Modern Pergola Design Ideas

Modern Pergola Design Ideas


Pergolas create a tall, framed garden structure.  They provide additional gardening space for vines and flowers.  Aside from aesthetics, pergolas serve no required function.  As a commodity, creativity motivates the designing and building of pergolas.  Pergolas add an element of architectural design to the outdoor living space.  They often outline social gathering places, seating arrangements or walkways.  Pergolas date back to the 16th century.  In the hundreds of years of existence, they remain a beautiful focal point in any garden.  So, what makes a modern pergola?  We explore unique pergola designs of modern homes.


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For starters, the number of material options for pergolas expanded over time.  As opposed to wooden structures with stone or brick footings, modern pergolas feature vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, and even chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC).  The traditional wooden pergola still exists.  However, builders put a modern spin on the classic look.  Some non-wood pergola designs provide a longer lifespan.  They are also easier to maintain than wood, which requires refinishing every few years.  Aluminum pergolas occur more commonly at commercial properties.  Fiberglass, on the other hand makes a perfect material for a residential pergola.  They are designed to look like natural wood.


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Architectural designs start with a desired shape.  We are so used to seeing boxy, square shaped pergolas with perpendicular lines.  Have you ever seen a curvilinear pergola?  The more subtle of the curved pergolas feature flat planed roofs that curve. Either they hug the perimeter of a round patio or deck, or they suggest a curved outline of a space.  Pergola roofs can also be curved like arches.  Instead of a flat plane, they mimic over-sized arches for a dynamic look.  Modern pergolas also include triangular shapes.  These are usually found nestled in a corner.


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Rustic Modern

Instead of building a perfectly symmetrical structure, one modern trend uses natural tree branches to form the pergola.  Branch pergolas inspire a whimsical, fairy tale cottage atmosphere.  With growing plants and flowers intertwining around the branches, these pergolas re-introduce a rustic feel.  You may be thinking branch pergolas cost less because they use naturally found pieces of trees.  That’s not exactly true.  A customized branch pergola requires more work.  And the organic materials are more difficult to manipulate.  The materials are more fragile, but the end result is a uniquely beautiful eye catcher.   Add some string lights and you have an enchanted living space.

Adding Walls

Previously, pergolas provided an open roof supported by beams.  This roof made up the majority of the structure.  Now, modern pergola designs also include detail on the sides.  Some pergolas consist of a wall or multiple walls and a roof.  The open walls suggest a more intimate, and enclosed space.  These designs offer a continuation of beams down the side of the pergola.  The walled pergolas usually follow the original asymmetrical shapes of squared pergolas.  Wall quantity varies from one back wall to two or even three walls.  Again these designs are less open than others.


Interested in refinishing an exiting pergola?  Check out our blog here!

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