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A pergola is a freestanding structure with an open roof, held up by posts or columns. It can be used to cover a patio or walkway and provide shade to outdoor living spaces. An open roof will actually keep the space cooler than if it was fully covered. This is because an open roof allows for air to pass through. You can also add cloth shades to control the amount of sunlight you let in. Functional and elegant, pergolas work great for adding an inviting feel to your outdoor living space. Characterized by its classic arches, these structures provide shade and let you relax in your landscape even under the summer heat. Pergolas can be integrated with another hardscape, such as a backyard fireplace, for a more dramatic setting. It can also be used as a smooth transition from one outdoor amenity to another. For example, a pergola can be installed to lead guests from your pool or spa to your outdoor kitchen and dining area.

The variety of pergola designs you can choose from will most likely depend on the available space in your yard. Small pergolas can serve as an accent to an otherwise empty corner, or you can also request your contractor to have it attached to the roof structure of your house. Talk to professional landscape designers so you’ll know which designs fit your home structure best.


A patio cover is sometimes used interchangeably with a pergola, as their differences are slight. The main difference is that a patio cover isn’t freestanding, but rather an attached structure that extends outward from the house over the patio. The roof can be open or solid, depending on your preferences.

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A gazebo is another structure that is sometimes confused with a pergola. A gazebo is a freestanding structure that has a pitched roof and openings on all sides. This provides shade without obstructing any views. Gazebos can be screened to protect from bugs as well. Because of its size, it isn’t the best option for covering a large area, but it would work well if you want to set up a shaded relaxation space in your backyard. 

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When someone thinks about a wooden fence, what normally comes to mind is the stereotypical white picket fence. However, that’s not the only option! Wooden fences can come in an array of styles and are a popular material in both modern and traditional design. Varnished wood can add a natural look to a predominately hardscaped yard. 

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