Design an outdoor arbor by considering where it is to be located, what types of growth it might support, what materials it should be made of, whether it serves as a simple passageway or perhaps a destination, and whether it is to be decorated. Arbors are typically used to add structure and style to a garden, so a good design complements the home and the space in which the arbor is placed.
An arbor is most often placed over a walkway or a path, but arbors are sometimes built on a patio or deck to add a bit of style. Climbing roses, various types of vines and weeping conifers are examples of plants that are used to drape an arbor. Arbors are usually constructed with a wood base, but combining simple metals hoops to form an enclosure or using salvaged and non-traditional materials can give an arbor a creative, established feel. Placing a bench underneath an arbor in the garden creates a space where people can relax and enjoy the ambiance. Wooden arbors are customarily painted white or stained to preserve the wood color, but painting one with bright colors adds a bit of outdoor art and creates a focal point.