5 Tips for Designing Arches and Pergolas

Keep these pointers in mind for optimal design solutions when choosing a space for your new arch or pergola.

Photo By: DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Arches & Pergolas © 2000 Dorling Kindersley Limited


A seat placed beneath the lower side of this slightly pitched-roof pergola faces the garden. This variation on the more usual horizontal overhead beams increases the sense that what lies ahead is important, while neighboring houses or utility items behind are secondary.

Arch in Perfect Scale

The rounded "window" of this rose-covered arch is simply and perfectly proportioned. Painted white, it complements the cool greens and creamy whites of the nearby planting.

Shaded Seat

This is a wonderful example of an arbor acting as a focal point. Tall planting ensures that the arbor sits comfortably within the overall design of the garden.

Stone Urn

A statue or other focal point, such as this stone urn at the end of a pergola walkway, can foreshorten the view, but it attracts attention and will help to create a sense of movement.


A rose-covered metal arch fosters a delicious sense of intrigue: more of the garden appears to lie tantalizingly out of sight. Note how the black-painted arch mimics the color of the rose stems.

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