Backyard Reveal

Although Summer is coming to a close, I am so happy that our patio is finally finished!

When we sold our home, the buyer wanted a lot of our furniture. We went with a solid no counteroffer back, but, after we gave it some thought, we realized a lot of the furniture we had wouldn't fit our new home (and we were flattered she liked our decor so much) that we allowed her to keep the furnishings she asked for (for a fee, of course!).

Part of what we left behind was our outdoor furniture. But, with everything, the silver lining is that we had a blank slate to work with and didn't have to try and fit our existing furniture into a space that may not have worked.

We purchased new furniture (on super clearance because it was way before summer season started!), but after it was all set up, it still didn't feel right.

I quickly realized that the problem was the back of our home had no dimension. It was just... flat. So, no matter how much furniture we put on the ground, it was the actual structure of the house that felt strange.


Sure, we could of added a roof line or an addition to the house, but not on our shoestring budget. After looking at several different options (Retractable awnings, Sun Shades, Canopies, etc.) we decided on a pergola. It added dimension at a minimal cost.

We purchased a pergola kit from Menard's and had to alter a couple of things to make it work for our house. We wanted it to attach to the house to add the dimension we were looking for. We have three large windows that overlook our backyard and we didn't want the view to be obstructed by a large structure, so it was imperative that the Pergola sit above the windows as you can see below.

I kept going back and forth between a white vinyl pergola or a cedar one. The pro's of the vinyl were that it matched our trim and garage door and it was also less maintenance as we didn't have to worry about it weathering, but we ultimately decided to go with a cedar one as the richness of the wood felt fancier and it fit more of the 'tuscan' vibe I had envisioned. With any outdoor wood, it will require sealing and maintenance to keep it looking 'rich' instead of 'weathered', but I'm really happy with the decision (ask me again in a couple years when I'm breaking my back trying to seal the thing!).

Based on the fact neither my husband nor I have ever installed a pergola, didn't own a ladder, and have a toddler running around, we called in reinforcements and our contractor had it installed within 2 days!

We love having the sectional couch under here. For us, a conversational piece makes much more sense than a dining table, but either would work great. The gas fire table also was a good choice for us. I love a real campfire (I'm a sucker for S'mores and the campfire smell), but neither me nor my husband are that great at starting one, and with it being so close to the house, we thought it was best to go with gas. It doubles as a table and we can quickly turn it into a fire-pit when we're needing the warmth or ambiance.

Next season I will plant a climbing plant, like a vine of some sort, to trail up the pergola and add more greenery. To me, outdoor spaces should be filled with organic material versus manmade. I mean, we are outside after all. Filling up your outdoor space with bushes, plants, flowers, wood, stone, etc will give it a much better feel than filling it with plastic, vinyl, and fake greenery (says the girl with the gas fire table!). So, try and go with organic material as much as possible when planning outdoor spaces.

We also updated our garage doors by adding a hardware kit from Lowe's. It's magnetic and sticks right on your existing garage doors (no tools required). For $40 you can instantly transform your basic garage doors into something with a little more curb appeal.

Summer nights never felt so good out here and the fall nights will feel just as cozy when the weather cools down. What is your favorite part of your backyard oasis?

[sources: outdoor sectional; fire table; garage door kit; outdoor rug; cafe lights, planters were all second-hand]

Higbie Maxon Agney

83 Kercheval Ave

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

(o) 313--886-3400 

(c) 248-515-2201

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