Enhancing a Yard with Pergolas and Iron Art

For many homeowners, their backyard becomes a second living space; an extension of their home when the weather allows. Often times it is as important as the space inside the house and careful thought and planning is put into designing a functional, beautiful outdoor area. Typically the initial focus is on the greenery itself but there are many other accessories and options that can be implemented into a beautifully designed backyard space than just ornamental plants, trees, and shrubs. When designing a yard it’s also important to consider the addition of other elements such as pergolas and iron art accent pieces to add character and personality.


A pergola is a structure consisting of vertical posts or pillars that support an overhead span of cross beams or sturdy, open lattice. The partial roof structure creates a shaded patio or walkway but allows for a view of the sky and the stars at night, providing some shade for a homeowner without completely blocking the view of the sky.

Homeowners choose to add pergolas to their backyards and garden spaces for a variety of reasons. Without a doubt they are a beautiful addition to outdoor living spaces — much more so than a standard shade awning. They come in a variety of styles and add visual interest with their sculptural and architectural design. The light, airy nature of a pergola maximizes usable outdoor living space, providing a seating area for furniture without making the yard seem smaller or confined. When designed and oriented correctly, a properly built pergola will cast shade on a sunny afternoon providing some relief from the heat. If extra shade under the pergola is preferred, climbing plants and vines can be trained to make their way up the supports and climb along the beams or lattice.

Pergolas in Chicago

When adding a pergola to an outdoor space there are some important things to take into consideration. First and foremost, be mindful of the installation costs and what the budget allows for, and keep in mind the upkeep the structure will require. Differing construction materials will have varying costs and maintenance needs. Typically pergolas are built out of pressure-treated wood, vinyl, or fiberglass.

Wood pergolas are the most customizable of the three types allowing it to be designed to match the style of a home; wood is also available for sale locally almost everywhere, is incredible strong, and is easy to work with. The downsides though are that wooden pergolas are extremely heavy and they require a lot of maintenance. Sunlight and precipitation will take their toll on wooden structures making it necessary to stain or paint them regularly to keep them looking nice.

Vinyl and fiberglass pergolas are incredibly easy to maintain — all they need is a quick power wash once a year to keep them clean and looking nice. Both materials are much lighter than wood and don’t require the same steps in construction to secure the pergola safely in place. On the downside, they both typically come as prefabricated kits so customization of the design is minimal and vinyl isn’t as strong as fiberglass and wood, with the tendency to soften or sag under heavy snowfalls.

Iron Art

After adding large design elements such as a pergola to the backyard, it’s equally important to not overlook the smaller decorative pieces that add personality and style. Metals have been used for centuries as accent decor; iron yard art — especially recycled iron yard art — is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners because of its ability to coordinate with any style and withstand the elements.

Accent a pergola with iron planters, beautiful wrought iron furniture, or even simple sculptures to adorn a table. Planting beds can be adorned with whimsical iron animals, ornately designed metal flowers, or stunning panels of beautiful scrollwork.

Iron art for the yard and garden is available in a wide range of styles, sizes and prices making it possible to find accent pieces that fit any landscape design and budget. If something can’t be found that suits the style of the backyard space, it’s also quite easy to have a piece custom made by an artisan.

A backyard space can be transformed beautifully with the addition of pergolas and iron art. Pergolas add large pieces of visual interest to a yard while providing shade from their architectural design. Different building materials can be used to suit the style of the yard, allowing for some customization. Iron art can be used to adorn a newly constructed pergola or add design elements to planting beds, allowing the personality of the homeowner to show through. Both can take an ordinary yard and turn it into a beautiful designed, custom space sure to be enjoyed.