Tips on Designing a Pergola
Pergola design is a hot topic in landscaping today. Pergolas create an outdoor space separate from the garden. It is usually square or rectangular in shape, with an open roof made of beams. This provides some protection from direct sun while maintaining an open air concept.
Pergolas are perfect alongside the pool, on a patio or to shade a path from the house to another destination in the yard. Depending on your garden landscape, you may choose a pergola design that uses wood, aluminum, vinyl or even cast concrete columns for a Mediterranean feel.
Many types of wood can be used to build a pergola. Teak, cedar, pine, and redwood all work well. Make sure the pine is treated before you use it. Wood will last longer if it is sealed after you build your pergola.
Wooden pergolas can be built from plans or kits, you can design and build one yourself if you have the skills, or you can hire a contractor. There are lots of ways to design a pergola that suits the look you want when you use wood. Wood does require maintenance, however, to look its best.
Vinyl and aluminum pergola kits are available. They are easy to put up and require less maintenance than wood, but you do not get the freedom of design you get with wood. Combining wood with decorative concrete columns can really make your pergola look special. This works very well when you have a specific garden style.
The columns can be decorative if you wish or they can utilize wire to help plants climb up and create a natural shade. Clematis, grapes, trumpet vines and other climbers work nicely in pergola design, adding a softness to the space with the greenery.
Uses that May Affect Your Pergola Design
As mentioned before, a pergola is perfect for growing a vertical garden. The columns will help the plants reach for the sky, and the open cross beams offer a strong support. You can utilize trellises or latticework to assist the plants on their way up. This pergola design offers you a literal garden room where the walls and ceiling will be made of plants. Growing plants on your pergola can offer you a lot of cool shade in the summer and even some protection from the rain.
If you like to entertain, you can choose a pergola design that will offer plenty of space for a party. String lights or lanterns around the structure to give it some instant mood lighting. Stock your pergola with some comfortable outdoor furniture and a fire pit and let the party commence. Think of it as an outdoor living room where you can relax and have a good time.
If you live in an area known for its hot summer sun, a pergola can offer you relief. A pergola can protect you from the worst of the sun's rays, especially if you have lattice or plants growing across it. You'll get wonderful shadow effects from the leaves or the structure of the latticework.
Take a look at some pergola designs that offer retractable shades across the top and sides. These outdoor curtains can be opened when you want to make the most of the sun and pulled shut when you need the shade or a little privacy. A lattice wall or two can also be added for a more private setting.
Pergolas are great for focal points in the backyard. The backyard pergola can be a cheaper alternative than building a gazebo. You could also design your pergola to be used as an entry to a large area in your backyard or build one to be used as a transition from one outdoor room to another. Remember that pergolas are nothing more than a large arbor, built to provide some shade and be an open, airy outdoor room.
If the pergola is attached to your house the design you choose, along with the materials should be appropriate in size to your home and compliment it. Try to incorporate some of the same colors and materials used in your home, into your pergola. By installing a stone or wood floor, adding built in sitting, table and chairs, permanent planters, flower containers and some outdoor lighting you will have created a great outdoor room.
Pergolas were a popular location for romance in the old world, why not bring some to your yard? Stock the pergola with fragrant roses and other colorful plants. Hang some flower baskets and design your pergola so there is a modicum of privacy. What could be a better place for a romantic dinner for two under the stars?
Finally, if you have an outdoor kitchen, you may want to consider transforming your pergola into a ramada, which is pretty much the same type of structure, but with a solid roof. A ramada would protect your outdoor kitchen from the elements better than an open pergola.
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