Do you have a lot of space in your yard? If there is somewhere in your garden that affords a great view, then why not enjoy it in a little style? Install a backyard gazebo and enjoy a bit of shade amidst the sunshine. Decorating your gazebo takes a deft hand though since styling an outdoor room works a bit different from putting together an interior room.
Place Your Gazebo
Unless you already have the gazebo erected in your yard, you need to decide where to build. Take your entire yard into consideration. View it from your back porch, then walk to its furthest point away from your house and view it looking toward your home.
Also, consider your landscape from either side of your yard. What view do you want from the gazebo? What would you like to block from view? Location, location, location matters.
You also need to determine what type of gazebo you want. Choose from a patio gazebo, yard gazebo, pergola, or hardtop gazebo. What style is your house?
The smartest choice is to choose a gazebo design that matches your house. If you have a craftsman home, build a craftsman-style gazebo. A Victorian home gets a Victorian-style gazebo. This way of thinking makes your landscaping and architecture look more professional.
Once you have erected your gazebo, you get to do the fun part. Decorate!
Seating in Your Gazebo
You need seating inside the gazebo. Either build in benches on the inside perimeter or purchase a patio table and chairs or a bistro set. This decision hinges on your personal taste. You will probably seat more people in the gazebo with the built-in benches, but you will find it more comfortable to sit on the chairs, plus the table makes it easier to host meals in the gazebo.
Gazebo Flooring Options
Consider your flooring. Do you want the planks of wood to look like a deck, or would you rather lay down a circular rug that covers the interior? The rug can provide greater comfort, but the deck flooring would be easier to clean.
You could vacuum the rug, but you need to take it up before it rains and store it somewhere, so it does not get wet. Since gazebos do not have solid walls, rain easily enters the interior. Snow and sleet also can cause problems during winter.
Sealing and Staining Your Gazebo
This brings us to the need to seal your gazebo’s wood before you decorate. Choose a seal that you want to look at year-round. You could go for clear over knotty pine or choose a cherry stain over oak. Try not to go too dark.
Mahogany looks gorgeous indoors, but you need the outdoor entertaining spaces to mesh with the outdoors. Look for stains that seal, protect from the elements, and look natural next to trees.
Ceiling Fans in a Gazebo
Install a ceiling fan in the central interior of the gazebo. This helps circulate the air, especially important during muggy summers. Choose a fan design that compliments the wood used for the gazebo. Also, create musical sounds by hanging a wind chime set or two from the frames. On the opposing points use hanging planters.
Seating cushions. Whether you chose benches or a table and chairs, you need cushions. The idea of a gazebo is to provide a cozy, comfortable outdoor place to sit.
You need to make it comfortable and that requires cushioning. If you chose to install built-in benches, you either have a circular or pentagonal shape, and you will need to special order cushions to fit that shape or make them yourself. With a table and chairs, you can just purchase cushions at your local department store.
Lighting a Gazebo
Use fun lighting. String lights make an attractive choice since they contribute to the landscape as well as providing light for entertainment. Many people choose Japanese paper lanterns, fairy lights, or battery-powered candles. You can opt for an overhead light that combines with your ceiling fan or choose a chandelier for a funky outdoor look.
Pendant lights in the center and surrounding the outside of the upper portion of the gazebo can light the yard as well and contribute to your overall landscape. Create an ethereal glow using blue or purple uplights. You can easily use solar lights in the hanging lanterns to avoid needing to run electricity to the gazebo.
Hang fiber optic lighting strands to create a sky effect inside the gazebo.
Curtains and Other Fabric Treatments
Hang curtains, so you can block the sun’s rays when it gets hot or too bright. This also adds to your privacy. Use white canvas curtains for a sturdy, but elegant look. This works well for general gazebo decor as well as wedding decor.
White or cream blends with any gazebo wood and provides a summery look. Add cascading fabric of organza, tulle, or silk as a decoration on top of the curtains. Attach the fabric at each gazebo corner, so it flows across the center.
You can also create a screened gazebo by installing window screens in the openings between the roof and the ledge. This keeps you safe from mosquitos during spring and summer.
Surround your gazebo with flower beds. Tulips and daisies always look pretty surrounding a gazebo. You do not need very wide beds. Planting just two rows of flowers provides plenty of colors. Add a smattering of potted plants on the railing ledge that encircles the interior.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from general décor ideas, you will run into a few specific questions when dealing with gazebos and their use. Read on for the most common questions not covered above?
How do you cover a gazebo?
You can purchase gazebo covers made from the same type of tarp material as a bike cover or boat cover. You stand on a ladder and hang the gazebo cover over the top of the roof. The sides of the cover dropdown. You zip or tie it shut. If you live in any area with a harsh rainy season or a snow season, this cover protects the interior and exterior of the structure. It keeps your floor from becoming wet, damp, and rotted.
What do you do in a gazebo?
Gazebos provide a shaded area for outdoor events including picnics, dinner parties, barbecues, card parties, and dances. You can use the gazebo as the setting for a wedding. While the guests sit in lawn chairs to watch the ceremony, it takes place inside the gazebo. The open sides of the structure let them watch the ceremony while the minister and wedding party stand under the roof for the vows.
Many people also use a gazebo as a casual place to enjoy a spring or summer day. They read a book while sitting in it or sketch or write. Listening to music in a gazebo is also a popular pastime. It can provide a shady place for a break from summer sports such as touch football games, Frisbee golf, or cricket.
What is the difference between pergola and gazebo?
While their landscaping uses bear similarities, a gazebo is usually round while a pergola is typically square or rectangular. A gazebo has a roof while a pergola has none. You can sit beneath a pergola and see the sky. The gazebo provides shelter from the sky.