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32 Pergola Ideas to Keep Cool This Summer

By HomeBNC • Updated on 2024-02-22

While ancient in concept, the pergola has been experiencing a bit of a modern renaissance these days. A stylish outdoor shelter with no walls (or otherwise built as a singular addition to one’s house), a pergola is a breezy way to take some shade during warmer, sunnier seasons. There are a multitude of pergola ideas to choose from, depending on your tastes and lifestyle. Table settings, chaise lounges, and even wet bars can be implemented into a pergola, while many also opt to add latticework and planter boxes to encourage blooming flora & fauna.

32 Summery Pergola Ideas

A pergola can be an effortlessly stylish way to entertain and enjoy your outdoor space without sacrificing your comfort or budget. And because there are pergola designs to suit every space, you needn’t worry about cityscapes or country abodes; these 33 pergola ideas aren’t just a designer’s dream but tailored to the individual. Whether you’re looking for an island getaway in your own backyard or no-frills space to enjoy a cocktail and moment of peace, there is a pergola design with you in mind.

1. Summer At The Hamptons Patio Pergola

Summer At The Hamptons Patio Pergola

For this casual, summery look, you can use locally-sourced materials for an eco-friendly touch. The dual pergola-porch area is paved with gray stones. Stone steps add an intriguing, warm color contrast. The white, wooden roof of the pergola extends out from the house to two pillars that combine wood and gray stone to unify the look.

2. Bali Blinds Slatted Pergola

Bali Blinds Slatted Pergola

The slanted slats on this pergola create more cool, relaxing shade for hot, summer afternoons. The wood of the pergola matches the wood around the exterior of the house as well as the wood used for the seating and tables. The grays used for the flooring, cushions, pillows, and tiles in the table top also echo each other.

3. Corner Cabin Style Pergola With Lantern

Corner Cabin Style Pergola With Lantern

The rustic look of this pergola takes its style cues from the unfinished wood of summer vacation cabins. It provides a sheltered nook for an inviting conversation area. The woven textures add contrast and pattern while maintaining the neutral color scheme. The large cast iron lantern offers a striking and fitting focal point for the space.

4. Estate Awing Style Garage Pergola

Estate Awing Style Garage Pergola

Source: houzz.com

This awning style pergola creates a dramatic statement above your garage door. Unlike most pergolas, it does not have support columns that reach the ground. Instead, this pergola attaches to the garage wall. Vines growing on both sides of the door fill in where the supports would be, suggesting the presence of the support posts.

5. Geometric Harmony Freestanding Cubic Pergola

Geometric Harmony Freestanding Cubic Pergola

The dark wood of this cube-shaped pergola area creates a shaded outdoor room. The two slatted walls of the pergola, one with a door-like entrance, define the space. The wicker furniture in charcoal gray adds a contrasting texture and color, while the white pillows and flooring introduce a bright note.

6. Pacific Picnic Wooden Pergola Setting

Pacific Picnic Wooden Pergola Setting

This pergola shades the picnic area while it’s wide open sides provide an expansive view. This detached pergola reflects the style of the porch-pergola. The natural look of the picnic tables, seating, and flooring of the picnic area and the seating in the porch area also ties the spaces together. The openness invites picnickers to come and go freely.

7. Mediterranean Screen Style Pergola

Mediterranean Screen Style Pergola

If the architecture of your home has an Old World Mediterranean influence, or if you would like to add that warm, romantic look, the beautiful designs of the screens on this pergola provide the perfect backdrop. They add pattern, texture, privacy, and an interesting interplay of light and shadow without adding additional color.

8. Tropical Parlor Outdoor Pergola Set

Tropical Parlor Outdoor Pergola Set

The dark wood columns of this pergola suggest the dark wood entrance to a Victorian parlor. The blue and white tile flooring picks up the parlor idea and carries it into the outdoor living space, but the wicker furniture continues the garden feel. The blue and white pillows complete the setting, echoing the tile’s colors without repeating the pattern.

9. A Walk In The Woods Repurposed Wooden Pergola

A Walk In The Woods Repurposed Wooden Pergola

Source: themsfly.org

This unique pergola incorporates a living tree into its structure. The stone wall is built around the tree so that its trunk and one branch appear to break through the wall. The trunk and other branches support the pergola’s roof. A wood plank table, tree trunk stools, stoneware place settings, and wildflowers provide the perfect accents.

10. Sunny Slide-wire Style Pergola

Sunny Slide-wire Style Pergola

Source: sailrite.com

This casual, open pergola lets you enjoy your outdoor living space even when the sun is beaming down from high overhead. When you feel the need to retreat into the shade, you don’t need to move except to extend the fabric panels out between the slats in the roof of the pergola.

11. Island Thatching Pergola Cover

Island Thatching Pergola Cover

If you dream of being somewhere like Tahiti or Polynesia, sitting under this pergola will make you think that you’re already there. The arched roof of the pergola is covered with thatch. The open wicker furniture adds to the island feel, but to further the theme, add tropical plants like potted palms, bird of paradise, orchids, or plumeria.

12. Grilling Palace Pergola

Grilling Palace Pergola

Source: zandart.com

This pergola suggests an Asia palace with the grill in its rightful place, the place of honor on the dais of the patio where the throne would be. It’s a fitting setting for loyal subjects to watch in awe the regal feats of the king or queen of the grill and to partake of the generous royal bounty.

13. Polynesian Bliss Poolside Pergola

Polynesian Bliss Poolside Pergola

Source: dekoloji.com

Recline and survey your poolside domain from the regal white seating in this pergola. White fabric canopies draped along the roof and slatted sides protect the inhabitants from the sun. One table waits with liquid libations while another offers a romantic white lantern for the night. A pole lamp bows, suggesting an attendant with a cooling fan to wave.

14. Northeastern Pagoda Style Freestanding Pergola

 Northeastern Pagoda Style Freestanding Pergola

Source: gazebo.com

This cozy pergola offers everything you need in an outdoor living space to enjoy a northeastern autumn night. Upholstered chairs are draped with warm throws. The coffee table contains a fire pit. A stone fireplace burns in the background, and a dinette table and outdoor kitchen stand ready to provide a warm, hearty meal.

15. English Garden Latticed Pergola

English Garden Latticed Pergola

Source: youtube.com

Transplant yourself into the midst of a perfumed English garden with this airy pergola. The roof slats support a lattice with large openings while, as a backdrop, vines climb a trellis with smaller openings at the back. Adirondack chairs gather around a coffee table for conversation, tea, or a garden party.

16. Corner Retreat Pergola With Suspended Lamps

Corner Retreat Pergola With Suspended Lamps

This pergola provides comfortable bench seating for your garden while also supporting your garden by providing vertical space for staggered planters at each end of the bench. The colorful pillows tossed onto the bench’s white cushioned seat and back echo the colors of the garden flowers, adding to the cheerful look of the nook.

17. Rustic Grecian Pillared Pergola

Rustic Grecian Pillared Pergola

This pergola suggests the sitting room of an English country manor. Grecian columns support the roof. A large stone fireplace roars at one end of the space. Two dark wicker chairs sit in formal balance on the opposite side of the coffee table from a dark wicker settee, and dark stone pavers swirl in interrupted circles.

18. Garden Gazebo Style Pergola

Garden Gazebo Style Pergola

The light-colored wood of this gazebo-style pergola and the furniture beneath it have simply been varnished, so the natural wood color catches the sun and creates a bright accent against the hedge. The pergola’s two arches, front and back, define the space, and bright flowers in urn planters complete the sun-drenched look.

19. Merchant Chic Eclectic Pergola

Merchant Chic Eclectic Pergola

This eclectic pergola features a roof of thatch-topped logs in place of slats. The furnishings include a twig table, contemporary seating and vases, two well-used tables – a coffee table and a work table, a striped hallway runner, and two small mismatched rugs used as wall hangings that pick up the colors of the runner.

20. Urban Escape Rooftop Pergola

Urban Escape Rooftop Pergola

This rooftop pergola is attached to the sides of a planter and shades a bench with its slats and with fabric stretched between its supports. Vines climb the supports, and small plants grow in the planter. Other plants, a water feature, and a meditation area are included in the surrounding space.

21. Island Bar Pergola Awning

Island Bar Pergola Awning

If you entertain outdoors in the summer, create an outdoor bar for your guests. Using rough stone blocks of various sizes and colors creates a natural feel while a marble countertop provides contrast. The pergola-awning attaches to the house, and the bar is built around its supports. Add casual stools for seating.

22. Botanical Promenade Pergola With Planter Implements

Botanical Promenade Pergola With Planter Implements

Shade a sunlit pathway with a pergola that extends all or part of the way along its length. Planters filled with flowering plants fastened between supports cross the walkway overhead adding color and fragrance as well as shade. Hanging baskets, small trees, and plants in tall planters shade the sides of the path.

23. Provincial Cottage Pergola Setting With Hammock

Provincial Cottage Pergola Setting With Hammock

Relax in a country cottage garden under this thatch-roofed pergola. It offers seating to suit everyone. A bench sits on one side of a coffee table, balanced informally by a metal chair and an arrangement of potted plants. Someone could even take a nap in the hammock swinging between the pergola’s supports.

24. Paradiso Dream Pergola With Daybed

Paradiso Dream Pergola With Daybed

If you’d like to sleep outside, day or night, this pergola creates the sheltered space you need. A thatched roof provides shade, and airy white tiebacks can be let down for privacy. For a magical space to enjoy the night, turn on the LED lights wrapped around the side and cross support at the front of the pergola.

25. Malibu Shelter Curtained Pergola

Malibu Shelter Curtained Pergola

Source: dekoloji.com

For a cool, easy, contemporary look, this pergola starts with crisp white drapes hung from hooks and puled back with silver chains. Cube-shaped woven chairs add texture while taking a geometric cue from the angular, Native American design on two of the pillows. The rug simplifies the zigzag with neutral colors while another pillow resolves it into the simple stripes.

26. Moonlight Drive Parkside Pergola

 Moonlight Drive Parkside Pergola

Light the sidewalk from your driveway to your house with this sleek, contemporary, black pergola. Attach lights to the slats, and add a clear cover between them to provide shelter from the rain. Lighting fixtures in the planter and in the posts beside the driveway welcome guests with more light as they enter your home.

27. Orchard Ambiance Thatched Pergola

Orchard Ambiance Thatched Pergola

Source: elmueble.com

The dining area of this pergola shelters under a thatched roof, but the thatch is supported by cables rather than slats. The cables extend beyond the thatch to support vines that grow up the posts at the front of the pergola, turning the pergola into a trellis. Bright lemon and lime colored accessories carry on the cheerful orchard theme.

28. Big Sur Style Rustic Pergola

Big Sur Style Rustic Pergola

This dining area is tied to its Big Sur location by its materials. A stone wall and columns support the logs and wood of the pergola roof. The roof, in turn, serves as a trellis for a grapevine. The sturdy plank table is surrounded by chairs that reflect the staves and hoops of the wine barrel planters.

29. Charming Decktop Pergola Swing

Charming Decktop Pergola Swing

The perfect complement for this airy aerie pergola is the light feeling of swinging on a swing. The woven seat of the swing is tasseled. Heavy ropes attach the seat to the pergola’s roof, and throw pillows add a different texture and pattern, muted color, and a casual feel. Billowing tiebacks add to the feeling of lightness, freedom, and flight.

30. Southwest Lanai Style Pergola

Southwest Lanai Style Pergola

The larger slats of this pergola are covered by thinner slats, providing more shade in the southwestern heat. The center of the pergola has a solid roof to protect diners at the dinner table, but the rest of the roof is open to avoid trapping heat. A ceiling fan above the table creates a breeze when one is needed.

31. Greenhouse Design Pergola With Checkerboard Flooring

Greenhouse Design Pergola With Checkerboard Flooring

This space brings the family library outside. The sides and arched roof of the pergola take cues from greenhouse architecture. The orange cushions, throw pillows, and drapes harmonize with the pergola’s wood while the tomato red pillow picks up the color of some of the books. The white pavers surrounded by the strips of grass add texture and pattern.

32. Bistro Corner Bar Pergola

Bistro Corner Bar Pergola

This awning pergola defines the space for a small, bistro style bar. Below the pergola, the pass-thru has a window that opens out over the three stools for protection from a short sprinkle. The combination of white with natural wood, the potted plants, and the braided sunflower rug add to the fun, casual feel.

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