Add style to your yard with outdoor structures

Kathryn Weber
Tribune Content Agency

Outdoor spaces have received a lot of attention - and for good reason. They give you more living space and enable you to enjoy your property more. And if you already have a patio or deck, you might not think there's much more to do outside. But there are still other ways to add interest to your yard.

Pergolas

One of the ways you can enjoy being outside more is by adding an outdoor structure. Topping that list is a pergola, a structure with an open roof made of wooden crossbeams. With a pergola, it's nice to move your party into the yard into an outdoor space that takes advantage of your garden views. A pergola can be as large or as small as you like, and as detailed as you like. If you're handy, they can often be created as a weekend project.

Seating space underneath a large pergola can be made with easy-to-put-down gravel, crushed granite or mulch, or with the more formal look of poured concrete or paving stones. Plantings around the four corners add a green element and help it blend in with the yard.

Small pergolas with two posts can be added to make the entrance to a garden more enticing and enjoyable. They can also be used as arbors for flowering vines or climbing roses, or as an attractive way to hang a backyard swing.

Gazebos and pavilions

These structures also let you enjoy the great outdoors from a cozy retreat. Unlike pergolas, gazebos and pavilions have a solid roof. Wooden gazebos can be purchased premade and then delivered to your home or purchased as a kit and assembled at your home, like the cedar octagon gazebo available at www.homedepot.com. There are also many options for gazebos made of metal with a covering that can be bought at your local home center or online and assembled in an afternoon, like the Savannah Gazebo that includes an insect screen available at www.overstock.com.

If super-fast shade and outdoor enjoyment is what you're looking for, try the LB International 12-by-10 foot polyester pop-up gazebo from www.wayfair.com. You can have a garden structure up in minutes - and a shady spot to spend the afternoon.

Small changes

Even small changes around the yard can enhance your outdoor spaces. Try a small arbor, such as the Gardman Charleston metal arch arbor (www.hayneedle.com) set over a large urn against a fence offers interest and a focal point in the yard.