Imagine spending your evenings in the company of a glorious sunset, a cup of freshly brewed tea, a beautiful view and a good friend. Sounds like paradise, doesn't it? Having a garden, no matter how big or small, allows us to create a little piece of heaven right outside out home. It's a place to take it easy and enjoy life. It's a place that deserves your attention, because you deserve somewhere special to call your own.
So how do you turn your backyard into a veritable garden of Eden? The answer is simpler than you might think! You just need the right furniture, beautiful tropical plants… and a pergola! We're not kidding – a well-designed covered space creates an outdoor living room in your garden, a place to decorate and design as you wish. Here are 25 of our favourites to inspire you. You'll be amazed by how incredible your garden could look…
Less is more! The simple lines, strong beams and lack of embellishment make this pergola the ideal space to share great moments. It's laid out for socialising, and features some seriously stylish outdoor sofas.
Drift away into a wonderland of whimsy – this illuminated pergola is a cool retreat for even the hottest summer nights.
This fairytale structure is a solid, English country garden style cover. Invite your friends and family into this grown-up version of your dream childhood tree house for long lunches and cocktail parties.
The rustic look is never out of place in a garden. Use chunky red bricks and unvarnished wood to achieve the right effect.
Pop a traditional beamed pergola next to your swimming pool and reap the benefits of living in a tropical climate!
Pergolas are perfect for when it's sunny, but what can you do when the rainy season hits? Simple – install sliding glass panels around the exterior of the structure, so you can close and protect your outdoor space when the raindrops begin to fall.
Use woven textures like wicker, chunky logs and wooden poles to give your pergola Mediterranean flair.
This pergola looks more like a kitchen than a terrace! Recreate the look by choosing a polished concrete floor and a wooden roof that provides complete protection against the elements. Ask a professional to help you design a space that's just as luxurious.
If your home is minimalist and modern like this one, choose a pergola that uses geometric shapes and patterns to reflect this emphasis on lines and structure.
A pergola is a decorative feature in itself. However, you can always go a step further and embellish yours with all kinds of accessories. Curtains, pots, and climbing plants are just a few of the options you have at your fingertips.
Make your garden a haven of tranquility by opting for this serene, Japanese-inspired design.
The climbing plants on the roof and vines twisting around the columns gives this space a country vibe. Rustic outdoor dining furniture completes the look.
Go on, live a little – stop lusting over those porch swings in the shops and pop one underneath your pergola! Both kids and adults will love it, and summer nights will become a whole lot more romantic.
This elegant design is both stylish and secure. The wraparound slatted design of the main structure guarantees privacy from nosy neighbours, and can be used as a fence to prevent intruders from entering your garden.
True luxury relies only on superior design. Keep your garden uncluttered – build a simple structure from quality wood and let minimalism reign supreme. Can you imagine a more classy terrace?
Are you looking for total relaxation? Find it in this boudoir style pergola, which is decked out with gauzy white curtains, feathery pillows and comfy soft furnishings. It's the perfect place for an outdoor afternoon nap or massage.
Take influence from Scandinavian design – use natural wood and cool white textiles to create a trendy tropical chill zone.
The right lighting can transform your pergola into a romantic and seductive setting when the sun goes down.
Even the strongest of homes can end up weather-damaged and worn. If you want to keep your pergola in perfect condition, protect the roof with some kind of coating. A sheet of glass or plastic, for example, can be highly effective in keeping the rain off the wooden structure, which will prevent damage and rot.
If you're designing a family garden, make sure you keep both the big and little people in mind. Adults love a classy outdoor space to dine, but kids will appreciate a fairytale style garden with places to play. Please both sides by tangling vines and flowers around the pergola structure, and place little toy houses and play zones nearby.
Everyone needs a shady place to sit in their garden, but sometimes we want a bit of sun. This smart pergola can roll back its covering, allowing the owner of this home to choose between sunbathing and shade without moving a muscle!
This generous and curvy pergola transforms this manicured garden and turns it into a work of art.
If you've got the cash, go all out and build a sparkling pool'n'pergola combo. Step straight into the cool water after reclining for an hour or two on the custom-built sofa, and thank lady Fortune for the gorgeous Malaysian heat!
Goths like gardens, too. If you like to live on the wild side, embrace your inner vampire and decorate your pergola with black gauze and intricate silver candelabras. Black will NEVER go out of style…
Is your garden a bit irregular? No problem! A pergola can be built in even the trickiest spaces, and will enhance the look and feel of any back yard. Go on, give it a try. You won't regret it!
If you liked this article, check out: How to build a boundary wall.