24 Pergola Ideas for Small Patio

Pergola Ideas for Small Patio

Within this article, we’ll focus on pergolas for a small size patio or backyard, and how they’re best utilized. A pergola is one of the most versatile outdoor structures, which comes in all sizes and designs to help you make the most of your available landscaping space.



We start with the simplest and the cheapest small pergola ideas … 


1. Hanging Hammock Pergola

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What better way to enjoy the fruits of your labor than relaxing in a hammock beneath your pergola? I love this setup, its single axis gives you enough room to hang a hammock without taking up valuable patio space. It feels like a natural inclusion to your small backyard and can be placed next to a garden or a fireplace to bring that personal feeling to your design. Simple pergolas like this can be found in kits (or even a DIY project over the weekend) and can be an easy way to liven the area.


2. Pergola Swing

This small pergola clearly caters to the young ones. This design has implemented a swing, giving your kids something fun to do in the yard while you work. This is one of the cheapest pergola ideas, and its use can add some levity to your patio or garden. If you’re interested in bringing the playground to your backyard, I would feel remiss if we didn’t showcase this design.


3. Patio Grilling Nook

Spending time in the yard, barbecuing a rack of ribs, or smoking a brisket, is one of my favorite pastimes. There are fewer locations to do that better than beneath your trellised pergola. This simple addition can add some vital shade to keep you cool while you grill. It’s also possible to add a roof to this pergola, creating a covered area to keep your grill safe from the elements.  The cedar wood compliments any small courtyard, adding an atmospheric feel which contrasts well against the cement.


4. Swinging Table Pergola

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This ingenious design strikes a chord with the creative types. Constructed from metal – solid wood will suffice if that’s more your look – will be able to hold up your entire family without causing the structure to sway. The swing table pergola is both practical and amusing, accommodating an afternoon snack, or even a competitive game of Monopoly in the backyard. What I like most about this is that its peculiar look acts as an invitation and will have your friends and guests jumping into its seats. This compact design can fit in any small patio corner and makes a wonderful addition to your backyard space.


5. Small Grill Gazebo

This contemporary patio is practically made for a design such as this. The black metal fabrication fits in with the modern aesthetic and forges an ideal zone for grilling. The metal roof will weather the elements for decades and would be heavy enough to withstand strong winds. On the sides we see the bar counters, drawing your family or friends into the space and giving you a chance to share a beer while you barbecue those burgers. This type of small mobile design can fit anywhere, is easily set up within a day, and can be moved if required.


6. Corner Pergola with Curtain Lights

Corner pergolas are perfect for small patios. This idyllic patio is masterfully crafted. From the stonework fireplace to the granite garden edging, it’s the wooden corner pergola that pulls it all together. The appearance of this design lends itself to nature, looking as if it was shaped by the resources around it. If you don’t feel like starting a fire, the hanging lights create a nighttime ambiance that can brighten up the corner and give it a cozy warmth. The surrounding garden bed creates a boundary that implies this is a sacred space. Spending hours within this peaceful domain is my idea of time well spent.


7. Secluded Hot Tub

This private enclosure with an overhanging pergola and back wall allows you to enjoy your hot tub without unwanted attention. The surrounding wood structure gives you a perfect spot to hang your towel as you enjoy a night relaxing your muscles against the strong jets. This type of budget design offers you the same seclusion as a privacy wall while creating a shaded overhang for those hot summer days. There are a variety of privacy ideas for you to consider when setting up your hot tub, and the pergola ranks high amongst them.


8. Small Patio Designs with Pergola

These small patio ideas are the ideal setup if you’re looking to hide away from the world. Adding a pair of corner pergolas to flank your patio can provide you with some essential privacy. The adjacent benches provide conversation seating, or if you’re contemplating a singular pergola setup, placing two benches side by side induces a more intimate setting. The back-wall design provides an interesting appearance with reminds me of growing roots, bringing me back into the forest. If you’re in search of a way to encapsulate your small patio, this simple design can suit your needs.


9. Minimal Pergola

This modern pergola boils design into a reduction and emphasizes minimalist style to create an inconspicuous structure. There are some backyards designed to keep the attention on the surroundings. This style of pergola creates a meditative area, avoiding the bells and whistles of other designs which can distract you from the natural beauty of the garden. It’s always important to take your environment into account when you choose your backyard layout, and a small yard with a prominent woodland existence can be bolstered with a minimal pergola.


10. Narrow Pergola with Angled Rafters

You don’t always need a lot of space to fit in a pergola. This narrow design is inexpensive and feels like a natural inclusion to your compact patio. The small pergola features slanted rafters which will help shade you from the sun during certain hours. The accompanying outdoor kitchenette is flawlessly suited to this approach and utilizes the space given cleverly. It’s sleek designs like this that prove to me you can fit a pergola even into the smallest backyards.


11. Curtained Pergola

This roofed pergola creates the idealistic family environment for a summer dinner, or an evening spent entertaining guests. The hanging lights provide a candle-like quality to the atmosphere, capturing your friends and family in picturesque illumination. Proper lighting is a hallmark of the perfect pergola setup, especially when attached to your home. The curtains provide a modicum of privacy and are an easy addition to any outdoor setup, while the roof allows for rainy-day contemplation for those who enjoy the soothing sound of a brewing storm. This design has truly captured the concept of making your patio an extension of your home.


12. Latticed Arbor Pergola

A latticed pergola arbor such as this is best rooted next to all your plants and flowers. Its structure accents the surrounding garden bed and gives it an animated existence. The lattice could be further utilized with vines, or simply encompassed with potted plants and trees as we see here. This is a cheap option if you’re looking to spruce up the yard with a traditional latticed structure.


13. Swing Bench Pergola

You don’t need much space in order to make your patio more inviting. Here we find another trellised pergola, this one designed with a swinging bench that brings that tempting allure to have a seat. Composed of adjacent trellises, this tiny pergola has an open style that gives you a complete view to appreciate your surroundings. We can see how the matching colors of the fence and pergola make a seamless arrangement. Even the daylight bulbs complement the colors, bringing the backyard to life.


14. Small Garden Bench

This simple arbor bench feels like an extension of the bricks platform. The saplings surrounding this arbor cut a slice out of the forest and place it in your backyard. The earthen tones create a naturalistic feeling when juxtaposed with the greens of the grass and garden. This open structure lets the light through and allows the sun to bathe the garden without much interruption. If I were to build this in my backyard, I would consider adding storage boxes beneath the bench for a little added utility.


15. Pyramidal Pergola

Small doesn’t have to be boring. This unusual pergola stands out amongst other designs. The pyramidal roof expresses a creative license not found in most backyards, and yet seems to fit within this one. This pergola evokes images of Egypt, and the Mediterranean, bringing the pyramids to your backyard. One appealing aspect of this compact design is its ability to cover the entire patio, creating an oasis on a summer day. An idea like this is less simple than other installations and may be more of a professional job.


16. Flower Pot Pergola

If you’re looking for a way to show off all that hard work in your flower garden, this could be the design for you. The distinct primary blue of this pergola feels like a natural fit to showcase your flower pots. Turning your small garden patio into a springtime refuge and watching the flowers blossom from your bench seat is something you’ll look forward to every year. The range of colors found within flowers could create a glowing palette that appeals to any painter.


17. Lean-to Pergola

Here we see a small enclosed patio sheltered by a lean-to pergola. It reminds me of my time spent in Corfu, Greece, the mixture of blues and whites appears like the sand meeting the ocean. The cerulean blue curtains provide an extra touch that brings the theme together and stitches it shut. These types of designs take advantage of minimal space and can make it appear much bigger than it is. The simple extension of your roof gives you an outdoor shelter that you’ll spend countless days beneath.


18. Shaded Pergola

This cute tiny pergola sits center within a patio and provides a much-needed lounging area. The robins’ egg blue contrasted with the terracotta accent displays an intriguing visual beneath this wooden pergola. Considering the open nature of this patio it becomes apparent and necessary to extend the shade by adding this large umbrella. The white curtains on the side also help ward against the sun, soaking up the heat while providing cover. While this may bear a compelling design, it hides a function that can’t be understated.


19. Plastic Roofed Pergola

Making the most of your space is an important concept when designing your small backyard. Here we see the wooden frame held aloft by Greek columns giving it an architectural appearance. Opting for a transparent plastic roof gives the space ample sunlight while still offering some protection from the weather. The hanging LED sconces allow for nighttime gatherings without taking up the space of a standing lamp. This kind of design stands out from others thanks to the columns and can give your yard a regal appearance.


20. Sunshade Roof

The small size of this canopy pergola is just enough to provide adequate shade for a small patio with five beanbags. This simplistic pergola design bids one to take a nap beneath its cover and forget about your daily stresses.


21. Bask Beneath this Bamboo Pergola

This pergola design could be a relatively straightforward DIY project. The lean-to aspect requires fewer building materials, while the woven bamboo roof is as easy as it gets. Another added benefit of building your pergola as an extension of your house is to strategically give shade to bay windows or sliding glass doors, reducing the temperature of the space. The sectional sofa with the large centerpiece transforms a once-empty space into a zone for contemplation. Small pergola ideas like this one are perfect if you’re interested in building one yourself.


22. Rustic Idea

The rustic style of this blanched pergola extends the house and forms a narrow belt to relax by the fire pit. The cream and tan motif suits the nature of the house perfectly, not drawing any attention while still maintaining a welcoming presence. The latticed roof expands the area, opening up this small deck and allowing it to breathe. This design still finds ample room to put a picnic table and multiple chairs and thoroughly accomplishes the simple task of hosting your loved ones.


23. Modern and Decorative

This contemporary pergola design creates a sleek wing that follows along the pathway of the tiny patio. Flanked by flowerbeds on all sides, this open-roofed style invites the sun right into your garden and emphasizes aesthetics over function. Sometimes a structure, such as a pergola or a gazebo, brings a level of animation to the yard. In this case, we see the uniform angles following the path and how they draw our eyes centrally toward the patio furniture. I especially like the raised stone-tile walkway, giving further depth to the area.


24. Garden Wall Pergola

I’ve noticed garden walls have been increasing in popularity lately, which is where we find our next pergola. The small white patio furniture set against the brick backdrop illustrates the usage of color contrast. Raising the pergola to match the height of the brick wall broadens the shade to engulf the patio below. This pergola has a functional purpose and is a simple inclusion within any small patio. If you find yourself in the humid climates of California, or the sweltering sun of Texas, a shaded pergola like this will fit within any sized yard.



Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’re invigorated to upgrade your backyard with a pergola of your own. When it comes to pergolas the designs are limitless, and as we’ve shown, you can turn a small space into a large presence with the right implementation. Turning a boring backyard into a creative backdrop with some of these pergola ideas is a stepping stone toward personalizing your space.

About Jesse James 8 Articles
Jesse James has countless hours of hands-on experience with gardening and home repair. From landscaping flower beds to building patios, Jesse has been providing advice on home improvement for over a decade.