It would be foolhardy to suggest that pergolas are making a comeback in the world of outdoor landscaping design as they’ve never really been out of the scene. However, it is fair to say that there is an increasing move away from the typical wooden trellis design draped with ivy or climbing roses that you would have seen in your grandparent’s yard.
With all the new technology and designs, it’s not hard to work out how to add a modern touch with a pergola to add a bit of high tech magic to your garden this summer. These are just some of the some of the ways to bring a modern touch to your pergola:
Built in light fixings
A traditional pergola would only typically be used during the day time hours as it is primarily intended as a source of shade outside your home. However, you can install a lighting system directly into the post and beams (think recessed LED lights, or hanging fairy chains for example) to keep you and your guests outside without the need for endless candles or a smoky campfire. If your pergola is on your deck or even attached to your home, you should be able to hook up the light fixings to your home’s electrical system removing the need for visible wires and switches. The final modern touch comes from having wirelessly enable light bulbs so you control the mood from your phone.
Traditionally, pergolas have been made from strong wood such as cedar or pine, but more modern materials are becoming cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing. For example, you can now have a pergola made from high strength aluminum that also can be stamped with a wooden pattern. No more yearly scrubbing, sanding and restaining for you with this modern touch! You can also go for a more sleek design using steel post and beams which can be painted in just about any color, or a mixture of wood and metal for a more contemporary look. In the latter case, you need to make sure the material of the posts can support the weight of the beams.
Another great way to add a modern touch with your pergola is to invest in a retractable cover system for the roof of your structure. Wires and pulleys that you operate by hand can get tangled and look unseemly, while the installation of a mechanized system that extends and retracts your cover gives you ultimate control over the shade while again harnessing the power of electricity to bring your pergola into the 21st The system should simply operate on rails and cables installed on the top of the beams out of sight and could even be operated wirelessly like a garage door opener.
The key to achieving the best modern looks is to make sure they integrate seamlessly with both your pergola and your home. Recessed designs, hidden wires and wirelessly communication are all good strategies to make sure that your modern pergola design wows your guests while staying true to the origins of the pergola.