How to transform outdoor space with a pergola 

We have been wanting to transform our backyard area since the day we bought our home. It’s been a slow transition, but we are getting there.

I worked with a business called Tilly Design this year and they designed a full-color scaled plan that included a pergola. I was completely blown away by the concept and how much the pergola alone would transform our backyard.

Last year, we hired Homepro RX out of Wallingford to build a new patio for our backyard. Our old patio was composed of rock and broken asphalt. It wasn’t pretty to say the least. For our patio design, I had a very specific concept in mind. 

Building the Pergola 

The entire job took under two days from start to completion. For the first day, I was home and able to work alongside Jorge, owner of Homepro RX, to answer any questions he had. He showed me two different styles for the edging and it was so nice to have a visual before making my final decision. The team also put tape down on the patio to show where the posts would stand and if I was happy with the wall- thru space. By the days end, the pergola was pretty much finished.

On the second day, siding was re-installed and even framed. 

Function of the Pergola

Our patio has full sun throughout the day. We wanted the pergola to provide us with some shade. The top pieces were installed 5 inches apart to provide us with the maximum amount of shade. We will also be installing roof panels to make the pergola useable during rain and protect us from the elements. 


This is where I shine. I love home decor and DIY. Our budget was definitely put into the build of the pergola. I knew I wanted lighting, but didn’t want the price tag of hiring an electrician. I went to IKEA and bought a pendant shade, Home Depot for 3 foot of jute rope, and Amazon for a remote operated light and bam - I had a functional light in my pergola.


I tried out two different rugs for the area and settled on a black and cream to make the pergola pop. Your tabletop decor can offset the rug or you can make it a focal point.

I try to use melamine dinnerware outside; it is plastic and won’t break. You can still have the table look sophisticated, but with less worry about your indoor breakables. 

Add some comfort to your table with pillows on the end chairs and a cozy blanket. I also added some fresh flowers and candles as my centerpiece. You can also add a ceramic pot with a topiary or faux moss. Make your table extra special by adding flowers from your own garden.

I have two head chairs at my table that I actually refurbished over the summer to incorporate them better with my decor. It is amazing what a can of spray paint can do for furniture. Now is the time to shop for outdoor decor as it is all on sale. Do not let the color of furniture deter you as it can always be restored and refinished. 

I think of the pergola as an extension of our home. We now get to have an outdoor living space that can take us well into fall or winter weather with a fire pit. We get to enjoy dinners outside, the kids now have a place to cool down after playing in the backyard and its also an area to entertain guests that come over.

Next on our agenda are shrubs around the patio and poured concrete for our grill. Also stay tuned for a DIY on an arched mirror that will go on the back wall under our pergola.

Amanda Piscitelli is a mom of three from Wallingford, a business owner and blogger of where she talks about motherhood, lifestyle and home decor.


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