Pergolas make wonderful additions to any back yard. They can give you a relaxing retreat while also allowing you to make the most of your outdoor space. Of course, if you have a small back yard, you may not have much space to make the most of it. Fortunately, it’s possible to incorporate a pergola into even the smallest of outdoor spaces with the right measures.
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Measure Your Space
One of the first steps to take when planning a pergola is to measure your back yard. That’ll give you an idea of exactly how much space you have to work with. Think about the shape of your back yard as well. As you’re browsing modern pergola examples, you’ll want to choose a design that complements your yard while still giving you the features you want.
Choose Your Design
Once you know how much space you have, it’s time to decide just how a pergola will fit into the picture. You have a couple of options here. You could choose a very small pergola that offers just enough room for two or three people. That would leave space in the back yard for other features.
On the other hand, you could opt for a pergola that spans the entire space. If you choose the latter, be sure to keep functionality and versatility in mind when designing it and setting it up. You’ll want it to serve as many purposes as possible. You could create a designated space for lounging, one for grilling, and another for outdoor dining, for example. Remember to leave enough space around it for repairs and maintenance as well.
Don’t forget about height. A lower roof may create a more intimate space, and it won’t stand out as much in a small back yard. Higher roofs can make pergolas seem more open and spacious, but you don’t necessarily want your pergola to overshadow your home. Be sure the height you choose melds well with your house and other features in your yard.
Pick a Location
If you choose a smaller pergola that won’t cover your entire back yard, you’ll need to decide where to place it. Think about other features that are already in place or those you may want to add in the future, like a vertical garden or an outdoor cooking space. Pick a spot that won’t interfere with either of those factors. Keep aspects like wind and sun exposure in mind as well. Would the pergola block the view from your home? Maybe you don’t want your house to block the view from your pergola. Consider those aspects, too.
Select Your Materials
From there, you’ll need to decide which materials to use for your pergola. Wood is a popular choice, but it’s not suitable for all climates. For beach homes, humid areas, and those that frequently experience extreme temperatures, vinyl or composite is recommended. Composites are available that look like natural wood though they hold up better to the elements and require far less maintenance.
Add Finishing Touches
Finishing touches can truly allow you to make the most of your pergola. For smaller installations, minimalistic setups tend to work better. Keep things simple and avoid unnecessary clutter. No matter what size or shape your pergola is, lighting can enhance the aesthetics and functionality of the space. String lights and lanterns are only a couple of outdoor lighting options at your disposal.
The furniture you choose can also make a world of difference. Consider multi-functional options like ottomans or benches with built-in storage. They can be used for seating or as small tables for guests. You can also have extra seating built into the pergola itself. Adding plants and vines to the mix can give your space a beautiful touch as well. Keep it in moderation, though. Having too many plants could block out sunlight and make the space feel smaller than it is.
Choosing the Perfect Pergola for Your BackYard
Incorporating a pergola into a small backyard requires planning and creativity. By carefully considering the size, shape, and placement of the pergola, you can make the most of the space you have without sacrificing the retreat you want. Keeping decor and non-essentials in moderation and adding your own personal touches will take a space like this to entirely new levels.