Gorgeous white steel pergola and outdoor patio styled in a french country motif! Great pergola styling ideas, tips, and tricks.
This post is created in partnership with Backyard Discovery. Backyard Discovery offers quality, durable, ready to assemble outdoor play and patio equipment constructed with exceptional materials. Use code Homestories10 to save 10% off your purchase sitewide!
When we purchased our home nearly four years ago, I envisioned a beautiful white pergola on the patio. Pergolas add so much character, charm, and substance to an outdoor space. They help ground an outdoor room, provide shade and structure, and increase the comfort and enjoyment of time spent outside. Adding a pergola even has the potential to add market value to your home! As families spend more time at home, outdoor living spaces have become increasingly more desirable making homes with beautiful outdoor spaces more marketable. Today we are going to explore choosing the perfect pergola, French country tips and tricks for pergola and patio decorating, and mood lighting tips for your pergola.
Choosing the Perfect Pergola
Earlier this spring, I talked about building our own pergola, but first decided to explore some prefabricated options. I was already familiar with Backyard Discovery for their wooden swing sets, playsets and playhouses, but recently discovered that they also offer a large home and patio collection, including pergolas, gazebos and accessories.
We chose to go with the 14×10 Hawthorne Traditional Steel Pergola to place over our outdoor dining table. This is the hottest part of our patio that really needed a better shade option. Here are some of the reasons why we love it:
- Requires ZERO maintenance and easy to clean
- Made of 100% Galvanized Steel making it stronger than other aluminum or vinyl products on the market
- Rust proof, corrosion proof, and UV harm proof
- Includes an exclusive PowerPort for charging devices, powering up music, plugging in lights, or anything else to add to the fun
- Hidden joints for a sleek appearance
- Beautiful, traditional design that matches my aesthetic
- Easy to assemble using the BILT app
- White color acts as a reflector and doesn’t block light to the adjoining room inside
Our pergola arrived in several heavy boxes, ready to assemble. While I tackled a different project for work, my husband and 16 year old son spent a full day assembling the pergola together. The assembly directions were clear and easy to follow and the pergola was built quickly and without any issues. We are a “DIY family” with above-average assembly skills, but my son did a lot of the assembly himself and found it straightforward. You can use the BILT app for 3D instructions and guides.
If you’re considering adding a pergola to your outdoor area this summer, do it! Backyard Discovery has a wide variety of both wood and steel pergolas in a variety of finishes. Use promo code Homestories10 at checkout to receive 10% off of your purchase sitewide. I noticed that some items I love are currently out of stock, but I’m told that there is a restock coming for many sold-out items in mid-June. If something you’re interested in is currently out of stock, be sure to check back for restocked items!
French Country Tips & Tricks for Pergola and Patio Decorating
Tip 1: Choose a tight color palette of white, neutrals, blues, or grays.
This decorating tip never expires! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you want to instantly create a pulled together look, keep your color palette tight. Modern French Country colors utilize grays, greiges, whites, blues, and blush pinks. Pops of color are often added with flowers and foliage.
Tip 2: Choose French country patterns such as stripes, checks, toile, lace, florals, and provence patterns. French country furniture is often upholstered in brushed linen, making neutral outdoor furniture cushions the perfect backdrop for this look!
The modern French country style is elegance meets rustic. I used gray toile, gray check, and textured white pillows to add some French country flair to my outdoor furniture and hammock. The fringe on the hammock and market umbrella complement the fringe on the toss pillows and white pattern on the outdoor rug.
I bring my toss pillows indoors during inclement weather, so I don’t worry too much about using only outdoor pillow covers and inserts.
Tip 3: Choose planters that mimic rustic country textures such as galvanized metal, zinc, concrete, limestone, painted terracotta, market baskets, and rustic wine barrels.
I used mostly metal buckets and olive buckets for planters with a few wood and basket accessories. I like how the galvanized planters match my dining chairs. I often just purchase metal mop buckets at Lowe’s and use them as shade planters, or planter covers. They are inexpensive and look great! Just be sure to drill plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the buckets before planting.
The baskets that contain the climbing star jasmine are temporary, but the middle insert is removable making them the perfect cover until they can be planted. You can find many plastic and all-weather wicker planters on the market to mimic this look.
Tip 4: Choose container plants that fit within a French Country aesthetic such as hydrangeas, roses, lavender, peonies, and other garden blooms.
I used purple hydrangeas, lavender, star jasmine, ferns, and some delicate purple and pink cottage flowers on my patio. I used more color in the containers around my seating area.
I will plant the hydrangeas at the end of the season, but for now they look beautiful as container plants!
Mood Lighting Tips for Your Pergola
Tip 1: Add lots of string lights!
In my opinion pergolas and string lights go together like campfires and s’mores! You simply shouldn’t dare have one without the other! I spent entirely too much time trying to decide exactly which kinds of lights I wanted and how I wanted them to hang. I’m not sure this is the final look, but for now I’m thrilled with it. I used three strands of these outdoor lights and simply wove them back and forth across the pergola to create swags.
Tip 2: Add a “chandelier”!
The chandelier over the table is simply an LED battery-operated lantern tied to the rope. I can easily switch out my “chandeliers” with other lanterns to create different looks if desired. I purchased the rope I used to hang the chandelier and hammock on Amazon. I also purchased metal rope clips to secure the rope here.
Tip 3: Add tea lights and candles!
Tea lights are a beautiful way to add more ambiance to your outdoor space. I like to use them on the dining table and even on the patio end tables. You can choose citronella tea lights for added bug repelling protection.
Tip 4: Add solar powered lanterns!
I love our solar powered mason jar lanterns and use them frequently to add extra light around the patio. They are perfect hanging, or placed in a dark corner.
Patio and Pergola Sources
- Pergola: 14×10 Hawthorne Traditional Steel Pergola by Backyard Discovery
- Outdoor Sectional and Chairs with Legs: Davenport Sectional by BH&G and here is a similar one if sold out.
- Outdoor Sofa without Legs: Purchased at At Home. Here is a similar one,
- Cream Outdoor Rug: Cable Knit Ivory Indoor/Outdoor by Orian Rugs
- Fringed Market Umbrella: Mine is no longer available but here are some good options:
- White Fringe Pillow Covers on Amazon
- White Floral Toss Pillows from Christmas Tree Shops. Here is a similar idea on Amazon.
- Toile Shams from Pottery Barn many years ago. Here is a similar one by Pottery Barn.
- Gray Check Pillow Covers on Amazon
- Gray & White 7×10 Indoor Outdoor Rug at Target
- Farmhouse Outdoor Table and Bench purchased at Walmart several years ago in store.
- Metal Galvanized Chairs at Walmart
- Fringe Hammock purchased at Walmart for under $25.
- String Lights by BH&G