Pergola is a structure or archway with a framework covered in climbing or trailing plants. It consists of posts and beams but no walls or roof. Freestanding or attached to your home, a pergola is usually designed to be a shaded walkway or relaxation area.
Pairing pools and pergolas has been a hallmark of outdoor living design for practically forever, and it’s easy to see why. Explore some of the most popular pool pergola ideas over the years and find the one that’s perfect for your backyard.
HORIZONTAL WOOD SLATS
This tall and wide shade pergola covers and partially encloses an outdoor dining table. The slats have been brought down the sides of the pergola, emphasizing the similarity with crustacean traps and partially screening the outdoor dining room from other areas of the backyard.
The pergola’s white panels reference the rectilinear shapes defined by the white columns surrounding the home. Low outdoor couches and midcentury modern-style containers help drive home the design.
A handsome metal shade pergola casts slatted shade over the outdoor kitchen and dining room adjacent to the pool. Shade is essential in the desert and other regions with hot summers, but it can be nice to have different degrees of it throughout the landscape.
Walling off a portion of the pergola and adding a built-in hearth gave more presence to the entertaining space, which now offers the promise of evenings spent enjoying living room-level comfort in the open air.
The structure’s simple silhouette and mix of metal and wood complement the home’s contemporary architecture and tie in with other outdoor elements.
TWIST ON TRADITIONAL
White-and-orange striped fabric strung along the top of the shade pergola sets the structure’s design apart from similar traditional designs and casts a slightly warm-toned glow over the seating area.
Weathered-wood shade pergolas extend off this home to cover backyard seating and dining areas. The pergolas tie in with the modern-farmhouse-style home and provide a mount for overhead outdoor lighting.
MODERN BEACH STYLE
The long, relatively narrow shade structure extends from the home to the edge of the hot tub along the street side of the property, screening the hot tub from homes set higher on the slope and elegantly connecting the deck area to the home.
CLASSIC AND ELEGANT
Cloud-like white fabric draped over a metal-and-wood pergola sets an elegant scene for this seating area. While the fabric almost completely shades the lounge area, it still feels light and airy, thanks to the pale hue and generous height of the pergola.
A cantilevered, slatted shade pergola made of steel and ipe wood brings shade to this poolside lounge. Details of the pergola are repeated in other areas of the backyard, this attention to detail helps visually tie the space together.
If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor pool, chances are that you’ll want a shady spot to relax in post-dip or while enjoying views of the pool. While an umbrella placed over a lounge chair will do the trick, a pergola can create a shaded retreat large enough for hosting and become a standout feature that anchors the landscape.