Make a stunning pergola for when the sun shines

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Not just a pretty addition to your garden, a pergola can transform your outdoor space simply by being in situ and the best part of all is how easy they are to install! With all the tools to hand, you could start and finish a new pergola project in one weekend.

So how do you choose the size and style that is right for you? That may seem like an odd question, as surely you just choose the one you like best, right? Wrong! There are more things to take into consideration that just your taste, so take a look at what we think are the most important considerations to take into account when planning a new pergola.

Well-ventilated

 Lean-to roof by SOLISYSTEME
SOLISYSTEME

The BIOCLIMATIC Pergola by SOLISYSTEME

SOLISYSTEME

If you're planning to sit under your newly installed pergola in the basking heat of summer, you will need to make sure that it is perfectly ventilated, otherwise, you will have essentially created a conservatory without a door! Luckily, an open roof is a major design feature in most pergolas.

We love this example, from Solisysteme, as it has a mechanism that allows the roof to be opened up or shut, offering the perfect combination of shade and ventilation and allowing you to tailor your new pergola to not only your needs, but also the weather!

Perfect placement

 Lean-to roof by SOLISYSTEME
SOLISYSTEME

The BIOCLIMATIC Pergola by SOLISYSTEME

SOLISYSTEME

With a host of styles to choose from, the first stage in your pergola design project should be making a firm decision about where you are going to erect it. While freestanding versions can make lovely additions to a mature garden, or even a themed outdoor space, house adjacent varieties are also beautiful and can add a new dimension of style.

Given the style of house shown here, we think the connecting pergola is ideal and adds to the log cabin feel, without being too over the top.

In the style of your home

modern Garden by RicreArt - Italmaxitetto
RicreArt—Italmaxitetto

Pergolato con teli Bianco

RicreArt - Italmaxitetto

We can tell, just by looking at this fabulous pergola, that the house it has been constructed near is modern, white and most likely minimalist in style. How can we know that? Just look at the crisp styling and understated chic of this structure and you'll know that nothing else would look as cohesive next to it!

Despite there not being a garden to speak of, this pergola adds an eye-catching feature to an otherwise very plain spot and and even offers lovely social potential. Just imagine adding some large pots filled with plants, fairy lights and some outdoor furniture and all of a sudden you have the makings of a gorgeous garden party.

Beautiful materials

 Terrace by INSIDE Création
INSIDE Création

Cuisine d'été

INSIDE Création

In the past, a pergola may have come in wood or, umm, wood, but now, thanks to contemporary designs and prevalent trends, if you can imagine it, we think you will most likely be able to use it as your main pergola building material.

Isn't this metal version terrific? The ideal material for inclement weather, which we are unfortunately prone to here in the UK, it also adds a certain industrial and modern feel that more traditional pergolas might not be able to emulate. Perfect for a super modern home!

Planned in advance

While a pergola project could easily be completed in a weekend, with the proper planning and preparation, we think it's a good idea to thrash out the finer details well in advance, so as to make the actual process far simpler and quicker.

Start by making a scale drawing of the plot where you intend to erect your pergola, then think about materials, size and style. Do some research and compile costings and options in a spreadsheet, so you can make an informed decision about what will work best in your free space and with your budget.

Decorated to perfection

With the perfect pergola design chosen and erected without any problems, it's time to think about the fun part: decorating. We love the use of light muslin to create luxurious drapes in this example and when coupled with some high-end patio furniture and some fabulous potted plants, the overall effect is quite lovely. We can just imagine sitting under a pergola like this one in the heat of summer and enjoying a refreshing glass of lemonade after a swim. Can't you?

For more fantastic garden inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Extraordinary Garden Furniture. We think you'll find some fabulous additions to house under your new garden structure!

Would you love to add a pergola to your garden? Tell us which style best suits you!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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