What Are the Smartest and Most Beautiful Ways to Incorporate Pergolas into Your Landscape Design?
Updated: Oct 29
Landscape design is both an art and a science. You start with an open piece of land, or a piece of property that already has trees, paths and garden areas and other features. And then you start planning creatively. It could be your backyard, a piece of undeveloped land where you will be building a new house, or even a lot behind a restaurant or other business.
If you are facing one of those landscape design challenges, we would encourage you to think not just of shrubs, paths and trees that will be part of your design. We would also encourage you to make a pergola, or pergolas, part of your design plans.
Ask These Questions About Your Landscaping Project
Start by considering some basic questions about where you will place the pergola, and what its function will be.
What are the elevations present on the property?
If the land slopes uphill toward its highest elevation, placing a pergola at the top can add a very dramatic element to the design. If you have a flat lot, placing pergolas on the property can turn it from featureless to varied and fascinating.
What are the entry and exit points on the land?
Perhaps the land in question is entered from a house or another building. Or maybe it is entered from a driveway or other access point to one side. These factors determine the traffic flow, and that in turn helps you decide where to position your pergola.
What will the purpose of the pergola be?
There are many possibilities. It could be a shaded area behind a house or restaurant for protected dining. Or in purer design terms, it could function mostly as a visual element in the design of a piece of open land that will be used as a park, a lakeside or poolside shelter, or a center for dining and entertaining. Be sure to weigh the purpose of the pergola alongside the other considerations we mention just above.
What trees and other permanent plantings are present?
To create the landscape design you envision, you might want to remove trees and other plantings – or you might want to leave them in place and plan around them. If there are impressive older trees in place that you want to keep, their presence will influence the placement and orientation of your pergola.
Is the land wet or dry?
And what is the drainage like? It is one thing to consider the placement of a pergola on a dry day. But also consider how the land will be affected by rain. Placing a pergola at a low point on the property, or placing it where a runoff of water occurs, can be a logistical error. If it will be difficult for people to access or enjoy your pergola on wet days, consider placing it in a different location.
Placements and Purposes to Consider
Pergolas can be a beautiful and functional addition to a landscape design. They offer shade, create defined outdoor spaces, and add visual and architectural interest to your garden or outdoor area.
Here are several ways to incorporate pergolas into your landscape design.
Extend a pergola over your patio to create a shaded outdoor dining or seating area. Then use climbing plants like vines or wisteria to grow on the pergola for added beauty and natural shade.
Place a pergola over a garden path or walkway to create an inviting entrance or passage. Again, consider visual elements like ground elevations. And consider training flowering vines like roses or clematis to grow over the pergola for a display.
Use a pergola to frame the entrance to your home or yard, adding a touch of elegance and curb appeal. And consider installing an arched pergola for a more dramatic entrance.
Place a pergola near a swimming pool or hot tub to provide a shady retreat. Incorporate comfortable seating, loungers, or an outdoor bar to create a relaxing poolside oasis.
Install a pergola over an outdoor kitchen area to provide shade while dining. And consider adding lighting, fans, and retractable screens for comfort and functionality.
Meditation or Yoga/Exercise Spaces
A growing number of people are using pergolas as serene outdoor spaces for meditation or yoga. Some are incorporating video screens so they can be guided by online exercise classes. Consider using natural materials and soothing colors for a tranquil atmosphere and remember that for exercising, a wooden floor is a better surface than concrete.
Outdoor Theater Pergolas
Consider adding outdoor couches and seats in front of a large flat screen television. To protect it from the elements, either use a smaller television you can carry into your home when it is not in use or consult with a professional pergola provider like Privlux.com to create a structure where a larger television will be protected from the weather.
Event Spaces for Restaurants
Use a pergola as a backdrop for outdoor events like weddings, parties, or ceremonies. Decorate with flowers, fabric drapes, and lighting to set the mood.
Getting Started with Your Pergola
Remember that the design and placement of your pergola should complement the overall style and functionality of your landscape. You can choose from various materials and customize the pergola's design to suit your preferences and needs.
For new ideas on planning and placing your pergola, be sure to visit Privlux, the leading provider of high-quality pergolas. While you are visiting, be sure to fill out the online form and get a free quote on the pergola of your dreams.
Follow Privlux on Instagram for design ideas and to see more of our projects.