Modern gazebo styles

Written by danielle hill
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Modern gazebo styles
A modern gazebo might update the traditional octagonal design, or adopt a completely novel form. (Gazebo and flowers image by Rexford Jordan from Fotolia.com)

A gazebo offers a pleasant degree of shade, under which you can survey and appreciate your yard, garden or surrounding vistas. While to many, the word "gazebo" calls to mind an archaic octagonal wooden structure, the design and styling of your gazebo is only limited by your own imagination. If the rest of your home follows a modern or contemporary aesthetic, buy or build yourself a gazebo that embraces the sleek lines and unusual materials that modern architecture permits.

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Asian-Inspired Gazebos

In the clean lines of contemporary architecture, you can find gazebos with resonances of Japanese aesthetics. In Tokyo city park, modern gazebos take inspiration from traditional motifs. Consult images of traditional Japanese treasure houses or shrines. Use wooden grilles and screens to create a degree of enclosure that's also open to the outdoors. Exposed roof beams, while typically of traditional Western and Japanese gazebo structures, can still translate to your modern gazebo. Whenever possible, minimise decorative detailing and streamline the design for a more contemporary look. Asian-inspired gazebos also use natural wood to balance potentially austere lines with a softer material.

Contemporary and Futuristic Gazebos

For a gazebo that's truly cutting edge, consider using nontraditional materials. Instead of wood, look to metal and unusual man-made materials. As with any design style, you'll want to balance textures for the most harmonious overall effect. You can counter the cool lines and textures of metal frames by hanging all-weather fabrics, evoking canopies or tents, and opening up a wide range of possible colours or even patterns. The design firm Jane Hamley Wells produces a modern gazebo called the "Capsule Turntable Room" that combines stainless steel with fabric and narrow slats of teak wood. Its design borrows the mellow curves of mid-century modern design and updates the look with its materials: shiny stainless steel and slim teak slats.

Recycled Gazebos

For an ecologically responsible DIY project, consider building your own gazebo using a recycled satellite dish as the roof. Mother Earth News provides plans for a simple gazebo structure that combines the sleek, recycled dome of an old dish with decorative details along the walls and beams, creating a whimsical overall look. Stack salvaged concrete blocks 3 to 4 feet high to create a visual definition of the interior space, while leaving the walls otherwise open, up to the eaves. To support the roof, use plastic pipes, at least 6 inches in diameter. Set them into a concrete foundation deeply enough to balance their height.

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