12 perfect pergola ideas for your backyard

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Installing a pergola is an excellent way of enhancing how your backyard looks while adding a structure that you and your family can enjoy. If you’re planning on adding a pergola, you don’t want a pergola that looks like a hundred others that you’ve seen before. Here are some fantastic pergola ideas you can try on your next backyard renovation.

pergola ideas

Porch extension pergola

Extending your house through a porch or a deck is one of the best ways to increase space in your home, and you can take this idea one step further by installing a pergola on your porch. The pergola can provide you with shade increasing the number of hours you can use the porch comfortably.  

Having a pergola on your porch is also an excellent way of making your porch more interesting. Since most porches look the same, a pergola can help make your porch stand out. It is also an excellent conversation starter when entertaining guests. 

pergola ideas

Pergola for outdoor dining

If you have limited space in your dining room, building a pergola to double as an outdoor dining area is a fantastic idea. An outdoor dining area is excellent for large families since you can add more chairs or tables as needed. Even if you have a large dining room, an outdoor dining area is an excellent option if you want a change of scenery once in a while. It is also a fantastic alternate dining area during hot summer days when you want some fresh air while enjoying your meal.

A pergola for outdoor dining is one of the best pergola ideas you can explore if you love entertaining guests because you can serve food in the pergola for a more scenic dining experience. It is also a practical option because the pergola is easier to set up and clean when entertaining guests.

Check out our Inspiration Gallery for possible design inspirations. We feature hundreds of high-quality home design images that you can use as references for your next project.

pergola ideas

Garden entrance pergola

Most pergolas are located in gardens and serve as a point of interest amidst lush greens, so why not use your pergola as your garden entrance. This can make your garden more whimsical, and the pergola acts like a portal that transports you into a green paradise.

You can create a stone pathway from the pergola entrance that loops around your garden so guests can explore your garden without getting their footwear dirty. You can also connect your pergola to a garden room or garden patio where you can relax or entertain guests.

To create an awesome garden entrance pergola, don’t forget to hire a professional designer who can seamlessly design the ideal pergola for you based on your preferences.

pergola ideas

Covered pergola

Pergolas often have roofs to let the sunlight in, but this can be bothersome if you want to spend a day in your backyard without getting sunburned, so covering your pergola might be your best option. You have a wide variety of choices for pergola coverings, so you can customise your pergola to make it unique. 

Aside from the usual glass or metal roof, you can try a thatched roof if you want to give your pergola a tropical vibe. A thatched roof can keep your pergola cool during summer and provides adequate rain protection. 

pergola ideas

Pergola with fire pit

If you live in a cool climate, a fire pit is a perfect addition to your pergola. A fire pit can make your pergola comfortable during cold days. A fire pit also adds appeal to your pergola and acts as a point of interest.  

If you love hosting barbecues, your fire pit can be dual purpose. Just pop a grill on top of it, and you can grill hotdogs, steaks or mallows.

elevated pergola

Elevated pergola

Most pergolas are level with the ground, which can be a problem if your backyard accumulates water after rain. Elevating your pergola is one of the best pergola ideas to ensure that you can enjoy your pergola in any weather condition.  

Elevating your pergola requires building a platform that will act as the floor of your pergola. You can use a wooden floor or pour concrete if you want a sturdier platform. Aside from giving you protection from groundwater during rain, elevating your pergola makes it look more whimsical since it will look like a stage that makes its occupants the centre of attention in your backyard. 

pergola in pool area

Poolside pergola

Building a pergola poolside is an excellent idea if you love swimming but hates getting too tanned. A poolside pergola can provide shade for those who want to sit by the pool and chat with others taking a dip.  

A poolside pergola doesn’t need to cover the entire length of your pool. You can install a pergola with just enough space to cover a couple of lounge chairs. You can upgrade your poolside pergola by setting up an entertainment system. The pergola can protect your multimedia system from getting wet from splashes or from occasional rain.  

image: Giancarlo Gardin

Green pergola

If you want your pergola to blend into your lush backyard greenery, why not plant some climbing plants to turn it into a natural oasis. You can choose flowering climbers that make your pergola look amazing while providing enough shade during sunny days. Honeysuckle, clematis, and jasmine are some of the best climbers, and they are easy to take care of. 

If you want to plant something that can make your pergola look whimsical, try wisteria, Lady Banks’ rose, or orange trumpet creeper because of their beautiful flowers. You can also add some potted lavender, rosemary, or citronella to enjoy a stay in your pergola without getting bothered by pesky mosquitoes. 

pergola swing

Pergola with swing

Adding a swing is one of the best pergola ideas to make your pergola more relaxing. Instead of the usual sofa or chairs, use a swing set to transform your pergola into the perfect backyard retreat. This is also an excellent idea for young children because they can have fun using the swing while you tend to your backyard. 

You can explore several swing options depending on how you want to use it and the overall backyard look you are going for on your outdoor renovation project. You can install a hammock if you want something light and easy to stow. There are also wooden swings, two-seat swings, and hanging beds if you’re enjoying the swing with your family. 

pergola ideas

Reader’s nook pergola

Most people think that pergolas need to be grand, but you can have a pergola even if you have a small backyard. A pergola with enough space for one or two chairs still enhances the overall look of your backyard. 

A tiny corner pergola makes for an excellent reading nook if you want to spend some quiet time with your favourite paperback. Install the pergola in one corner of your backyard to ensure that it won’t use too much space. 

pergola ideas

Modern pergola

We all have this image of a pergola as a square structure with a flat or sloping roof, but that is not always the case. Modern pergolas come in different shapes, and you can work with an outdoor renovation expert to design a unique pergola for your backyard. You can have an arched pergola that looks like a tunnel or one that looks like a dome. There are also motorised retractable pergolas you can store away if needed. 

image: GenRenew, LLC

Solar panel pergola

This is one of the best pergola ideas if your backyard receives a lot of sunlight all year round. Instead of a metal or wooden pergola roof, use solar panels. Solar panels can help you store electricity for future use. Although the initial cost can be high, you can recoup your investment with the electrical savings you will benefit from. This idea also lets you do your part in conserving nature and keeping global warming at bay. 


Pergolas are excellent additions to any backyard and make your backyard more functional. If you’re planning to add a pergola, work with a draftsman or a building designer to carefully plan where your pergola will be and how it will affect the overall look of your property. A draftsman can turn your pergola ideas into helpful drawings to guide you and your renovation team so you can construct the perfect pergola for you and your family. A designer, on the other hand, can add the details to the plan to complete the vision.

Take advantage of Superdraft’s free “match technology” to find the right draftsman and designer for your project. Superdraft will match you with the right professionals based on the information that you will provide regarding your project. 

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