6 Modern Pergola Ideas To Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space

Wooden pergola over an exterior patio day light
Wooden pergola over an exterior patio with garden furniture and a banister overlooking a large back yard

A pergola is a must-have fixture that can make your outdoor space inviting and appealing simultaneously. Over the years, many homeowners eager to spruce up their outdoor space have invested in a patio or pergola. If you want to level up your backyard, consider adding a pergola or sprucing up your current one.  

A Close Look At Pergolas

Pergolas are likely to stay in trend for many homeowners. Generally, most are made of wood or composite material that imparts an aesthetic vibe that can function as a sitting space or a walkway. You can have one with an open or covered structure, depending on your preferences. The design of a pergola emphasizes adequate entry of sunlight and air circulation. An open-top design is an ideal addition to a garden which serves as a focal point.  

Don’t forget that the structure will play a role in the amount of light they block. If you live in hot regions, a cover is worth considering to protect you from the sun. Nowadays, you can find designs with additional features such as lighting, roll-down windows, and many more. One of the best aspects of having a pergola is that it can boost your property’s overall value. If you still have hesitations about whether or not to add a pergola, consider checking out what Hardie Boys and other reliable sources have to offer as a good starting point. 

Modern Design Ideas For Your Pergola

If you want your pergola to exude an inviting ambiance and a space to relax and unwind outdoors, there are several ideas you can consider, such as:  

1. Inject A Touch Of Greenery With Potted Plants 

Plants can transform your pergola into a refreshing space. Although plants readily work best to complement any theme, you can create a modern vibe by choosing minimalistic pots for your plants.  

An idea worth considering is to choose pots of varying sizes for your plants. You can arrange the pots to your liking by size, color, or in a random arrangement. It might be best to choose neutral hues for your planters to achieve an organized appearance or a color scheme that matches the theme of your house.

Woven armchairs with cushion and dining table under the pergola roof. Patio of a house with a view a hammock tied in the middle of the trees near the vinyl fence against the neighborhood at the back.

2. Add String Lights 

Adding string lights when designing your pergola may be the key to giving it an inviting atmosphere. The soft lighting imparts a cozy vibe to your outdoor space that your family and guests can enjoy.  

If it’s your first attempt at adding string lights to your pergola, avoid fastening them directly to the boards. The ideal approach is to string the lights in a diagonal direction from one side of the pergola to the other. Upon reaching the rafters, secure the ends and change the direction of the string. Allow the lights to hang loosely to prevent them from breaking from too much strain. 

3. Install Removable Awnings 

If you want to enjoy the outdoors even during the summer, consider installing removable awnings. Doing so is the best way to protect the space from the sun’s rays, especially if you have a dedicated outdoor seating area

Adding awnings to a pergola transforms it into an outdoor space you can use without worrying about the sun or rain. You also have the option to level up the functionality by adding retractable shades for wind protection. 

4. Utilize Bulbs Or Pendant Lights As A Lighting And Decorative Element 

For better illumination in your pergola, you can use large-sized bulbs or pendant lights as an alternative to string lights. Adding large light bulbs or pendant lights can illuminate the outdoor space more effectively during the evening. If you want to maximize pendant lights, you can utilize them as the focal point of your pergola. It may be the ideal option to create a modern yet inviting environment for dinners with family or friends. 

5. Add A Fire Pit As A Centerpiece 

Consider adding a fire pit as a centerpiece for properties with a spacious pergola. The setup is ideal for families who love to spend time outdoors during cool nights. You can also level up the warm ambiance by installing string lights around the perimeter of the pergola. 

There are safety considerations such as height, ventilation, and position if you’re going for a fire pit setup. Make it a priority that there’s adequate clearance between the fire pit and the pergola’s roof. Generally, there should be a minimum of ten feet, which you can achieve by raising the support columns.  

As for ventilation, the heat and smoke must readily move out of the pergola. An open-roof design offers adequate ventilation, while pergolas with a fixed roof structure usually have double-vented roofs.  

The placement of the fire pit should be on a level surface. If your outdoor space has untouched slopes, choose an area with an even landscape. The fire pit should also be safely away from the support columns, ideally in the middle. 

6. Integrate LED Strip Lighting 

For additional lighting to your pergola, you can light it from below using LED strip lighting. In most cases, it works best if your pergola has built-in planters surrounding the area. Position the LED strip lighting under the planters to ensure adequate illumination for your outdoor space. 

If your pergola lacks planters, add the LED strip lighting on the roof edges of the pergola or at the base for additional supplementary lighting.

Final Thoughts 

A pergola is an ideal investment for any home, especially for homeowners eager to enjoy the outdoors. Making sure that your pergola stands out is also a surefire way to boost the value of your property and curb appeal. If you want to give your current pergola a facelift, consider these modern design ideas for a more inviting and functional update.    

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