Can You Customize A Pergola? (How To DO iT)

Pergolas are a great way to add some shade and decorative flair to your outdoor space. These structures are often custom-built, but with a few simple tips you can get an idea of what works best for your backyard and how to customize the pergola design so it’s truly yours.

How to Build a Pergola | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY
Customizing a pergola allows you to create a unique outdoor space.
There are various ways to customize a pergola, such as adding shade elements or decorative accessories.
Consider the functionality and aesthetics when planning your pergola customization.
Understanding the structural integrity and limitations of your pergola is important for safe customization.
It’s essential to choose materials and finishes that can withstand outdoor conditions and require minimal maintenance.
Adding lighting and plants can enhance the ambiance and beauty of your customized pergola.
Personalizing your pergola with furniture and decor can create a cozy and inviting outdoor living space.
Researching pergola customization ideas and consulting professionals can help you make informed decisions.
Regular maintenance and care are necessary to preserve the appearance and functionality of your customized pergola.
Enjoy the process of customizing your pergola and transforming your outdoor area into a haven for relaxation and entertainment.

Think About The Size

One of the first things to consider when planning a pergola is size. How big are you looking for? Is it going to serve as a small entryway into your yard, or do you want to create an extra layer of privacy for larger areas? 

A pergola can be made to fit any space and style, but it’s important to consider how much room you have so that you don’t run out of space when it comes time to add those finishing touches like curtains or plants.

It’s also important when considering the size of your pergola that you think about what purpose it will serve: will it be used solely as an aesthetic piece in your garden, or do you plan on spending most of your time under there? If so, make sure both times are taken into account (i.e., if there is enough room for two people).

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Consider The Materials

The material you choose for your pergola will depend on your budget and needs. In general, wood is the most traditional choice and can add the most to your home’s aesthetic. 

However, if you need something more affordable or durable than wood and want to avoid rust problems with metal, vinyl might be an option for you.

If cost isn’t a concern but strength is, then steel may be the best choice for you since it can support large amounts of weight without bending under stress.

Add A Roof Or Covering

You can customize your pergola by adding a roof or covering. A roof or cover helps to provide shade and privacy, as well as protection from the elements. 

This can be done in a number of ways, but in general you have two options:

You can have a roof made specifically for your pergola. When this is done, there’s no need for any additional framing since it will already be built into the structure of the pergola itself. 

This type of addition is often used for patios that are not adjacent to buildings so that they don’t block views from inside those buildings.

You can add an overhead canopy instead of installing an entire roof system overtop your existing structure. 

This type of covering is best suited as an addition to existing structures like porches or decks because it takes up less space than other possibilities like skylights or dormers would require without taking away too much usable room underneath them at all times (see above).

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Are Lighting Options Necessary?

Lighting options are not just for illumination. They can be used to create a romantic ambiance, highlight your favorite plants or flowers, or simply make the space more interesting. 

For example, if you want to make sure your guests can see their food when they eat under your pergola, then you’ll need to add some lights above the table. 

If you have a giant garden full of beautiful flowers and plants but don’t want them overgrown by trees and bushes, consider adding some lights that will help illuminate them from dusk till dawn!

Whether or not lighting is necessary depends on what kind of use people will get out of the pergola. 

If it’s going outside as part of an outdoor seating area where people will spend time reading or relaxing outside at night (or during any other time), then it’s probably worth investing in some lights for this purpose alone; otherwise it might be better just sticking with natural lighting instead because there isn’t always enough light needed for certain activities such as these ones mentioned above anyway!

Design The Posts

The posts are the structural support for the pergola. They need to be sturdy and well built, so that they can withstand wind, rain and snow without any problems. The posts should also be made from a durable material that will withstand weathering. 

Most people choose wood as their post material; however, other materials such as metal or plastic have become popular recently due to their durability and low maintenance requirements (metal is typically treated with some sort of paint or coating).

Some people prefer to paint their posts rather than stain them because it’s easier to match different colors together this way; however, other people feel that painting doesn’t give the same look as staining does because painting tends not leave behind any evidence of its existence once it dries up completely (meaning there won’t be any wood grain showing through). 

Either method works fine though—just make sure you do whatever makes sense given where your pergola will be placed!

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Add A Swing

Swings are a fun way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. There are many different types of swings available, but it’s important to choose one that is safe for children. 

If you attach your swing to the pergola, make sure it can support your weight without breaking the structure.

A swing can be hung from above or attached directly to the pergola itself. To hang a swing from above, use strong ropes or chains that have been rated for outdoor use (polypropylene rope is ideal because it’s UV resistant). 

If you want to attach your swing directly onto your pergola frame, use lag bolts or carriage bolts with washers and nuts on each end of each bolt so they don’t work themselves loose over time (the exact length will depend on how far apart two pieces of wood in your frame sit).

RelaxationEnjoy a soothing and calming experience while gently swaying on the swing.
ComfortEnhance the comfort of your pergola by providing a cozy seating option.
SocializingCreate a welcoming space for conversation and bonding with family and friends.
Fun and PlayfulnessBring a sense of joy and playfulness to your outdoor area with a swing.
VersatilitySwings can be enjoyed by people of all ages, making it a versatile addition to your pergola.
Aesthetic AppealElevate the visual appeal of your pergola with the addition of a stylish and well-designed swing.
Functional DesignChoose swings with features like adjustable canopies or cushioned seats for added functionality.
Family-FriendlyProvide a fun and entertaining space for children, making your pergola a family-friendly zone.
Stress ReliefSwinging has been known to reduce stress and promote relaxation, offering a peaceful retreat in your pergola.
Outdoor EnjoymentMaximize your outdoor living experience by incorporating a swing into your pergola design.

Use Color As A Decorative Touch

Here are some ways you can use color to create a decorative touch:

Use a color scheme that is consistent with the existing home. For example, if your house has blue trim and shutters, it might be best to choose colors that complement those or contrast with them.

If you want to add pops of color, try using accessories and furniture in bolder hues. You can even bring in plants with colorful blooms for an instant pop!

Think about the mood you want to create in your outdoor space and choose colors accordingly. If it’s going to be used for outdoor entertaining, perhaps bright orange tablecloths will work well with the decor; if this area will be more relaxed and intimate, consider earthy tones like browns or greens instead (or maybe even black!).

Vibrant and BoldAdd a pop of color to your pergola for a visually striking and eye-catching appeal.
PersonalizationReflect your unique style and personality by choosing colors that resonate with you.
Mood EnhancementCreate different moods and atmospheres by selecting colors that evoke specific emotions.
Visual InterestIncorporate color to make your pergola visually interesting and engaging.
Coordinate with ThemeMatch the color scheme of your pergola with the overall theme or design of your outdoor space.
Brand RepresentationUse colors that align with your brand identity for commercial or business settings.
Highlight Focal PointDirect attention to specific areas or architectural features of your pergola through strategic color placement.
Contrast and BalanceAchieve a balanced and harmonious look by using color contrasts or complementary shades.
Seasonal AdaptabilityChange the color scheme of your pergola to reflect different seasons or occasions.
Express CreativityUse color as a means of expressing your creativity and adding artistic flair to your pergola.

Add An Outdoor Kitchen Or Barbecue Island

A pergola is a great addition to any backyard, but you can make it even better with a few simple additions. 

Adding an outdoor kitchen or barbecue island is one of the best ways to take your space from ordinary to extraordinary.

Adding a grill is one of the easiest ways to personalize your pergola and make it feel more like home. A grill doesn’t have to be fancy—you can choose from gas or charcoal grills, depending on what works best for your needs. 

If you plan on cooking frequently outside, consider adding an extra sink and faucet under the countertop as well! 

This will allow you to wash dishes at the same time as cooking dinner in order not waste any precious daylight hours outdoors on work days when everyone else has already gone back inside before sunset rolls around again in late fall or early spring months when days are shorter than usual due to less sunlight exposure during those times (as well as during wintertime).

If there’s room within budget constraints (or if there isn’t), adding refrigeration space so that food items don’t go bad overnight while still being able to keep them cool enough for safe consumption throughout summer months would add value both aesthetically speaking–but also financially too since fridge space would no longer needlessly take up valuable real estate next door instead being tucked away underneath counters where no one sees how much money they’re saving us all year round!

If you’re looking to add protection from the elements to your pergola, consider the option of a plastic roof. Our guide provides insights on the benefits, installation process, and maintenance tips for adding a plastic roof to your pergola. Learn more about putting a plastic roof on a pergola and enhance your outdoor living space.

Add Decorative Accents Around The Pergola’s Post And Columns

Decorative accents can be as simple as a hanging basket or as elaborate as a chandelier. When choosing decorative accents for your pergola, consider the materials and size of the pergola itself. 

The decorative accents should complement the style of your outdoor living space, but it is important to make sure that they are safe for outdoor use. 

If you choose to hang decorative accents from your ceiling or from one of your columns, make sure that all necessary hooks and hardware are included with your purchase or that you have an eye for building them yourself (perhaps using scrap wood).

Enhance Your Pergola With Curtains Or Drapery

Curtains and drapery can be a great way to enhance the look of your pergola. You can use curtains or drapes to add color, style and even privacy to your pergola.

If you are looking for ways to make your pergola look more stylish, consider adding curtains or drapes into the design. 

Curtains will help give your pergola some color while also helping it blend in with its surroundings better than if it were just exposed wood. 

You will want to choose patterns that match the rest of your home’s decor so as not to distract from other areas of the house but at the same time do not clash with them either.

PrivacyCreate a secluded and intimate space within your pergola.
Sun ProtectionBlock out harsh sunlight and reduce UV exposure.
Temperature ControlControl the amount of heat and airflow in your pergola.
AestheticsAdd style, color, and texture to your pergola design.
VersatilityEasily adjust curtains or drapery to adapt to changing weather or privacy needs.
Soften the SpaceCreate a cozy and inviting atmosphere with the addition of curtains or drapery.
Improved AmbianceEnhance the mood and ambiance of your outdoor living area.
Wind ResistanceProvide a barrier against strong winds for a more comfortable pergola experience.
Easy InstallationInstall curtains or drapery with minimal effort and tools.
CustomizationChoose from a variety of fabrics, patterns, and styles to match your personal taste and pergola design.

Upcycle Old Doors For Additional Privacy And Characteristic Accents.

You can always use an old door as a pergola cover. If you want to go this route, look for a door that has some character and style to it. Even if it is old and in need of some repair, it will still add great personality to your finished pergola project.

You can paint or stain the door whichever color you prefer, but make sure you choose something that will match the overall look and feel of your new pergola.

 Once your new pergola is complete, you can place the old wooden door overtop with hinges so that it opens up like any other standard door would do!

You may also choose not to use this wooden work of art as a full covering but rather simply hang it off one side or another so that only part of the frame is covered by its exterior face—but either way will work just fine! 

You could even hang multiple pieces together if desired; just make sure they all line up correctly before attaching them securely in place (you don’t want them falling apart sooner than later).

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Consider Adding Plants And Flowers

If you’re the type of person who likes to add plants or flowers to your home, a pergola can provide a perfect opportunity for you. The height and openness of a pergola makes it feel like an extension of your living space and enables you to place plants around it.

Plants can help create a relaxing atmosphere in your home, so they’re also great if you want to block out noises from outside. 

Some people may even prefer having some privacy while sitting under their pergolas, which is another reason why adding plants may be right for them—they’ll have more shade and privacy than if they didn’t use them at all!


There are many ways to customize a pergola. The first step in the process is to decide what type of pergola you want and where it will be placed. 

Next, determine how much time and money you have available for this project before getting started. 

After figuring out how much space you need, consider what style or design will work best with your home’s décor. Then you can begin ordering materials needed to build your own custom pergola!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you might find helpful:

Free Pergola Plans: Explore a collection of free pergola plans to assist you in designing and constructing your own pergola. These plans provide detailed instructions and diagrams for various pergola styles.

How to Build a Pergola: This comprehensive guide from Family Handyman offers step-by-step instructions on building a pergola. Learn the necessary materials, tools, and techniques to create a sturdy and beautiful outdoor structure.

How to Customize Your Pergolux Pergola: Discover creative ways to customize your Pergolux pergola with this informative blog post. Learn about different design options, accessories, and enhancements to make your pergola truly unique.


Here are some frequently asked questions about pergolas:

Can I install a pergola myself, or do I need professional help?

Installing a pergola is possible as a DIY project, especially with detailed plans and instructions available. However, if you lack experience or prefer assistance, hiring a professional can ensure a smooth and accurate installation.

What materials are commonly used for building pergolas?

Pergolas can be constructed using various materials, including wood, metal, vinyl, or composite materials. The choice of material depends on factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, and desired aesthetics.

Do pergolas provide shade?

Pergolas can provide partial shade, depending on their design and the type of roofing or shade elements incorporated. Additional shade options include installing retractable canopies, fabric shades, or growing vines on the pergola structure.

Can I customize the design of my pergola to match my outdoor space?

Yes, pergolas offer great flexibility in terms of design customization. You can adapt the size, shape, color, and accessories to complement your outdoor space and personal style preferences.

How do I maintain a pergola?

Regular maintenance of a pergola typically involves inspecting for damage, cleaning, and applying protective coatings if necessary. The maintenance requirements may vary based on the material used, and it’s essential to follow manufacturer guidelines for proper care.