30 Outdoor Shade Structure Design Inspirations For Your Home

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

After settling into my new home, I finally had the time to decorate my backyard. With our temperate weather and Florida sun, I love to spend time outdoors. I needed a landscaping feature that also provides shade, so I searched for the different types of outdoor shade structures.

I was confused about whether I should install a pergola, gazebo, or pavilion, and eventually, I settled on a pergola. After, I had to choose which type, what material, and the design of the pergola. It took me a long time to decide, especially on the design, since this is an expensive and almost permanent structure.

If you're also having a hard time deciding on the design, I might be able to help you. When I was deciding on what type to get, I browsed the internet for outdoor shade structure ideas. I'll share with you some of the gorgeous designs I found.

Take a look at these 30 beautiful backyard embellishments. You might just find the perfect design for your home.

1. Walkway Pergola

This one caught my eye because it has a modern take on a pergola. You can also attach it to an exterior wall so you don't need to put up a lot of posts for support.

(Image Source: Architizer)

2. Steel Frame Gazebo

I wasn't sure if I should hire a professional to install my outdoor shade structure, so I checked some online stores for kits. Here's a simple steel gazebo that would look great it any yard.

(Image Source: Amazon)

3. Fan Shaped Corner Pergola

Most pergolas are small and square so I was surprised to see this different-shaped pergola. It's huge but you can build a similar but smaller one in your outdoor space. (Related article: Selecting the Right Type of Wood for your Pergola)

4. Garden Pod

Here's an adorable structure that will fit in your patio or yard. It's a nice spot to read a book or hang out with friends as you'll get the right amount of light and still feel the cool breeze.

(Image Source: Landscape Juice Network)

5. Gazebo with Netting

It's a steel-framed gazebo with a polyester canopy that comes in light brown as well. You won't need to worry about pesky bugs from ruining the night thanks to the netting.

(Image Source: Amazon)

6. Garden Arbor with Faux Patina

Here's a nice and simple garden arbor you can build for your backyard. It helps accentuate your walkway and will make the place look magical once it's covered with plants and flowers.

7. Unique-looking Pergola

This one immediately caught my eye when I was scrolling on a page of pergola designs. It doesn't even look like a pergola with its shape and style but I would love to install a similar-looking pergola in my home. I would probably need a professional to do it.

(Image Source: Of Design.Net)

8. Arbor Trellis with Gate

This one looks great - with or without plants, vines, or flowers. It also has a two-door gate but it's mostly for design, not security.

(Image Source: Amazon)

9. Timber Frame Style Pavilion

Check out the roof of this pavilion. It's not the usual triangular roof found in most pavilion designs. Doesn't it look great? (Related article: 5 Best Patio Umbrellas You Can Get For Your Home)

10. Small Gazebo

This beautiful gazebo was actually DIYed and not made a professional. It even has a storage box for a cooler! Check out the guide here.

(Image Source: The Classic Archives)

11. Iron Pergola

Here's a lovely pergola with a different-shaped roof. It's huge and since it is made out of iron, it's low maintenance!

(Image Source: Amazon)

12. Garden Gazebo

According to the person who posted this, they created this garden gazebo in one hour. It's simple and it does its job of protecting you from the sun. Watch the video to see the building process.

13. Inverted Triangle Pergola

Here's another unique-looking pergola in this list. It's an amazing design and would look great in rustic-themed yards.

(Image Source: Of Design.Net)

14. Gazebo with Serving Shelf

This gazebo is perfect for those who love to dine outdoors. It's large enough for an outdoor dining table set and it has a serving shelf for your cooking utensils and equipment.

(Image Source: Amazon)

15. 3-Sided Shade Sail

If one sail is not enough to cover an area in your yard, you can use two sails to create a larger shade sail.

16. Pergola with Firepit and Swings

This pergola also caught my eye because it's huge and it comes with a lot of bench swings. There's even a firepit and serving area, perfect for cookouts and evening parties. Here's a tutorial on how to create this amazing pergola.

(Image Source: Remodelaholic)

17. Wide Arbor

Most arbors are small and used for narrow pathways, but not this one. This arbor is made out of vinyl and easy to assemble.

(Image Source: Amazon)

18. Modern Pergola

If your home has a modern design, get this pergola! It's also designed to attach to an exterior wall but you can opt to make it freestanding.

(Related article: Which Type of Pergola Is Best For Your Home?)

19. Curved Pavilion

Doesn't this pavilion look great? I like how the style of the roof is different than the usual triangle roof.

(Image Source: Forever Red Wood)

20. Stone Gazebo

Most gazebos are white and look like a small castle but check this one out. I think the stones make this gazebo look like an ancient home. How about you? What do you think?

(Image Source: Omi Stonework)

21. Glass Gazebo

Now, this gazebo looks amazing! It's made out of glass and the whole thing swivels. It also gives you full privacy thanks to the curtain.

22. 3 Shade Sails

Here's another way you can cover more space with shade sails. Use three different-sized sails and protect a huge area from the sun.

(Image Source: Review Journal)

23. Louvered Pergola

What is a louvered pergola? Instead of wood beams for the top of the embellishment, it uses aluminum beams. It's great at withstanding hurricane-force winds and is rust-resistant.

(Related article: Different Types of Materials For Your Pergola)

(Image Source: Unique Landscapes)

24. Screened-in Gazebo

The thumbnail below shows what the gazebo looks like before. Watch the video to see the result of screening-in and painting the gazebo.

25. Pavilion with Outdoor Kitchen

Compared to pergolas, pavilions are larger structures that offer more protection from the sun and rain. That's why you can build one with outdoor kitchens - just like the one below.

(Image Source: Oak Tree Sheds)

26. Walkway Arbor

You can also extend arbors so it covers more parts of your pathway. This arbor looks great even if it's not yet covered with plants and flowers.

(Image Source: Western Timber Frame)

27. Porch Swing

Here's a simple structure you can add to your yard or patio. Enjoy the cool breeze while reading a book or talking with a friend.

28. Pergola with a Built-in Bench

A pergola doesn't have to big, check out this small pergola that's enough to cover a bench. Find out how to create this structure in this tutorial.

(Image Source: Diy Network)

29. Hot Tub Gazebo

You can also use gazebos to cover hot tubs. This gazebo has a shelf on the side, perfect for a wine and cheese night.

30. Corner Pergola

This one looks very interesting because pergolas are typically square or have four posts. The corner pergola is perfect for small outdoor spaces or for yards that need to cover a corner area.

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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