By Max Mervis

Have you ever wished you had that special outdoor space where you could sit back, relax and smell the roses?  A simple addition that could provide a respite from the daily grind, plus pump up your curb appeal, is to add a pergola. Pergolas aren’t just beautiful, they are also a stylish and useful way to increase the outdoor enjoyment of your home and landscape. Whether a simple affair or a grand design full of embellishments, adding a pergola is an inexpensive way to add architectural interest and potential value to your home.

Pergolas have a rich history dating back to as early as the 12th-century BC, and remained popular in European gardens throughout both the Italian and French Renaissance. Although having fallen out of design favor in the 18th and 19th-centuries, pergolas have since made a huge comeback as modern homeowners seek outdoor options with style, personality and flair.

When attached directly to the home over a front porch or deck, this subtle suggestion of shelter can be an effective substitute for actual walls and a roof, creating the illusion of an outdoor retreat. It extends the living space into the yard and serves as a graceful transition between outdoor and indoor space, while the overhead beams provide shade and intimacy. If you have an uncovered driveway, a typical scenario here in the Beach Cities, a pergola will furnish shade and protect your vehicle. This simple addition can make your home appear even larger, as well as add a dynamic design element.

Built outside the home as a compliment to your landscape, a pergola is ideal if you have a yard that doesn’t benefit from much shade. It acts as a garden ceiling — a way of creating an intimate space or passageway using living plants for shade.  Perfect for relaxing or entertaining, you can upgrade your pergola with resort-style inspiration. Hanging sheer linen curtain panels will give some privacy without blocking the beauty of your lawn and add dimension. When electrified, an outdoor ceiling fan can keep things cool, and decorative lanterns will give subtle lighting.

Whether attached to the home as a graceful architectural element, or placed in a garden as an elegant and functional focal point, there is nothing like enjoying a fresh morning in your own garden refuge. So this summer, pump up your curb appeal or create for yourself a peaceful oasis to enjoy all year long.

Photo Above: 19241 Wells Dr | Tarzana