Homeowners lucky enough to have their own patch of outdoor space are no doubt aware of the relaxing benefits of a garden and the merits of entertaining outside. But once you’ve got your garden looking how you want, you’re likely looking to enhance it further with decorative additions and practical furniture. 

A pergola is a landscaping addition that fits the bill on both accounts. It’s an area over your patio or lawn that provides shelter from the weather and also extends your home’s living space. What’s more, there are numerous ways you can get creative with designs and installations to upgrade your garden. 

Creative Pergola Ideas to Transform an Outdoor Space

Use screens to add coverage

Pergolas are great for creating shaded spots in your garden, but you can embrace this even further with bamboo screens which enhance privacy and seclusion in your outdoor space. It prevents excess wind from disrupting your relaxation time and creates a cosier area for dining or entertaining friends and family, plus it stops any debris and leaves from being blown onto the seating beneath your pergola. Privacy screens are a great addition to make an already wonderful place to sit that bit more personal and secluded, and they’re easy enough to install and adapt to the size and shape of your own pergola. 

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Automate for a contemporary twist

If you’re not sure you want your pergola to be a permanent fixture of your garden, or you want the flexibility of being able to open and close the cover quickly to suit the weather, an automated pergola awning can be a great solution. Automated awnings deliver the same level of shelter as a pergola but they’re set on guided tracks that enable you to close the cover away when it’s not in use so it’s completely hidden. When installed for particularly large extensions, automated awnings provide plenty of shade and protection from high winds. 

Automated pergola awnings are practical and stylish, while also being flexible. Image source: AQ Blinds
Automated pergola awnings are practical and stylish, while also being flexible. Image source: AQ Blinds

Create a floral entrance to your garden

Consider changing up the location of your pergola and using it to make a feature out of the entrance to your garden instead. Pergolas are the perfect framing for floral arrangements, climbing plants and luscious greenery, and they can be installed at the entrance to your lawn or patio so that guests can walk beneath the foliage to enter the space. It’s a stunning way to frame the landscaping of your garden and create drama and interest outside your home. 

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Mix up materials

Wood may be the most common material for pergolas, but it’s not the only material you can use. In fact, choosing alternative materials for your garden decor can be a great way of adding interest and uniqueness to your home. From metal and vinyl to fibreglass, pergolas come in a host of different options to suit the style of your home. If you want a very modern, stylish look, why not go for a blend of metal framing with a glass roof for subtle elegance and a twist on an old classic? 

Metal pergolas add a modern spin on the more traditional wooden frames. Image source: Cotswold Awnings & Pergolas
Metal pergolas add a modern spin on the more traditional wooden frames. Image source: Cotswold Awnings & Pergolas

Let there be light

You might intend on using your pergola as a seating area during summer days, but wouldn’t it be great if you could extend the use of the space even longer when you’re hanging out as a family or entertaining friends? Adding lights to your pergola, whether lanterns, string lights or outdoor pendant lights create ambience and also make your garden more practical so you can use your seating area more in the evenings when the sun dips. Alternatively, you could go all out and add a firepit to the centre of the space, surrounded by seating for cosy drinks by the fire during the cooler months. 

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Install hanging baskets

Make your pergola a seasonal delight for the senses with hanging baskets dotted around the frame that can be filled with different plants as the year goes on. From wildflowers to herbs or strawberries, you can mix up the look of the pergola easily simply by changing out the foliage you fill the baskets with. It’s an inexpensive way to decorate that can be changed as often as you feel like to suit different seasons. 

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Play with colour

Whether you have a paved outdoor space with potted plants or lush greenery everywhere in sight, there are endless opportunities to play with colour, with a pergola. You may want to add seating and outdoor furniture with bold cushions for added comfort. Layer bright blooms at various heights for interest and depth or decorate the pergola itself by painting the wood in a neutral white, a calming pastel or a bright, vibrant shade, This can really make an impact and completely change how your garden or patio looks.  

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The perfect addition to any garden

From cosy seating areas to extend the square footage of your home, to the perfect dining space for entertaining guests, or simply a way of adding interest and visual appeal to your garden, pergolas have the potential to transform your garden in numerous ways. Whether you keep it simple and use it as a place to relax in the afternoons or you make a feature of the pergola with decor and plants, pergolas can be both aesthetically pleasing and practical. 

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