Hello, everybody! Today I wanted to share a weekend makeover I completed in one day for my friend Cheryl. Do you recall my painted her piano from last year? They have a beautiful pool and a lovely pergola, but her outdoor seating area wasn’t as attractive as she liked and didn’t have any real sun protection, so we were hanging out in the rear by the pool and talking about the sitting area.

We discussed how to modify everything in a day, work with what she had, and stay on budget. I went shopping for a few things and added some grommeted canvas panels used as DIY outdoor curtains. Below is a comparison of the before—with their sectional and wooden pergola—and the after—after I added the curtains and other finishing touches.

arbor before
outdoor room with canvas panels

She already owned a fantastic outdoor sectional set that they had purchased from Costco earlier in the year, complete with Sunbrella cushions; all it needed was some color. I spent an afternoon putting everything together for her after making stops at Lowe’s, Target, and another nearby store for a few necessities. The major accent color was blue because she wanted to include the blue tones from the backyard pool.

outdoor sectional with pillows

The rug was once mine, but after I received my resurfaced our upper patio last year, I wasn’t using it anymore, so I gave it to my friend. The bins and pillows are from Target, with the floral pillow coming from Lowes (originally from Crate Barrel, seen here ).

outdoor sectional and end table

Even one corner of shade would assist because their yard experiences intense afternoon light, which is fantastic for the pool but not so great for relaxing. Cheryl mentioned this. In order to make the area look balanced and enveloping, we opted to add panels to that one corner to block the sun and more panels all around.

I made cost-effective outdoor window treatments in the manner of sailcloth using painters tarps in natural canvas from Lowes. They’re a wonderful price for so much cloth for only $14 apiece. If you want to get creative and add thick stripes or a stenciled pattern, you can paint them as well.

diy grommet top outdoor curtains

With canvas tarps and two grommet kits from Home Depot, they were incredibly easy to make. You’ll need a grommet kit, canvas tarps, hooks to hang the panels from (or a rod), a hammer, scissors, and a big ol’ wood block to pound the grommets into place in order to duplicate the look. I adhered to the directions on the kit, except I made a short snip using scissors rather than the tiny tool provided. It takes approximately 15 minutes for each panel.

grommet top curtain steps

The grommets on the 6 x 9 panels keep them in place, and their breadth and length make them the ideal size to hang from tiny hooks. The panels gather to resemble an indoor window treatment more since there are seven grommets spaced a foot apart but only seven inches away from each other. You can see that Cheryl’s husband also placed bamboo fencing to the pergola’s top to exclude sunlight.

grommet top canvas panels

To make the panels look even, we hung them from the top of one beam and the bottom of the other. To make the canvas panels balanced, I moved the grommets on each by an inch.

pergola with outdoor canvas panels

I believe I made a little money at that pool. 🙂
Now that summer is here, their family has a fantastic space where they can hang out and have parties!

pergola with panels
arbor before

Amazing what a few accents and a little imagination can accomplish in a single day!





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