How You Can Make Your Yard Stand Out With A Pergola

Creating an outdoor living space can be an exciting project and making extensions to the home outside has become a popular trend as of late. Minnesotans like us love to spend as much time as possible outdoors, so constructing comfortable and beautiful spaces that we can enjoy when the weather permits is a must. 

Pergolas offer an incredible way to invoke fusion between the inside and the outside, along with tying your design to times of antiquity. These shaded coverings are a way to create separation and shade without friction, they are an aesthetic and functional addition to any outdoor space. 

A Brief History 

Pergolas have been around for quite some time now. The oldest known pergola was in entryway of the garden at the Egyptian high court of Thebes in 1400 BC. Over time these shaded structures have been primarily used by the rich and powerful for their hanging gardens, but they didn’t remain in the hands of the elite. Regular folk used them for their own vegetative needs and also as a way to escape the harsh sun. There was no AC back in the day, so having shaded areas was a must in certain climates. 

The word Pergola actually didn’t exist until the 1600s, where it got its name from the Latin word Pergula, which means “projecting eave.” Many of these pergolas were used in Roman gardens — and even in Eastern Asia (while these are called pagodas). 

During the Italian Renaissance, the pergola really took hold as an aesthetic staple. These structures were crafted with stone pillars and stood massive compared to modern pergolas. 

Where You Can Put Your Pergola

Perhaps the most appealing part about adding a pergola feature is how diverse they can be. Sure, you can’t just toss them wherever you’d like, but they do have an appeal in many areas of your property. From decks and pools to gardens and walkways, these shaded structures can add something new to most areas of your landscaping. 

They aren’t just there to look at either, they really do serve a functional purpose. You can protect areas like decks from rain or snow with pergolas. These give a little bit longer of a lifespan to patios or decks and also save you from having to shovel off every inch of snow. 

But here are our top areas where you can put a pergola to add both beauty and functionality to your yard or garden. 

  • Patios or decks 
  • Pools or hot tubs 
  • Outdoor living room
  • Gardens 
  • Water features 
  • Nooks or benches 
  • Walkways or pathways 
  • Garage addition or even driveways 

Let’s not just talk about them, here are some of our favorite pergola ideas and installations.

The Outdoor Living Room Pergola

Outdoor Living Room Pergola


We love what they did here. Not only does this serve as a great covering for their living space, but they also managed to find a creative way to string lights through their pergola. The wooden ingredient gives it a truly tasteful outdoors feel as well.

The Modern Bench Swing Pergola

Modern Bench Swing Pergola

This has an entirely different feel than the last pergola, but it’s a pergola nonetheless. A great way to cover their bench swing with an almost black finish on the covering — very different and gorgeous use of a pergola.

Pool Pergola

pool pergola

Pergolas are a great addition to hot tubs or pools, here we see how they used it as a nice covering for their lounge area. This is a pretty large pergola, but it doesn’t look overbearing because the width matches the pool

This has an entirely different feel than the last pergola, but it’s a pergola nonetheless. A great way to cover their bench swing with an almost black finish on the covering — very different and gorgeous use of a pergola.

Garden Walkway Pergola

Garden Walkway Pergola

Here we can see how they used a bit of a dual functionality of the pergola. Not only as a way to cover their walkway but also to their garden, with vegetation seeping in from all angles. It also adds direction, an almost “light at the end of the tunnel” feel.

Pergola Materials 

As we mentioned, pergolas pillars were made out of smooth stone and were pretty large compared to a contemporary take. Nowadays, pergolas are typically made from different types of wood or vinyl. There are even some pergolas that utilize metal slats or are entirely made from metal. 

It’s not unheard of for some to be made out of stone or brick. This is typically done when it makes sense, like when trying to match the brick or stone infrastructure of the home. 

Vinyl is probably your most maintenance-free option. It’s extremely durable and won’t fade or warp over time. It’s also resistant to many wood munching pests and looks just as good as the wood it’s mimicking. 

Get Started

Are you thinking about adding a pergola to your yard or home? This is something that can be a DIY project if you’re an expert handyman or handywoman. But if you want to get it just right and not have a headache about all of the planning and installation details, we’d recommend getting help from a professional.

Add a stunning appeal and function to your property with a pergola. It will make your features stand out and are a structure that has withstood the test of time. For thousands of years, these pergolas have been used to shade and house both humans and plant life as a way to enjoy the outdoors in comfort.