After settling into my new home, I finally had the time to decorate my backyard. With our temperate weather and Florida sun, I love to spend time outdoors. I needed a landscaping feature that also provides shade, so I searched for the different types of outdoor shade structures.
I was confused about whether I should install a pergola, gazebo, or pavilion, and eventually, I settled on a pergola. After, I had to choose which type, what material, and the design of the pergola. It took me a long time to decide, especially on the design, since this is an expensive and almost permanent structure.
If you're also having a hard time deciding on the design, I might be able to help you. When I was deciding on what type to get, I browsed the internet for outdoor shade structure ideas. I'll share with you some of the gorgeous designs I found.
Take a look at these 30 beautiful backyard embellishments. You might just find the perfect design for your home.
1. Walkway Pergola
This one caught my eye because it has a modern take on a pergola. You can also attach it to an exterior wall so you don't need to put up a lot of posts for support.
2. Steel Frame Gazebo
I wasn't sure if I should hire a professional to install my outdoor shade structure, so I checked some online stores for kits. Here's a simple steel gazebo that would look great it any yard.
3. Fan Shaped Corner Pergola
Most pergolas are small and square so I was surprised to see this different-shaped pergola. It's huge but you can build a similar but smaller one in your outdoor space. (Related article: Selecting the Right Type of Wood for your Pergola)
4. Garden Pod
Here's an adorable structure that will fit in your patio or yard. It's a nice spot to read a book or hang out with friends as you'll get the right amount of light and still feel the cool breeze.
5. Gazebo with Netting
It's a steel-framed gazebo with a polyester canopy that comes in light brown as well. You won't need to worry about pesky bugs from ruining the night thanks to the netting.
6. Garden Arbor with Faux Patina
Here's a nice and simple garden arbor you can build for your backyard. It helps accentuate your walkway and will make the place look magical once it's covered with plants and flowers.
7. Unique-looking Pergola
This one immediately caught my eye when I was scrolling on a page of pergola designs. It doesn't even look like a pergola with its shape and style but I would love to install a similar-looking pergola in my home. I would probably need a professional to do it.
8. Arbor Trellis with Gate
This one looks great - with or without plants, vines, or flowers. It also has a two-door gate but it's mostly for design, not security.
9. Timber Frame Style Pavilion
Check out the roof of this pavilion. It's not the usual triangular roof found in most pavilion designs. Doesn't it look great? (Related article: 5 Best Patio Umbrellas You Can Get For Your Home)
10. Small Gazebo
This beautiful gazebo was actually DIYed and not made a professional. It even has a storage box for a cooler! Check out the guide here.
11. Iron Pergola
Here's a lovely pergola with a different-shaped roof. It's huge and since it is made out of iron, it's low maintenance!
12. Garden Gazebo
According to the person who posted this, they created this garden gazebo in one hour. It's simple and it does its job of protecting you from the sun. Watch the video to see the building process.
13. Inverted Triangle Pergola
Here's another unique-looking pergola in this list. It's an amazing design and would look great in rustic-themed yards.
14. Gazebo with Serving Shelf
This gazebo is perfect for those who love to dine outdoors. It's large enough for an outdoor dining table set and it has a serving shelf for your cooking utensils and equipment.
15. 3-Sided Shade Sail
If one sail is not enough to cover an area in your yard, you can use two sails to create a larger shade sail.
16. Pergola with Firepit and Swings
This pergola also caught my eye because it's huge and it comes with a lot of bench swings. There's even a firepit and serving area, perfect for cookouts and evening parties. Here's a tutorial on how to create this amazing pergola.
17. Wide Arbor
Most arbors are small and used for narrow pathways, but not this one. This arbor is made out of vinyl and easy to assemble.
18. Modern Pergola
If your home has a modern design, get this pergola! It's also designed to attach to an exterior wall but you can opt to make it freestanding.
(Related article: Which Type of Pergola Is Best For Your Home?)
19. Curved Pavilion
Doesn't this pavilion look great? I like how the style of the roof is different than the usual triangle roof.
20. Stone Gazebo
Most gazebos are white and look like a small castle but check this one out. I think the stones make this gazebo look like an ancient home. How about you? What do you think?
21. Glass Gazebo
Now, this gazebo looks amazing! It's made out of glass and the whole thing swivels. It also gives you full privacy thanks to the curtain.
22. 3 Shade Sails
Here's another way you can cover more space with shade sails. Use three different-sized sails and protect a huge area from the sun.
23. Louvered Pergola
What is a louvered pergola? Instead of wood beams for the top of the embellishment, it uses aluminum beams. It's great at withstanding hurricane-force winds and is rust-resistant.
(Related article: Different Types of Materials For Your Pergola)
24. Screened-in Gazebo
The thumbnail below shows what the gazebo looks like before. Watch the video to see the result of screening-in and painting the gazebo.
25. Pavilion with Outdoor Kitchen
Compared to pergolas, pavilions are larger structures that offer more protection from the sun and rain. That's why you can build one with outdoor kitchens - just like the one below.
26. Walkway Arbor
You can also extend arbors so it covers more parts of your pathway. This arbor looks great even if it's not yet covered with plants and flowers.
27. Porch Swing
Here's a simple structure you can add to your yard or patio. Enjoy the cool breeze while reading a book or talking with a friend.
28. Pergola with a Built-in Bench
A pergola doesn't have to big, check out this small pergola that's enough to cover a bench. Find out how to create this structure in this tutorial.
29. Hot Tub Gazebo
You can also use gazebos to cover hot tubs. This gazebo has a shelf on the side, perfect for a wine and cheese night.
30. Corner Pergola
This one looks very interesting because pergolas are typically square or have four posts. The corner pergola is perfect for small outdoor spaces or for yards that need to cover a corner area.