Distinctive Pergola Ideas

Define your outdoor living space with a pretty pergola. Browse our gallery of photos to find the right style for your backyard.


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Victorian Pergola
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Pergola with Ornamental Detail

    The more detailing on a home's exterior, the easier it is to introduce similar complexity to an outdoor structure. This pergola's turned ornamental posts, scrollwork frieze, and lattice roof mimic the surfaces found on its Victorian home counterpart.

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Bungalow Beauty

    The color of this pergola matches the siding on this Arts and Crafts bungalow. The stepped horizontal braces and interconnected timbers are a trademark Craftsman touch, which help marry the new pergola with the older Craftsman house.

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Rustic Structure

    Although live-branch structures are often small and simple, there's no reason more ambitious projects cannot incorporate this type of material, as long as the joinery is sound. This pergola features log-and-branch sections large enough to function as structural timbers.

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Pergola with Architectural Detail

    Architectural elements can transform an ordinary outdoor structure into something extraordinary. This pergola has classic rounded columns and beautifully detailed crossbeams that pick up on architectural details from the house. Underlaid with slate pavers and wired with ceiling fans, it's the perfect spot for a meal--morning, noon, or night.

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Contemporary Pergola

    This contemporary pergola demonstrates how the right design for an outdoor structure can add real living space to a home. Repetition of the stucco and trim exterior makes for a smooth transition from indoors to out, while decorative landscaping around the base of the pergola adds visual interest.

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Classic Pergola

    This bare-bones pergola illustrates how the sense of shelter is nearly as effective as shelter itself. The dining area occupies a clearly defined patio space and invites people in, despite the fact that actual protection from the elements is almost nonexistent.

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Pergola with Natural Stone Base

    Most outdoor structures feature a mix of materials, and this pergola is the same. Its cedar overhead framework, left to weather naturally, sits atop painted architectural columns. (Most columns used outdoors are made of fiberglass for better durability.) Supporting the structure are pedestal walls constructed of natural stone and topped with concrete capstones.

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Petite Pergola

    A pergola doesn't have to be large to make a statement. Tucked amid a well-manicured formal garden, this triangular pergola is a striking focal point--small but nicely detailed, with a classic white painted finish. The swinging bench makes it all the more inviting and versatile.

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Pergola with a Curved Roofline

    Get creative with your pergola's roofline. Shallow curves on a pergola roof normally can be cut from wide stock, especially when multiple boards are sandwiched together to make thicker beams. If in doubt, run the design details by local building officials or a professional engineer before proceeding.

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Pergola with Angled Design

    When you build a pergola, consider positioning it at an angle for added interest. Although it occupies a flagstone patio with a square outline, this pergola was deliberately designed as a corner structure. The clipped front corner creates a wide diagonal entry that offers access to both the adjacent house and a terraced landscape nearby.

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Pergola with a Two-Tiered Roof

    A curved roofline can have a dramatic effect. This freestanding pergola fuses Asian and contemporary styles with its clean lines and spare detailing. Although the structure looks simple, the two-tiered roof requires highly-skilled professional expertise to produce the large curved laminated beams.

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Outdoor Living

    When attached to the house, a dining pergola like this can more easily be fitted with amenities such as wiring for a ceiling fan. This patio is large enough to accommodate more than one dining group as well.

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Poolside Pergola

    Positioned by the pool and with sunlight filtering through its vine-clad roof arches, this pergola is a comfortable dining venue even on the hottest summer days. The metal in the overhead structure has a lighter look than wood and is echoed in the wrought-iron dining set.

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Garden Sculpture

    Create a focal point in your backyard with a decorative pergola. This pergola adds depth and dimension to the lushly landscaped yard and provides a framework for one of the owners' favorite sculptures.

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Steel Pergola

    Wood may be the most common pergola choice, but a multitude of different materials can be used to build one. Here, steel hoop arbors and a pergola frame draped with canvas create a contemporary outdoor living space, perfect for breezy summer evenings.

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Multiple Pergolas

    A small yard can benefit from the added height of a pergola-or more. Here, matching pergolas spaced a couple yards apart are framed with lush greenery; slate pavers that stretch under create a seamless look.

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