Before and After: A “Daunting” Patio Becomes a Peaceful, Pergola-Shaded Escape

updated Jul 5, 2020
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Now that summer’s rolled around, anyone with access to outdoor space is eager to take advantage. But sometimes those backyard spaces need a little help first. When Timisha Porcher met her now-husband, he was itching to make a change to his then-backyard. “He felt it was being wasted,” she says. “He just didn’t know where to begin.”

That was understandable: “Before it was crazy, like a jungle with no place to sit,” Timisha says. “The pavers were all uneven. It just wasn’t very inviting, and the thought of renovating it was daunting.”

But they forged on. The couple decided that the patio’s main feature would be a pergola, which Toja Grid provided to them to review. In blistering heat, the pair leveled the old pavers, and stained and installed the pergola (which was way more challenging and time-intensive to put together than they anticipated).

Timisha’s then-boyfriend was planning to reuse his old glass outdoor table, which Timisha was not at all a fan of. Lo and behold, it broke when he set something on it. “THANK GOD the glass shattered,” Timisha says—she was definitely not upset about having to replace it with a different $75 table.

The pair also added new chair cushions, an outdoor rug, string lights, and a table fire pit. All together, they spent about four weeks and $500 on the makeover (not including the cost of the pergola).

Timisha says the finished product is especially fantastic at night, thanks to the string lights and fire pit.

To anyone else embarking on a backyard makeover, Timisha has three pieces of advice: “Plan for the unexpected. Keep a little money saved in case you need to make some last-minute purchases. And drink lots of water doing backyard renovations in the summer.”

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