Pergolas: Made In The Shade

Reading Time: 2 minutes

wood pergola

Pergolas provide shade, shelter, and visual interest to an outdoor living space. Learn  about what makes for a good pergola for your outdoor spaces.


You may not have lived through the Italian Renaissance, but if you want to stay cool this summer, you could implement one of their key design elements. The pergola is a gorgeous but inexpensive design element that makes your outdoor patio more stylish while providing protection from the sun. Here are some suggestions for selecting the right pergola to enjoy some relief from the sun.

What’s a pergola?

At its core, a pergola is a garden or park archway, sometimes including some kind of lattice framework and some kind of flowers entwined. During the summer, pergolas can incorporate stylish drapes to provide some shade from the harsh elements. They’re particularly useful if you have part of an outdoor patio that has no other blockage from the sun.

Picking the perfect pergola

Pergolas come in many shapes and sizes. The space you have outside will influence the style you choose. If you have little room, you’ll want a smaller design, but if you have a gorgeous patio area with lots of room for expansion, consider a high-end wooden pergola.

The beauty of the pergola is that it’s architecturally ambiguous. Steel pergolas are stronger structures that can survive even the harshest weather conditions. If you prefer a more stylized outdoor edifice, a gabled pergola marries form with function. It looks phenomenal in your backyard, while the triangular shape also enhances the water runoff process from your roof.

pergola and patio furniture

10’x12′ Breeze Pergola Arched- 4 Post from BuildDirect.

Pergolas and the sun

Open top pergolas let the light shine through because they’re not fully covered. They still provide a modicum of shade, and they improve airflow in the surrounding area. Pitched pergolas provide the style of gabled pergolas, including water runoff management, with the flair of open top pergolas. They’re a wonderful compromise option if you have a specific vision for your home’s exterior.

The most forward thinking solution is a solar-powered pergola. These take advantage of the unused roof space to maximize the utility of the pergola. Solar panels placed on top of the structure convert the sun’s light into green-friendly energy while providing a novel appearance for your backyard.

Decorating your pergola

Once you decide upon pergola design and implement it, you’ll want the perfect matching décor. To that end, if you’re employing solar power, the theme is obvious. Add bright, sunny colors that tie the premise together. If you can find drapes, tablecloths, or other accessories that have pictures of the sun on them, it’ll be perfect.

If you choose a gazebo theme, head over to the local park to examine everything that makes a fun summer day memorable. Consider lights and flowers that will remind guests of resting in the shade on a hot day in July. For open top pergolas, you’ll want a sparse design, preferably with patio furniture made of bamboo or wicker. The gaps in the tables and chairs add a touch of symmetry with the pergola. For pitched or steel pergolas, celebrate the angles and the architecture by purchasing similarly unique decorative pieces.

Redefining exterior spaces

A beautiful pergola redefines your entire exterior. Following the suggestions above, you should have no problem finding the perfect one and decorating it with the perfect accessories.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 rating, average rating is 1.00/5)


The BuildDirect Product Expert Team is here to support any questions you may have regarding your home improvement project.