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Adding Character~ Front Porch Pergola

You know how sometimes something on a house things stick out like a sore thumb?
That random wall that juts out just a wee bit too far into the hallway,
or the bathroom that is covered in yellow and brown dotted tiles lovingly referred to as 'Giraffe Tile'
 (I know nothing about that one)
or maybe it is the entry that leaves much to be desired
or should I say lack of entry.

I have shared before that our house was originally just a vacation cottage that sat and sat and sat.
The layout and lack of formal areas are big ol' thorns in my sides from a design standpoint-
 as a girl who craves formal spaces - they frustrate me constantly 
One of those thorns has always been the entry/patio/porch.

It was bland.
Nothing but lots of concrete and hot sun.
No porch. No awning.  Zero Zip Nada.
There are some good points though~
One thing our house has going for it- tons of chunky concrete. 
Walkways, thick foundation and basement and in the front~ 
 two large areas of concrete patios separated by two steps. 
It was built to last but not necessarily built to be charming.
What was missing was something to give the front of the house a little character 
and that top large patio some purpose.
So... we wanted to add some charm.

 We have been talking about putting a porch or pergola over the top patio for several years and
when our neighbors decided to cut down most of the old growth trees along the fence line that were tall enough to give us some much needed shade in Summer- we knew it was time.
Without getting into the expense of adding a covered roof area- we knew a pergola
would give us quite a bit of character and break up that expanse of concrete jungle that was going on
for much less cost.
With an outdoor project as part of the Lowes Creative Ideas Network~ we perused inspiration pictures and decided on the look we wanted. We were able to keep the costs down by re-using quite a bit of lumber that was leftover from other projects. One of the bonuses of on-going renovating- there is usually a stack of lumber ready to go for the next project.

 One of the main features of the pergola are these gorgeous porch columns we found at Lowes

Even better~they were on sale when we picked them up. 

 Lining them along the front
they support the structure and add charm at the same time.


Since they are just 8' tall~ we built simple boxes at the bases and are finishing the trimming on them now.

Another feature that we liked while searching inspirations was a grid pattern with the runners.

By  doubling up across the top of the runners
it creates the pattern. 

Just a little more caulking and another coat of paint and detailing
I will share more views and before/afters when this project is a complete wrap in another post. 
Next up~ a little porch paint on the concrete and a fresh coat of paint on the house
You would think I was born with a paint brush in my hand ;)

(Yes, I know the panels are short in this photo- they were put up and were being measured to be lengthened
to the right length when the wind started blowing and it looked so pretty~
 so I snapped a couple photos)

You can find more Spring inspiration over at the Lowes Creative Ideas blog
and by signing up for the Lowes Creative Ideas Magazine~ it's FREE and filled with 
tons of great ideas.
They even have an App for it in the App store now too

I am thrilled to be a member of the Lowes Creative Ideas Creators and Influencers Network

and am provided with gift cards for my projects & for my work.

All opinions are my own of course!

Please be safe and use all precaution when working with any tools on any projects.
I am not a trained professional but worked with a licensed contractor for this project
I am not held responsible for any damage or injury caused by attempts to make any project
seen on my blog. 

sharing at


  1. Oh my! What a lovely addtion to your home. It looks like the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the view.

  2. Courtney you constantly have me ooohhing and aaahhing...Is it time for you to have a book out? :) xxx

  3. Just beautiful! I think you could put a pretty white pergola over a pig pen and it would be pretty. There is something so elegant and timeless about a pergola. I know you must be ecstatic. xxoo

  4. OMG!! I could just die! this is beautiful! *)

  5. Your porch now looks so elegant! I love the pergola and those columns and of course, the flowers add the right bit of feminine to it!

  6. What a beautiful addition to your home, Courtney! It doesn't make losing those shade trees so bad. : ) Love the sheers you added, too. I can just feel the breeze rustling through them.

  7. This is absolutely lovely. Id like to sit there with a nice glass of wine and a good book.

  8. What an idyllic space... it turned out beautifully!

  9. Love that look...especially love the roof brackets I got a glimpse of...such a charming cottage..inside and out...I do enjoy having you visit my inbox every day...

  10. Beautiful pergola Courtney.
    Hugs, Gee

  11. Looks fab!! Where did you get the outdoor curtain rods and sheers? We have a "naked" pergola that needs a little dressing;)

    1. The rods are simply conduit from Lowes and the sheers are $4.99 a pair at Ikea. :)

  12. Your pergola is just beautiful Courtney...I love the design you made at the top...I have one, but the top is lattice...I so love your design rather than lattice...I have been contemplating putting drapes around the corners of the pergola...I love how yours look as if they are softly swaying in the cozy and romantic...Fantastic addition to your porch!...

    1. Thank you Shirley! We used to have a lattice top on the pergola in the back- but wanted something different this time. The 2x2's are so easy to put up and I love the look of it~ we are thinking about it now for the back pergola too ;)

  13. Oh my gosh, you have created the nicest outdoor space!

    I can't wait to see more pics when it is 100% done- yay, wow, wonderful project!!

  14. Beautiful outdoor space Courtney! I am sure you and your family will spend lots of wonderful summer days and evenings out there!

  15. What are you going to plant on it...tho the sheers are tres romantic!

  16. Absolutely amazing space, Courtney! What a beautiful job!!! We have the same problem with our back porch. It's an extremely hot, sunny place to be during we just avoid it unfortunately, until about 4pm. :( I would love to put a roof over it sometime so that I could leave my pillows out there. :) I have to ask where you got the mosquito netting panels? I've been searching for some for my front porch. ♥

    xoxo laurie

    1. Good old Ikea Laurie~ just $4.99 for a pair of panels :)

    2. Une très jolie pergola...
      Belles photos... très romantiques.
      Gros bisous

  17. So lovely I love me a pretty pergola! Also wanted to say that I love the feature on your guesthouse in Fifi's new mag... French country style, so exciting and beautiful xoElle@

  18. The pergola is perfect for your country house. The billowing white panels soften the wood and give the pergola a dreamy look. Outstanding job!


  19. Your pergola is just beautiful Courtney and your yard looks so inviting.

  20. Courtney,
    It sure has CHARM now! Looks outstanding...luv those thrifty sheers.


  21. very beautiful....I have a tiny pergola in the front and actually just posted about it, since I hung a lantern from a rope there. Here is the link if you want to snoop.....
    Christine from Little Brags

  22. Gorgeous as always Courtney, you do such amazing work!
    I need to get out onto my cement and get cutting wood!
    So much to do, so much fun to have!
    I am still thinking over the back yard additions.....
    Hugs to your heart,

  23. The sheers are exactly what I ahve had in mind for underneath my back deck!

  24. Courtney! I have to show this to my husband. We have a south-facing front porch and columns ready as a base for a pergola. This too has been one of our dream projects - LOVE the pattern you chose to do and the soft, billowy curtains - beautifully done,

  25. How lovely!! We have been talking about adding a pergola... this may be the inspiration I needed! Your home is beautiful... sigh

  26. So beautiful! I've wanted one of these forever!!! Hopefully soon :)

  27. Simply stunning! And we have the same green cushioned chairs, I love that set. I'd so love to hang out in this breezy pergola!

  28. Just beautiful, Courtney. Can't wait to see it all together..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  29. I absolutely love it Courtney! It may rival your fabulous fireplace in the back yard! I've always wanted a pergola.

  30. Beautiful! Can't wait to see more photos of this project. Love the flowers!

  31. Is that YOUR pergola or an ad in a magazine for the perfect outdoor space!? OH MY GOSH... It is so completely charming and wonderful to die for... I just can't believe it.


  32. Courtney what an absolutlely beautiful layout. Gosh I could spend hours out there. So dreamy and relaxing. Have a wonderful week.


  33. Courtney, it is just gorgeous and I love the curtains. Re: The horrible bathroom tile, you probably know this but you can paint your tiles with a "Bicombinante" which is Italian and in english it must mean a two part chemical combine. I've done it here in Italy with great results, it is toxic and gross during the process and you must work fast because the chemicals set up fast. I just mix a little at a time and get a small rubber roller. It is the same process for painting a bathtub that is stained and ruined. Another idea, if the area doesn't get wet is to build a small thin sheetrock wall over the tile, shelf molding at the top and it can be so pretty.


  34. Courtney -- you guys did an amazing job! We are hoping to build a pergola this summer and yours turned out fantastic. Thanks so much for the inspiration. XOXO

  35. You just finished my dream pergola(patio)
    on my back patio I wanted a cover like yours and since I couldn't build it and couldn't
    afford to have it done, I just dreamed I had one
    instead of hanging sheer curtains on the pergola
    I hang lace curtains in my tree,which hangs over my patio area, that is where I came up with the name for my blog
    Curtains In My Tree

    1. I wondered about how you came up with your name! :) How neat!

  36. This is so very pretty. We had a pergola built for our back patio and we left it a natural wood. This is making me want to paint it white! But I don't have any white trim on my house, do you think that would look weird?

    1. I love white pergolas- and I love weathered wood ones as well. I think it's a personal choice and either way is pretty. I do think white pergola's can look good with all colors but maybe try googling some and seeing what color schemes you find that catch your eye!

  37. I have always LOVED pergolas ~ yours is absolutely beautiful! pinning :)

  38. What a beautiful addition to your porch area! I hope you get to enjoy many RELAXING hours out there when all the work is finished up :)

    Jeanette @ Creating a Life

  39. We definitely need a meet-up... at your place. A porch party maybe? Looks gorgeous. It adds so much charm, it's not even funny!! Mmm. I love it!!

  40. Thank you so much for hosting Courtney!

  41. Courtney, your pergola is beautiful. I'm sure it made a huge different in the appearance of the house and how you'll use the front porch. Well done! Enjoyed seeing your beautiful home again in the new French Country Style magazine. laurie

  42. Dreamy. I could sit here all day and never want to leave. Featuring in my weekly wow's tomorrow ( Sat).

  43. Absolutely gorgeous! Great addition Courtney!

  44. Your pergola is just beautiful - what a lovely space! I've got this linked to my pergolas post too today, for inspiration!

  45. I have very similar green deep seating iron chairs. Love them. Very comfy but still pretty. Nice job on the pergola. We just did an outdoor patio as well and we just love to relax outside. It adds so much useable space to your home.