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Creating a Backyard Oasis – Part 2: Pergolas and Patios

In part one of our series, we explored the versatile aspects of outdoor kitchens and how they will transform your lifestyle. “Complete” outdoor living spaces have taken homeowners beyond just installing a pool. Now the pool is the centerpiece to your unique corner of paradise. (It also elevates your stay-cations to something special!)

Although this backyard oasis trend was once more prominent in states with longer pool seasons, today’s feature-rich outdoor kitchens and fireplaces are durable enough for use practically year-round! They become a true extension of your home’s square footage.

Outdoor Kitchens

An outdoor kitchen may not be the right solution for everyone. As with any home improvement, you must consider the cost justification factor. If a kitchen suits your budget, will you use it enough to justify the expense? Or is it something you have lived without, so you think you can continue to do so? Or better still, is an outdoor kitchen something you don’t really need, but you really want? Then, decision made!

Regardless, the outdoor trend is here to stay. It started years ago with “bringing the outside in” as interior decorators incorporated plants and trees in their design while minimizing window treatments. This pumped up the natural light volume and opened up spaces to include vistas of a property’s grounds.

Today we’re bringing the inside, out. Years and years of being tethered to technology has hindered people (especially children!) from enjoying the outdoors and all that beautiful Vitamin D. Now that we’re WiFi-driven, we can work outdoors in the fresh air and lounge poolside while keeping up on our social connections.

Whether it’s the chicken or the egg effect, outdoor furnishings have really stepped up. Once the stylings reserved for the rich and famous, now anyone can affordably outfit their backyard with textiles and furniture from places including Lowe’s and Target and Wayfair.


Like any home improvement you consider, the budget propels the decision. If an outdoor kitchen would not suit your needs or your budget, you may want to consider adding some architectural interest to your backyard.

Crown molding and coffered ceilings are dimensional design devices that bring depth and appeal to interior spaces. They dress them up with trim that helps highlight room features or hardware like cabinetry.

What’s compelling about pergolas is that they dress up an outdoor space but offer the added bonus of functionality.

If you haven’t looked at modern pergola designs in a while (or ever!), you will be impressed by the assortment and the ways in which you can use them.

The essential domestic periodical, Better Homes and Gardens was founded in 1922. During its almost 100-year history the magazine has showcased the latest trends and ideas for family life. This collection entitled Pretty, Inspiring Pergola Ideas serves up an incredible assortment of pergolas to suit the topography of just about any backyard. We selected our 5 favorites of the 21 depicted:

Five Great Uses of a Pergola

  1. Pergola and Landscaping

A great use of a pergola is holistically integrating one with nature. In this example, just because it’s in an awkward spot, there’s no good reason for cutting down a lovely shade tree to make way for a sitting area. So, what do you do? You build a pergola that incorporates the tree into the design to get the best of both worlds – a cozy place to lounge alongside a leafy canopy.

  1. Pergolas as Transitions

In another example, a home was in need of a little segue from the rear entry of the home to the existing deck. A pergola fashioned from the same type of wood and color scheme as the house was constructed to bridge that visual gap between the two, while offering a nice touch of shade.

  1. Pergolas and Drapery

Even the most simplistic can be dressed up when the structure of the pergola is used to support dramatic textiles. In this example, the lines of the pergola are very clean, while a horizontal rod is used to hang the draperies. Tie-back hardware was mounted into the vertical beams, so the fabric could frame but still reveal the rest of the yard. Unpretentious yet elegant, this is an affordable solution that looks expensive.

  1. A Pergola-Deck Combo

There’s no “wrong” place for a pergola. While it’s often pictured as adjacent or even connected to a home, you can make a statement when it exists as its own entity. With a few steps built up to an elevated deck, a pergola can provide an open enclosure by framing the sides and the top. While remaining open, the structure defines the deck and creates a special niche.

  1. Pergola Passageways

These versatile structures can also be dynamic when they are used as transitions. In this design, a tall pergola ties front and backyards together. Surrounded by flowering blooms, the trailing ferns and ivy naturally wind their way through the lattice. The addition of trellis accent boards mounted on the side of the home make for a standout look.

Pergolas and Patios

These two design devices go hand in hand. Like a chaise lounge and an umbrella, they don’t only suit one another, they function together seamlessly. If you have an existing patio in your backyard, you’ll really get it up on its feet with decorative framework to give it some personality!

Pergolas need not only be relegated to the backyard. Many homes have plain concrete slabs in their front yards. Adding a pergola with a suspended porch swing could be just the embellishment you are looking for to transform your front yard. Throw in some bright touches of color with ceramic pots and blossoming flowers to complete the picture!

As we’re fond of saying, your backyard is a work in progress. You don’t have to create everything at once. Whether or not you have a pool or an outdoor kitchen, you can start small by defining your sunny backyard space with cozy seating areas or by giving ordinary patios a special boost with your distinctive twist on a backyard pergola!

We are pool financing solution experts who also provide the means to install outdoor kitchens, pergolas and patios, pavers and masonry, and outdoor fireplaces. Low rates and long terms make the decision to renovate a home much easier.

At Lyon Financial, we love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about installing your corner of paradise!

Up next! Part 3 of our three-part series on Creating a Backyard Oasis: PAVERS, MASONRY, AND FIREPLACES.