5 beautiful pergola decorating ideas

5 beautiful pergola decorating ideas
Dec 23, 2019

You put in the time and effort to install a beautiful and spacious patio at your Sioux Center, Iowa home but one thing missing in the yard is shade. A lack of trees makes your summer days feel like a heat wave on the Sahara, but you’re in luck—a pergola can help you keep your cool and add a little style to the mix at the same time. Most pergolas are easy to install and offer plenty of space for creative decorating ideas. But first, let’s get some background on this simple but functional outdoor landscaping feature.

What is a pergola?

A pergola is a three- or four-sided (typically wood) structure made of 2 to 4 posts and narrow-slat cross members as the roof. The slats are spaced at a pre-determined distance to allow sunlight through but provide some shade as well. They are most certainly not a new or even recent idea. In fact, pergolas have adorned castles and homes alike since the mid-1600s. They originated in Italy and English royalty soon followed suit, erecting pergolas to shelter earls and dukes and princes when viewing lively hunting matches or entertaining.

While you likely won’t host the hunting of hares in your Rocky Valley, Iowa back yard; you will surely spend many a sunny afternoon there and it will also be a regular gathering place for neighborhood parties and graduations and birthdays.

Some pergolas are freestanding while others are attached to an existing exterior wall. Whatever their foundation, wood pergolas provide sanctuaries of coolness (in temperature and vibe) on hot summer days. Let’s look at some popular pergola design ideas to consider for your next outdoor landscaping project.

West Coast style

Pergolas were named one of 2019’s top home design trends and this style is one reason why. Choose dark-stained wood or composite for a sophisticated look, and raise the bar even higher with roll-down windows, space heaters, or lighting.

Light it up with Edison

Bring in some potted plants and light up your space with Edison bulbs strung along the pergola’s crossbeams for an inviting and softly glowing mood. Consider cedar wood for its natural resistance to decay and insect sorties.


Don’t underestimate the dramatic effect of curtains to transform your pergola space into a private retreat. Even better, you can make curtains from bed sheets without a single snip of the scissors. Simply hang a sheet and use a fabric band to cinch it into the open position.

Bring in the foliage

Plant climbing roses, vines, or other flowering flora that will soon follow the pergola’s shape and turn it into leafy and aromatic getaway in your own backyard. This design idea is especially attractive above patios adjacent to pools and other hardscape elements.

Light show

A simple yet effective way to spread sunlight around is the use of angled crossbeams. After every four or so vertically installed beams, angle the next three to give your patio area shade at different times of the day.

For more great pergola design ideas, contact Outdoor Elements at (712) 476-5299 or outdoorelements.com.