Ever looked at the word “gazebo” and wondered where that term came from, exactly? It’s a seemingly weird word on its surface, but it actually derives from a combination of both Latin and English sources. Whether you can officially define the term or not, you probably have a pretty good mental picture of what a typical gazebo might look like. Essentially, it’s a self-supporting, roofed structure which offers open (and often open-air) views of the immediate environment.
In fact, the verb “to gaze” comprises the first part of the word itself – a gazebo is a great place to sit or stand and be able to take a long look at your surroundings. Gazebos go by many names like pagodas, pavilions, pergolas, or tea houses. Outdoor gazebos are commonly found in parks and garden areas, but they can also be spotted in municipal centers, resorts, HOAs, playground areas, amphitheaters, senior centers, and more.
Gazebos have actually been in use for many thousands of years. The earliest gazebos date back to ancient Egypt; Egyptians used gazebos to support vines in their gardens. In fact, they believed that their gardens and gazebos would follow them to heaven when they died. Persians used gazebos as places to conduct business, and Greeks established gazebo gardens in public areas. And Romans used gazebos as private sanctuaries for escaping and relaxing.
Gazebos remained common in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, too. And then, during the 18th century, gazebos finally became popular in the United States. Modern gazebos are now available in all sorts of sizes, styles and designs, and be used just as easily in urban spaces and town squares as in traditional parks or garden areas.
Another reason that the word “gazebo” can sometimes be hard to define is the simple fact that there are so many different types and applications of gazebos! These outdoor structures can be purely decorative, or they can be designed to serve more functional purposes. All gazebos include some type of roof structure, and most are open on all sides. But beyond those basic commonalities, gazebos can come in all sorts of shapes & sizes, and with various customizations and intended applications. Many gazebos on sale today are round or octagonal, but there are also hexagonal, square, and rectangular layout options. You can go with a completely open-air gazebo, or you can opt to include insect screening, latticework, or other types of enclosures. Built-in bench seating is a popular feature, but you can also choose to include tables and/or flower boxes. And in terms of gazebo building materials, you’ve got options there, too. Wood, composites, vinyl, steel, and various combinations of these are all commonly used in modern gazebo construction.
Here are a few popular styles of gazebos in use today:
Pavilion-style gazebos are open-air and simple in style. They usually feature a fortified roof which is designed to provide reliable shelter from sun and precipitation, and the roof is often supported by a series of columns. Pavilion gazebos can be designed to be quite large, and make great gathering places for events, parties, and even an impromptu outdoor staff meeting.
When the word “gazebo” is mentioned, the mental image that often comes to mind for many people is that of a pagoda-style gazebo. Pagodas originated in Japan, and traditionally carry a distinctive Asian flair. These gazebos are typically made of wood, and feature a more intricate style of design which provides a nice aesthetic for outdoor garden areas and other natural settings. These wooden gazebos can be quite ornate, or you can also go with a more basic, minimalistic pagoda approach.
A pergola is essentially defined as an open framework structure which can support climbing plants and vines. Pergola-style gazebos are often utilized to create shaded (or partially-shaded) walkways or passageways, but they can also be used as picturesque outdoor seating areas. Pergolas make for great patio gazebos, as well.
The rotunda style of gazebo is large and circular, and typically features a domed roof supported by pillars or columns. Rotunda gazebos are typically defined by a large roof structure which contains no side walls and limited furniture, but you can also customize to suit your own preferences.
A folly gazebo is more of a decorative feature than a functional one. It isn’t really designed to offer any substantial shade or protection from the elements, but is rather meant to accentuate your property and its surrounding landscape. Many like to include a garden table and chairs inside their folly gazebo.
There are many great ways to take advantage of having a gazebo or two installed in your outdoor common area. Here are just a few of the possibilities:
Gazebos are a great way to set your outdoor area apart by adding some unique visual interest. They’re a great addition to complement virtually any outdoor space. A gazebo can help add a nice garden feel, make it feel more like a resort, or help create whatever type of mood you’re going for. And if you need a go-to backdrop for taking team photos, a gazebo makes for a perfect spot.
Being able to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air is a good thing, but too much exposure to the elements can also be a bad thing. Choosing a gazebo style with a sturdy, protective roof is a great way to provide some needed shade and offer reliable shelter from precipitation threats.
Take your team meetings, cookouts, and social gatherings to a different level with a gazebo! No matter what the weather is doing, you can still go on with your outdoor gathering plans as long as you have access to one or more of these handy outdoor shelters. Just install a grill, a table or two, and some seating, and your gazebo space will be ready to go whenever you are!
Your office or business may include a break room, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to just get outside for a few, too. By choosing to install one or more gazebos, you can give your staff the ability to take their break time outdoors! They’ll thank you for it, plus they’ll come back in better recharged and better renewed for tackling the rest of their shift.
Carolina Recreation & Design is your preferred provider of outdoor structures from fine makers like Icon Shelter Systems and EWS Structures. Plus, we don’t just sell gazebos and other outdoor structures; we’re also happy to provide installation services across NC, SC, VA, and TN!
And that’s not all, either. Carolina Recreation & Design is here to help take care of your site planning and preparation needs, too. We also offer a full complement of outdoor furnishings and amenities. And since we’re general contractors, there’s really not much of anything we can’t take care of for you. Whether you may need an outdoor bathroom facility, a water fountain, outdoor seating options, some extra shade, or have some specific landscaping requests, we’ve got you covered! Got questions? Ready to get your gazebo or other outdoor sheltered space started? Just give us a call at (704) 664-1833! You can also connect with us by filling out this simple online form, if you prefer. Carolina Recreation & Design provides complete solutions for all your outdoor structure and site-related needs!
Carolina Recreation & Design is a full-service general contracting company offering turnkey installation of recreational products for parks, schools, churches, clubs, daycares and amusement parks. We offer premium-quality commercial products that are safe, fun, and built to last.