This disused corner of a garden has been transformed into a chic suntrap with a DIY pergola

A DIYer has reimagined their space with a pergola and monochrome outdoor furniture

finished DIY pergola in garden with outdoor furniture
(Image credit: Allison Wilson)

As one of the most frequently googled garden renovation projects of the year, a pergola is a brilliant way to maximize your outdoor space. A savvy DIY fan has made their very own pergola from scratch, opening up the sunniest spot in their garden for outdoor get-togethers.

Allison and her husband brought their pergola ideas to life over lockdown, and it's given them a lovely spot to unwind in outside without compromising on comfort. Take a look at her projects @allie_wilson_home.


kids sat at a fire in a garden

(Image credit: Allison Wilson)

Things were looking a little different pre-pandemic, but the family has clearly always enjoyed spending time in the great outdoors. 'The pergola was a labor of love through lockdown, which my husband built single-handedly,' Allison tells us. 

The pair hoped to create an area they could really relax in, in the spot where the sun hits the garden in the afternoon. This was previously a completely unused part of the garden (pictured above). 

A whole load of hard graft later and it's a chic hangout for the whole family – including their very cute dog. Although the pergola is a large structure, the whole space now makes so much more sense.


pergola and decked area in sunny spot in the garden

(Image credit: Allison Wilson)

There's still plenty of lawn area for the kids to play on, and raised beds for bringing extra color. Pergolas are a great shade idea for gardens for those scorching summer days, as well as providing cover from the rain if needed.

They're also a brilliant option for zoning larger outdoor spaces. When it comes to how to build a pergola, it's relatively straightforward for anyone used to doing a little DIY around the house.

Allison says the cost of the materials to make the pergola came to around £1,000. Then they spent some money finishing it off with the best garden furniture, an outdoor rug and accessories. 

pergola with outdoor rug, furniture and coffee table

(Image credit: Allison Wilson)

The fresh new wooden fencing goes a long way, and we're big fans of the outdoor mirror, which looks a little like a window, adding a sense of depth and space. Sticking to a geometric pattern and stripes for the soft furnishings has made the space feel very cohesive and restful.

But, most importantly, there's ample seating around the outdoor coffee table, which makes for a really convivial space for enjoying lazy evenings with friends and family. Festoon lights from Amazon (opens in new tab) similar to those used here are ideal for lighting up your outdoor space come evening. 

As well as helping you see what you're doing out in the garden, festoon lights are also a surefire way to create atmosphere. Allison and her husband's garden now looks totally unrecognizable – we think the weeks of DIY certainly paid off.

Millie joined Gardeningetc in early 2021. She loves creating a vibrant display of containers in her small urban garden and is always picking up new plants at the local garden center. She's never without some fresh flowers at home and her favorite houseplant is her variegated pothos that's currently climbing its way over her bookshelves.