5 Ways to Add More Shade to Your Pergola


It’s getting hot here in Mesa, AZ, which means everyone is looking for a cool place to enjoy the afternoons, especially on the weekends. The warm weather also welcomes an array of backyard projects, including pool installations and patio covers. At Mesa Awning, we proudly help homeowners transform their pool patios and backyards with new coverings. One of the most popular choices is our Alumawood® pergolas. Not only is the material more durable than traditional wood, but it’s also easier to maintain.

Pergolas are a great feature to add around your pool area. They help add depth and design to your outdoor living spaces. Add some cozy patio furniture, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful poolside lounge area. Yet, many still yearn for more shade from their pergola, especially when the Arizona sun beats down. So, here are several ways to add even more shade to your pergola. 

1. Reed Mats

Your pergola and patio furniture are an investment in an outdoor living space. If you’re like many homeowners, you want to protect your furniture fabrics and provide plenty of shade for your family and guests. Ancient Egyptians took advantage of reeds and palm leaves, placing them over their pergolas for even more sun protection. While palm trees aren’t readily available, reed mats are an excellent alternative for our drier climate. Reed mats help block the sun while still letting in plenty of light to keep the space airy and well-lit.

2. Live Foliage

In Tuscany, residents and businesses let grapevines or ivy grow up and around their pergolas. The green leaves and flowering buds provide the perfect amount of shade in the spring and summer sun. Here in Arizona, you can do the same thing with your pergola. Planting live foliage around your poolside structure is a green and environmentally friendly alternative to other pergola coverings. Live foliage also gives you that “garden” feel, especially if you choose vine-growing plants like honeysuckle, grape, or climbing rose.

3. Breezy Curtains

With the addition of a poolside pergola, many residents think only about sun protection. Yet, we like to encourage all of our clients to think about the level of privacy they want. Adding light and breezy curtains to your structure is a great way to block the view of your neighbors, as well as adding some protection from the wind. Curtains usually come in handy as the intense mid-summer sun sets in the evening, especially if your pergola faces the southwest. Furthermore, curtains are easy to remove and clean, still provide easy access in and out of your shady area, and are by far the easiest to install.

4. Lattice Panels

Lattice panels have become a widely popular option for the rooftop of pergolas. These crisscross slats are easy to install and come in various patterns. You can select how much sunlight and heat you want to allow into your space, as you can find lattices of all sizes. Lattice materials come in either pressure-treated woods or cedar, and you can find lattices with openings that allow 50 percent of sunlight through, while other designs only allow 25 percent. It’s really about your preference and how much shade you want underneath your pergola.

5. Fixed Fabrics

If you want to add more design elements to your pergola while still getting more shade, canvas or awning fabrics offer just that. These can easily be fastened to the top in either a single piece or as multiple strips. The strip option is the most popular as it prevents the occasional rainfall from pooling and weighing down the fabric. A common application of canvas strips is to weave it through the pergola rafters in an over/under fashion. Fixed materials look great and add style to your new outdoor living space.

We’re The Shade Experts

Here at Mesa Awning, we believe that your patio or poolside shade coverings don’t have to be boring. Our awnings, pergolas, and window awnings are all designed to highlight your home’s architecture while providing a functional, comfortable, and stunning outdoor living space. Summer is right around the corner, so don’t wait to provide your family and guests a shady spot to cool off. Get your free estimate today by contacting us at (480) 969-4064.

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