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Syzygy Pergolas & Pool Covers in Palm Beach

Classic All White Pergola or Unique Custom Finishes? – Pergola Color Beyond the Aesthetics

News   >  Knowledge Base   >  Classic All White Pergola or Unique Custom Finishes? – Pergola Color Beyond the Aesthetics
Julie Hawbaker
Chief of Design
June 15, 2022
UPDATED November 13, 2023

When we sit with new clients and start to explore all the design elements of a new pergola project, we start from the most elemental aspects of the structure and work towards the finer details. Does the client envision a pergola attached to the house, or a standalone shade structure? Is a static, fixed roof pergola creating full-time shade preferred, or are they excited for the flexibility of an automated adjustable louvered roof pergola? With so many choices to make, the one design consideration most clients think they have sorted is what color they want their pergola to be. Some envision a classic white pergola, while others want a contemporary two-tone design, or even faux wood textures. In practice though, choosing the colors for louvers, beams, and support columns can be impacted by several elements. 

White Pergola Still Top Selection

A vast majority of the pergola projects we install here in South Florida feature neutral tones. While you are likely to see many black pergolas being constructed, a gray pergola is also a popular selection. Yet, the white pergola remains very popular as a classic look here in tropical Florida. These popular color schemes are essentially the “Frank Sinatra” of pergola choices, as they will remain classy and stylish with just about any architecture type. They are also more-likely to accommodate future home renovations. That said, more and more homeowners are opting to customize their pergola color to fit their unique home design. For these customers, we are able to color match the pergola’s powder coating to any color imaginable, and even create a modern-yet-rustic feel with simulated wood grain options.

Free Standing White Pergola

Diving Deep on Choosing Pergola Colors

When it comes to selecting your pergola color, the ultimate choice is really one of personal taste, but there are some guidelines we usually talk through with clients. Here in South Florida, we work with plenty of client’s whose neighborhood is governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA) or historic district commission. Most of these associations have covenants regulating color choice for outdoor structures, which may limit your choices. With these potential limitations in mind, some other considerations we often suggest to clients as they peruse the color wheel include:

  • Sticking with matte colors is ideal because it reduces glare, while a gloss finish makes the powder coated pergola pop in the sun. Striking the ideal balance is the goal.
  • Overly rich colors can provide a great accent for the louvers, but can also make the space feel more constricted.
  • Be cautious of darker-colored louvers that absorb more heat. They can make it more difficult to cool your covered patio. 
  • A two-tone pergola with differing colors for the frame and louvers can create a great architectural look allowing the structure to stand out in your overall outdoor design.
  • Textured finishes can be added to a pergola, although smooth finishes are ideal for lighter colors like a white pergola.
  • For homeowners looking to bring a rustic feel to their outdoor living space, we are able to customize the exterior coating with simulated wood grains that are great for Florida’s more laidback beachfront homes.

White Pergolas Reflect the Florida Heat

Another reason why white is such a popular color selection for pergolas here in South Florida is its inherent ability to reflect the powerful sun rays. Whereas darker colors tend to absorb heat, sometimes becoming warm to the touch, a white pergola stays cool in the heat. However, this inherent reflectivity is a double-edged sword. With the sun’s rays bouncing off the pergola structure, they can sometimes create issues with glare under and around the pergola. This potential can be compounded in adjustable louvered roof pergolas. With the louvers open and the sun at the perfect angle, the glare can potentially cast right into the shaded patio. This is one reason why it is important to work with an experienced pergola designer when visualizing your white pergola. Our design team is expert at positioning the pergola roof so that the louver orientation takes full advantage of the sun without causing glaring conditions.

All-White Pergolas Fit the Popular South Florida Color Scheme

If you travel throughout the South Florida region, you will notice various architectural styles, including modern Mediterranean, mid-century Art Deco, classical Victorian, and Spanish architecture. These styles blend together along the Treasure Coast, with many homes featuring predominantly white exteriors, sometimes with accent colors. Our design team, well-versed in collaborating with renowned architects and working on famous properties, excels at seamlessly integrating your new pergola with your home’s existing architecture. This involves carefully considering the footprint, roofline height, and other design elements of the pergola. Choosing a white pergola aligns perfectly with the prevailing aesthetic, making it a long-standing favorite among homeowners.

Design Elements to Accent an All-White Pergola

If you have a home with a predominantly white exterior and want to maintain that unifying color scheme in your new pergola, there are some ways we can still bring some additional styling to the outdoor living space. These include:

  • Cornices – Elevate the look of the pergola roof by adding one-step or two-step cornices, which can feature embedded LED lights for a touch of flair.
  • Corbel Ends – Enhance the exterior of the pergola frame with decorative Corbel ends, creating an eye-catching appeal.
  • Pergola Roof Lighting – Install recessed LED light strips around the perimeter frame of the pergola, providing an illuminating effect to the architectural design as the sun sets.
  • Colored Retractable Screens – Integrate motorized retractable sun shades or privacy screens into the pergola frame. The screens will add a splash of color when deployed.
  • Warmth from Wood Grain Louvers – Opt for a white pergola roof designed with a wood grain powder coating on the underside of the louvers. This not only reduces potential glare but also adds warmth to your outdoor living room.

2023 Trends: Two-Tone Color Schemes Surpassing the White Pergola

The all white pergola (i.e., white frame, white columns, and white louvers) has been a classic combination for many years. Afterall, a white pergola with motorized louvered roof really does compliment just about any home design. Yet, here in South Florida, it has been waning in popularity recently. With all the blazing sunny days we see, a white pergola can often reflect too much sunlight, sending you looking for your sunglasses every time you step out onto the patio. Increasingly, two-tone color schemes have become a favorite of our clients, with the frame and columns color matched to the home’s exterior, and the pergola louvers a lighter accent color. This style not only lightens up the space under the patio covers, but also allows the louvers to create an architectural element against the blue sky. This visual effect is great for standalone pergolas, but it is also more striking in a pergola attached to the house where the frame seamlessly blends in with the home’s exterior motif.

Conclusion: Options Beyond the White Pergola

Choosing the color scheme for your new pergola is often one of the final steps in the design process, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the easiest step in the process. We work hand-in-hand with all of our clients to help them visualize their final project, and ensure the color scheme selected will make the new pergola a seamless part of their home design. If you would like to explore a pergola project for your home, please contact our design team today. 

Julie Hawbaker
Chief of Design
Julie Hawbaker, the esteemed Chief of Design and Partner at SYZYGY Global, specializes in custom-designed pergolas and fixed roofs. With exceptional expertise in architectural design and craftsmanship, Julie has mastered the art of seamlessly blending form and function to create stunning outdoor structures. Her meticulous attention to detail, combined with a deep understanding of client needs, enables her to deliver bespoke solutions that enhance outdoor spaces with elegance and durability. Julie's passion for innovation and her ability to transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary sanctuaries have earned her a reputation as a trusted authority in the world of custom-designed pergolas and fixed roofs at SYZYGY Global.
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