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Catherine Stewart

Catherine Stewart

January 21, 2013

Pergolas are often a boring boxy affair with regularly spaced rafters, tacked on to the back of the house. These designs including circles, sweeping curves, radiating rafters and bespoke metalwork as well as using the shadow pattern for decorative effect, show they can be much, much more.

Look at using different weights and lengths of timber battening, making grid patterns, cladding posts, or setting the pergola very high to allow for cascading vines.

Above all, don’t under- engineer your design. Oversized posts and rafters will look better than spindly, undersized ones and if you’re adding a vine, you’ll need a very substantial pergola to support it. Vines like wisteria become extremely heavy as they age, and have brought many a pergola crashing down!

Click on any photo to see a larger image slideshow. You can also click the photos in the slideshow (top right corner) to see a full-size version.

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