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Design Styles for Pergolas

Beth Asaff


Pergolas come in very wide range of different styles, sizes and shapes. They may be attached to the home or freestanding, they may resemble a gazebo in shape or they may be a simple shade cover with poles. With so many different ways to build a pergola, there's a style out there for every home.

This very simple garden pergola features the classic lattice style top and is open on three sides.

Rustic Garden

This garden pergola is round, rather than square, and features a fully enclosed roof. Like many lattice style pergolas, however, it features vines growing in and over and the roof. The deck is brick to help keep moisture off the wood, while the rest of the pergola is left slightly rustic in style.


In addition to being used for seating or gardening, pergolas can also be used as walkways through gardens or from the house to the patio. This lattice style pergola has some Asian influence in the style of the roof boards.


Pergolas don't have to be freestanding structures; they can be attached on one end to the house or building, extending out over the patio to provide some shade and help delineate the area. If being used for this purpose, it's typical to have a fully enclosed roof, rather than the traditional lattice roof to provide additional cover from the elements.

Mixed Styles

Pergolas come in so many different styles, that it's more than possible to mix styles to achieve a unique look. This freestanding pergola has the traditional lattice top, but rather than having plain or rustic poles, it uses columns instead. The floor is wooden to help further delineate the area.

Mixed Material

While most pergolas are made of wood, it's not necessary to use wood or to use wood to construct the entire thing. This pergola features a metal frame with a wooden roof and floor, adding some stability to the structure and allowing the addition of blinds to help further insulate the space.

Asian Inspiration

This freestanding pergola has a pitched, Asian-inspired roof, as well as partially enclosed walls. Its floor is lifted slightly off the ground, providing a more enclosed environment for those inside.

Simple Structure

Pergolas, particularly attached pergolas like this one, do not have to be elaborate in construction or style. This very simple wooden pergola uses thin boards for the frame and for the lattice. The roof lattice is laid fairly close together, providing slightly more shade than more open models.

Enclosed Pergola

While less common than the open styles, this Swedish pergola is completely enclosed. It features a pitched, shingled roof, along with glass windows on all sides to allow it to be used in more inclement weather.

It's built right onto the deck, allowing the space to do double duty.

Fully Wired

If you entertain, consider constructing a large, open, yet fully wired pergola with an enclosed roof. This open-sided pergola features electricity that can power refrigerators, stoves and lights.

Wrought Iron

If your home is more traditional or your garden particularly luxurious, don't be afraid to make your pergola match in style. This wrought iron pergola has scrollwork that fits it right into any garden or gated community.

Adding a pergola to your patio or garden area is a great way of bringing more utility to the space. Consider adding an outdoor fireplace to match, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Beth Asaff
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Design Styles for Pergolas