There are truly hundreds of ways to upfit your outdoor living space with efficient furniture and beautifying touches, and one trendy option that works double duty to fulfill both objectives is to add a pergola swing to your outdoor entertainment space.
What is a Pergola Swing?
A pergola is a stand-alone garden structure that extends your outdoor living space. Made of wood, vinyl, or other material beams that run horizontally and/or vertically overhead, pergolas provide a gentle respite from direct sun while allowing air to flow freely. They also double up as a beautifying focal point to your outdoor space as they can be adorned with patio lights, hanging plants, vines, and more.
In a pergola, the size and shape are completely customizable. It also naturally draws the eye to whatever it houses, whether that be a walkway, an outdoor living room, or even a simple swing. They’re sturdy and can hold a lot of weight, which makes them an ideal location to affix a porch or garden swing. You can add a pergola swing to your existing pergola or build a small dedicated pergola for your swing.
Benefits of a Pergola Swing
A staple for many outdoor living spaces, a pergola provides an idyllic charm for any garden area or outdoor entertaining space while sectioning off a dedicated space for a pathway, seating area, living space, and/or outdoor kitchen. And once you’ve added a swing to the pergola, you’ve elevated it to a fully functional recreational retreat. Pergola swings provide more than just visual benefits, however, so here’s a list of attributes gained by adding a pergola to your outside living space:
- Shade: Pergolas provide a respite from the sun during high noon hours. The beams that run vertically and/or horizontally overhead are placed in such a way that the shadows won’t block the sun completely, but will tone it down to create more functionality of your space during the brightest hours of the day. Pergola is a perfect space to sit and enjoy a relaxing swing and some backyard privacy.
- Shelter: There are endless ways you can customize your pergola, and one of them is to have retractable shelter running between the beams. Made of umbrella-like material, this addition can turn your pergola into a sheltered retreat during a storm to enjoy relaxing in the elements without being directly affected by them. And having a pergola swing that’s sheltered means your outdoor entertainment or relaxation space is virtually limitless.
- Customizable: While a pergola with a swing is beautiful on its own, it’s important to note that the basic design of a pergola is innately customizable. With beams running overhead, a swing to accent, and posts at each corner, your options for places to hang plants, run vines, and string romantic outdoor lights are limitless.
- Ventilated: Due to the fact that the beams of a pergola have space between them, a pergola swing has the added benefit of open air ventilation. This means the space is perfectly safe for an outdoor heater or bonfire with plenty of ventilation for safety. Adding any of these features at your pergola swing will allow you to extend your enjoyment of the space into colder months.
- Boosts home value: This might be the biggest benefit of a pergola swing, because any upgrade you can make to your home that increases its value is automatically considered an investment. And the best part is that outdoor upgrades have the highest percent of return on investment when it comes to resale, because they make your home more attractive and yet cost relatively little money to actually install.
Now that you understand what benefits you could gain from adding a pergola swing into your outdoor living situation, let’s look at some of the trendiest ways others have utilized this feature.
#1. Add a Swing to Your Existing Pergola
This one is trendy for a reason: it’s easy! If you already have a pergola, adding a swing will take it to the next level with minimal effort, adding the luxury of a relaxing ride on the swing at the end of a long day, or a perfect coffee spot to start the morning.
This can be added anywhere you have a strong pergola (not recommended for vinyl or old, deteriorating structures) that can carry the weight of your swing and two adults. Earn points for added accents like lights and plants that zuzh up the area adding even more visual emphasis to the swing.
#2. Hang a Garden Swing from a Beam
While a standard adirondack porch swing is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a pergola swing, you are by no means limited to the basics. It’s important to consider your vibe when planning to upgrade your home as you want a cohesive look that goes with the rest of your home- inside and out.
If your style is more whimsical, you might consider this style of rope garden swing. You can even DIY your own roped garden swing and affix it to a pergola by roping a sturdy piece of 2”x8” wood to a beam. This will elevate any outdoor space that utilizes a large number of foliage and flowers, and it will coordinate perfectly with a vined pergola that embodies an ethereal atmosphere. Not only will this affordable option blend seamlessly with this design aesthetic, but it’s also a garden classic for children and adults alike.
#3. Large Group Swing Seating
Depending on the size group you typically entertain, a single swing in a pergola might not be enough. If your parties usually consist of several couples, or if you have a large family, a round pergola lined by swings might be the best fit for your outdoor entertainment setup.
This pergola can be built yourself with lumber from a hardware store, but you can utilize the same concept by adding swings around the perimeter of any pergola strong enough to hold a swing with two adults between each post. Throw a heater or bonfire into the mix and you’re set for an evening of outdoor enjoyment with all your loved ones.
#4. A Simple Single Shaded Swing Escape
For smaller yards and gardens, a single swing shaded by an appropriately sized pergola is sufficient to serve as a shaded escape from the sun while reaching peak relaxation. Usually purchased as a whole package (or building plan, if you’re handy and plan to DIY your pergola swing), this small setup is intimate and has a romantic je ne se quois.
Adding vines that extend throughout the beams of the pergola or a hanging plant between each post is a simple way to take this barkyard staple from pure function and turn it into a backyard retreat of its own.
#5. Pergola Swing Bed
You might be more of a chill, relaxed person than the classical entertaining type, and that by no means excludes you from this trend. If you’re into decor that raises the comfort factor, think about adding a pergola swing bed outside.
Pergola swing beds have all the appeal of a hammock (what’s more relaxing than laying in a swing?), but with the added luxury of a mattress. Place outdoor pillows and blankets for the ultimate relaxation atmosphere. This is perfect by a pool, in a garden, or anywhere that beckons a nap in the outdoors.
#6. Hanging Pergola Chairs
Hanging chairs have been an outdoor bohemian staple for years. The wicker macrame is perfectly compatible with gardenscapes and can effortlessly combine the comfort of furniture with the natural tones and elements of the outdoors. Plus, the hanging chair shape is perfect for a cushion, a pillow, and a blanket to curl up in on a cool evening.
As far as logistics are concerned, this setup is ideal for limited spaces or the corner of an outdoor seating area because it only requires one hanging post and is more compact than a double-seater swing.
#7. Pergola Swinging Futon
We’re all familiar with the versatility of a futon. They’re a chair when entertaining and a place to sleep when that entertaining goes on a little longer than expected. But don’t limit your use of a futon to the indoors.
Outdoor futon swings are a great addition to a pergola because they offer that same versatility in the outdoors. With comfortable cushions and a couple of outdoor pillows an outdoor futon swing shaded by a pergola is the perfect transitional piece for your outdoor living space.
#8. Pergola Swing Decor Touches
When adding your pergola swing to your outdoor living space, one thing you’ll want to make sure to do before your project is considered “finished” is to add your final touch of decor. To make sure it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, think about what touches you could add to bring it together with the vibe of your entire area. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Hanging Baskets on Hooks
One of the best ways to add a little something special to your pergola is to tie in the landscaping with the furniture. It really is as simple as screwing a few small metal hooks to the supporting beams of the pergola and attaching to them a few hanging baskets. The eye is drawn to juxtaposition, so the wood beams mixed with landscaping features will tie the whole space together.
Hanging baskets is a great touch for a finished pergola, especially if you want to highlight the structure itself with just a touch of landscaping coordination. But think about planting beautiful vines to climb the pergola if you’re interested in highlighting nature more than the structure of your pergola. Vines will make you feel like you’re in a jungle oasis while enjoying your pergola swing, and they provide extra shade as a bonus.
Lighting is the ultimate creator of ambiance, and when entertaining outdoors it moves from accent to necessity once the sun begins to set. Lighting can be added along with your other pergola swing decor to set the mood you’re after.
If you have a streamlined atmosphere with sleek elements, fresh sod, and well-groomed bushes consider adding solar sconces to your posts. But if you’re striving for a more ethereal mood, string fairy lights between all the beams of your pergola. But whatever you do with your lighting, keep an open mind and be creative.