Creating shade in outdoor living spaces is becoming more appropriate than ever. Recent extreme temperatures have prompted an impressive volume of public conversations regarding shade strategies. Fortunately, many solutions exist and it’s often a marriage of tactics that are most effective in helping us develop smart sun consumption habits.
This Latin word, borrowed from the Italian term “pergola,” refers to a protective eave extending from a house. Initially, mid 1600s renditions consisted primarily of flexible willow shoots that were transformed into long, covered, arched walkways. When densely planted with vines, a completely shaded area impervious to rain was created. Willow shoots soon graduated to more formal structures with grand stone columns, often of massive scale.
Muscular columns, shadows, romance
The Villages of West Clay project boasts a large pergola attached to the home, offering protection from the harsh sun for both the abbreviated grill station /landing and previously baked inside dining area. This modern mid-west construction has muscular 8-by-8 cedar columns, smartly trimmed and detailed to echo those in the home. Most homeowners initially prefer the raw cedar finish…until painted. It legitimizes the “ceiling” structure and helps it behave as a brilliant extension of your home.
A soothing water feature, accented with Indiana granite boulders and native grasses, invites guests to relax. An abbreviated two-post pergola hangs above a lower patio entertaining counter, and is complimented by a total shade-producing lanais. Shade trees will help as their dappled canopies mature.
Perhaps it’s the pergola’s Italian heritage that prompts the romantic twist. Maybe it’s the general mood of the space we create, and the open breeze, that produces dancing shadows from the overhead architecture. But, the mood of any outdoor living area is dramatically impacted by the romance of a pergola.