We're Maryal and Chris Carter, the crazy-in-love couple behind the blog and the specs. Our love of chambray and mutual blurred vision unites us, and this is where we share our adventures in love, style, food, DIY and so much more, seen through our bespectacled eyes. Thanks for joining our journey!

Our Exciting Patio Pergola Project: Details, Design Ideas & More!

Our Exciting Patio Pergola Project: Details, Design Ideas & More!

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Our Backyard “Before”

One of the things we love most about calling Phoenix home is the year-round indoor/outdoor lifestyle its warm weather provides. Sure, summer can be a little bit steamy, but the fact that we get to live the barefoot backyard hangout life all year round is every bit as dreamy as it sounds. It’s the magic of Arizona living and the reason why so many people flock to our little desert utopia after spending years braving colder climates! And that magic is one of the reasons we spend so much time designing and curating a backyard oasis that feels every inch as inviting as the inside of our home, and why we’re so beyond excited to dive into a brand new backyard project we’ve been dying to tackle for basically the entire time we’ve lived in this house - the arrival of the cozy, cottage-inspired pergola of our dreams, the brand new, gorgeous Leisure Time Products Sahara Pergola which, as luck would have it, is available right at Home Depot stores throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. Super convenient considering the folks at our neighborhood Home Depot here in Arcadia pretty much know us by name at this point!

Our idyllic little backyard was one of the reasons I fell in love with this house when I bought it 5 years ago, and it’s safe to say that ever since I’ve been dreaming of rounding out the charming garden vibes with a perfectly placed pergola complete with tons of cozy, cottage-inspired design and decor elements that effortlessly elevate the entire space and give our backyard a new centerpiece full of possibilities (and a little extra shade, too). Dinner parties, casual cocktail hangouts with friends and fam, snuggled-up solo backyard reading sessions (my personal favorite when C’s away for work), a peaceful, partially shaded nap spot (another personal fave), a versatile backyard decor dreamscape for themed gatherings and activities of all kinds and so much more, in all seasons! Seriously though – this beauty is 12 ft. by 12 ft. of pure, ultra-sturdy, pre-stained cedar perfection and I’m completely melting with excitement that all of my backyard pergola dreams are about to come true!

Before

Over the next week we’ll be covering this pergola project in serious detail for you guys both here on the blog and on Instagram/Instagram Stories, from our design and decor plan and inspiration to the easier than easy purchase and install process to the wow-worthy transformation of the space, just in case you have big pergola dreams of your own, but like us have searched for an approachable, affordable way to make it happen. Spoiler? We’re still slightly shocked by just how seamless this project actually was in the end! You guys know we don’t always say that about our projects, so when the stars align and a project is as effortless to tackle as it is aesthetically pleasing, we’ll shout it from the rooftops! Let this also serve as our mission to show you how easy it is to completely transform both the form and function of your outdoor living space simply by adding one beautiful, versatile piece, and all in one game-changing day. Yep, delivery and installation takes just one day, friends! That mission is also the reason why we’re swallowing our pride and showing you snaps of our slightly underwhelming backyard patio space today before the pergola makes its grand entrance, so you guys can experience just how incredible this transformation really is next week when we show you the “after” snaps! Seriously… it’s going to be so good! 

What’s held us back from adding the perfect pergola to our backyard plan for so many years? Well, as is the case with any project we’ve dreamed about but procrastinated on in our home, it was a mix of hang-ups - cost, style and size issues, ease of installation, and a general lack of knowledge and guidance about how one goes about adding such a structure to their space in the first place. Ah, the fear of the unknown. The age-old first-time homeowner’s curse! Luckily, what changed the game for us and finally made our dream a reality was finding the perfect pergola in both style and size, with a quick and simple delivery and installation process, that we could coordinate through a trusty home improvement sidekick we already knew and loved and would make the process approachable for us pergola newbies. And just to shoot you straight and give all of our fellow backyard oasis daydreamers out there a really realistic idea of what we’re talking about, the Leisure Time Products Sahara Pergola that we’re having installed in our backyard and its BFF, the Sonora Gazebo with its strong, durable steel roof are both available for purchase at Home Depot in more than 55 Phoenix-area locations, and with delivery and installation included cost $2,499 and $3,499 respectively, which trust me when I say that all-in for a project and pergola of this caliber, is some serious value.

Before

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So today, before we get down to the nitty gritty details next week of the pergola installation and decorating it for an epic al fresco summer cocktail hour with friends and fam to show it off, we’re kicking off this project by giving you guys a sneak peek at all of our design and decor ideas and inspiration for this pretty pergola space so you can see what we’ve been dreaming up! As you guys know, everything in and around our home is cottage-inspired, and not only is this pergola space no exception to that rule, we’re basically considering this backyard hangout hotspot the culmination of all our casual, lived-in, romantic cottage dreams. This space is set to become everything we love about cottage style and the cottage lifestyle wrapped up into one epic project, and we couldn’t be happier about it! So all of the design elements and decor ideas you see here lend themselves to capturing the cottage style ethos - character-packed, casual, inviting, perfect for gathering, built to be used and loved, comfy, cute and versatile as can be. 

Next week we’ll talk you through all of our pergola design and decor decisions in detail, so you know why we included each element, how we styled all of it to create the perfect tranquil mix and how you can tackle this entire project with ease in your own backyard, too! So make sure you check back right here on the blog to see the super exciting “after” and get all the info. We can’t wait for you guys to see it!

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Our Backyard Patio Pergola Project: The Full Reveal!

Our Backyard Patio Pergola Project: The Full Reveal!

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