Pergola Design Ideas For An Australian Garden

fairy lights on a pergola

Pergolas are no longer the treated pine structures covered with cloudy laser light roofing.
The modern pergola will incorporate style and function to your front or backyard. 
They are a free standing structure that provides a focal point some shade and can be designed to also include seating and entertainment options.  
A well designed pergola will add to your outdoor space and define a separate areas and connect path ways  in the garden. 
There are different pergola design ideas to match your needs. 
A pergola can be an impressive entrance way at a front gate, or shaded garden corner for book lovers.
By adding a deck or a roof you can create an impressive outdoor dining area that can be used all year round.

1) The Classic Pergola Design

This classic pergola design features painted white timber to create a focal point that anyone would love to have in their yard.
Adding white lattice can work as added screening. 
To make it more of a focal point you can have it on a raised paved area to be a beacon for anyone to come and sit and enjoy.

pergolas brisbane

2) Modern Design In Your Garden

Who said a pergola had to be made of timber?
Using timber, concrete and steel you can create a pergola that adds true form to a modern house and garden.
Using slats carefully can also bring much needed shade to an area that does not have shade trees.

modern pergola

3) Soft And Romantic Pergola

Adding gauzy curtains can turn any timber structure into a fairy tale setting.
Add fairy lights cushions and chairs and on a balmy night you will have the most romantic setting in the neighbourhood.
Thicker fabrics can be used if you want a little more privacy or protection.
For something more dramatic , bring in colours for a cultural feel to your pergola – Think of Morocco and go for bright colours and cushions.

fairy lights on a pergola

4) Swing Set To Relax On

Always dreamed of having a swing to relax and kick back in?
Keeping your swing under cover will mean you can enjoy a swing all year round and during the day or night.
This is an enclosed swing sometimes called a bird cage design but you can choose to have a classic rope and plank style swing from our childhood days.

pergola swing ideas

5) Climbers For Your Pergola

Flowering climbers and pergolas come together as a match made in heaven! 
There are 2 types of climbers you can consider – evergreen and deciduous.
If you live somewhere warm, finding deciduous climbers will be impossible
In cooler climbers they are perfect for a pergola and different plants you can choose – such as wisterias!.
During summer climbers add protection from the sun, During autumn if you have a deciduous climber you can be rewarded with stunning autumn leaves, in winter when the vine is bare it allows more sun to heat up the pergola area and then in springtime you are rewarded with beautiful blooms and perfume

In warmer weather and evergreen climber will offer year round protection from the sun and the flowering season is usually extended.


Imagine sitting underneath a cascade of sweetly scented flowers.
Wisterias are beautiful but there are other gorgeous flowering climbers that you can consider – Read our article about our suggested climbers for pergolas in Brisbane.

climbing plants for a pergola

6) Pergola Style Cubby House

Why not have an open air pergola style cubby house for your children to play in. Their imaginations will run wild with being able to play in this indoor outdoor design in the garden. 
In hot weather an totally enclosed cubby house can be stifling hot. An open air design will allow airflow and it is just so much fun being able to see what they get up to in their own play space.

cubby house pergola

7) Adjustable Shade Options

Louvre’s make an ideal pergola roof. Leave them open to let in all the light. This is a perfect option for the mornings and afternoons before the heat sets in.
During the winter months an open air design will allow the sun to shine in where we need it.
In the summertime when you do want the louvers to close you can adjust them when it does get too hot or if it starts to rain.
You can get manual or automatic louvers for year round shade and weather protection. Truly a multi use and long lasting design option.

adjustable louvres pergola

8) Rooftop Pergolas

We have built several of these structures.
When living in an apartment building and you are luck enough to have a large open air courtyard or balcony area but want to stop the neighbours in the surround apartments looking down on you while you enjoy the sunshine.
A pergola is often permitted by the body corporate as it is considered as a free standing structure. You will need council approval and the plans must factor in high wind speeds and gusts.

roof top pergola design

9) Etched Metal Roof Screens

Wooden slats do not have to be used for a pergola roof
Etched metal shades take your pergola from simple to decorative.
The Iron or aluminum panels are durable, light, and offer endless design options. Matching panels can also be used in the garden as features or around your pergola as decorative privacy screens

metal panels for a pergola roof

10 )White Timber Pergola

White painted timber pergolas are among the most popular designs for its elegance and timeless appeal.
This is an example of understated beauty with clean lines and timeless appeal.
They suit nautical themes, cottage gardens and Hampton inspired designs.
Bring colour into the design with flowering plants or some seating and cushions

white timber pergola

11) Garden Gate Pergola

A pergola instantly makes a garden look inviting. Add some rambling roses and you have a cottage garden delight.
No ordinary front gate can compare to this delightful entrance.
The white beams and softened with plants is enticing entrance way

garden gate pergola

12) Poolside Pergolas

When relaxing by the pool, a pergola is the perfect spot to take a break from direct sunlight. You can build a pergola to have a solid block out roof or you can let in dappled light. With clever design you can angle the wooden slates so that they let the morning sun in but block out the afternoon sun by setting the slats on a permanent angle.
Having some shade options around the pool also helps to stop seating from being damaged by constant UV light.

poolside pergola

13 ) Mixed Materials For A Modern Design

Pergolas can be built to suit all style homes and building materials.
This is a modern town house with modern lines using a traditional style pergola with timber.
Over time the timber will weather and may need to be sanded back and re stained or possibly even painted. Painting it white would add to a coastal feel. If it was painted black would give it a totally different look more modern and industrial.

timber pergola

14) Light Up a Pathway


I just want to walk down this pathway to follow the fairy lights
The pergola frame over the top pulls the entire walk way together between the two buildings and makes it into a space I want to explore.
Pergolas are great at connecting different areas together and giving pathways shelter and form.
This would make a great way to use common space between buildings or units.

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