Top 5 Pergola Designs in 2016

Jayde Ferguson

With summer entertaining just around the corner, a pergola provides the ultimate shade structure to enjoy your outdoor space.  Adding a practical, functional and attractive way to extend living and entertainment to your backyard regardless of what the weather throws at you, pergola designs have been booming in popularity as more homeowners utilise them as a stunning garden feature to change the dynamics of a space. 

Essentially the same design as a patio, the difference between a pergola and a patio is in its purpose. Visually, the roof of a pergola consists of open wood planks which can be interchanged with a cover, and can provide a sturdy structure for climbing plants and vines; perfect for turning your backyard into your own private tropical retreat.  From warm timber constructions to fresh modern designs to enhance your home’s exterior, here’s the top pergola designs for 2016.

1. Mediterranean Warmth

The natural appeal of timber can create a beautiful Mediterranean warmth in an outdoor space when used in pergola designs and combined with striking features. Columns are a renowned feature of Mediterranean architecture and can provide a solid support for a pergola. To really get the Tuscany flavours flowing, opt for detailed carving in the concrete pillars.

Combined with stone walkways or timber decking, and thick wood planks for the roof structure, the warmth of these European-inspired pergola designs can completely transform an outdoor space. To create the ultimate romantic retreat, dress up the pergola design with wooden trellis and soft lighting for an amazing garden focal point. This cool style is notorious for creating that exotic luxury retreat vibe, making it especially popular in this regard. 

2. Landscape Inspired Pergolas

A pergola can be crafted from stone, wood and artificial materials; but what makes a design really blend with your outdoor space is the use of lush green landscaping. Mixing materials is a prevalent trend in outdoor / indoor living and your pergola construction is no different.

Using climbing plants and vines to crawl down the pergola structure can transform the space into a peaceful sanctuary. Pergolas with wide bass horizontal beams crafted from pressure-treated wood against the sweeping vines can keep the design simple but effective. Pergolas are natural fit in expansive landscapes already, but working with your current backyard elements can intergrade the design seamlessly.  

3. Hardscape Transitions

Hardscaping can be very dominant in a space, with even the most minimalist elements able to easily define an area. Pergolas can serve as a creative transition between spaces, easing the two effortlessly. Adding a shaded structure like a pergola to a pool space, outdoor kitchen and deck entertaining can turn your backyard into an extension of your home and create an additional living room to use.

Keeping the transition simple by blending the use of materials you’ve used in your space already with the pergola.  The space between the roof boards of your pergola will determine how much sun and privacy the area will get; the closer the boards, the more shade you’ll get. If you want more flexibility and control, adding fabric curtains, pull down shades or shutters to the walls of your pergola can shield from unwanted views or weather when needed.

4. Contemporary Appeal

Even the most basic pergola structures can be used to alter the theme and mood of an outdoor space simply by changing accessories, lighting and décor. A design that rarely goes out of fashion is contemporary appeal – minimalism at its finest.

Retractable roofs, modern architecture curves in crisp white or neutral colours and sleek pergola designs are all examples of contemporary appeal that’ll continue to impress homeowners in 2016. Modern curved pergola roofs can transform the outdoor space into one that’s neat and cosy.

By keeping the structure design to something modest, you’re able to give the pergola a unique appeal though the trim work; whether it be hanging vines or breezy curtains. A contemporary pergola design will still offer the boundary lines between spaces and can be contrasted with a stone fireplace or natural materials to accent the details. 

5. Outback Sunroof

Especially in Australia, crafting a pergola that acts as an outback sunroof in essential. This trendy shade solution uses a modern sunroof pergola which acts like your home’s indoor blinds to keep the sun’s heat away on those uber-hot days. It’ll also help to keep the warm air trapped into the space on those cooler evenings.

These pergola roofs are designed to open so you can have better control over the way your space is used. Flat and gable structures are the most popular designs with better versatility, and some models offer an inbuilt rain sensor to automatically close too.

Whether you’re dressing up a walkway, adding a focal point to your backyard or transforming your space into an entertaining and living area, the right pergola design can boost your home’s appeal significantly. Which 2016 design will you be utilising on your property?

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Great Aussie Patios – Perth’s leading patio and pergola builders with a solution for every outdoor space. You can catch her on Google+.