The Pergola Restoration: History, Construction Plan, and Design Details

Let's skip to the good part where I can finally say that the covered pergola construction and styling is completed and I'm truly loving this new outdoor space.

The History:

Early in the renovation process of my house I noticed some oddly and poorly patched cedar shakes in the front corner of my house where the side patio was located. There were also notches in the trim detail along the porch band and a completely dilapidated corner of the house due to so much rain over the years and the house not being protected. What did all of this suggest? That once upon a time a covering of some sort for this space had been removed.

Construction Plan:

With no pictures to guide me, I met with my contractor to discuss what my options were in order to restore what I'm calling the covered pergola and make it seem as timeless as the house itself. After our brainstorming session, I drafted a design plan based on the structural guidelines he suggested along with the historic details that were important to me. Together we developed a construction plan and made small tweaks as needed once the work began.

It was very important to me to repeat the architectural details such as the interlocking columns of my front porch and to make sure the band of the new structure aligned with the original front porch.

When you're adding onto a historic home, the goal should always be to look as authentic as possible to the original house.

I also wanted it to have the feel of a pergola but without the slope showing from the front, and for the new structure to function as a covered outdoor space, so I settled on a covered pergola. The hope is that as the yellow jasmine and roses grow up and around the columns, it will look like a traditional pergola in time, but also protect the house from the elements.

The other unique feature we came up with was to have an opening within the adjacent band that would allow the metal roof to protrude past the band to allow the rainfall to run off. With everything painted white you can hardly tell it's there but it's still able to keep water off the porch. I've decided to wait and see how it works before deciding whether or not to add gutters.

We used decking boards attached to the top of the rafters to give the feel of a beadboard ceiling without having to cover the rafters and once everything was painted white, it really made the space feel bigger. A much needed ceiling fan was added to cool the space off for those hot summer days.

Design Details

Once construction was completed, I was able to get to work on styling the space. The first step was to add two lanterns on each side of the red patio doors. They have the look and feel of gas lanterns at a fraction of the cost and look beautiful at night.


I then added a vintage glass doorknob and a new surface mount door lock to the patio doors.

If you are unable to find true authentic door hardware, look for vintage inspired ones like some of the options here:


I was then able to bring in furniture I already had including a round glass table with black iron chairs and centered those on a new round outdoor rug that fits the space perfectly.


In one corner I added a chair and small table for extra seating and finished off the other three corners with flowers and plants. To wrap things up, I hung string lights on the ceiling which lights up the space at night and creates an intimate space for evenings with family and friends.