Here are some design notes when it comes to modern pergola designs. The most common pergola design is to have decorative and somewhat rounded ends on the beam. The easiest way of creating a more modern pergola is to do away with the decorative ends.
Layering Up: A lot of pergolas will only have one layer of overhead beams say going in a vertical direction. One way of adding more shade and roofing to the pergola is to add another level of beams this time going in the horizontal direction as