White pergola covered brick paver patio with luxury outdoor furnishing and blue statement rug with man standing at sliding glass door leading into house

One of the benefits of owning a pergola is that you can use it for many purposes. Your unique needs for acquiring a pergola will determine what you put under it. Also, the sophistication of your pergola will impact how you stage it. Can the louvers pivot fully-closed for a water-tight seal? If not, then you’ll need to consider weather damage to anything you place underneath. Didn’t know you could get a pergola with automated louvers and a water-tight seal? Not only that, but there are smart pergolas hitting the market (struxure.com) that can detect the weather for you and open or close accordingly.

Frankly, you can put anything you’d like under a pergola—rugs, chairs, tables, toys, exercise equipment, and more—the list is endless. But let’s take a look at some popular uses for a smart pergola, since that will open up the greatest number of possibilities for enhancing your covered outdoor space.

Lounge / Retreat – If you are looking for a place outdoors to relax, then a pergola is a great place to start. It will provide shade and protection from the elements, as long as the louvered roof can close tightly. This allows you to consider the space an extra room in your house. You can set it up for conversational seating with comfortable chairs around a low table for snacks and drinks. Or perhaps oversized floor cushions are your vibe, or maybe a hammock with a fan overhead for a vacation-style experience in your own backyard. Just be sure to add enough seating for visitors, if you plan to share your new-found retreat.

Outdoor Kitchen / Dining – An outdoor kitchen may not be in everybody’s budget, but if it’s in yours, consider placing a built-in counter top and grill under your pergola. By locating your cooking area under cover, you can use it year round. No more dodging raindrops to get your cookout meal from the grill to the table. And when it’s too hot to cook inside, the chef doesn’t have to take one for the team by getting sunburned while s/he cooks outdoors. Maybe dining al fresco is all you’re looking for. If so, then consider a long table flanked by benches or a more traditional dining table with chairs. A smart pergola can be connected to an app with programming options to check the weather, so you don’t have to worry about your furnishings and table décor, or your guests, getting wet.

Yoga / Zen Den – Some folks are looking for a quiet space, close to nature, to get away from the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced world. A pergola is perfect for setting up a reflective or meditative zone at home. Add mats, pillows, stretching blocks or balls, a towel rack, and maybe a decorative statue. A smart pergola could also enhance the space with a sound system that can be controlled through voice activation.

Playroom for Young Children – It’s a no-brainer to send your kids outside to play. But when the weather is too hot, too cold, or too rainy, what can you do? A pergola can be equipped with fans, heaters and even screens, which lets you create a safe play area for youngsters. Add rugs, toys, and don’t forget a table and chairs for arts-and-crafts or snacking.

Added Workspace – More than ever before many of us have wished for a home office over the past year. An area covered by a pergola, especially a smart pergola, can be turned into that much needed work-from-home space. Make it as formal (desk, office chair, plants, a white board) or as comfortable (oversized chair, blanket, side table) as you’d like. You may wish to choose hybrid furniture (table, seating with storage), so it can be your office during the day and an entertainment space at night.

Obviously the more basic your pergola, the fewer options you will have for what you put underneath. But if you see the value in investing in a smart pergola, the sky’s the limit. Investigate your options and know what kind of pergola you are getting before deciding how to furnish your covered outdoor space.

For more information about the smart pergola, go to www.struxure.com.