101+ Gazebos Designs and Ideas

There has been something missing from your backyard and you can’t quite put a finger on it. Have you considered installing a gazebo? Gazebos are a great way to draw a family and entertainment out into a yard. They can create a well-rounded feel to the various corners of your backyard!


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FAQs About How To Design A Gazebos

How should I prepare my yard for a gazebo?

The best approach to installing a gazebo is to match the design of the gazebo to the yard. This all depends on the shape of your backyard as well as its structure. Is there a particular area of your yard that could use some extra shade?

Garden gazebos can be placed at an entryway to a garden or designed to enclose a passageway. If your gazebo is supposed to serve as an outdoor room, this can be just a few steps away from your back patio.

What is the difference between a gazebo, pergola, arbor, or a canopy?

A gazebo is a roundish, open garden structure with a solid roof. It is traditionally built with durable materials such as wood or steel. Gazebos can range in sizes, but in modern times, gazebos are mimicking large outdoor rooms for entertainment. Gazebos often contain seating such as outdoor loveseats, a dining table and chairs, or a fire pit.

A pergola is a covered walkway that may feature sheltered seating such as benches or small chairs. A pergola differs most from a gazebo in its shape- a pergola is a straight, long, and often narrow walkways. They are traditionally made out of more permanent materials such as wood, steel, or even concrete.

An arbor is a smaller version of a gazebo and is typically more makeshift. It relies on a lattice design in the roof to create shade and is not something you would stand under to stay out of the rain.

A canopy is a temporary structure that is used for convenience rather than longevity or durability. Canopies are traditionally made from lightweight materials and are easy to assemble and breakdown when you need to put them away.

How should I decorate my gazebo?

Consider adding curtains! Before you hang these beautifying drapes, make sure you have chosen a cloth that is weather friendly. Then add curtains to spruce up the gazebo and give it a more romantic vibe.

String lights (or fairy lights) are a great way to continue with the romantic theme by adding some soft lighting to your outside entertainment. If you are using your gazebo as an outdoor dining room, consider hanging a chandelier over the table.

Plants, plants, plants. This is a space where going over the top with greenery will never feel over the top. You are outside for goodness sake! Some pergolas have vines interwoven into their roof to create additional shade. You can add a variety of both potted and hanging plants to really engage that outdoor feel. Just make sure they are shady species who enjoy their time out of the sun!

What is relaxation without a hammock? Now that you have the sturdy structure of a gazebo, hang a hammock from hooks using two sides (or even the roof) and you’ll find yourself hanging out for the rest of the summer.

What material should I use for my gazebo?

The most popular material for garden gazebos is wood. While wood can be a little more costly than vinyl or iron for garden gazebos, it is a beautiful material that can last for years. It will require maintenance of occasionally retreating it with any finishing coat.

As for what type of wood, cedar is generally a popular option. Cypress wood is an option for railings and overhangs. Pine or oak are two wood types that should not be utilized as any material that will be readily exposed to outdoor weather conditions.

What material should I use for the roof of my gazebo?

Some gazebo owners opt for a uniform material throughout the entire gazebo, making the roof wood. However, there are other material options that may increase the durability of your roof or decrease the cost of installing it.

A metal roof is definitely a more expensive option for a roof, but it nearly doubles the span of life for a gazebo. This style of roof can also can be manufactured to resemble tile or slate.

Some homeowners prefer a plastic or glass roofing material as this material are UV resistant against harmful exposure. A plastic roof is also lightweight, inexpensive, and less likely to shatter than a glass roof. They have different options for style and color.

Fabric can be a roofing option for a gazebo, but this is best for a structure that is intended for temporary use. It is a low-cost option that will be able to create shade, but it will not effectively protect against UV rays or any sort of weather.


Insects, mosquitos, birds, and more- In your outdoor living space, you will be facing the elements which includes…bugs and other forms of wildlife. Be proactive in creating a comfortable environment.

This may mean planting some mosquito repelling plants such as thyme, garlic, rosemary, or lavender. You can also place some citronella candles on various surfaces in your gazebo for both bug repellent and ambient qualities.

If you have a bird problem, consider installing a bird feeder in view of the gazebo, but a little further away. This should draw any birds towards a separate section of your yard while keeping them in sight for enjoyment’s sake. (This should also minimize any bird droppings on your furniture).

The “interior” of a gazebo- Depending on the size of your gazebo, you can use the interior for different purposes. You can install a Jacuzzi, hot tub, or fire pit underneath to create a cozy vibe.

If your gazebo is big enough, you can section it off to serve different purposes. You can furnish one side with a coffee table, outdoor couch, and chairs for enjoying happy hour, an after-dinner drink, or an AM coffee. The other side can be furnished as dining area to enjoy family meals or host a barbeque.

Add in small details such as throw pillows for both design and comfort. A cozy throw blanket is a great way to tie in the atmosphere and combat any nighttime chill. You can even go as far as adding an outdoor rug, just be aware that these need to be cleaned frequently.

Water feature- If the purpose of your gazebo is not to house a Jacuzzi, consider installing a water feature within or near your gazebo. The sound of water is an extremely soothing noise and the pooling of water should draw pleasant wildlife to your backyard.

If you are combating with a small space, consider a small tabletop fountain. You could also mount a fountain to the wall or nestle a pedestal fountain into hanging vines. A solar powered fountain is both eco-friendly and eliminates the need for a grounded electrical power source.

Style- Gazebos are traditionally roundish in their shape whereas pergolas tend to be more rectangular. Consider changing it up by choosing a style that is an abnormal or obscure shape, especially in the roof. This can really add a spice of personality to your backyard.

As for the style of your furnishings, consider tying in the environment to your décor. Lean towards decorations with leaves, flowers, or birds rather than any abstract art or loud cloud choices.


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