How to Choose Between a Traditional and Modern Gazebo

Gazebos have had a place in outdoor spaces for centuries, providing shade, a meeting place, and shelter in gardens. Recently, modern gazebos have become a favorite in the shade structure market, providing homeowners with a very different approach to the traditional gazebo. How different are these structures, what characterizes each, and which works best for your outdoor space?

The Traditional Gazebo

A traditional gazebo is a substantial freestanding structure built in an octagonal shape with eight sides, often featuring steps, a foundation, and a pitched roof. This makes it a permanent structure in a garden, much like a greenhouse or garden shed ideal for garden watchers. Side rails and screening make traditional gazebos very contained environments. Additionally, traditional gazebos typically feature columns as their supporting elements, giving these outdoor structures a very old world look.

The Modern Gazebo

Modern gazebos provide a marked departure from the permanence and historical feel of a traditional gazebo. They weigh far less than traditional versions and often feature aluminum structures and canopy-style roofs. They also have a much edgier and contemporary look, leveraging design schemes that are more minimal and stylish than the Greco-Roman, column-based designs of traditional gazebos. Instead, they are closer in style to the latest pergolas. Modern gazebos usually come in pre-packaged kits making assembly more convenient than traditional gazebo structures. A modern gazebo with a canopy gives a homeowner a flexible shade option for a patio, allowing open sky or protection from sun and rain at the push of a button.

Choosing Between Traditional and Modern Gazebos

Traditional and modern gazebos offer a range of benefits depending on your needs as a homeowner. Consider the following questions to help determine which gazebo structure is best for your outdoor living space:

  1. Do you want a classic look or a modern/contemporary one?
  2. Do you want an open air feel or a more contained environment?
  3. Do you prefer the permanence of a pitched roof or the flexibility and relaxed feel of a canopy structure?

Consider the style of your home, your outdoor space, and what you are looking to achieve with the space. All of these considerations can influence your decision and can help you achieve the ideal gazebo for your space. Any experience of your own with either option? Let us know in the comments below.


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