36 Garden Pergola Design Ideas (Photos)

A Pergola can extend your living space and merge both the inside with the out by having a semi-enclosed space to relax, dine and entertain. They can be as simple as a wooden structure or an elaborate weave of materials, designed to provide shelter and shade. I'm sure you will find something you love from this gallery of garden pergola designs.

While this is more like a covered patio the addition of the glass roof above the wood makes this waterproof so you can still enjoy your space no matter what the weather is. Probably one of the most simple designs with cross beams and struts fully visible.

A nice area to dry off after the pool. The open roof design still allows plenty of sun in so it's not very useful if you're trying to cool off and you might get some weird tan lines if you sit here too long. The white paint makes it look clean and will prevent the wood from being affected by the proximity to the pool.

You might be concerned about making your entire small garden into a covered area but it can be the way to save a space that's awful. This is done with nice warm wood tones to brighten up the sparse concrete walls and small area.

Probably the smallest pergola every this is a bed swing ideal for lazy summer days in the sun. It's also pretty easy to make yourself, don't forget the floor underneath.

An ultra-modern pergola with a very simple roof design. Two large concrete pillars hold the front up while wooden planks have simply been laid consecutively on top. With everything being white it helps to make the space feel bigger.

A clever way to brighten a darker corner of the garden. This is designed more like a covered living room and the frosted glass above the wood helps keep everything dry. The white columns offset the wooden beams and help support the lighting.

The same pergola at night, you can see how transformed the space is with proper lighting. By adding light it's not just a day space and is ideal for parties. The light also accents the warm tone of the wood contrasting with the cooler decorative colors.

A wacky version that uses curved beams instead of straight to look more like the inside of a Chinese lantern. The space isn't huge, but it's very fun looking.

Is it a pergola or a tropical hut? The thatching on the roof is reminiscent of Tahiti and will also keep the space shady and dry. The larger framework means the roof is pretty high to let a breeze easily flow underneath.

Yet another view of the corner pergola. Here you can see the detail on the beam edging which helps give the roof a more finished look.

A more traditional pergola this has a living roof to keep the building cooler or warmer depending on the day's climate. It will also prevent water from getting through to the wood.

A small pergola that's easy to make yourself with garden trellis and fencing. Ideal for storage or add a bench for decorative use.

The wisteria growing over this pergola helps fill in the gaps between the beams so that it's a full covered canopy. The bench matches the twisting roof perfectly. This would take years for the plant to mature and grow over but it will look stunning when flowering.

A small and simple pergola that has been beautifully finished – see the thoughtful cutouts of the roof beams and the added curving trellis at the “doorway”. The green color helps tie in the furniture inside.

More a stage than a pergola the curtains make this an ideal wedding choice and while the design is a simple box it's a blank space that can be changed to fit your gardening style with fabric (pictured) flowers, pots, or an outdoor living room arrangement.

Another trellis pergola, the white color makes it easier to see inside/outside of this design and how the simple benching inside makes it into a more usable but private space.

A glorious pergola that is reminiscent of ancient designs with an untreated wood lattice above and weathered concrete to look old. This is more of a covered walkway but has seating on the sides.

A very modern design that uses steel and tilting glass panels, it's likely these panels can be opened or closed to let either sun in or keep rain out. The bright glass and steel concept is clean, modern, and needs less upkeep than wood.

Adding a solid back wall helps protect the space inside from wind and too much sun but can also add privacy. The simple design leaves the front as open as possible to keep the space from feeling closed in while the filtered roof glass allows only feeble light in so it's shaded but not dark.

Another super simple design – this is literally a wooden frame made of beams and could be constructed in a couple of hours. Stain or paint to match your décor. It won't protect from anything but it's nice and decorative.

This is more like a conservatory than a pergola, the glassed insides make this into a proper room and while the design seems gray the bright colored floor tiles make it interesting once you've looked at it for more than a glance.

Another trellis pergola design, this one leaves space between the walls and roof so it's nowhere near as claustrophobic. This is also significantly bigger as you can see room for a full table and chairs inside.

Cool, unusual, different. The fact that this is a geometric design with no real discerned space inside makes it a very interesting feature. The abstract wire shapes are perfect for climbing plants and these will take over in time to look like a strange tree.

A single wooden design that is clean-lined with room for plants and furniture. It's not roofed so it's only good for sunny weather but it provides some shade at least.

What makes this unique is the closed lattice design that adds extra shade while still being somewhat open. Having very little support makes this very flimsy though.

A neat design that is almost Japanese in its simplicity. The fabric canopy can be rolled back to expose more sun.

A walkway cover that is geometric and takes the eye away from the utility pole on the left. The walkway draws the eye through the pergola to the fountain behind. An ultra-modern design that is still and concrete to look almost brutalist. While it's designed for a platform bed it's hardly functional looking. The interior light makes it look like someone played a joke and put the spare bed here. A boxy design made of wood that is multi-tiered to add height. The paneled wall adds privacy while the space inside is divided with beams so that the structure is better supported.

Ideal if you want to grow grapes, this simple design is similar to the wisteria trellis above but uses grapes. Grapes will thrive on this simple structure and eventually cover the roof area as shady protection.

Perfect as a wedding venue, the tall capped roof almost looks like a church. The half banister stops it feeling too closed in and the natural floor contrasts with the white paint to give a more rustic look. It's slightly raised off the ground so you'll need to plant some bushes to hide the foundations.

Another super simple addition. This adds interest to a small garden while making it seem longer by adding horizontal lines to draw the eye away. By leaving the top open it stops it becoming claustrophobic and doesn't close the space up.

An entire house outside. The full roof covering the fireplace and “living room” allows for the space to be used whatever the weather and keeps it somewhat protected from the elements. The wooden beam style is almost Japanese with the cut-out end finish and geometric pattern that matches the fencing.

A bench pergola adds an eye-catching feature without taking up too much space. The simple bench design is useful for seating or as a potting table and the trellis screens add privacy or potentially a climbing space for plants.