Updated on January 3, 2022
Welcome to our gallery of 30+ backyard pavilion ideas! Here you can find inspiration for wooden pavilions, metal pavilions, stone pavilions, and portable pavilions for your backyard.
What is a Pavilion?
A pavilion is a beautiful outdoor covering that is common for summer houses, by pools, and in gardens. It provides shelter, seating, and sometimes even more features such as a fire pit.
There are many different styles of pavilions, and browsing through our gallery of images of pavilion design inspiration can help you gain inspiration for your own backyard pavilion.
Pros and Cons of Backyard Pavilions
If you are thinking about buying a pavilion you may be curious what the pros and cons are. There are many benefits to owning a pavilion such as having an outdoor gathering space, a place to eat outside, shade on hot days, rain cover on cloudy days, and even temperature control during cold and hot weather. Here is a list of the pros and cons of owning a pavilion:
- Seating for outdoor activities
- Cover from rain and snow
- They have fire pits sometimes
- Looks beautiful
- Integrates with your garden
- Provides shade from the sun
- Upkeep varies and can be extensive
- Some pavilions are expensive to build and take care of
Wooden Pavilion Ideas
Wooden pavilions are one of the most practical solutions. They are inexpensive compared to stone pavilions and are also very durable.
Upkeep is simple on wooden pavilions, and like any other outdoor structure they can use a regular powerwash. Here are some examples of the most stylish wooden backyard pavilions:
This wooden pavilion has matching wooden and metal lawn furniture and a picnic table directly under the shade for dining. It has hanging plants from the top of the pavilion which gives the dark wooden and beige of the wooden pavilion a pop of color.
The pathway leading up to this charming summer wooden gazebo makes it a whimsical backyard gathering point. It has a picnic table and chairs for eating and the large wooden beams create some natural shade for hot days.
This tropical pavilion is perfect for the peach. It is made out of a red toned wood and features a lamp for night time lounging.
See Also: 17 Beautiful Arbor Designs
This charming outdoor wooden pavilion is in between two trees. Using the natural elements of your backyard as a basis of your pavilion design is a great way to incorporate all of the natural beauty of the property.
For those with a lot of space a large pavilion with beams like this one may be a good solution. The stone floors and high ceiling of the pavilion are among the many features we love about this luxurious wooden backyard pavilion.
Here is an example of a rustic wooden pavilion that can be easily integrated into many exterior designs. It has a fully shaded roof and walls with open windows that let the light in. This offers more cover than most other backyard pavilions, making it perfect for use at the beach and other warm or cold climates.
Adding furniture and a fountain nearby makes this pavilion the perfect backyard gathering space. Another great feature of this backyard pavilion is the flowering plants growing over the roof of the pavilion.
This unique round pavilion is made out of a combination of materials including wooden beams, a metal frame, and a concrete base. The seating is integrated directly into the design of this stylish modern pavilion with tables included as well. Plants are planted around it.
One of the best ways to decorate a wooden pavilion is with plants. The tropical plants combined with the dark wood and colorful wind chimes make this outdoor pavilion a tropical paradise.
Pavilions are not just for warm climates. Here is an example of a rustic outdoor pavilion covered in snow.
This beautiful modern wooden pavilion features thin wooden beams in a light stain that contrasts against the dark lines of the frame. Inside of the pavilion is wooden furniture and ample plants to make the space feel like home.
Here is an example of a classic wooden pavilion. It takes inspiration from classic pavilions, and with its rich wooden tones and placement among colorful flowering plants makes it an elegant addition to any outdoor space.
The stone chimney on the side of this wooden pavilion means that there is a fireplace inside the pavilion. If you look inside the doors you can also see plush furniture perfect for sitting and lounging with guests.
This white washed wooden pavilion looks beautiful contrasted against the green grass and trees. Here is an example of a beautiful outdoor pavilion without flowers.
This tropical inspired pavilion is perfect for warm climates. For beach houses and other vacation homes a tropical pavilion like this one is an excellent choice.
This unique and beautiful pavilion is made of dark tinted wood that contrasts against the white house. The roof and the furniture add a grand and ethnic flair to the design of the pavilion overlooking trees.
Three Best-Selling Wooden Pavilions:
Stone Pavilion Ideas
If you want a classic, romantic feel to your outdoor pavilion we suggest a stone pavilion. Stone pavilions can also have a rustic feel to them. One of the main benefits of going with a stone pavilion is that it is easy to integrate fire pits and fireplaces into the structure because it is naturally fireproof.
This backyard pavilion has a stone base with a wooden roof. It has ample lighting for nighttime use, an important feature to consider when shopping for a backyard gathering space.
Inside of this sturdy brick pavilion is a wooden dining table that has ample room for the whole family to gather. There is also a fireplace for preparing food and heating the space during winter months.
If you have a pond in your backyard you could put a pavilion in the middle of it on an island, or you could build a manmade pond/moat around the pavilion.
Here is an aerial view of a pavilion on water. There is even a beautiful waterfall nearby, an example of how you can integrate the existing natural beauty of your backyard into the placement and design of your pavilion.
This pavilion looks regal set against the sprawling green grass. This is a nice example of what a backyard pavilion looks like with a pathway leading to it. There are white and red tones in both the stone pathway and pavilion.
Among the colorful blooms, this white stone outdoor pavilion looks like a painting. It has tall pillars that hold up the roof for shade and shelter in the garden.
One of the main benefits of a stone pavilion is that you can easily integrate a fire pit or fireplace. This is an example of what the inside of a luxury pavilion with a fire pit looks like.
Metal Pavilion Ideas
Metal pavilions are another popular choice for outdoor backyard shade structures. Compared to wooden and stone pavilions, metal pavilions are more affordable and in some cases may be easier to install.
This dark metal pavilion has the added benefit of having black curtains/shades built-in which can provide additional privacy and temperature control. Metal pavilions like this can be easier to install than stone pavilions, but are made of heavier materials than a wooden or portable pavilion.
One of the best ways to spruce up a metal pavilion is by adding flowering plants. Vines will naturally grow over the top of the pavilion, and if you choose the right plant you will have beautiful flowers for some of the year.
The design of this backyard pavilion is reminiscent of that of asian structures. It contrasts a light reddish brown with dark rustic colors.
This traditional oriental pavilion overlooking water is a good choice for use near water because it will hold up well to the elements. It has concrete pillars that extend into the water to hold up the pavilion overlooking the water.
Here is an archway style pavilion that has trees growing on either side. This design is a perfect opportunity to add flowering vines, but we think it looks great either way. The design lets in plenty of light while also providing some shade.
Three Best-Selling Metal Pavilions:
Portable Pavilion Ideas
If you are looking for a portable pavilion there are many on the market that could suit your needs, but we recommend avoiding the cheap knock-offs of best selling products if you want the pavilion to last more than one use.
For event centers, schools, and weddings, a portable pavilion can be an affordable shade structure for outdoor events.
If you need a pavilion for an event you may want to go with a portable metal tent outdoor shade structure like this one. For weddings and other events this is the perfect pavilion.
Here is an example of what a small portable outdoor pavilion would look like. You can use these for events or for everyday use by the pool.
This portable pavilion has comfortable seating and plenty of shade. It is in a normal looking backyard with stone pathways. There is other lawn furniture nearby to add to this gathering place.
Portable pavilions make an elegant addition to any outdoor living space. Here is an aerial photo of a portable pavilion in a backyard with lots of bushes and greenery nearby.
When it comes to a portable pavilion one of the most important things to think about is how you are going to set it up. You may need to pay people to help you set up the portable pavilion each time, so if you plan on using it a lot it may make more sense to invest in a wooden, metal, or stone pavilion that will stand the test of time.
Three Best-Selling Portable Pavilions:
Features to Consider When Shopping For a Backyard Pavilion
Here is a list of the main features to consider when shopping for a pavilion for your backyard:
One of the first things you may want to consider when it comes to a pavilion is how much you are looking to spend. Your budget will determine how large of a pavilion and what materials will be used to construct it. Metal pavilions cost less than stone and wood.
When it comes to the price of the pavilion you want to consider not only the pavilion itself, but also the upkeep costs, the costs for furnishing the patio of the pavilion, and any decorations you may want to add. Installation of the pavilion is another factor to take into consideration when you are thinking about how much a pavilion will cost.
The amount of shade and weather protection offered by a pavilion can vary. For extremely hot or cold climates you will want to invest in a pavilion with a lot of shade cover.
If the pavilion has beams over the top, then it will only provide shade in the places where the beam’s shadow falls. If the pavilion has a solid roof it will not let in any sunlight, but it makes a very shady place to relax comfortably.
In the gallery we gave examples of wooden, stone, metal, and portable pavilions. The material used in the construction of the pavilion will affect how the pavilion looks and how much it costs. Another thing to think about is the upkeep involved with that kind of pavilion.
Pressure washing is the best way to keep an outdoor structure clean, but in between you will also have to do some regular maintenance which could cost time and money.
One of the main features that people love about backyard pavilions is the plants that surround them. There are many different ways to integrate plants into the design of your outdoor pavilion.
Flowers are a popular choice if you want to go for a romantic vibe, but tropic plants are also a great choice. Some people prefer to have their backyard pavilion in green grass without a bunch of plants to overwhelm it, which is also a good option.
Flowering fines look great when they climb over the roof of a pavilion, but be warned that some vines could damage the integrity of the structure. Do your research and find out what kind of flowering vines or plants work best with your outdoor pavilion.
One of the benefits of adding plants to the design of your outdoor gathering space is that certain plants can actually make bugs go away. Another way to keep bugs away is with candles and certain lamps.
If you plan on using the outdoor space at night then it is essential that you provide lighting for the space. This may mean wiring electricity to the pavilion, or using LED, solar power, or other energy efficient lights to keep the area lit.
If the pavilion is completely cut off from electricity you can use fire to light the night in the old fashioned way. Tiki torches can be used with a tropical pavilion for lighting and to add to the decor. A fireplace or firepit can also be a handy source of light for nighttime backyard gatherings or outdoor dinners.
String lights are an elegant and stylish touch that can be added to an outdoor pavilion. You can buy solar powered string lights or use extension cords to power them if possible.
In addition to the other features we have mentioned, seating may be one of the most important for a pavilion. If the pavilion is meant only for only temporary viewing then it may not need seating, but for a regular gathering place you will want to think about where people will sit.
Wooden, metal, or stone furniture is common for use with a pavilion to match the design of the structure, and adding padded cushions for seating is a great idea for making it more comfortable.
Some pavilions can have built-in seating. Wooden pavilions can easily integrate seating into the design. Stone pavilions, or pavilions with a concrete base, can also easily integrate a bench or booth type seating into the side of the pavilion.
If you are designing your own pavilion you can work with the builders to incorporate your seating into the pavilion. If ordering online or buying from a local hardware store, your options will be more limited, but there are many pavilions with built-in benches.
Adding Lawn Furniture
If the pavilion does not have built in tables and chairs then you will need to add some furniture of your own. Try to match the style of the furniture with that of the pavilon to give it a cohesive look. Examples of lawn furniture include tables, chairs, and sofas.
When it comes to figuring out your budget for the pavilion in your backyard you will want to take the lawn furniture into consideration. Outdoor furniture can be even more expensive than indoor furniture because it has to be made out of weather-proof materials, and the costs can add up quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Pavilions
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about outdoor pavilions.
Do backyard pavilions protect you from the rain?
Whether or not a backyard pavilion is adequate cover from rain and the elements depends on the design. Backyard pavilions with a solid roof made of either wood, metal, stone, or weather-proof tarp will do a good job protecting you from the rain.
If you are shopping for portable pavilions it will be harder to find one that will provide adequate cover in the case of a thunderstorm. For wooden, stone, and metal pavilions if there are no walls to the pavilion the rain could also blow in with heavy wind making it only a good choice of cover for very light rains and not storms.
How much do backyard pavilions cost?
You can expect to pay over $1,000 for a high-quality pavilion of any sort. You may be able to find portable pavilions, gazebos, and shade covers for less, but for a durable, long-lasting pavilion you can expect to pay a pretty penny. For a stone, metal, or high-quality wooden pavilion the costs can go upwards of $10,000, peaking at around $20,000 or $30,000.
You can find some awesome backyard pavilions for around the $2-$5k range, but keep in mind that you also need to think about the cost of setting up the pavilion, if you need help to do it, or if you plan on building the pavilion yourself.
In addition to the costs of building the pavilion you should also consider how much you plan tto spend to decorate the area around it with plants and furniture. If the pavilion doesn’t have a floor you may need to build a floor as well or a path leading up to the pavilion.
What are the benefits of a backyard pavilion?
There are many benefits to installing a backyard pavilion. It is a great gathering place in the backyard and encourages you to spend more time outside. Here is a list of the benefits of owning a backyard pavilion:
- Playground shade for children
If you have children they will love playing underneath the pavilion. Sunburn and overheating can often occur on a playground, which is why regular trips to the pavilion to cool down is a good idea.
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner seating
You can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner out on the pavilion. The pavilion can be a romantic place to have a dinner especially with the addition of candles and string lights. You may want to consider growing plants to defend against bugs nearby to help keep away pests from your meals.
- Meeting area
If you want a place to gather in your backyard, then a pavilion is the way to go. People naturally gravitate towards a structure and adding a firepit or lighting will make it even more inviting.
- Increase property value
Building or installing a high-quality pavilion or gazebo in your backyard can actually increase your property value.
- They are durable and long lasting
Compared to other outdoor shade structures a pavilion is a long-lasting and durable choice that will stand the test of time. Stone, metal, and wooden pavilions can last for many, many years even with minimal maintenance.
- Versatile design options
There are many different design choices available to those shopping for a high-quality pavilion. Styles include modern, rustic, vintage, tropical, and romantic. Pavilions come in many different colors and materials.
There are portable backyard pavilions that you can buy which you could bring with you if you move to multiple properties or even transport with you on vacation to provide shade on the beach.
Thanks for checking out our backyard pavilion ideas gallery! We hope you gained some design inspiration for your backyard pavilion. We will be updating this style guide and more regularly so check back for fresh design inspiration ideas for backyards, home exteriors, and interiors.