Pergola canopy and pergola covers are a necessity which provides the comfort of using the outdoor space at any time of day and have a good sun protection. It is not a surprise that pergolas are one of the most popular elements of garden landscaping, as this is the perfect place to entertain guests or sit down with a cup of coffee or a drink and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. It is the favorite place of all family members during warm summer days and nights.
Being a major element in the garden, the pergola has a decorative function besides the functional and it has to be visually appealing, to work with the architectural style of the house and to add to the overall exterior design concept. Pergolas differ greatly in terms of design, appearance and materials. Wooden pergolas are the most popular type, but modern pergolas feature aluminum posts and rafters, lightweight constructions with original shape. Although it does not seem like an important thing to keep in mind, the style of the pergola, the design and construction will be of great importance when you choose the best pergola canopy for your backyard. It could be a beautiful vine, elegant decorative panels, brightly colored or striped textile, etc. We have collected 40 beautiful pergola canopy and cover ideas which will help you create a stylish, elegant and welcoming outdoor space.
For city dwellers garden space is often limited and outdoor living space is arranged on balconies or rooftops. Again, pergolas are an element that we often see, especially on roof decks, where the space is enough for a construction. Whether on a roof or in the garden, the pergola is the place where people like to spend leisure time in the evening, an informal gathering with family or a summer party with friends.
Pergola canopy ideas with natural materials – plants to provide beautiful shade
One of the most attractive pergola canopy ideas is the live foliage of beautiful plants which provide shade in the summer. Although plants will not provide protection against rain, they add to the exterior like no other pergola cover, with the colors of blooming roses, the beauty of growing grape and the magnificence of wisteria. The plants can be planted on soil or in planter boxes and you have many choices and options- Clematis, Honeysuckle, climbing roses, Trumpet Vine, grape vine, Morning glory, etc.
Another option for pergola canopy from natural materials is using bamboo, branches, reed or leaves. Palm leaves were used even in ancient times to provide sun protection. In areas with dry climate, palm trees are an excellent option for a cover. Reed mats are also a popular choice for sun shade as they are cost effective and easily replaced if needed. Tree branches, vine branches will be most suitable for rustic and Mediterranean patio designs and will add to the overall décor concept. Bamboo as a pergola cover is an excellent solution as well. Bamboo plants are a fascinating decoration for the garden, they come in a wide variety of species and bamboo is a very popular material for different garden elements – fences, privacy screens, etc.
Pergola canopy and covers ideas – decorative panels and lattice panels
Lattice panels are a great way to decorate outdoor space, but they can be used as a spectacular pergola canopy. They look especially beautiful as the light effects created by sunlight are absolutely amazing. Using lattice as a pergola cover allows partial sunlight and is a good option for the outdoor living space of homeowners who would like to enjoy sun rays. Lattice covers can be attached on top of the pergola construction and very often they are used to cover freestanding pergolas. They are a good idea if you needed side panels as well. In this way you can have more shade or more sunlight and with a few green plants your pergola will be a fantastic backyard retreat, a beautiful and cost effective addition to your home. The fact that you will add value to your property, not only visual, but financial, is another advantage.
Decorative lattice panels come in a wide variety of size, shape and styles and designs. They are lightweight and easy to install and depending on the material they may require little or no maintenance. When choosing lattice panels, you need to keep in mind the architecture of your home. Laser cut decorative panels will not be a suitable choice for a rustic patio design but will perfectly fit into a contemporary decor. You can choose simple wooden lattice panels, aluminum panels, laser cut decorative panels, polycarbonate panels or custom made ones which you can order to an artist or a company specializing in patio design so that the panels fir perfectly to your home design.
Textile pergola covers, shade sails and awning
Pergola textile canopy is the third large group of covers and includes numerous ideas. To begin with the simplest and easiest DIY pergola canopy ideas which can be helpful to anyone who wants to provide a sunshade for his patio. You only need pretty fabric and you can make your own pergola canopy. Sheer curtains will add extra chic and an elegant touch to any backyard. A very inexpensive way to make a pergola cover is to use the type of cloth used in greenhouses. It may not be as fabulous looking but will work when you need a pergola canopy and work with a tight budget.
Pergola canopy ideas include a variety of canvas and awning fabrics and a variety of designs. Multiple strips or one piece cover – the choice is entirely yours. You need to remember that one piece pergola canopies are more suitable for areas with dry weather as heavy rainfall may fill the fabric with too much water in the pockets between the rafters.
To provide patio shade, one of the most popular methods is to weave strips of fabric through the rafters of the pergola in a basket or over/under pattern. This type of pergola cover looks really good and works for modern and traditional exteriors and can really change the look and feel of the outdoor living area. A weaved pergola canopy keeps the textile strips stretched tightly and does not allow flapping of the fabric which prevents the unpleasant noise which is sometimes a negative effect of textile canopies. Most textiles which are designed for exterior use are weather proof and offer great visual appeal. Bright colors can be used when you want to add a color pop to the patio or a visual contrast between the main house and the outdoor living area. Fabrics in beige, brown, grey, and intense bold colors as red, yellow or orange are among the most popular customer choices. Striped patterns also enjoy great popularity as they add a Mediterranean feel to the outdoor area.
Retractable pergola canopy ideas – a modern patio shading option
During the summer months, the backyard or the balcony is where people spend most of their time. Retractable pergola canopy ideas are suitable for any outdoor space and this is a versatile shading option as they protect the outdoor area at all kinds of weather. Retractable canopies can be manually operated or equipped with a motor mechanism. Retractable canopies can be installed on any type of pergola – freestanding or cantilevered. Optionally, retractable canopies can be installed under an existing pergola.
Most canopies retract easily on stainless steel cables and this makes them extremely easy to operate. You can open or close the canopy partially or completely to meet the need of the moment. Many companies offer standard sized and custom made canopies which are manufactured to the exact measures of your pergola and are mounted directly to the rafters.
Retractable canopies offer many benefits as they are very durable and made of high quality fabrics in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They provide not only shading but rain protection as well and you will be able to use your outdoor area even in rainy weather. Usually such canopies have a draining for excess rain water and can be used in areas with high winds.
As you can see, there are many options for pergola covers and canopies. When you want a place to relax outdoors and create an inviting and comfortable outdoor area, sun, rain and privacy protection are the most important things to consider. Whichever option for a pergola canopy you choose make it work for you. Add curtains for an additional touch of style. You could match the fabric of the curtains with the cover fabric or choose a complementary color to complete the shading package of your outdoor living area.