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The most popular idea for providing that shade is often adding an open-lattice pergola with overhead slats that throw shade but don't greatly restrict natural light inside a home or on a patio. The Latin word "pergola" often meant an outdoor structure of columns supporting a roof with rafters and beams. Sometimes it could be a latticed, free-standing roof covered with vines and plants. Today's pergolas often have different shapes and designs but are often attached to the existing roof of a house or an existing covered patio.