Garden Pergola Ideas | Contemporary Garden UK

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Garden Pergola Ideas

Garden Pergola Ideas

What better way to spend the day than out in the garden especially when you can relax in a comfy seating area sheltered from the elements. Today we put together the best garden pergola ideas for your outdoor space. Pergolas are an excellent way of extending your home and creating an extra area for you to enjoy. 

Functional Pergola Ideas

A pergola must be functional for your garden and be able to deal with the weather in your location as well as provide adequate space for what you plan to use the area for.  

Choosing the right pergola

First things first, you need to choose the right pergola for your garden. Measuring out the space you intend to place it in is the first step and you need to ensure you are accurate in your measurements. Will your pergola be fairly free standing or a lean-to against your home or an outhouse? Is it just for shade or will you need sides to it as well? Consider the position of your pergola in terms of privacy, sun direction and ease of access. Check our pergola systems to compare some of the options available to you.


If you have a wide gap between pergola roof slats, then you may need to add some additional protection. An awning can be used to cover the entire pergola and provide excellent protection for wind and rain. An awning can also be used just to extend the sides and expand the coverage of your pergola area. If you have a thin gap between slats where a limited amount of rain can get in, you may not even need an awning.


Pergolas offer extra protection against the elements from above but don’t forget about protecting the sides. If you have a lean-to or a pergola with a side then you will already have reduced at least one point of the draft. However, if you find that the area still is a bit of a wind tunnel you should consider adding in some windbreaker features. An additional fence panel on one side can easily block excess wind, just make sure the styles match. You can also use furniture or plants to make the boundary more impenetrable.


If you are wanting to extend the time you can spend outdoors than adding heating to your pergola seating space is a must. Looking to invest in your garden? You may opt for underfloor heating in your seating area. Though this can be expensive, it’s a sure-fire way to help you continue using the outdoor space long into autumn and even winter with additional heating. If your budget can’t stretch that far, look at overhead heating in the form of heated parasols. These are a cheaper option and are very effective at keeping people warm while dining and chatting. You can also use a fire pit at the edge of the pergola and create a cosy seating area around it. 


One more functional item to include in your garden pergola space is lighting. As with making the area wind, water and heatproof, having adequate lighting for your seating area will ensure you feel comfortable out there even after sunset. See our article about lighting your garden for more information.


It’s time to look at the fun and decorative garden pergola ideas you are no doubt looking for. The key to any outdoor space feeling put together and luxurious is to think of it like any room in the house. Pick a colour palette and plan out your choices of pergola, furniture, accessories and plants to create a cohesive look and feel for your area. Here are some more tips for decorative outdoors and the pergola from this blog is a stunning slatted fence pergola we can’t get love enough.


No seating area would be complete without some beautiful furniture to sit on and tables to hold your food and drink. For outdoor furniture, look for easy to clean and robust options that have some sort of protection or are made from a material that will not be easily damaged by the elements. You want to make sure you select seating that is comfortable, so test out any before you buy or look at reviews. Add extra comfort with pillows and blankets in your chosen colour palette. 


A rug can bring any space together, no more so than in a garden. It may seem an odd thing to include in your garden because of the British weather but it is an addition that will make your pergola area feel like another room in your home. There are many beautiful options for outdoor rugs nowadays and you are sure to find something to complement your style. Select a thick and coarse, natural material as these rugs will last much longer in the elements. Unless you are very diligent about cleaning or you bring the rug in every evening, don’t choose a light coloured rug. It will only end in tears.


To finish off your new seating area, select accessories in your accent colours. Pillows and blankets are staples and add real warmth but why not bring some more unusual accessories into the garden. 

  • Art that is framed well can be added to the side of a pergola structure and would really make a statement. 
  • Large statues can bring interest to unloved corners. 
  • Tabletop decor can provide a focus for when plates and dishes have been cleared away.
  • Outdoor curtains can provide additional texture and privacy.
  • Plants are a must so make sure they are potted in planters that match your aesthetic and add some texture to the space.
  • Pergolas also make a great climbing frame for vine and creeper plants, just remember they can soon overtake a structure if not maintained.

Make the space your own and inject your personality into it. 

Make your Garden Pergola Ideas a Reality

If you’d like to make your own little slice of heaven in your garden, check out our pergola options. Our pergola systems can be used as seating areas, walkways or dividing areas within the garden landscape. Whatever you have in mind we can help you realise your gardening dreams. Get in touch to discuss your own garden pergola ideas with one of the team.