by Ellen Mallernee Barnes

Pergolas are decorative by nature. Though they help define and add height to an outdoor space, they don’t offer a whole lot of function, unless you’re one of those green thumbs who can successfully coax climbing plants into shading your patio. But, dear Lord, don’t pergolas just look fabulous? Don’t they just make you want to sit and stay awhile? “Mini-pergolas” take the pergola’s uselessness to another level (and we mean that in the kindest way possible because we love all things pergola), as they are 100 percent ornamental. Small pergolas offer the perfect solution for lots of spaces that just seem blah, lacking any kind of architectural detail of note. A shallow little pergola can go a long way to deepen the impact of your home. Allow us to demonstrate:

A pergola over a fence or privacy wall

pergola over fence or privacy wall

A pergola over an outdoor kitchen

pergola over outdoor kitchen

A pergola over a swing

pergola over swing

A pergola over a fire pit

pergola over fire pit

A pergola over french doors

pergola over french doors

A pergola over a garage door

pergola over garage door

A pergola over windows

over the door pergola

All photos sourced from Houzz.com and Better Homes and Garden

See photos of pergolas we’ve built here in Nashville.