Looking outside during the coldest days of winter can leave you dreaming of warm summer evenings spent under the pergola, with friends and family, enjoying a great time. But if you feel that something has been missing from the experience, maybe your pergola needs updating. Here are 10 ways to spruce up your pergola in Harrisburg, PA, to make your pergola your favorite hangout space.
1. Enhance the Seating
Comfortable seating, whether it’s lounging or dining furniture, invites people to linger. If the furniture is fine but the layout is causing aggravation (for example, having to move furniture out of the way so you can maneuver in the space), consider a different furniture layout or reducing the number or the size of furniture pieces under the pergola.
2. Reconsider Shade and Privacy
Since pergolas have open roofs, they don’t completely shield you from the sun. The slats nicely balance out sun and shade, but only when the sun is overhead. If late afternoon sun makes outdoor living uncomfortably hot, install some airy curtains, retractable shades, or a trellis with climbing sun-loving vines on the west side of the pergola. These options also help keep nosy neighbors out of your business and make the pergola feel less exposed. For additional overhead shade (for example, if the pergola slats are oriented north-south, which allows midday sun to stream in), add bamboo rods between the main slats.
3. Add Outdoor Lighting
Many people have string lights on their pergolas. They’re fun and festive, but if you want to take your pergola to the next level, use accent lighting that will draw the eye to focal points within and around the pergola.
4. Integrate the Pergola Into the Landscaping
Pergolas fit into a natural setting thanks to their wooden construction and open design. Add plants to your pergola, whether in hanging containers, large pots, or permanent masonry planters to bring nature even closer.
5. Provide Shelter from the Rain
Pergolas aren’t made to offer protection from rain. However, clear plexiglas roofing can be installed over the top for a more weather-resistant structure. A removable, waterproof awning is another option if you want to keep the pergola open on hot sunny days, but want shelter from an afternoon shower.
6. Consider Sheltering from Wind
If your pergola is situated in an uncomfortably windy spot, a slat wall or bamboo fence on the windward side will keep things cozy while still allowing for plenty of air movement. This is also a great solution for added privacy.
7. Color Your Mood
Colors, furnishings, plantings, lighting, and accessories directly affect the mood of your pergola. If you want a fun and upbeat vibe, choose up to three highly saturated colors to use throughout as pops of color (any more could be overwhelming). If you prefer a relaxing, tranquil atmosphere, stick to neutrals or monochromatic themes.
8. Add Fresh Finishes
A new coat of paint or stain is one way to breathe new life into a dated pergola.
9. Request Fancy Touches
An outdoor-rated chandelier gives your pergola a touch of elegance, especially if you enjoy alfresco dining.
10. Hang a Hammock
A couple of hammock hooks give you more options. You can relax in tranquil comfort during the day, and then remove the hammock to make room for a fun evening barbecue.