A pergola can create a wonderful outdoor haven that you can use for relaxation, entertaining or alfresco family meals. However, if it is not comfortable and attractive you won’t want to be there for long and neither will the family.  A pergola can easily start to look worn and tatty over the winter months when it is not in use so much, so here are a few tips on how to pimp out your pergola and make it the attractive feature it was meant to be.

  • Comfortable seating is a must. If your pergola is lacking seats, add an outdoor sofa or easy chairs and a table. These can often be picked up online for a song, or you could visit the local op-shop. If you have seating you like, consider giving it a coat of paint to brighten it up.
  • Bright cushions will add a pop of colour, but make sure they are outdoor cushions, otherwise you’ll be carting them inside and back out all the time and that can be annoying, especially if you are carrying your morning coffee.

  • Adding a colourful or lush green pot plant or two will do wonders for the attractiveness of your pergola. If there is not much room inside, make them smaller, or if large ones are your favourites sit them just outside the edge of the floor. A vine climbing up the pergola can also transform it. You can paint up a storm when it comes to old, tatty pots, so don’t just make do with any old thing. Even black plastic pots can be transformed for a few dollars.

  • Add more shade or privacy to your pergola with a trellis, shade cloth or recycled curtains. Trellises are quite easy to make if you have basic handyman skills. You may be able to get timber from a recycling centre – or even a pre-made trellis, for that matter. A row of larger pot plants along one side will also create more privacy or shade.
  • If you use the pergola at night, you will need lighting. There are solar lighting kits that are a reasonable price, or you could use tiki torches for a special event such as an outdoor meal or party. Hurricane lanterns can also create a cosy old-fashioned atmosphere and are cheap to run.
  • If the frame of the pergola is looking a bit sad, spruce it up with a coat of paint. Otherwise, a good wash down may be all it needs.

If you just use some of these tips it will be sure to make a difference to the look and feel of your pergola and create a space that is both attractive and welcoming.