Below is a copyrighted article intended for publication outside of this website. Code has been put in place so that this page will not be crawled and no links point in to it.  This is to ensure that it will only show up on searches as appearing in your publication.  

Joffre Essley is the author and he affirms that the words  are his alone. Photographs are his unless otherwise noted.

No one is permitted to publish this article without the permission of the author. He will only give one publisher permission to print or distribute this article. However he reserves the right to create and publish articles on the same subject through other publishers.

Publication will require a follow link to a page on to be designated by the author. Further, information about the author will be published, either at the bottom of the article or on an alternative page agreed to between the publisher and the author. The author information will link back to the main page of through the anchor text "House Design" or other words agreed to by the Author.  

The author's name will link to his google profile, unless other arrangements have been made.

Author retains the copyright on the article.  Permission to publish is restricted to the publications listed in the agreement between the author and the publisher.

Hiding Your Garage Door with a Pergola

In modern suburbia garage doors are often placed front-and-center.  Narrow lots don’t leave enough room for a garage facing off to the side.  The problem is that this often gives the appearance of a garage with a house attached rather than a house with a garage attached.  

Short of rebuilding your house what can you do?  Let me suggest one strategy for de-emphasizing the garage door.  You aren’t exactly hiding it, but you are giving the eye something else to look at and obscuring your view of the door.

The eye lingers on the garage for several reasons.  First, the doors are a big blank space.  The eye takes them in as a distinct object.  Second, they are closer than the rest of the house.  Your mind is used to giving its attention to what is near at hand.  Third, garage doors are often a contrasting color.  Even if that is just white it stands apart from the primary color of the house.

Hiding garage doors is tricky, but it can be done.  This is my favorite technique.

Build a pergola that spans the garage doors.  It doesn’t have to be real deep, but the deeper the better.  You will then plant climbing vines to cover the pergola like a trellis.

In many cases you will still see the garage doors, but they will be in shadow.  Since you are giving the eye something to look at that will dominate the garage door your eye will focus on the pergola and the vine.

This is an improvement, but what you really want is for people to see your house.  The advantage of the vine is that the soft, rounded edges of the leaves hide the hard lines of the pergola. This makes it easier for a person's eyes to stray away from garage area and on to the rest of the house.

If you don’t have good soil, or if the concrete covers such a wide expanse that you can’t plant them near the pergola, then plant them in large containers.  This may require a little extra watering and fertilization, but the vines can still flourish.

About the Author

Joffre Essley hates ugly garage doors and is glad to help anyone defeat this scourge.  He writes about house design and what makes a house lovely and liveable. Ironically, he works in the automotive industry, which indirectly is responsible for the ugly garage door.