If you've been reading this blog for more than a week, you may remember that I was recently inspired by the following photo:
A few years back we had a pergola built off the back of our house. We live in a 1955 ranch. One story and a basement. Nothing big on the inside, but it sits on a 1/4 acre lot, which extends long and narrow from the back of the house. Considering that we manage 3 months of Summer-like weather in Portland, tops, this yard becomes vitally important when the weather is good. Northwesterners hibernate in the winter like bears. Movie-watching, beer-drinking bears but, still. When the sun comes out we take our pale, pudgy bodies outside and stay there until it's too cold and/or wet to stand it anymore. This is why we love our big yard, because we absolutely live in it all Summer long. We anticipated that the pergola would turn the concrete slab behind our house into an outdoor room of sorts, but something was lacking. Until I saw the photo above, I didn't know what that something was. You can clearly see though, that while we had decent bones to the space, it just wasn't right.
These thatch-like reed screens are often used for cheap fencing and can be bought at most yard/hardware stores. We got two 6 foot by 15 foot rolls for about $40 apiece and precariously rolled them down the pergola, my husband delicately affixing them to the beams via staple gun. We trimmed the ends, swept up all the pine needles and laid out the plastic outdoor rug I got on sale at Anthropologie two years ago (and then promptly forgot about cause it started to rain again) et voila! Outdoor dining room finally exists!
I still have plans for the space, such as more seating and an outside bar, but for now, I'm happy to have a space to sit outside with enough light to play cards by and enough screen to outwit the sprinkling of Summer rain that will inevitably fall.