Our Best Gazebo Ideas That’ll Blow You Away!
Gazebos share with pergolas the title of king of outdoor structures, they instantly transform any garden or backyard, providing an oasis of privacy and comfort where to relax and socialize. Gazebos differ from pergolas in that they are always free standing structures by default, not attached to a house, and have a real, closed roof with a pitch, not an open top with a beam and cross beams layout.
They are also peculiar in that they come in an impressive range of floor plans. A typical, traditional gazebo for private households is either hexagonal or octagonal, but gazebos can also be rectangular or square, in which case they are also referred to as “cabanas”. Sometimes they also have an oval plan, similar to an hexagonal gazebo but with sides of different length.
Because gazebos are by default free standing structures, their location is important so as to take full advantage of beauty spots from where to enjoy the landscape. Hence their popularity not just in households, but also in public parks, where they have always been a common sight both for people to relax in or for brass bands to play.
Gazebos are relatively more complicated structures to build than pergolas, for not only they have a roof and more challenging floor plans, they can also come with all round arches, rails and screens to keep out flying insects. The roof itself can be straight or with a cupola for better ventilation. Gazebos can be built in wood, vinyl or metal, each material having pros and cons. Vinyl is maintenance free, but it is wood that offers most appeal and greater layout and shape range. Scroll down this page, so you can have a look at a range of gazebo designs and kits. You will also find gazebo plans and a simple DIY blueprint. Enjoy.
Modern Gazebo Designs
A lean to, or attached gazebo (or is it a veranda?). The top is a sliding white canvas but instead of having just two posts on the opposite side of the wall, it has also a grill, I think it’s in place to filter out the strong summer light while letting the air in, like a large plantation shutter.
The grill is slanted to give this gazebo a characteristic asymmetrical look while the frame is fastened to a deck and a woodwork wall.
Wall lights and furniture are in line with the gazebo, ultra cool and modern, and the whole setting is very well crafted with great style.
See the backyard white wall to increase space, the choice of materials, metal frame for the gazebo, wooden deck and wall, white retractable canvas for the top. All in all, I think this is a great example of modern gazebo interpretation.
Image Copyright Of Houzz.com
If you like flying, this is as close as you get to the real thing. As you can see, this gazebos is part of a modern luxury residence good enough for movie stars.
The white color all over gives a sense of space and luminosity, soaking up all the light from the blue sky while the slide glass doors can fully open on all sides to extend the interiors into the outdoor and vice versa.
It is a feast of space, glamour, freedom and elegance all combined together. Notice the L shaped sofa and the sheer height over the sea, in a gazebo like this it must feel like being on top of the world.
Now, this is what I call timeless. A gazebo like this would stand the test of time as it is modern and smart while retaining the traditional element of the octagonal plan. .
Also look at the circular sofa area with the round lounge table in the center, there is an abundance of space both towards the inside and the outside.
I like the extra deck ring around the lounge area, even wider than the roof itself, this help give a sense of expansion towards the lawn. In fact, there are no typical rails here, they would defeat this design purpose. Over all, I think it is an awesome gazebo.
This gazebo stands in the middle of a, guess what, Japanese garden landscaped with the characteristic rocks and flower ornaments. It stands on a raised deck and it is ringed by rails all round, except for the step through access side.
The roof features a nice elongated cupola both for cooling and esthetic reasons, while the raised deck overlooking the garden makes this gazebo the ideal place where to drink tea or relax in cool summer days.
The traditional look has a somewhat colonial feel about it, so this gazebo would go well with a traditional house.
Rectangular Gazebos In Style
An elegant hip roof gazebo packed with features, posts encased in stonework, elegant ceiling with soft light and outdoor ceiling fan and privacy drapes.
Inside, modern furniture, a minimalist coffee table with contemporary sofa, chairs and cushions. I especially like the deck leading into the gazebo.This creates a continuum area, bringing the outdoor in and the indoor out. Also worth of notice is the fine landscaping around the set up.
Notice the tropical plants along the deck and the banana fans on the background, the square stone pathways on the right and the grass lawn on the left. Everything combines to give a sense of sophisticated elegance.
It’s got mosquito screen mesh all over and a full size mattress with matching pillows, candle holders by the posts and soft ambiance lights.
The base is a wooden elevated platform standing on a patio for better insulation but also to keep creepy crawlies at bay. Such square gazebo would not be too expensive to implement, as it is relatively small and basic, but very smartly styled.
Hot Tub Gazebos
The roof structure also extends with a rectangular portion over a gigantic patio and the hot tub itself is more the size of a small swimming pool. Not for every pocket, I know, but it just goes to show what is possible to do with good taste, space and budget.
There is nothing preventing from topping the gazebo structure with a canvas for sun protection, if needed. The tub and gazebo are enclosed by a separation wall with ambiance lights.
The vast space, the modern design, the large hot tub and ambiance lights all conjure up to make a stylish show at night where to entertain guests in a glamorous setting.
This structure offers lattice work on the two sides next to the backyard fence for privacy, but it is open over the patio. The roof is a flat, square structure with spaced boards, rather than joists or rafters, similar to a pergola, but not quite like it.
This hot tub gazebo is more a fair weather structure suitable for summer or warm climates rather than an open air sauna, you might as well install a Jacuzzi if you like it, or you may stick to the hot tub, if you do not mind getting out of it in winter time. Just add a few hot tub gifts like a hot tub towel caddy, and you’re enjoying pure elegance.
Whichever way, it is very attractive and cozy. Nice.
This gazebo looks as good as a traditional wood gazebo can be. Look at the gorgeous railing patterns, the lattice arched motifs between the posts, the matching lanterns inside and the classic stone patio on which it stands.
The oval patio naturally extends outwards into a garden path, surrounded by greenery, grass, plants flowers and trees. Inside the gazebo, a classy teak coffee table and chairs set, the final touch to an already exquisite structure.
I can see many happy summer afternoons with a gazebo like this, sipping tea, or having a drink in the evening with friends. This traditional gazebo design is timeless and appeals to many people.
A more contemporary wood gazebo with canvas roof, nice and cool. The gazebo itself is beautiful enough, but it is the setting that makes it really stand out.
It stands on the edge of a pool with views on the surrounding hills. The gazebo stands between a rustic stonework wall topped with a wooden shutter partition and an infinity pool.
A three step ramp leads to a deck area with an all round sitting bench topped by white cushions and the double hip white canvas roof is a guarantee of good ventilation .
This is another example of an attractive gazebo that is also purposeful and stands to be used a lot in the hot season. Whether you want to relax in the shade during daytime or fancy a glass of wine under the stars later in the evening, this gazebo has got it all.
A Balinese style gazebo for your backyard. It is small, cozy and chic. Note the hip roof pitch easing off at the base in oriental style with the crown-like decorating accent on top and the small hexagonal roof shingles.
The posts are round and separated from the lawn by concrete pads with the wood deck elevated a couple of feet from the ground .
On the deck, a dark green math with cushions. It looks the perfect area for one of those oriental massages you get when you go on holiday to Thailand or Bali.
This gazebo, together with the banana fan, the flower pots and the tropical vegetation, exudes relaxation from every inch. The wood too looks lovely, I can’t tell what it is, maybe teak or whatever, but it looks very nice.
At the complete opposite side of the design spectrum, an ultra modern and minimalist backyard gazebo matching an equally futuristic house.
Space, white and green are the key elements here. The lawn per se is large enough, but the white walls, the gazebo drapes and the house flat roof heaves increase the sense of space in the backyard. The white color of course strikes against the perfectly mowed green grass.
The square gazebo itself stands on an elevated floor and it mimics the square, flat shape of the house, except that it is dark colored. Inside, the customary cushions.
I especially like the position of this gazebo, right on the edge of the lawn on the foreground but on the edge of the pool in the background with a nice rectangular stone tile walkway next to it.
Outdoor Living Gazebos For Relaxation
This gorgeous Balinese gazebo has everything to make living outdoor a dream. It has a square shape with a thatch hip roof supported by six posts, two on the front a four in the back. The rear posts are actually double posts.
The roof heaves are a cross beam structure that adds grace and beauty while lighting is provided by modern posts lantern and a glowing ball.
The whole setting makes just as beautiful as the gazebo.
Notice the two illuminates water pools at both sides cascading into the lower front pools, the stylish privacy fence all round flanked by plants and the cozy cushions and coffee table in the gazebo.
Another outstanding outdoor gazebo with an Asian touch. It is as huge as it is striking. It has also a square shape with heaves all round and a gigantic wood deck with customary cushions.
The deck in elevated from a side stone work patio and rimmed by a white trim. In the front and background, well landscaped plants and sitting areas.
This gazebo may suit someone with a lot of space available and many guests to entertain.
Being from a tropical area, it may be made of hard tropical wood, I’m not sure, but if teak or red woods are too expensive you may make one for yourself in cedar just as well.
Poolside Gazebos For Shade
The posts look like they are fastened to the patio, hence the extra braces on top of the posts to increase rigidity. The braces span elegantly between the the posts like arches adding to beauty and grace to the design.
Under the canopy roof, a suitably dark patio furniture set with sofas and center table. The gazebo itself is part of a luxurious and very smart Mediterranean style setting.
Note the white washed walls of this villa, the terracotta roof tiles, the plant vases and of course the turquoise giant pool in the foreground. All these elements combine to create a luxurious, modern yet also traditional Mediterranean ambiance feel.
From the Mediterranean to the tropics. This pool gazebo has a thatch roof with mosquito screens wrapping around the posts at rest. It looks like there are two elevated units inside, like two massage platforms with white roll pads.
The picture exudes tropical ambiance, apart from the coconut palms, you an see the well landscaped garden with white edged round pool.
The soft lights create a soothing feel and the gazebo stands right by the edge of the pool to relax or read a book after a swim. It looks like a well set up holiday resort setting, but it may just as well work right as a private vacation villa.
Amish gazebos are just one of the many woodwork art crafts produced by the Amish community.
Amish woodworking in general is well renowned for its meticulous attention to detail and general high built quality, including gazebos.
This one on the right is an exquisite octagonal pine gazebo with pagoda roof, cupola, railings and screens all over. The roof is made of cedar shingles. This is a good example of traditional gazebo built with high Amish standards.
Amish people do not generally use electricity, so they employ hydraulic tools powered by diesel generators to manufacture their wood products.
Apart from gazebos, they also craft pergolas, sheds and furniture. Their woodworking style is traditional and timeless, perhaps because they lead an alternative lifestyle away from cars, electricity and all the trappings of modern civilization like TV, materialism and consumerism in general.
Oval Amish Gazebos
On the left, an oval Amish gazebo standing on a gigantic wood deck. It has a pagoda roof with cupola, screens, railings and standard braces.
What I like the most of this picture is the deck railings integrating into the gazebo. You can see the gazebo is fully screened, but there is also a bench on the left of the deck to enjoy the open sky when insects are not around. Awesome.
Gazebos With Canvas Top
It is a wooden structure on deck accessible via a three step ramp with white screens all round, hand rails and a cool, white canvas hip roof with extra cupola. The extra detached roof tip is in place for ventilation, of course.
The hot air escapes from the top pulling the cool air from all sides below in a continuous flow, thus keeping temperature down in the sitting area. For helpful reviews visit Gazebobrands.com. White curtains or draperies give this an elegant look that is perfect for the beach.
This canvas gazebo suits hot, tropical areas where temperature control in paramount, but it is also very attractive as it is, casting a focal point on the big white beach like an oasis in the desert or a log cabin in the mountains. To each environment, it own structure.
This one on the left is a very smart canvas gazebo on a raised platform next to a swimming pool. White canvas are meant for hot climates and this one has plenty of it.
White drapes hang from a wooden trellis structure so they can be closed for full privacy and the roof again is a double hip with ventilation cap.
Light cream furniture matches the gazebo tones. I like the large L shaped sofa set and the BBQ portable set on the left, over the patio.
This gazebo must be very busy all the time, providing shelter from the sun during daytime and a socializing area in the evenings where to have a drink or chat. What I like the most is the ability to jump straight into the water from the edge of the gazebo, no need to walk under the sun.
Stylish Contemporary Gazebos
This is a beautiful commercial application. It is a very large metal gazebo built with durability and low maintenance in mind.
Metal gazebos lend themselves to heavy duties and while they may lack the warmth of a wood structure, they more than make up for their low maintenance requirements.
This one is a six post rectangular gazebo with an elegant hip roof.
The striking feature of this gazebo is its setting, hanging over and striding across a swimming pool with the blue sky above and the sea view.
Sure it must be the perfect place where to relax after a swim. Notice the slide doors of the main compound on the left, it a feast of volumes freedom, letting all the outdoor and indoor blend into each other.
This one on the left is a smaller version of the one above, with four posts supporting a low pitch roof with wide heaves.
The metal posts are fastened into a wooden deck but it is the bar at the center the main feature of this structures.
Gazebos are often used to contain hot tubs in cold climates, but in this case the warm tropical sea provides plenty of room to splash about.
So instead of a hot tub, the creators placed a nice bar in it. The tropical setting makes this gazebo with bar the perfect place to hang out with friends while gazing at the horizon. Again, this is an optional use of the versatile gazebo.
Gazebos Vs Pergolas: Which One Is Which?
Normally, a gazebo is referred to as an outdoor structure separate from the house with a close top, or a real roof. The traditional image of a gazebo is that of an hexagonal or octagonal structure on a deck with railings, lattice work and optional insect screens set in a garden, park or backyard.
By contrast, a pergola is normally meant to be a square or rectangular outdoor structure that can either be free standing like a gazebo, or attached to the house. The main difference is that a pergola has an open, flat top with a beam and cross beam structure.
This means a pergola lets most of the light in from the top and also the rain in, but it can be easily complemented with a retractable canvas to make it water proof. Pergolas can also be built circular, triangular or semi circular, but not hexagonal or octagonal like a gazebo.
However, since both serve the same purpose, to provide an area of privacy and relaxation where to socialize or unwind, it is all too natural that the two also share a common gray overlapping area, whereas it is difficult to decide which one is which.
However rare, there are few lean to modern gazebos, and there are also canvas topped structures with four posts that can easily slot into either category depending on your point of view.
I think that when it comes to “hybrid” structures, design ingenuity can come up with innovative solution that defy definition but agree on a common purpose, increasing residential livability and quality of life.
Setting Up Your Gazebo Location
Since a gazebo is by default a free standing structure, just make sure you choose a wise position with a view to landscaping so as to balance the visual components in your garden or backyard, not too close to the house but not too far away, and in a spot where you can enjoy the best scenario.
Aside from aesthetic considerations, there is an even more important factor that will determine the position of your future gazebo: wind. You are supposed to relax with family and friends during the hot season in your outdoor structure, so it is paramount that it is located in the breeziest area you can get in your garden or backyard. An area shielded by trees, obstacles or the house itself will have you and family sweating or with the ceiling fan full on all the time, defeating the purpose of the gazebo to begin with.
The area should be flat or nearly so, and if you have a slope, in higher grounds so as to have good water drainage and a better view point. Once you have decided on the location and chosen your diy construction plan, check out your local district for a construction permit and apply for it.
If you get the clearance, start preparing the area where your gazebo is going to stand. Even out all ground irregularities with a shovel and the help of a level. It does not need to be perfect like a billiard table, just make it sufficiently flat and then scrape off two inches or so of soil and back fill it with gravel to help water drainage under the gazebo in the wet season.
Alternatively, you could also lay down a sheet of polyethylene between the soil and the layer of gravel to prevent weeds from growing through the gazebo deck boards. Once you have done all of the above, you are set to begin construction.
How To Build A Gazebo
Gazebos can be easy or complex structures to build for a novice, depending on the layout of your choice. Hexagonal, octagonal and oval gazebos are obviously more challenging and require more involved calculations for angles and cuts and more components, while rectangular or square gazebos only need basic 90 degrees corners and are pretty straightforward to build.
Having said that, even a simple square gazebo may feature extras such as frieze rails, hand rails or a pagoda roof. A frieze is the top rail running between posts, mimicking the lower hand rail, while a pagoda roof is like a hip roof with an extra hip cap on top and and open gap between them for better ventilation. These features can add to construction times but are well worth the effort.
Let’s start with a basic square gazebo. It is basically a post and beams structure, but the deck floor can be built with beams and joists spanning over them at 90 degrees, or with the joists embedded into the beams and secured with joist hangers. I prefer the first option, as the joists sit onto the beams as in a regular house floor, spreading the deck weight on a larger surface, while with joists hangers the weight is born by the screws only. If they rust you may have a problem. The only “downside” in a floor like structure is that since the joist sit on top of the beams at 90, the deck surface will stand higher, hence you will need a couple of steps to access the gazebo.
You can now dig the foundation holes at the required distance at about 16 inches, sprinkle two inches of gravel for water drainage and set up the main posts with temporary braces. Adjust the plum and alignment with a level and a line and make sure the posts stand at 90 degrees by getting the two diagonals to measure the same.
Next, close the structure above with the top rails. You can either screw them on top of the posts or notch them in and secure them with nuts and bolts. I prefer the latter because it is stronger, even though it requires notching the top of the posts and drilling.
Now the structure in rigid like a box, so you can start building the deck. In order to insert the deck beams, you need to make a notch at the base of the main beams at about 8 inches above ground, then insert the beams and secure them with nuts and bolts as for the top rails.
After the beams are secured, start nailing the joists at the correct span as for the plans. You can nail them with 2 opposite oblique nails running through the joist and the beams or secure them with metal braces.
Nail the boards on top with a gap of 1/16 to 1/8 inch between boards to ensure water drainage and cut them flash with the beams and joists once they are all in position. Add the secondary posts between the deck and the top rails and secure them.
You can start adding the roof rafters with the help of a buddy and then add cut sheets of plywood and secure them with screws along the rafter. To make the roof waterproof, add roofing paper and then you can use a choice of asphalt or wooden shingles. For a gorgeous look, wooden shingles are the better choice, but they must be made of pressure treated timber or naturally rot resistant cedar or western red cedar.
To finish off your gazebo, insert the hand railings and the frieze on top, a simple two step access stair and finish off the gazebo with a resin based outdoor stain for posts and railings and with an oil based stain for the deck. And when the time comes, use a pressure washer to clean the entire structure when necessary.