easy-covered patio extension off your kitchen to a freestanding structure covered in your favorite flowers, you won’t regret making space for a pergola. For an extra dose of style and shade, transform your backyard this summer by pairing your outdoor oasis with some of our genius pergola ideas below — and don’t be surprised if you become the envy of the neighborhood!

Pergola with built-in seating

wood pergola with built-in seating along a path
deborahdanielsmail / Pixabay

A pergola with built-in seating offers a harmonious blend of style and functionality to your outdoor sanctuary. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, this feature maximizes space utilization, creating a cozy outdoor retreat for relaxation or social gatherings. The integrated seating encourages outdoor enjoyment, whether lounging with a book or hosting intimate conversations with loved ones. Such a design fosters seamless outdoor living, bridging the gap between nature and comfort.

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Additionally, the shade provided by the pergola enhances comfort during sunny days, while the structure itself adds architectural interest to your outdoor landscape. In essence, choosing a pergola with built-in seating elevates both the form and function of your outdoor living space.

Wisteria draped over your pergola — a match made in heaven

wisteria flowers hanging from a wood pergola
Deborah Jackson / Pixabay

The most impressive vines you could drape across your pergola bear the lovely and fragrant wisteria flowers, most often found in a popular light shade of purple. While it may take a few seasons for them to mature and completely grow across your structure, they do sprout up to 10 feet or higher each season in the right hardiness zones (3-9, for best results). They like a lot of sunlight, as well, so consider their placement in your yard when choosing wisteria.

Paper lanterns will perk up your pergola

Paper lantern on ledge with city lights in the background
Vincent Guth / Unsplash

Light up your pergola with either dreamy white or vibrant, multicolored paper lanterns. When hung at varying heights and in different sizes, paper lanterns will dazzle the eye, drawing it across the structure. Available in three sizes (10, 12, or 14 inches) and 10 stunning pastel colors, Luna Bazaar’s Luna Bazaar’s round battery-operated lanterns are the perfect choice. Each comes with its own hook for hanging.

Poolside pergola with chic curtains

Poolside pergola with pool chairs
Bryan Agua / Unsplash

This pergola idea gives you an enchanting space for a backyard wedding, a rejuvenating place to rest after a few laps in the pool, an ideal spot for a summer barbecue with friends, and a fun spot for the family to enjoy some Popsicles on a hot summer day. The benefits of a poolside pergola with stylish outdoor curtains are endless, and it’s perfect for any backyard.

Covered patio pergola with lights

Backyard pergola with lights at night
Randy Fath / Unsplash

When it comes to working with the cover of your patio pergola, we think beautiful outdoor lighting should be a priority — especially for evening gatherings. Not sure where to turn for lighting? Brighten things up underneath your covered patio pergola with 15 feet of transparent G40 globe string lights, complete with 15 durably constructed and weather-resistant bulbs. Made for outdoor use, these bulbs last 3,000 hours on average and have nickel-plated bases to inhibit corrosion. We’d recommend measuring the space you’ll be covering and consider more than one set of lights for best results.

Pergola with colorful blooming planters

Chair beside blooming flower garden
Krawczyk-A-Foto / Shutterstock

Display some boldly colored flowers in hanging planters to make a strong statement with your backyard pergola. Geraniums make a nice option with their brilliant reds and pinks; they’re also known to be quite hardy and bloom nearly all summer long.

Put them in gorgeous hanging planters like the self-watering Lechuz Nido cottage wicker hanging planter from Gardener’s Supply Company for top results. This planter comes in three colors (granite, mocha, and white), is weatherproof and UV resistant. The built-in water level indicator lets you know when more water needs to be added; otherwise, it conveniently waters itself with an impressive 1/2-gallon water reservoir.

If you prefer to keep your blooming beauties on the ground, opt for spacious and symmetrical planters to hold your flowers instead. You can get a set of Fairfield tall patio planters from Gardeners’ Supply Company, available in five colors at 28 inches tall and 15-3/4-inch width. 

Hearthside pergolas

backyard fire pit
Max la Rochelle / Unsplash

Warm up beside the fire with a hearthside pergola, perfect for cocktails with friends or s’mores with the kids on chilly evenings — you can even enjoy your pergola in the winter when you’ve got a fireplace built in.

Make your pergola’s fireplace magical by adding a 2-pound bag of Plow & Hearth color pine cones, and include both blue and green burning pine cones, safely created with copper chloride, which burn brightly for 5 to 10 minutes each. You can even cozy up your hearthside pergola with a fire-resistant area rug and comfy blankets. To see some gorgeous varieties of hearthside pergolas you can have built, visit this site for ideas.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to set up a pergola in your backyard this season, or do you have a few new ideas for the one you already have? Share your thoughts and pics with us! We’d love to see what you’ve done.

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Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
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