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Modern pergolas, known for their outdoor canopy-style structures, date all the way back to ancient Rome and Egypt. When something sticks around that long, it’s probably for a good reason.
These structures, not to be confused with pavilions or arbors, two other popular outdoor designs, are once again finding themselves at the forefront of luxury yard design. In fact, 2021 was dubbed by many publications as “the year of the pergola,” and there’s no sign of slowing down as 2022 is underway. A modern pergola can be the key ingredient in transforming a backyard space to fit the sleek, modern aesthetic of our current times. Pergolas are both functional and visually pleasing to look at, so unlike some other design trends, you’ll be getting a lot of bang for your buck.
What exactly is a pergola?
If you’ve never heard of one, or didn’t know the name for it, a pergola is a structure constructed of beams and posts, designed to create a shaded area or walkway in your garden or backyard. When ancient Romans and Egyptians first created pergolas, the main purpose was to provide shade for the wealthy to be comfortable outside on hot days, without having to interact with the poor.
Nowadays, modern pergolas can be constructed of a vast amount of materials for many purposes, the styles ranging from practical to luxurious. Here are just a few of the many reasons why these ancient structures are so hot right now (figuratively speaking, of course–they’re meant to cool you off!).
Pergolas are timeless, and once installed, you’ll never want to go back. But before that, you have many different options for how you want to style them so they uniquely fit best with your yard. You could go the rustic route and choose wood as the structure material, which can be painted however you want. Or you could choose a metal material, which elevates the space in a more sleek manner. Whichever material you choose, adding some vines and other greenery to wrap around the modern pergola is a great touch which blends the feel of outdoors with the construction.
The pergola itself is just essentially just a shielded shape, but there are multiple ways to use what’s underneath. You could make it more narrow to accommodate a walkway. Or, you could add some flooring and make a nice outdoor kitchen area (think Love Island). A very common use of the space is a patio. Add some outdoor furniture and a firepit, and you have the perfect place to hang out in the fresh air.
Versatility and Functionality
Not only are pergolas pleasing to the eye, they also are very versatile in their function. Their main purpose is to offer partial shade from the sun, but walls of the structure also create some privacy in an otherwise open outdoor space. Pergolas can range in size and also be placed anywhere you want in the yard–some people use them to divide their yards into different sections. Shade, privacy, and division aside, if you choose to put furniture and flooring in your pergola, it’s the perfect place to relax or host hangouts. Everyone will want to hang out in the yard that feels like ancient Roman royalty.
With any design trend, the price changes based on how elaborate the design is and what the material you decide on costs. If you prefer a simple design, a wood pergola can be purchased and installed for under $2000. If you purchase the materials and install it yourself, that brings the price down even further. If you choose a more durable option, like vinyl, aluminum, or metal, that will likely put the price in the upper $5000-$7000 range. Some custom build options could run up to $10000, but that is very material and size dependent, and also not very common.
Remember, how much you pay will depend on the scope of the project and can range based on the details. The point is, it’s not necessary to break the bank if you want to transform your yard with a beautiful modern pergola.