An Asian Inspired Pergola Design Complements Simple Garden Styles

This asian inspired pergola design uses a red stain.

Red paint or stain, ornate hardware, and a privacy lattice can all help to give your pergola an Asian flair.

I have a client who is in the middle of a feng shui redesign. You might know already that feng shui is an Eastern design style used to maximize energy flow. The garden is one of the most important parts of this design philosophy, which is why my client was looking for an Asian inspired pergola design to set off her new, Eastern-style garden. I thought this was a great idea, as pergolas are easy to adapt for this type of design and there’s a wide range of options to choose from.

In an Asian design, pergolas are used to highlight water features, mark garden paths, and even to expand a home to include an outdoor living space complete with privacy screens. Often more elaborate than standard pergola designs, Eastern-type pergolas can be a bit more challenging to put together. However, with the right hardware and a good plan, it’s possible to create a beautiful, unique, and feng shui-friendly Asian pergola for your yard.

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Screening in a Gazebo to Create a Peaceful Backyard Retreat

screening in a gazebo can make it a more pleasant place to spend time

A screened-in gazebo or pavilion can offer versatility and protection from sun and insects.

I have a good friend from college who always wanted a screened-in front porch, but didn’t quite have the kind of porch that would be easy to screen in. As an alternative, I suggested a stand-alone structure that she could put in her large backyard. I pointed out that a nice, old-fashioned screened-in gazebo would improve the value of her home while giving her the screened-in space she always wanted.

Screening in a gazebo, in my opinion, adds a lot to the structure. It offers some protection from bugs and wind, while letting the light in so you can enjoy the view. This is a project that doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated–particularly if you’ve already got the gazebo and now just need to add the screens. Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re planning your approach to screening in your gazebo.

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Simple Garden Bench Design Ideas to Improve Your Yard

one garden bench design idea is to add an ornamental insert into the backrest

A simple bench design can serve many purposes, and can even be tweaked to create a gardening station.

There are a lot of great accessories you can add to a yard without having to spend a lot of money. One time, I decided I had to have a rustic garden bench in my backyard–it was the perfect addition to my big bed of peonies–but all the benches I considered were a bit too pricey for my budget. But I remembered I had a lot of leftover wood and hardware from other projects that I could repurpose. In the end, I built a simple garden bench design that fit my landscape for next to nothing.

Building a garden bench yourself is a great option as it’s a beginner project that most people can finish in a day. It’s a good low stakes way to get your feet wet on building outdoor structures. On top of that, this is a design that is easily and safely adaptable. That means there’s sure to be a simple bench design that will fit your vision for your yard. In that spirit, we’ve got a few garden bench design ideas for your project.

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How to Build an Outdoor Shower Enclosure That’s Good Looking and Functional

how to build an outdoor shower enclosure

Building an outdoor shower enclosure is a great way to keep dirt and mud where they belong–outdoors.

If you have a child, dog, and hard floors of any sort, then you probably sweep or mop every day, multiple times a day (or, you wish you could). My friend was in exactly this situation and the solution he hit on was surprisingly affordable: an outdoor shower enclosure. His version was just three walls and a door with a showerhead on a hose hooked up to an outdoor faucet. It’s perfect for hosing down canine and child alike, and since he has a pool, it’s a good way to wash the chlorine off after a dip without having to go to one of the bathrooms indoors.

My friend’s wife, on the other hand, loves the functionality of the structure but hates how it looks. My friend is an incredibly practical man, but, sadly, has the artistic sensibilities of a cinder block. If something gets the job done, its looks just sort of fade into the background for him–at least until his wife brings it to his attention often enough. He already knows how to build an outdoor shower enclosure, but what he needs to know now is how to build one that looks good.

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Tips for Selecting the Right Gazebo Truss Brackets

Gazebo Truss Brackets

Gazebo truss brackets not only need to hold up to the outdoor environment, they need to look good as well.

Recently, one of my friends invited me to a barbecue. My response was to be instantly wary. As someone who’s worked in construction for over a decade, my friends and family are always inviting me over and then sneakily asking me if I’d mind giving them a quick hand with something. But my buddy assured me he just wanted to put the new gazebo he’d just built to use. Predictably, once he’d thrown the burgers on the grill he pointed up with his spatula at one of the metal plates in the gazebo ceiling, and asked me, “Is there anything you can do about that?” It turns out that he thought those silver-colored fittings were ugly. As I talked to him about his gazebo truss brackets it became apparent that neither my friend nor his guests knew what a truss or a truss bracket was, or did. One said he’d always thought a truss had something to do with “male” support.
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Attaching a Pergola to a House to Create a Wall-Leaning Structure

Attaching a Pergola to a House

A wall-leaning pergola offers lots of flexibility and versatility when it comes to size and location.

I had a friend who wanted to build a pergola but didn’t quite have the room for a four-post structure. His entryway was pretty narrow and pergolas tend to be kind of wide. But that was ok. As I told him,  the beauty of pergolas is in their flexibility.  I suggested a two-post structure, with his house acting as the support for the post-less side. Attaching a pergola to a house can save a bit of space while providing the support the structure needs. With a few adjustments to the standard design, and the installation of a strong ledger board, your house can act as your pergola’s support.

Traditionally, pergolas are four post structures, but as my friend learned, it’s also possible to work with two posts by using your home to support the other side of the structure. This is commonly called a wall-leaning pergola, and it’s an excellent option for the front of the house when you really want to create an entryway focal point. But this type of pergola also requires some special considerations, which we’ll examine below.

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How to Build a Square Gazebo Roof: The Basic Roof Components You’ll Need

We'll talk about How to Build a Square Gazebo Roof and its major components

A square gazebo can make a perfect covering for a patio or centerpiece for a garden.

I had a friend whose backyard garden was his pride and joy. He had quite the green thumb and a little bit of everything growing back there. But he had a problem. He had a lot of plants that couldn’t handle constant sunlight and needed shade. He decided that he wanted to build a small garden gazebo to hold them. That’s where he ran into problems, because try as he might, he couldn’t quite nail building a square gazebo roof.

If he hadn’t already made up his mind to do a gazebo, I probably would have told him to go with a pergola instead. A square gazebo roof is by no means a beginner’s project. There are lots of cuts and a fair bit of work involved. However, if done right, a gazebo can be the perfect way to set off a backyard garden. It creates an interesting focal point and a good way to shelter more delicate plants. If you’re looking for tips on how to build a square gazebo roof, we’ve got them for you.

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Half Circle Pergola Designs: Curved Pergolas Offer a Variety of Unique Looks

half circle pergola designs

Some half and quarter circle pergola designs use rafters of different lengths to create the curved look.

I have a good friend who recently moved into a new house which already had a half circle, curved pergola in the backyard, and it is not exaggerating too much to say that she is obsessed with this pergola. It makes the yard look more elegant, and it creates an outdoor space which is perfect for sitting with a cocktail or a beer. If you want a unique structure in your yard or entryway, you may want to think outside the box–literally. While a standard square pergola looks nice as well, a half circle design is a fun update on the traditional. It’s not as simple to build as a standard pergola, but if you’re an experienced DIYer, it can be an interesting and ultimately satisfying project.

You have a lot of options in creating a half circle pergola. You can use bent wood, or you can create the optical illusion of curves with strategically cut and placed rafters and beams. Half circle shapes make great pergolas for the front of the house, particularly for entryways that are small or unusually shaped. They’re also great for setting off properties with gabled features. If you’re convinced that you need a half circle pergola, this is what you need to know about building one.

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Multi-level Pergola Designs That Offer Easy Installation With a Complex Style

multi-level pergola designs

A multi-level style pergola can add interest and variety to your deck and yard.

I’ve put a pergola in the back of my house and a pergola in the front (which led to my pergola ideas for the front of the house post), and I’m at the point now where putting one together is a pretty easy process for me. So I was looking at other pergola designs, looking for a more challenging project, and I discovered a unique setup that I thought I might try out (if I can find a place in my yard for it), called a multi-level pergola. This style is an adaptation of the basic pergola and there are a lot of fun ways to make it your own. The best part is that with the right plans and hardware, multi-level pergola designs are easy to customize for your outdoor space.

Multi-level pergolas are a great way to create an outdoor structure for multiple uses. You can use the main section for socializing, with another tier as an entryway or even a separate garden area. You don’t even have to stop at two tiers. You can do three, or even four if you have the space. Really, the only limit in coming up with multi-level pergola designs is your imagination.

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Pergola Ideas for the Front of the House Make the Most of Limited Space

pergola ideas for the front of the house

A pergola doesn’t have to be large, and can be the perfect solution to a small space that needs livening up.

The front of my house used to be very plain. While I did a lot of work in the back, I let the front slide because I didn’t have a lot of room to work with. I kept it neat, of course, but it still wasn’t very eye catching. But a friend helped me realize that just because you don’t have a lot of space doesn’t mean you can’t have an attractive entryway. We decided adding a small pergola would provide just the right amount of bang for the buck.

I’ve had a little bit of a pergola epiphany lately, as I’ve discovered how versatile they are. Pergolas are especially good for limited spaces because their design is so flexible. When most people think of pergolas, they think of large structures that might cover a patio or even a pool, but they don’t have to be that big. Pergolas can easily be adapted for close quarters, like at the front of your house. It’s a way to highlight your home’s entrance without having to get involved in a big project. Along those lines, we’re going to talk about what to keep in mind when building a small pergola, and we’ll also go over some of the best small pergola ideas for the front of the house.

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