5 Ways to Upgrade Your Pergola

Setting up a pergola as a shade structure to sit and enjoy is great, but why not take it one (or five) steps further and make your pergola the ultimate gathering space! Here are 5 upgrades we made to our pergola that make it the comfiest spot in our home.

1. Plan. Run Electrical

This one is probably the biggest hassle, especially if you aren’t an electrician, but running electrical to our pergola was the best thing we could do It allows us to have a light switch, music, decorative lights, flood spot lights, AND a space to charge our phones / plug in anything.

Here’s how we did it. Before our concrete and grass was in we ran a 1″ electrical conduit piping in the dirt from our outside electrical box to where we knew we’d put a pergola post. We used a trencher (you can rent these at Home Depot), to dig these pathways in the dirt. Wait to connect it to the breaker box until all the wiring is done (so you didn’t have live wire in the yard unattached).

2. Sunshade Projector Screen

We have a sunshade on the west side of our pergola to help creating some shade as the sun is setting. But guess what?! It also doubles as a projector screen! We got an outdoor projector and set it up out here for summer movies. It does need to be pretty dark outside to have the video image pull up on the screen, but it’s so fun!

3. Amazon Alexa

There’s lots of different outdoor speakers and bluetooth sets up you can do for your backyard, but if you are like us sometimes simple is better. We used the electrical outlet on the pergola to plug in an Alexa speaker so now we don’t have to sync our phones via bluetooth, we get to just yell “Alexa, play country music” and bam! We have music! Best part is if you have a pergola like ours that has the tin roof, the Alexa and sit up on one of the legs safe from wind, rain, and snow. We’ve had ours outside for 3+ years and haven’t had any issues with it getting wet. (we have the 2nd generation Echo).

4. Motion Flood Lights

Using that same electrical we plugged in two motion flood lights that shine onto the playlet and trampoline area. The kids can run out and play and have light! Plus it never accidentally gets left on.

5. Lights, Misters, TV, Fan

While I don’t have the latter 3, there’s just something about some outdoor string lights that just sets the mood. We found some inexpensive ones from Target that are charming and $15 a box! 3 years in we haven’t had a bulb burn out!

I’ve had many friends/family also put on misters and a fan into their pergola which if you live where it is HOT would be a must in my book!


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Hopefully this helped give you ideas that will help transform your outdoor space into the ultimate oasis.

Be sure to check in on Instagram and say hi!

Looking to freshen up your backyard lawn in addition to your Pergola Update? Check out the Green Grass Playbook–the step-by-step guide that’ll get your grass as nice and new as can be!


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Meet Christine Gummersall, a mother of 4, coach's wife, former Labor and Delivery nurse, and self taught DIYer who decided to take a sledge hammer to her 1950's bathroom over a decade ago and hasn't stopped tackling her honey-do list since.  Folow along as christine breaks down the pretty afters, by showing the whole how to process and empowers you to STOP waiting, and START creating a home you love, with your own two hands! 

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