15 gazebo ideas – modern, enclosed and DIY designs to elevate a backyard

The best gazebo ideas will elevate a backyard, even on a budget. Let these enclosed, modern and classic DIY designs inspire your outdoor space.

White gazebo with mosquito netting
(Image credit: Mano Mano)

Gazebos ideas are a welcome addition to a backyard, big or small, to help create an enviable outdoor space. And these structures can be an extension of your home – depending on the style you choose. 

Often thought of as the more functional cousins to pergolas, gazebos protect you from the elements, the sun and rain, not forgetting some even come with handy netting to stop you being eaten alive by mosquitos... Available in all shapes and sizes – from pop up to permanent – there’s an option to fit your specific needs.

Whether your structure is to set up next to an outdoor kitchen in your backyard, or, if it's to pack up and take away with you, only to pop it up high in the hills or on a beach, a gazebo is one of those wonderful designs that can truly cater to your lifestyle needs, and budget too. Whether you've got cash to splash on the latest modern gazebos to hit your favorite stores, or if want to try and build your own, we have all the inspiration you need to bring your summertime gazebo dreams to life.

1. Choose stripes for a classic gazebo feel

Blue stripe gazebo

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

You can’t beat classic stripes and if you want to create a timeless Hamptons-like appeal then choose a design that has scalloped fringing along the top too. Team it with good old deckchairs for a fabulous matching scheme. Pop in a few cushions, sit back and enjoy! 

2. Add a thatched roof for a cozy feel

Thatched roof gazebo in rustic looking backyard

(Image credit: Wayfair)

No extra seating required if you opt for this style of gazebo as it has bench seats and a table that can accommodate up to 10 adults. Hexagonal shapes work well too and make for a more enclosed feel, permanent fixtures like this are worth investing in as you don’t have to put them up every time you want to use them. 

3. Add elegance and bug protection  

White gazebo with mosquito netting

(Image credit: Mano Mano)

Gazebos that come with extras like mosquito nets are worth their weight in gold - who wants to entertain whilst swatting the little fellas away every two minutes, plus they still let in the light and air. When not keeping them at bay the nets can be left to gently hang down and add a whimsical feel to the overall look. 

4. Opt for a multi-tasker

Outdoor gazebo decorated with lanterns

(Image credit: Ikea)

Designs that can be used free-standing, over the main entrance of your home or against an outer wall are definitely worth investing in. Or buy two and place them butted up against each other to create a larger outdoor room for a birthday or special event. Pop in some rugs, pouffes and low-key furniture and hang up lanterns for a welcoming glow. 

5. Add a touch of modernity 

Backyard seating underneath modern steel gazebo

(Image credit: Wayfair)

For a contemporary space look for designs that are simple yet sturdy. Metal options will always look smarter than wood if you’re after a modern feel and of course, black always looks great with black so choose sleek metal garden furniture to match the frame. Keep the accessories to a minimum.

6. Go for a lightweight but sturdy option

Foldable gazebo covers outdoor living space

(Image credit: B&Q)

Unless you’re going to keep your gazebo outside all year round - which let’s face it, isn’t ideal, then you will need to be able to store it somewhere. Gazebos that are quick to install yet foldable are always worth considering. Those with aluminum frames will also be lighter to pick up and put in the shed or basement for the next season.

7. Pop it up in grey

Small grey pop up gazebo on freshly cut lawn

(Image credit: Amazon)

For impromptu get-togethers at home or away pop ups are the answer as they’re designed to be assembled in minutes. They’ll fit into the car too and are easy to fold back up into a carry case. Some have removable side panels so you can turn it into a canopy when the sun comes out. 

8. A good all-rounder

Cream colored enclosed gazebo design with curtains on a lawn

(Image credit: Wayfair)

For those who love to hang out, outdoors, as much as possible, and if your climate allows, an all year-round design is a good investment. Enclosed gazebo styles with side walls and curtains/panels are best and you’ll need a sturdy structure that’s both weather and water resistant. 

9. DIY yours and make it feel homey

Decorated outdoor dining table with garden lighting underneath wooden gazebo

(Image credit: Lights4Fun)

If you DIY your own gazebo, don’t forget to decorate it so it reflects your interior style but outside. Swathes of festoon lights, beautiful linens and scented candles will make your guests feel oh-so-welcome. Decorate the corners with pots filled with summer blooms and use large logs as stools - the rustic look is on trend!

10. A hard top covered gazebo for all the elements

Large beige roofed gazebo on large lawn encloses outdoor dining space

(Image credit: Mano Mano)

The advantages of having a hard topped gazebo are two-fold, firstly, and heaven-forbid - it directs the rain, and secondly (and more appealing) is that the roof panels let the light in and the UV resistant material protects you from harmful rays to boot. It also makes for a more sturdy and permanent structure. 

11. Create a relaxed backyard setting

Large white pop up gazebo covers modern outdoor dining area on large backyard lawn

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

Gazebos aren’t just for tables and chairs, they’re also ideal for outdoor sofas and coffee tables. They’re also great for providing shade for a picnic especially if you have little ones who might need to nap in the afternoon out of the sun. Light and airy designs that are white or off-white also make for a more relaxing style compared to darker colored design.

12. Create a grand outdoor living space with curtains

Large gazebo with curtains and a brown top covers outdoor dining setup on a garden lawn

(Image credit: Manu Manu)

This smart design won’t look out of place at an intimate wedding reception or outdoor party. The double roof design aids circulation and has rain drainage holes. Intricate metal work adds a decorative appeal and sets it apart from basic models. Side nettings are always a bonus too and protect guests and food from bugs and flies.

13. Make your gazebo part of your patio 

Small cream colored gazebo with steel legs covers patio space

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Wall-mounted gazebos can be made to feel like an extension of your home without all the fuss building! A design with an elegant curving structure can visually soften the exterior whilst providing a lovely spot to relax in and they work best with a decking or patio base. 

14. Nod to partial shade

Cream colored canopy over blue decking area in planted backyard space

(Image credit: Dobbies)

Although not strictly a gazebo - though the definition of one is ‘a structure that provides shelter from the sun and rain’, this modern sun shade will give you some relief from the sun whilst hitting the top style stakes. It’s easy on the eye and barely takes up space so it’s the perfect addition to a small garden without compromising on style. 

15. Choose a slatted wood roof for longevity

Wooden slat roof gazebo with outdoor table and benches sits within surrounding hedging

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

If you want your gazebo to last and be a permanent resident in your backyard then do opt for a wood structure that can stand the test of time. Ideal for impromptu BBQ’s or a family gathering, this kind of design with it’s clever slatted roof will keep the sun off you while you relax. 

Which is better, a gazebo or a pergola?

Gazebos are often the more inexpensive but still functional and nice looking version of pergolas. It depends on whether you buy one or build one, from scratch or not. The main design difference is that a gazebo is covered, always, whereas many pergolas will be roofless or just have beams. 

Is it cheaper to buy or build a gazebo?

Cost-wise, you can build a gazebo to spec of course, which will cost you anything between $1000 and $7000 /£700 and £5000 it depends on size and the materials you use of course. We've included pre-built and DIY kit structures above that range from as little as $200 to $8500/ £170 to £6100 for more sturdy wooden structures with a roof. As with pergolas, if you add a permanent gazebo to your backyard or garden, the additional design element and elevated space will likely add property value to your home.

So, if you love doing a bit of DIY then building your own gazebo will be super satisfying, especially if you want a more permanent wooden structure. However, in terms of costs you will unlikely be able to beat the price of a typical budget gazebo that comes with a weather resistant top and metal legs as you can buy basic designs for under $200. 

What can I use for a gazebo roof?

If you are going down the DIY route, depending on your budget and the style of your gazebo, you have several options. If the structure is solid and for all year round then you could go for cedar shakes, rubber slates or metal roofing. Or, if you want to opt for a simple option then sail cloth or strong coated polyester will do the trick and look really stylish too.

This is why we are big Gazebos fans 🙌

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.