If you are thinking about adding a structure to your property for alfresco entertaining or for a place to relax away from it all, a modern pergola design might be the answer. Considering that these structures are inherently classical in nature, how on earth would you go about making them more modern? In this article, we have outlined 6 tips that will bring your new pergola into the present (and ensuring it complements your home).

1. Leave beams straight

In traditional pergolas, the beams overhang the edge of the structure and tend to have decorative or somewhat rounded ends. For a more modern pergola design, you could still allow the beams to overhang the edge but leave them straight and unadorned. This will create a more streamlined appearance that is much more up to date.

2. Remove beam overhang

Another way to give the traditional design a more modern edge is to completely remove the overhang. Instead, the beams are built within the frame and finish at the edge of the structure. This creates a sleeker appearance, as well as helping to define the edge of your entertaining space within the yard as a whole.

3. Utilise darker timber

The use of darker (almost black) timber will create a modern appearance, especially when you compare this with the natural brown tones that are common in traditional pergolas. Whilst you could simply use a black or dark brown timber (such as ash, merbau or wenge), you could also use any timber and paint or stain it.

4. Utilise alternative materials

Another way to create a modern pergola design is trade timber for a more contemporary material, such as steel or wrought iron. Some people like to mix the present and the past by constructing the frame from steel and combining it with timber slats. Some homeowners are also choosing to roof their structure; another twist.

5. Explore different styles

These days, there are plenty of different pergola styles to choose from, so why not explore some of them? Awning approaches are becoming quite common (whereby the roof and one side features slats and the other sides are left open), as are attached structures (whereby at least one side of the pergola is attached to the house).

6. Add luxury touches

Many homeowners are also choosing to add some luxurious touches to their pergolas, bringing them well and truly into the 21st Some of these premium additions include: lighting (fairy lights are quite popular), fans (keeping the space cool in summer), and retractable canopies or motorised slats (for sunlight penetration).


Whilst these structures are fantastic additions to any home (for both functional and aesthetic purposes), we understand that their classical look is often uncomplimentary to modern homes. We hope that you have found the 6 tips shared in the article above extremely useful in the creation of your modern pergola design. We also recommend that you contact a pergola professional, as they will be able to help you craft the perfect design.

Final Touches: Accessories That Turn a House into a Home
6 Tips For Modern Pergola Design