25 Pergola Ideas for Dreamy Outdoor Living – Architectural Digest


25 Pergola Ideas for Dreamy Outdoor Living – Architectural Digest

25 Pergola Ideas for Dreamy Outdoor Living – Architectural Digest


Turn your yard into a gorgeous oasis with the help of this outdoor feature



project portfolio

We all appreciate our outdoor spaces more and more, but we also understand sun damage better. How does the canny home landscaper deal with this conundrum? By researching pergola ideas, of course! While many of us want to maximize our time in nature, it may seem like you can’t enjoy your outdoor space without risking those harmful rays. A covered pergola helps solve that problem, and can even let you better enjoy the comforts of an indoor living room or dining area on your backyard patio. But you’re going to have to decide what kind of alfresco style your seating area is going to have—and that’s where scrolling through pergola designs comes into play.

We’ve gathered 25 amazing pergola ideas to help you find inspiration to create the perfect ambiance for your “living room on the outside,” from Mediterranean-influenced designs to modern pergolas, and poolside pergolas to firmly earthbound ones. But first, let’s answer some basic questions to get you on your way to living your best pergola life.


What is the point of having a pergola?

Before you upgrade your outdoor living, it’s important to understand the difference between a pergola and a gazebo, among other common outdoor structures—and it’s a minor but important one that will greatly affect your design ideas for your outdoor living space.

A gazebo is a freestanding structure that has a full roof. They’re typically octagonal, often screened and with their own decks—though none of those elements are actually requirements for a gazebo.

An awning is a shade cover that juts out over an area. They’re often attached to the wall of a home, and they don’t include walls—they’re basically small, extendable roofs.

A privacy screen, on the other hand, is all wall, a visual barrier that’s often used to block the view your neighbors have into your yard—and you’re not going to get much shade from a privacy screen unless you’re sitting right next to it. The same goes for a trellis, which is a latticework or framework used to support and train the growth of climbing plants. A trellis could be freestanding or built on to an existing structure, like the side of a home—or a pergola.

So what is a pergola, then? Like a gazebo, it’s a structure that provides shelter and some shade from the elements, but unlike a gazebo, it doesn’t have a full roof and is designed to let some sun in at least part of the time. It can be freestanding or built onto an existing structure. (Narrow pergolas built onto the sides of homes are sometimes called “eyebrow pergolas,” as they kind of make your home look like Groucho Marx.) But a pergola can also incorporate elements of the other outdoor structures we’ve discussed, too, like a retractable awning as an optional pergola roof for complete sun coverage, or having a wall or trellis that acts as a privacy screen. Beyond the practical, there’s also the landscape design aspect: The best pergola can provide a perfect focal point for your outdoor space, and they will take any deck ideas you’re considering to the next level.


project portfolio

Poolside Pergola With Cypress

Kern & Co.’s white pergola gives bathers a perfectly framed views of the cypress trees for when they want to dry off out on the Andalusian outdoor furniture at this French-style farmhouse with unobstructed views of the scenery in Rancho Santa Fe, California. “The area provides cover for the pool and gardens and a beverage area for drinks and refreshments,” says Susan Spath, principal designer of Kern & Co.


Written by:  and 

See full article


More Articles

Susan Spath in Digs Magazine
Susan Spath Portraits of Design 2019
Susan Spath, Portraits In Excellence 2020