12 Functional and Stylish Pergola Roof Ideas to Customize Your Outdoor Space

Close-Set Louvers

For a modern and minimalist look, consider opting for a close-set slatted or louvered pergola roof. This option will provide an abundance of shade, as illustrated by this welcoming cabana-style pergola designed by Michelle Boudreau Design.

Classic White Cross Beams

A basic grid roof is never a bad option for a pergola. Generally consisting of thick base beams crossed with thinner and lighter top beams, this look projects classic beauty. If you like the look of this sun-dappled backyard deck, space your beams widely to allow more sunlight to filter in. Painting your pergola white will also give the entire space a lighter, more airy feel.

Curtain Covered Awning

For maximum shade, consider doing as Lucky Plot 13 does here and install an awning on your pergola's roof. The overall effect skews a bit bohemian-style, while also providing premium sun coverage. If you're interested in this look, opting for a custom-made awning fashioned from a sun-proof material like Sunbrella or Crypton can ensure it has a long

Minimal Black Slats

For a sleek, modernist look that blends in with the landscape around it, you can't do much better than a black slatted roof. As illustrated by the San Francisco-based firm, Kendall Wilkinson Design, an all-back pergola with a slatted roof (note the lack of crossbeams) doesn't feel architecturally imposing, allowing the surrounding landscape to take center stage.

Living Vines

Not all pergolas need to have a roof constructed of materials you can buy at the hardware store. For a more natural look, consider a vine-covered roof. If you love the romantic look of a vine roof, steal a trick from this rustic wood pergola and opt for a slightly slanted roof. The slanted roof lends a draping quality to any foliage that grows on top of it.

Window Pane-Style Grid

If you're not installing a pergola purely for shade purposes, selecting a larger window-pane gird roof is an eye-catching option. Mimicking the look of French door panes, this style of roof is easier and more cost-effective to build than closely slatted styles that require more material. It also creates a charming, cottage-style look.

String Light-Embellished Roof

If you have aspirations to illuminate your pergola with string lights as Interior Impressions does here, consider a classic arbor-style roof with closely set beams. This style creates a natural grid that lends itself to easily wrapping lights.

Corrugated Polycarbonate

Keeping the elements out can be especially important if you have a seating area stationed under your pergola. A roof constructed of corrugated polycarbonate can help with this task since it won't allow any moisture in. One of the benefits of using polycarbonate is that it's transparent, meaning you can opt for widely spaced beams to achieve maximum light and still maintain total protection from rain or wind.

Bamboo Reed Fencing

Rolling out bamboo reed fencing on top of your pergola can be a fabulous way to add texture and curate a worldly, bohemian effect. As shown in this charming backyard seating area designed by Afro Bohemian Living,a bamboo-topper partners perfectly with rustic posts. It also lets in just a hint of sunlight, creating gorgeous rippled shadows.

Pitched Roof

Create a sense of grandness with a pitched pergola roof. Whether you match the gable of your house, or you use this concept for a free-standing pergola, the result is a structure that feels dramatic and airy. This style of roof won't be your best option if you're looking to train vines up your pergola, but it is a great choice if your goal is to add architectural interest to your yard.

Double Slatted Roof

A basic cross-hatch pergola with uniformly sized beams can sometimes feel a bit boring. Mix it up by laying down thinner double crossbeams atop your larger base beams. As put on display by the pergola spanning this lush, Mediterranean-inspired backyard, the unexpected arrangement draws your eye up, giving the entire space the feel of an outdoor room.

Wide Set Slats

As shown by the firm Austin Patterson Disston Architects, forgoing cross beams and fashioning a pergola with posts that are flush with your roof's outer beams creates a modern Parsons-style structure. Also, note that you don't need to own a modern home to try this look. Teaming an ultra-modern pergola like this with a traditional-style house creates an eye-catching juxtaposition.

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