Transform your outdoor experience with these creative pergola ideas from the experts.

A pergola is a blank canvas, an outdoor space you can use however you wish. Your pergola can be a quiet retreat, a lively gathering space, and more. So why not customize it with curtains, lighting, gadgets, and more?

Your pergola is bursting with possibilities, and it’s up to you to get the most out of your investment. With the right plan and amenities, you can maximize the enjoyment and pleasure of having a pergola. But when you’re facing so many options, it can be tough to know where to start.

At Texas Home Improvement, we’ve been designing and building custom pergolas for years. We’ve seen our customers do some truly incredible things with their pergolas, creating beautiful, enviable spaces. Today, we rounded up a few of our favorite design ideas for getting the most out of your pergola.

Liven things up with vines and hanging potted plants

Bring a little greenery to the scene. You can line your pergola with hanging planters for a splash of color and texture. You can also train vines to climb the walls of your pergola.

Some plants will even grow long enough to cover your pergola’s roof! Your local nursery can recommend different options based on the look you want. Some great Texas climbers include bougainvillea, grape, honeysuckle, Carolina jessamine, and prairie rose.

Hang a porch swing for maximum relaxation.

Patio furniture isn’t your only option for pergola seating! Pergolas are sturdy structures that can handle the weight of hanging seating. Consider adding a hammock or a porch swing so you have somewhere to drink tea and read a book.

Add shade and privacy with curtains and covers.

Many pergolas are made with open slats. Depending on the angle of the sun and surrounding trees, the shade may be a little patchy. Plus, an open-slat wall doesn’t offer much privacy.

You can protect yourself from the sun and nosy neighbors by investing in curtains or a cover for your pergola. There are dozens of beautiful options on the market, from budget to luxury prices. You can even get a retractable pergola that folds up neatly when you don’t need it.

Step up your game with a grill, fire pit, or a woodfired oven.

Turn your pergola into a culinary destination! Imagine grilling a burger, toasting a marshmallow, or baking pizza from scratch for your family and friends. Grills, fireplaces, and woodfired pizza ovens are fun options for adding something special to your pergola setup. Plus, the warmth from any of these can keep you comfortable as the evening progresses and the air gets cooler.

A tip: Don’t forget about fire safety. An expert can help you determine proper placement to mitigate risk. Ask a professional or call the fire department for a consultation.

Brighten up your pergola with creative lighting.

Beautiful lighting makes your pergola a great destination well past sunset. For some folks, a long extension cord is all you need to make the space magical. Twinkle lights, rope lights, and paper lanterns are popular choices for creating ambience.

But depending on where your pergola is located in relation to your house, you can wire it for electricity. If this is an option for you, the possibilities are endless. You can add a ceiling fan for a breeze or a chandelier for elegance.

Add a projector screen for movie night in the pergola.

Don’t you hate having to choose between watching a movie and enjoying the evening breeze? Add a projector screen to your pergola and you can have the best of both worlds. Projectors and projector screens are available in many sizes and price points, so you can find the perfect setup. You’ll make magical memories with your family and become the go-to hangout spot for your kids and their friends.

Create a fun and safe destination for teenage kids.

As a parent, you always want to know where your kids are. But teenagers are often itching for their own space, especially when their friends come over. So, a pergola can offer an excellent solution that makes both parties happy. 

Teenagers can relax a little in the separate space and privacy offered by the pergola. And Mom and Dad can rest easy, knowing the kids are still close by.

The aforementioned projector screen is a great place to start. Consider adding a small fridge for soda and juice so kids can help themselves to refreshments. Make sure the snack options at your house are good, too!

Beautiful pergolas to enjoy Texas weather

Texas Home Improvement is proud to be one of the best pergola builders in the Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth (DFW) areas. We design and build custom pergolas that continue looking beautiful for years to come. Thinking about a pergola or patio cover for your home? Get in touch