10 Stylish Pergola Ideas for Your Backyard

It’s summertime, and all you want to do is be outside. But, particularly if you live in the southern part of the country, it’s hot out there. The sun is lovely, but it’s also relentless. Perhaps your backyard could use some kind of shade structure. Maybe a pergola, covered with climbing vines? If you’re searching for stylish, modern ways to shade your outdoor space, look no further than this collection of 11 creative ideas.

Black paint gives this simplified version of a traditional pergola, from Alt, a modern edge. Ample greenery helps to soften the look—and that hanging swing looks like an excellent place to spend an afternoon.

The wood slats that span the top of this pergola from Couture et Turbulences provide protection from the sun. The structure also helps to define the space, creating the feeling of an outdoor room.

The corrugated plastic sheeting that covers the roof of this pergola from Homes to Love means that the space can be enjoyed even in a light rain.

This beautiful, modern pergola from Almost Makes Perfect takes its cues from a classic Parsons table, with vertical and horizontal members in exactly the same size. It’s lovely to look at, but it’s also practical, with angled louvers that reflect the sun’s rays, so the patio below is brightly lit but protected from the heat.

From Castorama via Cote Maison, here’s another example of a pergola with angled louvers. As mentioned above, this treatment helps to dissipate heat from the sun while still allowing light to pass through. This is a great option for beating the heat without climbing vines or a shade.

Australian manufacturer Entanglements makes these cutout metal panels, which can be used to create modern shade structures with a delicate, lacy feel.

This pergola (a creation of COS Design) is cantilevered, with supports on only one side. It’s a very flexible design, which feels quite modern and can be used to shade just one side of a patio.

This Swedish home, from Hus & Hem, has a pergola structure with a layer of shade fabric suspended underneath. The black paint gives the pergola a sophisticated edge, and sets up a nice contrast with the wood deck.

From Stil Inspiration, here’s another example of a pergola with a sunblocking fabric (which protects from heat but still allows light through) attached underneath.

If you’re familiar with woodworking, building a pergola is a fairly easy project, but there’s also the option of buying one ready-made. This metal pergola, which includes a sunshade (although not the lights, unfortunately) is available for $382.49 from Target.

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