Exterior Worlds
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Pergola Designs to Enhance Your Outdoor Experience

A pergola is a type of gazebo whose roof is made of cross beams that allow sunlight to filter. The amount of light filtering through the roof is determined by the distance between each rafter. The side walls of the pergola are made of intricate latticework whose size likewise regulates light filtration. Most pergola designs include climbing vegetation that grows up the lattice and covers the rafters on the roof. Everything from dappled sunlight to near total darkness can be created simply by carefully choosing what climbing plants put the final, organic touches on the structure.

Pergolas are built in two different ways to perform a multitude of functional tasks and aesthetic compliments. There are connecting structures that accent the entrances to homes, outdoor buildings, and custom courtyards. There are also stand-alone structures that add vertical impact to significant areas of interest.


Connecting pergola designs create a sense of grand transition as you move from one place to another through your landscape. Some people have us build them a pergola adjacent to the rear entrance to their home. In many cases this beautifies certain homes that may not have the most attractive rear wall in comparison to the front façade. Creating a portal to the home and from the home that nature to interior space and adds instant curb appeal to architecture.

Other clients of Exterior Worlds will often hire us to develop a pergola that connects the pool patio to the outdoor kitchen. If the structure is long, like a hallway, it creates a sublime corridor between the water and the dining area. If the structure is more quadrilateral, it shelters the kitchen’s outdoor dining patio.

People who are really into courtyard design typically love pergola design even more. This is because pergolas can link two or more courtyards. Because many courtyard walls are built of brick masonry, linking them together with a rich, green organic corridor creates a majestic blend of the manmade and the natural.

Free standing pergolas are no less magnificent than their connecting counterpoints. These stand-alone structures add distinct character to any Houston backyard. Because the uniqueness of pergola design allows for total control of light and shadow, stand-alone structures like these make some of the best outdoor rooms in which you can host a variety of events.

Perhaps the most common is the outdoor dining room shaded by a combination of pressure treated pine rafters overgrown with thick ivy. The structure is supported only by columns with no lattice walls. This allows light to come in from the side and illuminate the table without light from above penetrating downward. The luxuriant vegetation also helps absorb the rising heat so that the structure remains cool. In the event of no breeze, fans can be installed on the columns and powered from hidden controls.

There are also pergola designs devoted exclusively to giving special emphasis to a garden focal point. Some formal gardens are large enough to stroll through and rest in. Building a pergola over the central part of the garden invites the guest to slow down and take a rest while they appreciate a custom fountain, fine statue, or central seating area built just for private conversation.