Sitting out on your porch or in your backyard soaking up the sun is pretty amazing and all, but what about when you want to relax away from the heat?
Once my husband and I realized we needed some shade in our outdoor space, it was my mission to find out how we could best achieve this goal.
I stumbled upon some beautiful pictures of pergolas and, the next thing I knew, I’d gathered 30 pergola cover ideas! After all, I’m sure a stylish, sleek retractable pergola canopy will add more value to your house’s curb appeal.
Today, I’m happy to be sharing them with you, so you can create your own shaded oasis!
- 1 Get Inspired With These Ideas
- 1.1 A Touch Of Green
- 1.2 Go Big Or Go Home
- 1.3 Forest Home
- 1.4 Add Protection
- 1.5 Summon Your Inner Fashion Guru
- 1.6 Make Smart Choices
- 1.7 Have Some Privacy
- 1.8 Nice and Sturdy
- 1.9 Bamboo Life
- 1.10 Raw Beauty
- 1.11 Lay It Neatly
- 1.12 Craftsmanship Mood
- 1.13 Wood All The Way
- 1.14 Unblock The View
- 1.15 Maximize Lighting
- 1.16 Best Of Both Worlds
- 1.17 Stand Out With Your Pergola Cover
- 1.18 Last Pergola Standing
- 1.19 Metal Pattern
- 1.20 Metal Flowers
- 1.21 Metal Geometrics
- 1.22 Climbing Metal
- 1.23 Keep It Traditional With A Twist
- 1.24 Aluminum Slide
- 1.25 Pick An Elegant Style
- 1.26 Go Back To The Roots
- 1.27 Dreamy Poolside Velarium
- 1.28 Velarium On A Deck
- 1.29 Dual Shade Sail
- 1.30 Metal Pergola With A Vigorous Climber
- 2 What Do You Think Of Our Pergola Cover Ideas?
- 3 About The Authors
Get Inspired With These Ideas
A Touch Of Green
You’d be amazed at what a touch of plant life can do, especially right above your head! This simple yet elegant combo of climbing plants and pergola shade gives off such a rustic feeling, you’ll forget all your worries in a heartbeat!
Throw in a table for two and trust me, you may never want to go back inside again! Or, better yet, make your home just as cozy with the interior design ideas I found at deavita.net, a multinational online magazine with the latest trends in interior design.
Go Big Or Go Home
There’s nothing like spending time with family and friends on a breezy day and no one said you can’t do it under a covered pergola with some plants! These thick, sturdy pergola covers and bushy roof would quickly have everyone both impressed and enjoying their time.
You can use this style to shade a larger area, particularly if you’re one to have company on the regular, where you kick back with your loved ones outdoors. I have to say that pergola covers like these are just so appealing to have around.
For the ultimate green shade experience, this stunning design brings the forest right into your home! Using tall trees, the leaves and branches act like climbing plants, which I think helps in delivering a unique jungle effect.
This pergola cover design doesn’t only protect from the sun, but the density of the green can also provide you with some rain protection. This look would work best on a deck, as the elevation adds extra support.
At first glance, you might think this is just a cute vintage fabric pergola cover, but it’s way more! If you love sitting in the rain, you’ll be happy to know this blue and white striped pergola roof also doubles as a rain cover! If you ask me, there’s nothing better than these pergola covers that provide shade and rain protection.
Say hello to reading, lounging, or even working while listening to the sweet sound of the rain above you. I mean, why should outdoor life ever stop? Check out a couple of additional pergola rain covers at pergolagazebos.com, a blog full of pergola and gazebo ideas.
Summon Your Inner Fashion Guru
If you’re into fashion, why not let it show in your outdoor area design? This is probably one of the most stylish covered pergola ideas I’ve seen lately. The folding pattern with the draping fabric on the sides is super unique and fashion-forward.
The white adds a sophisticated, chic feel, and I think that it creates the illusion of a bigger space. You can even complete the look with some modern white outdoor furniture, as demonstrated by backyardmastery.com, a website all about your outdoor space.
Make Smart Choices
Nothing will help you make the most of your time outdoors better than smart design choices and, when it comes to pergola cover ideas, this one’s perfect for all the practical folks out there! I think that these retractable canopies are so helpful and provide shade and rain protection.
The retractable canopy lets you enjoy the best of both the sun and shade. It’s also pretty handy if you’re tight on space. Building such pergola covers requires careful measurements — I let my husband worry about that!
Have Some Privacy
One of the main purposes of a pergola is to grant your outdoor living space some privacy. I mean, there’s no reason why ‘me’ time should be an indoor thing only.
A simple way I’ve discovered to raise the level of privacy outdoors is to add screens or drapes as a cover to your pergola. These retractable canopies provide shade and rain protection, as well as the privacy you need.
This way, you can read, lounge, or work, away from prying eyes.
Nice and Sturdy
Many people wonder if pergola covers can be both stylish and sturdy. Well, I believe this double-decker-style covered pergola just answered the question. The thick fabric you can see here shows no signs of future giving out.
A sturdy material, like canvas, is an excellent example of a tough, yet presentable fabric. I’d also suggest you fortify the pergola corners with grids, to support the weight of the fabric.
It’s true that bamboo designs are generally simple, but behind such a plain style lies tremendous functionality. This bamboo wooden pergola cover, for example, provides a high level of shade control and privacy.
You can adjust the folding bamboo sheets to let in as much sunlight as you want. Spreading them fully will also grant you some ‘alone’ space, which I think make these pergola covers an excellent choice all around.
Sometimes it’s best to stand back and let the wood reveal its magic. This spectacular scene is what happens when you use wood logs in their most basic form and trust nature’s taste. With all these different styles of wooden pergolas, I honestly find it hard to choose which one I should try out next!
The serene atmosphere, along with the shade, takes you right into an oasis experience — almost as if you’re in the desert! This design works just as well for gazebos.
If you are not sure whether you have a pergola or a gazebo, read our post “Pergola Vs Gazebo”.
Lay It Neatly
How cute is this wooden pergola cover? First of all, I have to give major props to the designer for the color scheme! The blueish-green combined with the natural wood results in a modern style contrast that’s very popular nowadays.
The way the wooden bars are symmetrically arranged is both satisfying and pleasing to the eye. I also think the vintage light bulbs are a perfect addition that makes it feel that much cozier. You could also use strand lights.
This one’s downright breathtaking! I wish I was that creative when it came to my pergola covers. The top-notch craftsmanship shines through the outer curves of each wood plank and shows how they’re flawlessly assembled. The double-layer cover makes up for the wide gaps, delivering just as much shade as other wood pergola covers.
This design is great if you’re thinking of adding a fire pit since the smoke won’t be trapped in.
Wood All The Way
You’re already outside, so why not take your wood game all the way? Putting a wooden roof on a pergola is the epitome of classic design. And while this isn’t a retractable canopy, I’ll admit that a wooden fixed one might just be better!
The clean lines and flawless finish bring this design to new heights of elegance. It’s also super cozy, giving off an inviting ‘homey’ feeling.
Unblock The View
One of the greatest things about a transparent pergola is how you still get to keep your gorgeous view. This is the full package — you get the sunlight without the heat of its rays.
This fiberglass cover appears to add a significant amount of room while giving a futuristic kind of look. This open layout is truly alluring. I can only imagine how nice it’d be to enjoy a coffee in the middle of the woods under pergola covers like this one.
I absolutely love how this looks down to the last detail. The arrangement of the wooden planks is rather old-school yet cheerful, and I think that the white color choice further lights up the entire space.
If you like this one as much as I do, head to housefulofhandmade.com, a personal blog revolving around DIY designs on a budget, for DIY steps!
Best Of Both Worlds
Personally, I can relate to the pain of making decisions when it comes to landscaping. If I could, I’d have it all! However, I believe this particular design comes pretty close.
The half ‘n half construction lets you relish the shade as much as the light, all the while looking incredibly modern. Now, imagine if this was a retractable canopy; that would just be out of this world, in my opinion!
Stand Out With Your Pergola Cover
A pergola can be used as an outdoor kitchen/bar. I can think of a few friends who’d be all over this design. And I don’t blame them!
You can use corrugated metal all over your pergola and even include your shelves and counters. This would look marvelous on a gazebo, as well. Take a look at claridecor.com, a blog full of ideas and inspirations for your entire house, for more backyard gazebo designs.
Last Pergola Standing
If you’re on a budget, you’ll be pleased to know how sturdy and rigid corrugated roofs are. Corrugated metal is specifically made to last a long time, with extra strength and rigidity.
If you combine this cover type with the solid construction of a wooden pergola, you’ll end up with one durable pergola. If you’d like to look at more pictures of a pergola, I suggest you check out pinterest.com, the best image-sharing platform for all kinds of home improvement ideas, pergola covers, and much more.
A cool way to decorate your pergola is by adding a metal roof. This design here is one of the most popular patterns of pergola cover ideas among metal enthusiasts. And I absolutely love it!
The square cutouts complement nearly all kinds of outdoor decor. It delivers a good deal of shading, while still managing to look mesmerizing.
What do you do when you can’t decide between real flowers and a metal-based design? You go for metal flower cutouts of course!
This fabulous design allows you to enjoy the sturdiness of a metal roof, without ditching the outdoor plant element. You’ll even create patterned shade that resembles the same flower pattern as the metal screen. This is undoubtedly one of the coolest pergola covers I’ve found to this day!
Another fascinating style that caught my attention, is this unique combination of geometric shapes that unite in an eye-pleasing, symmetrical way.
I think you could spend hours on end studying this pattern while thinking about life, without even realizing it. I’ve found that this pergola design also blends in nicely with a wide variety of surroundings. Find out more information at decorativescreensdirect.com, a laser-cutting company based in Australia that focuses on outdoor living space decoration.
Ever thought about using climbing plants on your pergola cover, only to back out in fear of not being able to properly care for them? Good news, this metal roof has got you covered!
This pattern will cast down shade that looks like maple leaves. You can enjoy a ‘natural’ shade experience without the plant part. I suggest you head to visceralconcepts.com, a laser cut manufacturer specializing in metal panels, for more patterns.
Keep It Traditional With A Twist
I have to say that a good old-fashioned pergola cover can be all that your backyard needs, offering shade for all sorts of activities.
However, you and your family would really appreciate a pergola cover that slides. You can retract it to enjoy the sunshine, or expand it to kick back in the shade.
As opposed to fabric or wood, another option is metal, in this case, aluminum. I’d highly suggest this choice if you’re not keen on doing regular maintenance.
Additionally, aluminum sliding roofs are highly durable and waterproof, meaning they can resist unpredictable weather conditions if you live in such a place. Find extra patterns and colors at archiproducts.com, a large architecture and design network and an e-commerce store.
Pick An Elegant Style
A shingle roof is a total flip from all the previous ideas I’ve talked about so far. This grand design is more on the luxurious side of the spectrum. Materials, like clay or slate, as explained by Study.com, a leading platform in making education affordable, are used in building such roof shingles to make for extra longevity.
The pitched roof drains water downwards. A shingle roof pergola is an awesome idea for back porch designs.
Go Back To The Roots
If you’re feeling nostalgic, I think that this wooden shingle roof may be exactly what you’re missing. The use of wood delivers a familiar retro vibe that can only be described as out of an old country movie.
It provides good shading, decent water protection, and will probably last over a decade.
Dreamy Poolside Velarium
I wasn’t exactly sure what to call this beautiful structure when I first saw it, but I was mesmerized by its elegant look and functionality. As explained by the specialist in shade solutions from the UK’s Shade Zone company, the sought-after Scandinavian design of velariums allows you to have a trendy pergola without spending a fortune on other pricier systems.
In their words, a velarium is a freestanding, retractable canopy. The fully retractable roof features an ‘easy-and-slide’ system that allows for effortless manual adjustment in accordance with your needs. Hence, when you want to sunbathe, you can simply slide the canopy in any direction and enjoy the sun’s rays. It’s fantastic for rain, too, as the roof drains to one or both sides.
Velarium On A Deck
Not having a pool does not mean you cannot have a beautiful velarium. It is just as attractive when you set it up over a deck and a comfy seating area.
Having a retractable canopy allows you to enjoy sitting with your guests under the starry night sky without any fear that sudden rain might ruin your gathering. If it does rain, all you need to do is slide the roof over the deck, and you can continue having fun.
Katie Melynn from The Spruce magazine agrees that a retractable awning is one of the best solutions for adding shade and protecting your outdoor living space from the elements. I like that velariums don’t require a special permit or contractors. You can set them up on your own, saving both time and money.
Dual Shade Sail
To enjoy the sun all through the summer, you can set up a stylish shade sail, just like the one in the picture. Professionals from the renowned Newcastle Shade Sails company state a shed sail can be a perfect solution for most homes.
In their opinion, shade sails provide excellent protection from harmful sun rays, rain, and other outdoor elements, as long as they are made from high-quality, waterproof, and non-permeable PVC vinyl materials.
Unfortunately, I have seen a few shade sails sagging or flapping in the wind. Therefore, I advise you to choose wisely and avoid poor-quality materials and inadequate rigging.
Metal Pergola With A Vigorous Climber
I have always been a romantic soul, and I guess that’s why I have a thing for climbing plants. How would Romeo get to Juliet if not for a vine leading to her balcony?
If you have already built an industrial-style metal pergola in your backyard but long for a more intimate and picturesque outdoor space, climbing plants might be the solution you are looking for. Gardening experts from the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society suggest planting one of the following climbers:
- Roses, such as Albertine, Emily Gray, or Danse du Feu.
- Clematis perennial vines, such as Clematis Macropetala or Clematis Montana.
- Summer-flowering honeysuckles, such as Lonicera Etrusca or Lonicera Caprifolium.
What Do You Think Of Our Pergola Cover Ideas?
Phew! That was exciting! I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this list as much as I had fun researching it. I’ve always been deeply passionate about outdoor decor and landscaping, so looking for pergola cover ideas was certainly a treat!
As always, I’d love it if you shared your thoughts in the comments below and, if you found it useful, please feel free to pass this list on to your friends! Plus, feel free to send over all your pergola covers my way.