Pergolas are easy and inexpensive to decorate because their basic, uncomplicated structure makes it simple to attach and hang accessories to them.
In addition to enhancing the look and style of your outdoor “room”, pergola decorations can actually increase the functionality of the space.
For example, lighting accessories can make the area more usable at night and curtains can add privacy and wind/sun protection.
So here’s my Top 5 List:
1. String Lights
It couldn’t be any easier to hang string lights, whether you decide to drape them across the upper rafters or wrap them around the posts of the pergola.
I personally like solar string lights. They work really well on pergolas since I can attach the small solar panel on the top of the structure out of sight. Plus, it can get direct sunlight all day long. A solar rope light is another great option.
I don’t have to worry about turning on the outdoor lights at night because they automatically turn on when the sun goes down. An most off all, they don’t add any cost to my energy bill!
2. A Pergola Canopy
Some portable pergolas come with an attached overhead canopy. However, if yours doesn’t have one, I’d suggest checking them out to see if you can buy a canopy separately.
Besides looking cool, they offer lots of other benefits like wind and sun protection, helping your furniture last longer and even keeping energy costs down.
Alternatively, you may be able to purchase Sunbrella outdoor fabric at your local fabric store and then cut it to the size you need. Make sure you get weight rods for each end of the fabric to keep the sunshade in place and prevent it from flying away.
3. Pergola Curtains or Side Panels
Outdoor curtains can be a perfect, low-cost solution to patio privacy. They also add a certain level of ambiance and style to your backyard and help to extend the indoors out.
If you really want your outdoor room to feel like a living room, get some curtains. In fact, if you like to sew, you can easily buy some outdoor fabric and and attach it to the pergola frame using peel-and-stick velcro tape.
This way, you can remove the curtains for washing, and you don’t need and tools or hardware to hang the curtains.
4. Outdoor Hanging Lanterns
Lanterns can add a tropical or eclectic feel to your outdoor space while also adding nighttime lighting.
I prefer lanterns with unique or colored shades so that I can enjoy them during the day even when they are not lit. I also like hanging solar lanterns with flickering candles because they create such a nice ambiance.
If you are the creative type, there are plenty of ways to make your own mason jar lanterns using cheap solar lights. You can paint the jars with colored glass paint or even glue glass beads to create a cool custom look for very little money.
5. Patio Wind Chimes
Similar to outdoor water features, wind chimes can create a relaxing sound and help to block out street noise. They can be inexpensive to buy (many are under $20), take seconds to hang up and are pleasant to look at.
Before you start shopping for one, think about what you want. There are literally 1,000’s to choose from, and the decision can get overwhelming. For example, are you looking for the classic metal chime, colorful hanging decor with a more subtle sound, something unusual or a wind chime with solar lights that you can enjoy at night?