15 Amazing Pergola Ideas for Small Backyards

backyard pergola

A pergola refers to a garden feature that shapes up a passageway, a sitting area or a shaded walkway. It is usually made of vertical pillars or posts that support a couple of cross beams. While being a type of gazebo, it can extend from a building or protect an open terrace.

However, if you happen to have a small backyard, it’s important to adapt the pergola. Many people choose to quit this great structure because they think they don’t have enough space. Luckily, there are some ideas and tricks you can use. Today, we are going to look at some top pergola ideas for small backyards.

Pergola Ideas for Small Backyards You Should Try

1. Mediterranean Landscape Pergola

One of the pergola ideas for small backyards is to use a Mediterranean design. This relies on a triangular pergola that can be fitted in one of the corners. Choose a lighter color for it, since this will create the impression of a larger space. Dark colors tend to make space look closer and tighter. Add Mediterranean flowers for a dash of color.

Pergola with a natural aspect
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2. Separate the Space

Another interesting suggestion is to separate the space outside and inside the pergola area. For example, outside the pergola, you can include plenty of greenery, like shrubs and flowers. Meanwhile, keep the area under the structure clean. Design a lounge area in a corner and cover it with the pergola to ensure there is enough shade. An alternative to separating the space would be a small wall covered in greenery.

3. Blocks Structure

Instead of using wooden legs for the pergola structure, you can use some concrete blocks. They offer more permanence and reassurance to your backyard. Moreover, it can add a rough touch to the overall design of the garden. If you’re handy, you can even make them yourself. Some people prefer to create blocks of bricks instead of concrete. This depends on your personal preference, but what’s important is to make sure that the entire structure is safe.

4. Pickering

One of the pergola ideas for small backyards that will transform your garden is to go for Pickering. Some climbing, overhead vines are perfect and can replace hundreds of canvases. Choose small creepers, like ‘dragon’s blood’ or thyme for the spaces in the cement blocks on the ground. They will match the climbing vines above. All in all, this will be a nice break from the horizontal, boring lines of your pergola structure.

Pergola structure placed in the sun
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5. Over the Grill

If you already have a grill in your backyard and don’t know what to do with the pergola, the answer is easy: place it above the grill. It will save you a lot of space and it will be a nice addition to a space that would be dead otherwise. Moreover, it also has a practical aspect since it allows you to set up a sconce lighting. What might pose some issues would be the hanging and climbing plants. Make sure they don’t reach too close to the fire, otherwise you expose yourself to a fire hazard. However, if the plants are far enough, you can still choose this design.

6. Next to the Pool

Another great idea to save up on space, but also include a pergola in your design, is to place it at the end of the pool. It can create a nice frame for the pool while offering a lounge area at the same time. For families with kids, it’s a great way of overlooking the children while they are swimming and sitting comfortably at the same time. In this case, aluminum backyard furniture can be useful if you want to move it around. Consider consulting a beginner’s guide to poolscaping as well, if you want to organize the design around the pool.

7. Use Hops

Instead of using vine, a good alternative is to use hops. The standard ingredient for beer is a perfect choice for covering up a pergola. You won’t have any grapes to add to a rich décor, but instead, your final look will be simple, yet elegant. Hops are great because you can train them to cover the pergola, a tree that supports it or a fence. If you like the way it grows, you can train it to grow into a small tree. It’s an awesome idea if you want to have a quick coverage. However, it’s recommended you cut them back often if you want to keep them under control.

Round big pergola in the middle of the backyard
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8. Steel Structure

Many people avoid using steel because it lends a somewhat industrial look to the entire space. However, it’s good for bringing a new element to the décor. Instead of the regular wood, choose some steel beams. Not only they will make the pergola much more resistant to weather and time, but they can integrate well into any type of design. Place the roof structure of the pergola on it. Ideally, you should coat the steel with a layer of paint that reflects other colors in the yard.

9. Two-Columns Pergola

Yet another one of the pergola ideas for small backyards that can help you save space is using only two columns for it. In general, pergolas rely on 4 columns. However, it can be too much if you have a small backyard. For this reason, you can only use two columns and let the rest of the pergola rely on the house. This is a solution modern architects use all throughout the world. Moreover, it helps create some continuity between the indoors and the outdoors. Pro tip: add some glass doors as well.

10. Make Your Own

Maybe you roamed through stores and shops and asked plenty of people. However, no ready-made pergola seems to be fit for the small space in your backyard. In this case, there is one good solution: make your own! Ideally, you should use some cedar wood since it’s more resistant and durable. The best part is that you can color it however you want. Moreover, you can make it just the exact size you need. The downside here is that it will take you around a weekend to get it done, so you might want to allow enough time for it.

Small space pergola in light colors
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11. Use Wisteria

This purple plant is a great solution for decorating a small pergola. If you place it correctly, it can create the illusion of more space, thus helping your backyard. You just need to know how to grow wisteria and then adapt it to the structure of the pergola. It grows by itself, but you might need to push it in the right direction sometimes. A great tip is to use it to make a wall, if you want to ensure some privacy. Combine it with some cast iron garden furniture for an exquisite result.

12. Extending the Garage

Another one of the pergola ideas for small backyards that deserve your attention is using it to extend the garage. If the garage is placed on one side of your home, you can use the two-columns method presented above to extend it. In this way, you can have an outdoor room where you can relax. It can be a nice transformation of the patio area and it doesn’t require too much effort either.

13. Fireplace Overhead Pergola

If you already have a fireplace set in your backyard, it’s a good idea to use an overhead pergola there. Another great suggestion is that you add a leafy plant on it as well so you can create some useful shade in that area. Once again, pay attention to the fire hazard and keep the leaves away from the fire. In case you’re not sure whether it’s safe or not, it’s better to quit the vines altogether and stick to potted flowers instead.

Pergola covering some small stairs
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14. Pavilion Cover

Some of the pergola ideas for small backyards rely on taking advantage of a pavilion or a terrace. Often, you don’t have any shade provided for these spaces, so a pergola is a great solution. If it’s made of wood and you know it’s going to stay in the sun for a long time, use some protection spray or paint. For a beach setting, you can also add a canopy that hangs down from the pergola.

15. Pergola for an Outdoor Shower

Yet another way to save space, but still include a pergola, is to place it above an outdoor shower. It will be smaller than a regular pergola, however, it will create a nice style. Make sure you use a color of the paint that matches the rest of the design. If the outdoor shower is placed next to one of the walls of the house, match the colors.

Mediterranean pergola style
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Even if you don’t have a large backyard, this is no reason to quit using a pergola. By using the pergola ideas for small backyards presented above, you can find a design that will fit both the available space and your preferences. Colors, the hanging vines or flowers, and the placement of the structure can help you redefine the entire décor. Remember to always check for safety matters, such as fire hazard or structure resistance.

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