There are so many things to like about arbors, that it is hard to pick the first thing that comes to mind. If you are looking for arbor designs browsing the web, then you will come across so many different styles. A garden arbor is a very simple structure, that gives beauty and elegance to any space that is lucky enough to have one.
Even if it is as simple as having an arbor-gate that brings you into your courtyard or patio area, the look and feel is both welcoming and warming. If you have ever experienced this, then you know the feeling. There is just something about walking beneath a vine or flower-covered arbor that brings you into the space you are entering. It makes that space seem like a special place to go.
There are different types of arbors, as mentioned. Some are just simple two post and beam structures that have a few stringer beams up top for the support of your greenery. Others are more extravagant creations with many more posts and beams to support a much larger array of flowers and vines. In this respect, an arbor is very similar to a pergola – occasionally the terms are used interchangeably. A pergola is another type of patio cover. Pergolas are usually four post and beam structures with a lattice roof. Often, a pergola is made of wood – though metal and vinyl arbor options are available.
Similar in some respects to the pergola is the gazebo. While the pergola has a more ‘airy’ openness about it, the gazebo is more closed. This is because gazebos have a more formal roof-type structure to them. Like other covers, they can use metal roofing materials or some other traditional type of wooden roof or shingle.
At Patio Covers Place, our preferred choice of wood for outdoor projects is cedar. It is not only a gorgeous looking wood, but has many additional properties that suit it best for outdoor applications. Its ability to age gracefully and be sustainably harvested are two features that immediately come to mind. Wood arbors, either cedar, redwood or Douglas fir can all make very handsome garden or patio structures.
Arbor Design Ideas
The way in which you can design your arbor are nearly endless. The size and scale are also variable, but the size of your patio or backyard garden space will help give you the proper proportions. As mentioned, outdoor arbors can be made of wood – and they are, most of the time. However, you can also find metal arbors made of materials like steel, copper and aluminum.
Another design style is the arbor gate. This is a fairly classic look, as well. The arched arbor has a timeless charm to it, but a pergola arbor can also make for a modern look.
If you’re planning on building your own arbor, working off a set of plans or a photo will save you countless hours. Plus, you might be inspired by some ideas looking through a book that has a bunch of plans included.
There are both downloadable options, as well as more formal books on this topic. If you are an avid woodworker, you can just ‘wing it’ using a photo for guidance. After all, giving it your own personal feel is an important feature to many people.
Here are just a few samples we found helpful:
If you like the idea of making your own, but don’t want to fuss with the materials, measurements and cutting, getting the hardware, etc. you can also find arbor kits to speed up the process. Much like pergola kits, and in the same family of outdoor building structures, these kits often come pre-cut and ready to assemble. In some cases, hardware, brackets and screws are included. Otherwise, you can easily purchase those at your local home improvement warehouse.
Now, there is yet another garden and patio element that confuses this issue – the trellis. A trellis is more of a two dimensional structure, so to speak. Typically, they are made of smaller lumber pieces with lattice work between the ‘posts’. Then, they are often used along fences or as small fences, to allow delicate flowers, vines or other garden herbs and plants to grow on.
The most important thing you can do is find the type of patio or garden structure that will work best in your space. Don’t worry about what it is called. You’ll probably hear many of these names used as synonyms anyway. Browsing online like you’re doing or flipping through fine home magazines can give you a bit of inspiration. You can also peer over your fence if you like your neighbors’ ideas. The beauty of this project is that the avid DIY-er can build an arbor relatively easily. If you’ve got one of these folks in your home or one in the making, this is a great project to work on. It can be finished in a weekend or two and will provide you with years of use in your garden space.