We Southeasterners have come to appreciate early springs, cool falls and short winters. Those very pleasant seasons almost make us forget our punishing summers. Which brings us to the subject of pergolas — including their cooling benefits, the best locations for your property and a variety of design options.
What Exactly is a Pergola?
A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, featuring woody vines. In short, it is a custom outdoor frame structure most commonly constructed out of wood or metal. A pergola adds privacy and shade as a natural extension of your home. It is most commonly attached to the residence but also can be freestanding used as a landscaping focal point. Privacy is maintained via trellises and sculptural vines that add shape to the structure.
What Makes a Pergola So Cool?
Typically, pergolas contain slats on top of a square or rectangular frame that ivy, morning glories or other climbing plants can use as a trellis. As they grow, the vines become an outstanding source of shade. And, if you locate it in front of a southern or western facing window that gets significant sunlight, the pergola will keep that intense heat out of your home. A pergola can bring shade to your deck, pool, walkway or terrace in an elegant and distinctive way. It also a great option to complement a multi-level deck, add shade to an outdoor kitchen or bring style to your garage.
Custom Pergola Designs: Your Options and Our Ideas
We typically construct our pergolas out of pressure-treated wood or cedar. Here is a sampling of ideas:
- A dramatic wood-and-shade-cloth pergola creates a warm, contemporary design
- Add twining vines of clematis which will soften the hardscape and add a burst of color to your pergola
- Complement an outdoor fireplace with a pergola featuring oversized beams
- Although many pergolas have four open sides, there are ways to increase your seclusion on one or multiple sides. As an example, use three lattice privacy screens or trellises on one side, while leaving one side open to your gardens or backyard landscaped vista.
Ready to add the form and function of a pergola to your home? Contact us and we’ll schedule an appointment to discuss all of your pergola designs.