Proudly made in the USA, we have built thousands of trellis and arbor ShadeScape® kits. Now, here are over 100 arbor and trellis design tips and ideas to make a yard beautiful. From simple to complex, it may just spark some ingenious ideas of your own.
Trellised Step Walls
Form walls in a single chain or a combination of multiple stepped segments. The options will depend some, upon the parameters set by the existing landscape —e.g. a terrace, embankment or dip-slope.
Trellis walls can step up or down, to conform to an area or just to add pleasing composition on the top, sides, or bottom of the shade shelter. Turn the corner with L-shaped step trellises or smooth flowing step-style curves.
Build Your Own Arbor Grill or BBQ Island
Grilled food is a whole lot tastier. If you love smoky flavored vegetables or prefer juicer hamburgers, steaks or chicken — cooked naturally (the way food was meant to be) an arbor with an outdoor grilling space might just be ideal for you.
An arbor or trellis can give sophisticated style and shade just where it is needed at the times you would most likely be barbecuing. Other arbor and trellis alfresco environments ideas could be a cocktail counter, snack bar, or cozy dining area.
Build Your Own Outdoor Movie Theatre
Hosting movie nights outside is a lot of fun. We build lots of outdoor theater settings with cabanas, pavilions, gazebos, and pergolas. An arbor or trellis can be just as equipped to fashion your own personalized outdoor movie theater.
Build Your Own Garden Trellis
The garden is the perfect canvas for trellises to paint in interest, add richness while giving wind protection. Garden trellises are timeless — even a small trellis delightfully enhances a humble garden. A garden trellis is also a problem-solver. It hides an adjacent building or unattractive view — is a foundation for vines and vertical gardening.
Build Your Own Arbor Swing
Cradles, rockers, and swings — we have loved them since we were a child and we never grow out of love for swings. Adding an aesthetically pleasing swing to a backyard is more than ornamental; it has sensory therapeutic benefits turning a garden into a more healing landscape. The right swing can provide years of relaxation with the warmth and beauty of wood bringing a calming outlook. Best of all, these sturdy timber frame arbor and trellis kits can hold are built to last!
Add Height With An Arbor
People are enamored with tall things, spaces with height, stature, and elevation. It is why people travel the globe just to stand in awe of towering monuments, naturally formed or man-made by aspirant geniuses. In an outdoor room, where the ceiling is the sky, an arbor sets vertical lines in horizontal surroundings. It gives a place for the eyes to go upwards for a stronger presence — a sense of grandeur.
To increase height go vertical. Making it taller than it is wide will create an illusion of height.
In smaller spaces, height will tend to have a stronger monumental bearing.
Build Your Own Trellis Swing
Because a trellis usually consists of two supporting posts or a line of posts, it is easy to overlook a trellis as the base and support of kinetic objects, e.g. bench swing, bed, table or bell.
Trellises can also be easily fashioned with a bench swing or swings for a sleek, unique look. These swings are an incredibly sturdy structure that will not rock with the wind or a swing.
Give It More Swing
Stretch it out, as in this arbor plan, with an additional swing — twice the fun!
On this ShadeScape® play set a trellis has a row of three swings.
Increase the entice with an illuminating glow with color-changing lights. It has long been understood by architects and artists that color not only generates a certain atmosphere but it also affects emotions and mood. Green and blue are calming and reduces stress. Yellow is a happy color and red increases energy. Whatever colors that brings you delight will create a happier ambiance with your firelight.
A Swimming Swinging Rope
If you really want fun in a pool, nothing is better than a rope swing! Kids get a thrill out of swinging through the air like Tarzan —splashing into the pool.
Build Your Own Trellis Hammock
Hammocks and swings are by in large —the delight of children and adults— one the many pleasurable ShadeScape® amenities. As a manufacturer of luxury ShadeScape® shelters, we get asked at times if our pergolas, pavilions or arbors are strong enough to hold a hammock or swing.
Yes, they are! And we encourage anyone who loves to swing – by all means – add a hammock or swing.
Build Your Own Arbor Hammock
Build Your Own Trellis Fire Place
Trellises grace a landscape with a beauty all their own, enhancing, making a statement, building backdrops and boundaries, and so much more!
Featured here, a poolside corner ShadeScape® trellis kit has built-in benches to sit around an outdoor fireplace. Also, a triangular trellis frames a fire pit adding some handsome height to the scenery. Trellises will create the most purposeful hardscape within the least amount of designated space.
Build Your Own Arbor Fire Place
ShadeScape® Pergola w/Inverted Radius Roof
Fires reflect the vitality of the natural world. And arbors — just like the trellis — can also create a warm, welcoming vibrancy to a space designated for an outdoor fire.
ShadeScape® Arbor w/Radius Roof
Install A Swimming Pool Trellis
Finding the right poolside shade might not always seem that easy, however, trellises are ideal for swimming pool areas. Surprising though it may be, trellises can provide quite a lot of shade while taking up very little space. No more hanging onto flimsy or portable pool shade covers that get blown and broken down in the wind.
Install Swimming Pool Arbor
We have had clients cover thier entire pool with ShadeScape® shelters. An arbor can give a lot of comfort taking very little space.
Build Your Own Arbor Entry Way “Door”
As stated earlier, arbors are an open invitation, a grand entrance, a gateway, a guide to a destination. Framing an entryway with an arbor brings balance and definition to the panorama. Western Timber Frame™ garden arbors and trellises accentuate an invition.
Attach To The Top of An Existing Structure
Top a fence, concrete posts, or wall or other existing responsible architectural structures with a trellis or arbor.
Customize the Roof
Sport a beautiful roof style that will best suit the space in the way the arbor or trellis will be used.
Accent Your Cabana, Pavilion, Pergola, or Gazebo With An Arbor
In the many years of designing and fabricating outdoor living environments, we have found that when most people are wanting an arbor they are often looking for an aesthetically pleasing accent to the larger outdoor living shelters. And, it makes perfect sense. Used with a cabana, pavilion, pergola, or gazebo — arbors do draw the eyes to include more of the surrounding landscape for a larger composition.
Build Your Walls, Dividers & Boundaries
The border outlines the property, the real or artificial line that separates your landscape from that of next-door resident or real estate.
Boundaries separate, dividing or enclosing areas for specific purposes or guides.
Beautiful Garden Idea
Give an entrance to your garden —that says your garden is a scenic place in your yard. A door, gate or trellises could also enhance the statement.
Add Outdoor Power to Your Trellis or Arbor
Western Timber Frame™ outdoor ShadeScape® wood arbors and trellises can be pre-drilled with a hole down the center of one post to accommodate any and all of your electrical and lighting needs.
Well-planned curved graceful lines create a melody that accents existing straight lines — and is easy on the eyes.
Trellis Open-Style Boundary
Open-style trellises give the concept of a boundary while keeping a free and open view. Frame an expansive surrounding scene in the distance with the warmth of natural timbers.
Round Circular Trellis
Go FULL CIRCLE! As you can see, trellises give you so much artistic license! The elegance of a circle in architecture —this elemental geometric configuration— makes an epic presentation to a landscape.
Trellis An Outdoor Living Room
An outdoor living room built with trellises —open walls, and a clear view of the sky— beautifully customized and dividing the space for a set use. You don’t have to cover all sides to gain the feel of an enclosed section designed for a specific purpose. Trellis on as many or as few sides as desired.
Arbors as a Barrier, Border or Boundary
If arbors are set in unison, it does the same as a trellis — formalizing and consigning spaces. Timber frame arbors and trellises give so many opportunities to change the layout of a space. By working with the effects, a cleverly attached arbor or a series of staggered trellises could narrow or widen a side yard — direct the path one would walk — and where one’s eyes fall.
Trellis Accents For A Cabana, Pavilion, Pergola, or Gazebo
Trellises used in conjunction with a cabana, pavilion, pergola, or gazebo draw the eyes to include more of the surrounding landscape for a larger composition.
Stage With Bold Color
In many ways, albeit on a smaller scale, arbors can resemble other shade structures — particularly the pergola. Even though there are common features and elements throughout various shade shelters part of the reason for this compilation of resources with tips is to show that a well-designed, smartly positioned, and intently purposed ShadeScape® arbor can hold it’s own as a center showpiece in the landscape! Color is one of the best ways to make even a smaller-scale shelter really stand out.
Build Your Own Portal
Wood, flagstone, concrete pavers, grass or the natural earth — there are dozens of inspiring ideas and designs for creating a gorgeous garden pathway. Creating a portal with an arbor gives a sense of order. Garden and landscape portals are timeless — a nostalgic, reminiscence of our Old English and Early American heritage — and a first-class modern architectural showpiece.
Thinking Outside the Ordinary
Think outside of what is standard or expected — a pathway does not have to be a standard passageway.
A passageway is a transition between two places, with or without a door or gate. And out of all the architectural shade shelters, arbors are the main choice for any way of exit or entrance whether it be a channel, course, path, or even a slide.
Consider alternatives, such as in this plan for a super-wide trellis or dual walkway — rather than a conventional arbor.
There is a vast amount of play with arbors and trellises in style, shape, positioning, and integrating other materials.
NO Post Arbor
This arbor plan has NO POSTS at all. Now, this is thinking outside the ordinary model of an arbor!
Every space is unique. There is no other spot that is exactly the same. This is why every ShadeScape® is built to your specs. With reflective planning you can give yourself the arbor you envision. Even in a small space —where it didn’t seem possible before— another approach might make it possible.
Or as this outdoor kitchen plan —partial posts— in places where full posts would take up too much space.
Add Daylight Dimension to Your Arbor
Walkways, pathways, entryways — they all lead to someplace else. But what about the journey itself? That is all part of the adventure. The dynamics and dimensions and style of an arbor or trellis cover can completely change the dynamics of a landscape. Lights are always beneficial to a walkway, pathway or entryway for protection, and charming ambiance but only at night.
To bring a sense of curiosity, discovery, and learning to a landscape — if the designated space is large enough — is to bring in some curves or detours to your shelter.
Build Your Own Nesting Nook
We all need time to prune our feathers, to keep ourselves at our best. Create a “nesting place” to hideaway — a lush outdoor nook, romantic focal point, urban retreat — your quiet go-to place, for any and every day.
The touch, color and warmth of timber help reconnect to the earth, recharging our energies. Include a built-in bench. Bench seating is a wonderful place to curl up, read a book or anything you want to do while engaging in nature. Egg swings are great — whatever offers you luxury to readily embrace the outdoors.
Targeted Screening For Privacy
Lattices perfectly embrace the best in outdoor living with both sun and shade. Bench arbors and cozy nooks let you take in the surrounding view in comfort and sequestration.
Trellis walls and screens easily enclose a space and most importantly — conceal as much or as little as needed. Here the arbor is latticed above the fence line giving a pleasing privacy screen.
One of the strong attributes of trellises — but often overlooked — is to create outdoor enclosed rooms with curved or straight lines attached to a home or other existing outbuilding. It lets the light in, creating attractive accents but still, it is your own secluded retreat.
Attached an arbor to a home, building or another shade shelter. Build dividers, walls, and privacy screens — giving accents and extensiveness to the existing structure.
Smaller Space With More Shade
Although an arbor inherently takes up less space than large-scale shade shelters, it can still provide that extra needed shade just by a different roof design.
Cantilevered roofs expand the shade for all-day protection — and it can be tastefully designed to give extra protection, on any or every side.
Embellish or Establish Corners
Curve or add an L-shape structure to establish or embellish an existing corner. It makes a gorgeous backdrop and shade covering for seating, a fountain, or other feature.
Build An Arbor Outdoor Kitchen
For a small outdoor kitchen, an arbor will deliver a classy look and needed shade, solidifying the feeling of a room. Canopying gives the comforts of indoors to more fully enjoy in the outdoors.
Create A New Perception of Size
Disguise a narrow space by adding a bit of a curve, it will draw the eyes outward and feel more spacious. Curves give energy and movement to an area. The height of an arbor or trellis increases the dynamic effect. A free-standing shelters can embellish a corner or the middle of a landscape to make a smaller space look larger or vise versa. Give your landscape a style all your own by creating a new perception by design.
Build Your Own Arbor Gate
A gate is an outdoor doorway to your property. Arbor gates are free-standing or connected to a fence, trellis or wall.
Similar to the door on the front of your home a gate offers the first impression and hints towards a beautiful retreat. The arbor gate should be warm and inviting as well as blending with or complementing the architectural design of the home. A well-designed arbor gate is a beautiful focal point for the front of your home.
ShadeScape® timber frame gate arbors easily tie in with or complement other materials and elements as well. The DIY arbor plan pictured here is for a metal gate on a timber frame arbor.
The width of a gateway is governed in part by its use and available space. Dependent upon the overall layout — in general — a wider gate will have a more affluent appeal. If you are looking to give your gate formal flair, widen the opening.
The above Theme Park massive gate plan has an extra-tall wicket door on either side of the double gate. A wicket gate is a pedestrian door built within a wall, fence, or door as seen on the right ShadeScape® Theme Park Gate Plan. Wicket doors can be a door within a door such as a doggy door or a pedestrian door built into an extra-wide gate or wall. In this way, a wicket door can give the formality of an expanded opening and include the benefits of a narrower alternative door or passageway.
Lighten the Weight
Double gate doors aren’t just to give you an up-scale look, they are also for practical purposes as well. Wider gate openings allow for things such as moving garbage cans, a lawnmower or wheelbarrow. If the gate needs to be extra-wide, opting for a double-door will lighten the weight.
Sliding Gates & Doors
Typically, on smaller structures such as arbors, a swing gate is sufficient as it will not swing out that far. The only time you will see a slide or rolling gate on an arbor would be if it was integrated with a fence or wall and there was some advantage — such as a tight space — for the gate to slide parallel to the fence line. For larger areas, slide gates are often easier to open and close. If it involves an extra expansive opening, the gate could be geared with remote control — for automated back and forth slide.
Gates set within a trellis wall such as seen in this ShadeScape® DIY trellis plan are a fine example of when a rolling gate is a plus. Installing latticed screens on the trellis will still allow the light to get in while giving additional privateness.
Enhance An Established Gate
Arbors frame and enhance an existing gate or leading up to a gate. It is also easy to install and arbor with the intent to add a gate at a later date.
A single door gate bears a cozier, cottage style aura.
Build a Ladyrinth or Maze
Stagger walls and create a labyrinth with a single path with one entrance and exit point or design for a complex maze is a complex branching with path choices and possible multiple entrances, exits, and dead ends.
Add Suspended Table to Your Arbor
Eating outdoors is the best but if you’d like to try a unique picnicking experience — sit down to a flying dinner table.
Dining on a timber suspended table is a delightful surprise — the perfect conversation piece for your outdoor dinner parties.
Angle for Sun & Shade
Angle, lattice or cover the roof of the arbor or trellis to let in the desired amount of light and shade ratio for the time of day you will most likely be barbecuing. Latticed solitude screens and walls may be included if needed.
Add visual interest with custom metal cladding tailored to fit your ShadeScape® arbor or trellis posts. TimberClad® accent steel hardware is luxury decorative cladding designed to be both breathtakingly beautiful and easy to install.
Wedding Arbor or Trellis
There are so few days that are as sentimental or more beautiful than your wedding day.
A timber frame arbor is an impactful and elegant composition creating an obvious focal point for the bride and groom. And the solid wood timbers are also extremely easy to decorate with wedding decor.
Of the thousands of ideas, you don’t see exactly what you are looking for, that is the beauty of a ShadeScape® shelter. You can discuss your ideas and how you envision your wedding arbor to be with a Design Manager. Our Design Managers know the industry and with your suggestions, they can pull your project together.
Install Arbor After The Wedding
ShadeScape® wedding arbor kits are at times, set up for temporary wedding vow renewal cover – in indoors and outdoors settings – and then at a later date, installed to its permanent location. A free-standing uninstalled arbor works perfectly because of Western Timber Frame’s patented The Dovetail Difference® design.
It is somewhat similar to a three-dimensional puzzle or perhaps — like a toy Lincoln Logs — many of us played with as kids. Using old-world craftsmanship of wood-to-wood connections — a tenon slides into a reverse image (a mortise) — interlocking to create a tight fit that stands securely upright without the use of nails or glue!
More Arbor Wedding Avenues
A ShadeScape® arbor is excellent for other wedding features — as well as a canopy for the couple to exchange their vows. These are some ideas, timber frame arbors and trellises have been utilized by our ShadeScape® families for events, receptions, and weddings:
• Chuppah Wedding Canopy
• Wedding Backdrop
• Photography Backdrop
• Wedding Cake Display
• Table Display
• Hanging Dessert Table
• Sofreh Aghd Spread Cover
• Wedding Mandap
• Covered Altar
• Scene Setter
• Wedding Swings
• Registry Canopy
• Gift Table
• Wedding Bar Station
Embellish With Your Personality & Interests
For those of us —who often feel the need to change the living room furniture around, desiring constant environment makeovers, an outdoor structure such as a timber frame pergola, pavilion, arbor, gazebo or swing can be an exciting foundation for celebrating life and splashing new rainbows of color and textures of change very easily. The timber frame is great for attaching decorations for special occasions, events, and holidays.
If you delight in antiques, a timber frame outdoor trellis makes an excellent backdrop. Instill a nostalgic reminiscence feel by placing some signature pieces. Bring on the pleasant scents of flowers and herbs and surround yourself in an aromatic retreat. Draw in some geometric patterns and stimulating textures. Put up curtains, hang wind chimes, potted plants with dynamic shapes. Build it to please your personality and interests.
Dual-Purpose Your Space
A garden is for more than growing vegetables — put a swing arbor in your garden. Studies have shown that getting your hands in the dirt increases happiness, reduces stress and is good for your health.
Life — they say — began in a garden and it is the perfect place for the soul. Add a timber frame covered bench, an arbor or trellis swing and feel the warmth of nature’s solid wood timbers connecting you with the earth —beyond pulling weeds and watering.
Give a destination targeted expectations with dual-purpose.
Adventurous & Artistic Arbors Ideas
Our ShadeScape® shelters have been built to house fish aquariums, bridges, ponds, sculptures, bells, and other works of art clients wanted to especially showcase. We have had many genius ShadeScape® owners who know just what they were looking for. We really enjoy the artistic and adventurous clients who display that zest for life in planning their personalized arbor, cabana, gazebo, pavilion, pergola, or trellis kits.
Invite Animation & Motion
Hang a punching bag. Paint a hopscotch pad. Encourage mind and body exercise.
Hang a punching bag… paint a hopscotch pad…encourage mind and body exercise.
Life is movement. Invite animation and motion. Liveliness could also come from the subtle effect of birdhouses. Provide for the birds and bring some music to a rediscovered patch of earth. The oscillation of a water fountain would help drown out sounds while acting as a natural humidifier.
Interacting not only instills a sense of care and value throughout the property as a whole but it strengthens our vital connection to the earth and childlike love for the outdoors.
Grow A Vine Covering
Natural timber is a fantastic substrate for plants, compared to metal arbors or latticeworks, which can burn and freeze growing plants. A trellis can add a new dimension to unique climbing vines such as roses.
A trellis can add a new dimension to unique climbing vines such as roses. Roses are classic but there are many other choices that complement an arbor or trellis such as: Clematis, Grape Vines, Honeysuckle. Jasmine, Passion Flower, Trumpet Vine, and Wisteria.
Shade shelters do offer shade and protection. They also offer an upper deck on the roof. Trellises can be heightened and arbors can utilize to the top for all sorts of dual purposes. Here is a pergola that is a covering for poolside shade, a diving platform, and a waterfall —all combined in one ShadeScape® pergola kit.
At Western Timber Frame™ we customize for the uniqueness and expansion of businesses and recreational purposes.
Our Design Managers specialize in innovative shade solutions for virtually any outdoor commercial use including:
• bus stops
• sidewalk cafes, and much more.
Arbor and/or trellises offer a quick and ever so easy renovation, alteration, or addition to an existing storefront, or business setting without slowing down or detouring some business while under construction. ShadeScape® timber arbor and trellis shelters are a quick and durable solution that — as stated previously — can be installed in most cases, in as little as ONE Afternoon.
Build A Trellis Outdoor Kitchen
Trellises work well to establish an outdoor dining or kitchen area. Adding a TimberVolt® power post gives access to more accessories as well.
Garden Bridge Put in a little dream timber frame ShadeScape® garden bridge leading to your arbor.
If you decide to build an outdoor theater for movies or a puppet stage, plan where you want your trellis or arbor to suit your movie viewing without the glare. The sun is the brightest of all lights, a light from the house can be turned off but not the streetlights.
Walls, hanging curtains, permanent or non-permanent folding walls, lattices can all block light. T.V. door covers to protect the television and can be designed to block light.
Decorate for Holidays & Special Events
Wide-open space can dilute the impact of an event’s decorations. Adding shade and a focal point, an arbor or trellis gives the perfect walls, and place to attach and display decorations for events, celebrations, and holidays.
Add A Suspended Bed
Swing yourself to sleep on a suspended outdoor bed. Hanging beds are a great way to spread out and really relax in the fresh outdoors.
Give More Shade in Less Space With A Trellis
Like a cantilever roof on an arbor gives more shade while taking up less space, the trellis can be designed to give a large quantity of shade in a minium amount of room.
Match Color or Elements of Other Buildings
Trellises and Arbors can easily tie in to complement exisiting buildings and other structures. Sytle the roof to matched other roofing or add timber accents to surrounding structures.
Free-Standing Privacy Screen
Free-Standing privacy screens can be set anywhere it is needed throughout a landscape. Enclose it even more to create the ultimate private sanctuary.
Arbor or Trellised Outdoor Shower
Whether you are able to have a pool, spa, hot tub or not, nothing has more of a beach-island feel than taking an outdoor shower on a hot summer day!
Surround or Cover an Outdoor Tub
Arbor or Trellised Hot Tub
Cover or add shade to a hot tub with an arbor or trellises.
Hide or Cover Essential Home & Garden Elements — Hide practical home and garden elements — such as compost piles, garbage and recycling bins, air-conditioning or storage units.
Suspend an Outdoor Swinging Couch
Couches are perfect for indoor living rooms, and the same goes for outdoor living rooms. Installing a suspended couch gives you the benefits of a swing with all the comforts of a sofa.
Very nice ideas and pictures. I enjoyed and learned a lot. All the best.
Thank you, Bijan.