Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Well Hi!

I have got another really great back yard project to share with you. 

This started like so many of our projects:

Hero: We should build a pergola on the back patio.

Me: Absolutely!

And we were off.

Hero is all about working designs out in his head, followed up with Google searches to confirm and solidify the plans and then off to Lowe's for supplies.

And then drilling holes into our freshly painted garage walls.

But not to worry! I know Hero has this all figured out. And if not, he is pretty handy at fixing things.

This is a common occurrence - Hero dangling off a ladder or something.

It seems like he knows all the good tricks - Like how to get a post attached to a cement patio. And then making it look pretty spiffy.

With just a few posts and boards, we really had a good idea of how this was going to feel. 

This patio was pretty much useless in the summer from 2-7pm - It is on the west side of our house and there is absolutely no shade at all. It was so unfortunate that we couldn't use this area for anything.

Hence the pergola.

We stained all the boards ahead of time so we could just throw them up as needed.

We set up shop in the garage for that. Even around the latest car project.

If you ever have to stain anything, you should use latex/non-latex gloves. Stain is such a pain in the butt to get off.

And you should use old rags - Just do your staining and then toss them out. I am not a fan of complicated clean-up.

We wanted to add something that looked like wrought iron for an industrial kind of vibe. These poles are electrical conduit. 

Cue the black spray paint.

Not sure what is happening here, but it looks like Alex was helping to get the poles up in where they belong.

We used canvas drop cloths cut into long strips and all hemmed up as "sails" between the slats to offer tons of shade. We ended up hand sewing them around the end pole to get them all consistently taught. I of course tried a few other things first thinking they would be easier (snaps and velcro), but both of those ideas turned out to be the worst ideas ever. Picture wanting to throw the snap setter and the sewing machine out the window. 

And then all the pieces became a pergola.

And here it is:

It's like a resort - We are in love!

Instead of making the patio feel smaller, it feels so much more useful and cozy. Like an outdoor room.

When the sun is setting, we just close those curtains and they flutter in the wind while giving us just the right amount of shade.

Do you see those little twinkles?

Yep - Party lights. It looks amazing at night:

Oh. My. Goodness. We could not happier with how this turned out. 

Hero has the best ideas.

How about a quick where-we-started photo:

To this after:

We are loving this space and using it sooooo much more than we have since we moved in 4 years ago. It's just exactly what this space needed.
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