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.
Tuffits: Concrete stepping stones which look like pillows! Concrete stepping stones that look like vintage pillows. Get old pillows, lather with petroleum jelly, cover with plaster of paris. once hardened, remove pillow and fill mold with concrete!