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The Versatile Pergola

Pergolas, or trellises as they are sometimes called (not really the same thing) are structures that form the frame of an outdoor roof, but without the roof.  Sometimes they are covered with a clear material to provide shelter, but more often they are used as an open frame to grove vines over, which form a beautiful organic “roof” when grown in.  They can also be left with no covering or vines, and serve as a decorative element that defines a space.   I often use pergolas to create a transitional space between the enclosure of the house and the openness of the outdoors.   Because they are composed of a few simple elements, posts, beams, and crossbeams, they can be designed in any style.   They are also great problem-solvers for ugly facades.  For example, many houses have a garage with a room above.  The garage door elevation can be boring and unattractive.  A small pergola set above the garage doors breaks up the tall façade and provides visual interest.   Similarly, a pergola over a front entry can add great curb appeal.

Pergola above garage door adds interest to the elevation

A classic white pergola creates a transitional space between indoors and out.

A contemporary pergola mirrors the deck below

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