How To Decorate A Pergola

How To Decorate A Pergola

Knowing how to decorate a pergola can be the difference between an average or stunning outdoor space. Whether you plan to use your pergola to host garden parties or read the morning newspaper, it’s important to create an inviting space that you, and others, will want to return to time and time again.

Pergolas can be treated like a blank canvas. They can be with furniture or strung with outdoor lighting. There are many ways to add a personal touch. There are plenty of pergola décor trends to take inspiration from. According to an outdoor trends report by Living Cosy in 2022, which looked at Google search results for the past 12 months, the most searched-for phrases were ‘outdoor rug’, ‘raised garden beds’, ‘outdoor kitchen’ and ‘outdoor bar’.

Search term

Number of searches

Outdoor rug


Raised garden beds


Outdoor kitchen


Outdoor bar


With the following ideas on how to decorate it with plants, lighting, fabric or outdoor furniture, you will be well on your way to a stunning outdoor space.


How to decorate under a Pergola: choosing furniture

Creating an outdoor cooking space is among the most popular pergola decoration ideas. Not only can you host dinner parties, but you can also create alfresco lunches for your family. One of the most obvious outdoor kitchen ideas is to set up a barbecue. However, have you considered a pizza oven for family pizza nights? Whichever option you choose, you’ll also need an adequate table or countertop space to prep the food.


Kamado BBQ 18" Ceramic Grill Egg in Matte Green - £699


Select comfy Garden Furniture 

Adding garden furniture will quickly upgrade your pergola, providing a space to eat, drink, read a book or talk to friends and family. Corner groups are particularly cosy and they fit snugly under a square pergola. Or, if you’re aiming for a more casual arrangement, you may want to consider a set of comfortable garden sofas or sun loungers and daybeds.

Regarding materials, rattan furniture sets are widely considered one of the most sophisticated outdoor furniture styles. Like rope, rattan adds texture to the space. Meanwhile, wooden furniture creates a more rustic, traditional aesthetic. In contrast, sleek metallic furniture is one of the most modern garden furniture ideas.


Merano 2 Seat Sofa Set and Coffee Tables in Latte - £2,999


Create an Outdoor Dining space with dining tables, sets and chairs. 

Casual dining sets often feature bar stools and a rising table, whereas more formal dining sets come in four-, six- or eight-seat designs resembling an indoor dining table. For the most casual option, side coffee tables provide enough space to rest small snacks and drinks.


PergoSTET 3m x 3m Steel Square Pergola in Grey - £1,429

Luna Deluxe Outdoor Fabric Square Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Grey - £4,349

Monterrey 8 Seat Rope Dining Set with Oval Ceramic Table in Grey - £2,749


Pergola Heaters and Fire Pits to utilise your Pergola year-round. 

A pergola doesn’t have to be a summer-only space. Pergola heaters, fire pits, tabletop lanterns or even a barbecue are good outdoor heating ideas to inject warmth underneath a pergola.

PergoSTET Wifi & Bluetooth Heater in Grey - £399


Add a bar with stools and seating for social events. 

One of the most fashionable, modern pergola ideas is an outdoor bar. Although they are primarily a great addition for social events, outdoor bar sets double up as an outdoor dining space. Bar sets with stools have a traditional appearance. However, bar sets with seats are more comfortable if you plan to sit for long periods rather than mingle.


Monterrey 6 Seat Rope Firepit Teak Bar Set in Grey - £3,699


Put a hot tub under your Pergola 

Hot tubs don’t look set to go out of fashion soon, making them another great addition underneath a pergola. The pergola provides full or partial shelter over the hot tub, protecting its occupants from UV rays or rain. It also frames the hot tub, drawing attention to what might be one of your most prized garden features.


Add a U-Shaped Outdoor Sofa for ultimate comfort. 

A U-shaped outdoor sofa works well with a fire pit, as it can wrap around a central table or design feature. It’s also a good garden furniture option for large families who want to maximise the space. The sofa arrangement is surprisingly compact. The U-shape is also handy for social events, as it forces people to face each other rather than away from each other.


Choosing luxury Pergola furniture

Metallic or rattan suites are two of the most luxurious outdoor furniture designs. U-shaped or L-shaped sets also look more luxurious than ad-hoc seats as they provide cohesion.


 Luna 6 Seat Teak Firepit Bar Set in Grey - £3,849


How to decorate a Pergola with plants and flowers 


How to decorate a Pergola with potted plants 

Potted plants are a great tool for decorating a pergola on a budget. They can be purchased cheaply from a local garden centre. They also look good; they add colour to a space and may help the pergola blend into the surrounding garden.


PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in White - £3,999

Bay Corner Group Set with 4 Waist Pillows Teak Table in Olive Green - £3,499


Can you hang flowers on a Pergola? 

We don't recommend suspending plants or any other décor from a chain or wire from any of our PergoSTET or Mirador pergolas. Please ensure to review whether this is possible if you wish to decorate a pergola from another vendor this way. If your pergola allows it, you can utilize hooks for hanging flower pots or trailing plants, or suspend potted plants using chains or wires around the beams or rafters.

However you could decorate any one of our pergolas with you climbing plants such as wisteria or roses can also be set up on a trellis or net.


3m x 6m Rectangular Pergola with 4 Drop Sides in Grey - £8,639


Using plants and trees to create shade and privacy 

Decorating a pergola with plants or trees can create additional shade or a natural privacy screen. Climbing plants are particularly good at providing shade, as they can grow higher on the frame. However, a hanging plant pot usually rests around eye level and cannot create much shade.

PergoSTET 3m x 4m Rectangular Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,999

Luna Outdoor Fabric Rectangular Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Grey (Right Hand) - £3,999


How to decorate a Pergola with lights

At night, lights are an invaluable asset, allowing you to use your pergola after dark. Here are some ideas for decorating your outdoor space with lights to accentuate and illuminate your pergola.


Outdoor Wall Lights 

Durable outdoor wall lights save space. Some models come with a motion sensor, which can save electricity.


Myosotis Metal Chimney Wall Light in Brushed Steel - £39.99



Compared to wall lights, lanterns have a rustic appearance. They come in many variations, including handheld or suspendable lanterns or lanterns with an LED bulb or candle.



Bob Small Table Light in Charcoal (3 Pack) - £119.99



As well as being energy-efficient, LED pergola lights help set the atmosphere by providing ambient lighting. Colour-changing LED lights can totally transform a pergola space at night. Many luxury pergolas come with built-in LED lights.


PergoSTET 3m x 3m Square Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED Lighting in Grey - £3,499


Solar lanterns and lighting 

Solar lighting is a low-maintenance and low-cost lighting option. They are also easy to set up and can be moved around the pergola as you please.



Luxor Floor Outdoor and Indoor Solar Lantern In Teak - £125



As well as providing warmth, a fire pit is an atmospheric form of lighting. There are rectangular, square or round fire pit tables or stand-alone concrete or wood fire pits. Other fire pit ideas include hanging fires and tabletop fire pits.


Luna 8 Seat Outdoor Fabric Rectangular Teak Firepit Dining Set in Grey - £3,999


Floor lamps 

Outdoor floor lamps sit snugly underneath a pergola, although they take up more space than wall lights. If you don’t want the same old lamp design, why not try a contemporary outdoor ball-shaped lamp?


White Outdoor and Indoor Ball Floor Lamp 45 cm - £149.99


Table Lamps 

If you want an easy, lightweight lighting option, try a table lamp. Table lamps take up space on the counter but they are also portable, meaning they can easily be repositioned to cast light over a magazine or board game. How to decorate a pergola with fabric.


Bob Large Table Light in Charcoal - £69.99


How to decorate a Pergola with fabric 

If you really want to elevate your outdoor space, you might want to learn how to decorate a pergola with fabric. 

To make this a success, outdoor fabric should be durable and fade-resistant. Polypropylene and polyester are high-quality, moisture-wicking fabrics used for outdoor furniture. They also resist fading and stains.


Outdoor Sofa and seating fabrics 

Acrylic fabric is a superior fabric for outdoor seating, although it is usually the most expensive fabric. It is durable, moisture wicking and doesn’t get too hot when it is exposed to the sun. Slightly less expensive, Olefin fabric is another durable option, especially for rainy climates as it is quick to dry and easy to clean.

Polyester is a common, inexpensive outdoor fabric. It’s easy to clean but unless it has been treated, it will only last one to two years. Textilene is a type of woven polyester coated in PVC, which adds extra protection from the rain or even flames (handy for set-ups with a fire pit). The downside is that it has a plastic-like texture, which is less comfortable than acrylic or Olefin fabrics.


PergoSTET 3m x 3m Steel Square Pergola in Grey - £1,429

Luna Deluxe Outdoor Fabric Square Corner Dining Set with Rising Firepit Table in Oyster Grey - £4,349


Using fabrics for Outdoor Dining Sets 

Outdoor dining sets with aluminium frames are desirable. Unlike steel or iron, aluminium resists rusting and can sit outdoors permanently. Although it is a heavy material, wood is also very durable and weather-resistant. 

Meanwhile, rope and rattan are some of the most versatile fabrics. Stable and comfortable to sit on, they are also durable. However, these materials will dry quickly if you often experience wet weather.



Julia 6 Seat Low Rectangular Dining Set in Volga Grey - £5,999


Using fabrics to create canopies and shade 

It’s easy to get carried away exploring different pergola shade ideas. It’s also easy to forget to consider how durable or weather-resistant the fabrics are.

Pergola canopies provide some UV resistance and weather protection. Copper fabric is popular for canopies as it allows some of the sun’s rays to pass through. Mesh fabric is also common, improving ventilation while filtering out some sun. 

Polyester and polyethene fabrics are other UV-resistant and water-resistant options, although canvas fabric is increasingly considered to be the best fabric for wet weather. This is because it is slightly more heavy-duty and resists mould and mildew.


How to decorate a Pergola: adding a personal touch


Traditional styles 

Traditional pergola styles are usually heavy on wooden furniture and plants, especially climbing plants and flowers. They usually have a casual seating arrangement rather than a formal dining set. You may want to experiment with hanging fire pits or plants and natural-looking rope or rattan furniture.




Modern styles 

Aiming to create a stunning, modern pergola? Aluminium-frame furnishings will easily achieve a modern look. A sleek all-black or all-white colour scheme can also create a modern atmosphere. 

You may also want to play with modern outdoor furniture and lighting ideas, such as fire pits, bar sets, U-shaped sofas or a pizza oven. 


PergoSTET 3m x 4m Steel Rectangular Pergola in Grey - £1,799


Creating a continuation from indoors to outdoors 

Many of the best outdoor living space ideas are simply a continuation of a well-coordinated indoor design theme. This is a good tactic for decorating a wall-mounted pergola as guests walk directly from an indoor space into the pergola.

If you want continuation from indoors to outdoors, you may want to adopt either the same or a complementary colour scheme. You can replicate this outdoors if your indoor space features plants and lighting.


PergoSTET 3m x 3m Square Wall Mounted Pergola with 3 Drop Sides and LED lighting in Grey - £3,349


How do you accessorise a Pergola to add a personal touch?  

Adding a personal touch to a pergola can make a huge difference to how inviting the space feels. Most of the time, this lies in the colour scheme. Picking colours you love will make you feel fonder of the space. Accessorising is also key, whether you add your favourite plants or encourage your family to paint pots. Things like curtains, swings, hammocks and solar lanterns also add personality.




Summary of how to decorate a pergola

Decorating your pergola shouldn’t be a chore. With so many different ways to inject some personality into your pergola — from painting to creating an outdoor kitchen or adding plants and fabrics — it’s easy nowadays to create an outdoor space that you adore. 

The large range of outdoor products at Harbour Lifestyle can easily help you achieve a modern, traditional or casual pergola space. The award-winning PergoSTET pergolas are functional, stunning and durable, ensuring that you can enjoy your space for a long time to come.

Click here to browse the Harbour Lifestyle range.


How to decorate a pergola FAQs


How do you jazz up a pergola?

Exciting decorations you can add to a pergola include LED lights, lanterns, hanging plants and outdoor furniture such as hanging chairs.


How do you make a pergola cosy?

A cosy pergola may feature items such as plants, cushions, sun loungers or hanging chairs. At night, you can make a pergola feel cosy by lighting a fire pit or setting up lanterns or solar lights.


How do you accessorise a pergola?

There are many ways to accessorise a pergola, including adding lighting, plants and outdoor furniture. Wooden pergolas can also be painted or stained.