Gazebo ideas: 12 chic garden structures for shelter and shade

These gorgeous gazebo ideas will elevate any outdoor seating spot – including canvas, wooden, and woven designs

white gazebo ideas on garden lawn
(Image credit: Polly Wreford/Future)

Fancy trying out some gazebo ideas for your garden? Often offering more shelter than a pergola, these structures are perfect for creating an indoor-outdoor feel. And, they're useful for giving your seating space more privacy too.

Gazebos aren't just about the practicalities though – they also add vertical interest and can boost the aesthetic appeal of a plot. And as you'll already know if you've checked out our best gazebo buying guide, there are plenty of designs available. If you're looking for a temporary structure to provide a spot of shade in summer, a cool canvas look might be the way forward. However, there are many show-stopping wooden, metal, or woven styles if you're after a more permanent feature for your garden.

We've rounded up a good mix of gorgeous gazebo ideas to help you decide on the best fit for your backyard. There's something for every style and budget, so you'll be sure to find something that suits your space.

Gazebo ideas: 12 stunning structures

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to gazebo ideas. It might be hard to choose your favorite from these lovely looks.

1. Embrace a coastal feel with a striped design

fringed garden gazebo from Cox & Cox

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

If you're looking for sophisticated shade ideas for patios or something chic to shelter an area of your lawn, then a design like this will certainly hit the mark.

The blue and white stripes and fringing details set a vintage, coastal tone, whilst a pitched roof offers all the respite needed from the sun's hot glare. It's easy to construct too, and when not in use, it can be stored safely away in a matching canvas bag.

Combine with fabric deckchairs to enhance the seaside feel. We think it would be a stylish addition to any backyard during the summer season.

2. Create a pretty and permanent seating spot

small wooden garden gazebo with pretty details

A quaint design full of characterful features

(Image credit: Rachael Smith/Future)

If you're looking for gazebo ideas for a more permanent feature of your plot, then a design like this makes a lovely option. The tiled, hipped roof will shelter you from both sun and rain, so you can enjoy an alfresco breakfast or evening drink no matter the weather.

When it comes to the accessories, you could say there are more options for a gazebo in comparison to pergola ideas. This is because gazebos present more of an enclosed zone, so you have more wall space to play with. Take a look at this scene, for instance. It uses plenty of details to enhance the sense of character – from the bunting, wall hangings and potted plants to the ditzy-patterned table cloth. We love the color combo of soft white and very pale blue too; always a soothing and serene choice.

3. Add textural interest with a woven style

woven gazebo from Cuckooland

This laid-back design is by Rowlinson, from Cuckooland

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Love a more organic, laid-back look? Give your outdoor seating additional shelter and unique style with a woven gazebo. 

This one is made from willow, which is then coated in linseed oil for added durability. The variety of weaves offers tons of textural interest and the whole structure will blend in well with a relaxed planting scheme. Plus, its petite size means it can fit in smaller plots, but is large enough to host an intimate dinner party for a small group of friends.

The arched windows are a lovely feature too – allowing anyone sitting inside to enjoy views of the surroundings whilst still feeling sheltered from the elements. String up some outdoor fairy lights overhead and add in a bistro set and you've got a gorgeous setting for entertaining (or simply a bit of peace and quiet).

4. Beat the bugs with a mosquito net

DaAl's gazebo with mosquito net

The Aruba Ivory White Gazebo With Mosquito Net from DaAl's will prevent insects from spoiling the mood

(Image credit: DaAl's)

Bugs can be a real bore in summer, especially if they're the biting kind. Surrounding your space with some of the best mosquito repellent plants is one way to tackle them, but if you're interested in gazebo ideas, then something like this will help deter them too.

The lightweight curtains will allow sunlight and air to flow through your seating space whilst keeping you protected and sheltered. And, a decorative powder-coated steel frame means the structure will remain sturdy.

5. Try an elegant design with a scalloped edge

white gazebo on garden lawn

The perfect set-up for a summer get-together

(Image credit: Polly Wreford/Future)

The scalloped-edged canopy and tied-back curtains of this design offer a real sense of elegant grandeur. It might not be for every day use, but it's perfect for your garden party ideas as it will make any outdoor occasion feel special.

Look closely and you can spot a hanging pendant light too, which means the party can continue long into the evening. And if the wind or rain picks up? With a design like this, the curtains can easily be pulled shut to create a more sheltered and intimate 'room'.

6. Bring in a pop of blue

gazebo with blue curtains and seating

We love the harmonious tones of this seating spot

(Image credit: Dan Duchars/Future)

Speaking of gazebos with curtains, we love how these ones have been chosen as part of a striking color scheme. It's a simple trick, but when paired with matching textiles, tableware and nearby candles, it really helps to tie the scene together.

The trellised design of the structure itself adds a decorative touch too. Plus, it provides plenty of styling opportunities: try winding fairy lights around the battens, hanging LED lanterns, or even training up some climbing plants.

Looking for more ways to extend your living space close to the house? Our awning ideas feature has plenty of inspiration.

7. Add a traditional wooden design to your lawn

cuckooland wooden gazebo in garden

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

A large, wooden gazebo like this is brilliant for sheltering an outdoor dining space, and will make a striking focal point for your garden too. 

Opting for a natural timber finish means you can choose to leave it as is or get creative with some of the best exterior wood paint for a more personalized result. There are plenty of hues to choose from – an inky tone is great for modern plots, whilst soft pastels are perfect for creating a sense of romanticism. 

Need more chic ways to enjoy meals alfresco? Our outdoor dining ideas feature has plenty.

8. Light it up when night falls

wooden gazebo with lights at night

Give your gazebo an enchanting glow

(Image credit: Mark Scott/Future)

Good outdoor lighting ideas are crucial for any garden – not just for upping the ambience, but also for practical reasons. And as you can see from this enticing set-up, they can do wonders in transforming a gazebo when night falls.

Try a mix of lanterns, festoon lights, and tea lights inside your structure for a truly magical glow. Tiki torches or solar lights tucked into surrounding flowerbeds will enhance the look further.

9. Opt for something small and ornate

white ornate metal gazebo

A miniature gazebo adds interest to this flowerbed

(Image credit: Fritz von der Schulenburg/Future)

Gazebos don't have to be huge great things to make an impact. In fact, they don't even have to provide an outdoor living space. Instead, they can be used purely as decorative features for a garden – like in this delightful scene above.

A design like this would be perfect for a more traditional or even a boho-styled plot, with the ornate, white-coated metal offering timeless charm. Placed in the center of a flowerbed it would instantly add an extra dimension, whilst also offering a support for climbers.

You'll find more climbing plant support ideas in our dedicated feature.

10. Go for safari vibes with stone-colored canvas

ikea HIMMELSÖ gazebo

(Image credit: Ikea)

Simple, chic and versatile are the three words we'd use to describe this gazebo, which looks lovely combined with furniture and accessories in neutral tones. 

If you're particularly cautious of the sun's harmful rays, then look for canvas designs which offer UV protection. This one, for instance, has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor rating of 50+, meaning it blocks out 98% of ultraviolet radiation: perfect for keeping those with sensitive skin safe.

11. Create a plant-covered canopy

round gazebo from agriframes with climbing plants over path

The Round Gazebo from Agriframes surrounded by climbing plants

(Image credit: Agriframes)

'One of the most versatile of all garden features has to be a gazebo swathed in flowers and enveloping anyone who passes through it in wonderful scent,' says the Agriframes team.

'Use your gazebo as a focal point, marking the junction of pathways, or as a secluded spot for a table and chairs – the perfect retreat when planted with scented roses, honeysuckle or jasmine.

'Once the structure is in place, it can take a year or two for climbers to get established, so many gardeners opt for metal over wood to avoid the need for maintenance and repair,' the team adds.

Need more planting suggestions? You'll find plenty in our guide to the best climbing plants.

12. Use patterned curtains for added privacy

gazebo with patterned curtains and hanging lanterns

A jazzy pattern gives this gazebo some extra oomph

(Image credit: Polly Wreford/Future)

To bring an extra dose of pizzazz to your gazebo, introduce a bold pattern. The pretty purple design of these curtains looks great against the complementary chair cushions and surrounding plants. When drawn, they'll make an attractive backdrop to your outdoor dining experience, too. And as they're tie-on, they can easily be taken down if needs be.

There are plenty more garden privacy ideas you can try to make your backyard feel more exclusive – our guide is full of solutions.

How do you make a gazebo look nice?

There are plenty of ways to pep up a plain gazebo and turn it into an enticing outdoor 'room'. Try these suggestions for your structure:

  • If the framework is sturdy enough, consider bringing some of our hanging basket ideas into the space. They're an easy way to add color and interest. You could even opt for edible crops such as herbs or strawberries instead of blooms.
  • Bunting is easy to make yourself or inexpensive to buy and strung up around your gazebo will bring a sense of cottage-style charm.
  • String lights – whether vintage-style festoons or twinkling fairy lights – will give any outdoor space an enticing glow.
  • If you love to grow flowers, make up a posy to decorate an outdoor dining table. It's a simple way to tie the inside of your gazebo together with the rest of your garden.
  • Wind chimes add a soothing and sensory touch and can be hung from up high.

milanna steel party tent from wayfair

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Is it cheaper to build or buy a gazebo?

There are a few different ways to bring a gazebo into your space. You can opt for a pre-assembled off-the-shelf design; a DIY kit; hire a builder to make you a bespoke structure; or, if you feel confident enough to do so, build a bespoke design yourself.

A DIY kit is often the cheapest approach. A traditional design can be $1,500–$4,000 (around £1,080–£2,850) according to HomeAdvisor.com – with shipping and assembly and installation costs (if you hire someone to do it for you) on top. A pre-assembled design can be around $2,000–$7,000 (£1,450–£5,000), with higher shipping but lower assembly prices. Of course, it does all depend on certain factors such as the size and the materials used, and also whether you opt for a temporary or permanent structure. Lighter, temporary designs with canvas tops and metal frames, for instance, can be less than $500 (£350).

If you've got some good DIY know-how then you might be tempted to build your own, rather than hiring a pro to build you something bespoke. According to HomeAdvisor.com, if you go for this option you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $8,500 – which is about $1,500 less than opting for professional construction.

Naturally though, there are a lot of risks involved with the DIY option – building a gazebo is no mean feat and there are many technical aspects that need to be taken on board to ensure it's structurally sound. If done incorrectly, you may end up spending more money fixing the issues.

If you're looking for more advice on garden pricing, our landscaping costs and decking costs guides might come in handy.

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day!