Find out how to add your personal touch to your new pergola or verandah.\u00a0 Pergolas and verandahs are fantastic outdoor home improvements that can not only enhance the look of your house but also add another dimension for entertaining family and friends. Like any part of your home, there\u2019s nothing like adding a few bits and bobs to a room or area to give it your own personal touch. In this post we look at some different aspects you'll need to include to design your pergola or verandah. We've also taken the time to explain how they will benefit you and your family! These design aspects are not only great for enhancing the look of your already fantastic outdoor area, but also its functionality. Lighting Outdoor lighting can be a great addition when designing your pergola or verandah. Sometimes entertaining guests only really starts when the sun goes down, so installing lighting on your pergola will mean your catch-ups aren\u2019t limited to daylight hours. The type of lighting you choose will be dependent on the design, shape, dimensions, purpose and location of your pergola. A key aspect to lighting your pergola or verandah is location. Where you choose to position your lights can really have an effect on the ambiance of your outdoor space. You also need to decide whether you need indirect or direct lighting. Direct is where your lights are trained on particular features of your pergola, such as the barbeque, seating area or any other highlights of your outdoor space.\u00a0Indirect is all about illuminating the general area to create a certain mood. The type of lighting you use can also be an important factor. Incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lights, halogen lights and LED lights are all options that can be used under a pergola or verandah. When you do go shopping for lighting, just make sure that the bulbs are intended for outdoor use! For more information, read our full guide on pergola lighting. Plants\u00a0 Plants are a great way to add some colour, smell and life when designing your pergola or verandah. They are also a great natural way of blocking out the sunlight and creating shade for your space. Hanging planters are a popular option for pergolas and verandahs, especially if you\u2019re short on space. Position beautiful flowers such as fuchsias, impatiens (great for shade), petunias (if you have some sun to spare) and geraniums at eye level. Ferns and palms are also great for pergolas and verandahs, as well as any spaces that don\u2019t get too much sun. They adore shady, moist and humid conditions. Now that you\u2019ve got some posts or poles it\u2019s time to start growing some climbers. \u00a0Climbers are a great way to dress up the sometimes drab columns that hold up your verandah or pergola. Colourful blooms can make a big impact on your outdoor area. A collection of simple potted flowers can really add some colour to your outdoor space. Herbs, mozzie repellents and fruit trees are also fantastic additions to any pergola or verandah. If you\u2019re looking for plants that don't require much work, sun or water, then you really can\u2019t go past succulents. Outdoor furniture When designing your pergola or verandah, outdoor furniture is a great way to create a warm and inviting space. A simple outdoor dining setting with a table and chairs is generally the best way to go. If you\u2019re looking to make the most of your outdoor space, a small outdoor kitchen or TV can really add another dimension. If you\u2019re just after somewhere to sit back, relax and enjoy the outdoors, a simple outdoor couch setting might be the best option for you. Most good furniture stores will have a range of pieces that are suited for outdoor areas. Outdoor blinds If you\u2019re looking to really finish off designing your verandah or pergola then you can\u2019t go past a set of outdoor blinds! Outdoor blinds can really transform your outdoor space and make it seem like you've added another room to your home. A nice set of outdoor blinds will protect you from the wind, rain and cold on those days when the weather is less than perfect.\u00a0In the warmer months, outdoor blinds are great for providing shade and protection from the sun. They are also great for privacy to keep those neighbors from peeking into your party. For more information on how to best design your pergola or verandah, take a look at some our other blog posts for more ideas. Get set for summer! Did you know that outdoor home improvements can take up to a month to complete? If you require council approval, it can sometimes take even longer. If you\u2019ve been thinking about investing in a set of outdoor blinds, roller shutters, artificial grass, a pergola, verandah, timber deck or even a swimming pool, there\u2019s no better time than now.