Our Porch & Pergola Reveal + A New Outdoor Dining Set

Building a deck was one of those things we had on our (long) list of projects at the Cozy Ranch but it wasn’t something we anticipated doing right away. Our first summer in the house we spent renovating the kitchen and the bathroom, painting and replacing all the trim in the interior, and whitewashing the floors. When the spring rolled around, we wanted to tackle replacing the back door with a slider and when Craig started on that he realized he might as well redo the siding on the back of the house. The shingles were shot and needed to be replaced, but shingles are really expensive (something we were not aware of) so we decided to do board and batten siding with rough cut pine. It will weather to a nice silvery grey and is durable enough to withstand a New England climate. One project led to another (as they always do) and after Craig finished doing the siding we decided to start on the deck.

Initially we planned to use pressure treated wood to save money, but we decided to spend a bit more and invest in mahogany as it will last longer, looks better, and won’t splinter the way pressure treated does (you can walk on it barefoot worry free). Since Craig built it, our only cost was materials and the value we were adding far outweighed the initial expense. Craig drew up a plan for the pergola and started on that after finishing the deck. He used red cedar for the posts and white cedar for the strips. You can see more of the entire process in the highlights on the Cozy Ranch Instagram. As you can see from the before pictures below it was quite a transformation. Craig finished the deck and pergola in July but we just recently got our outdoor dining table and chairs from Article so I wanted to wait to share the space until we had it all set up.


Jess Ann Kirby shares her backyard space before a renovation
Jess Ann Kirby shares photos of her home and yard before renovation
Jess Ann Kirby's backyard before renovation did not include a pergola or deck

We chose the Tavola dining table and Sylva chairs from Article. Because we didn’t stain the mahogany decking it weathered to a silvery grey and the colors compliment the table and chairs really nicely. Article doesn’t have showrooms, so their pieces are priced at a fraction of the cost of traditional retail (and shipping is a flat fee of $49 on most orders). They also offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not 100% happy, you can send your furniture back, they will come pick it up and give you a refund (minus shipping charges -typically $49). The Tavola dining table and Sylva chairs were exactly what we were looking for, a combination of modern and coastal style that’s durable enough for New England weather and most importantly, functional. It really makes our deck feel like an extra room and since our house is small we take full advantage of that. One of the best things about the dining table is despite it’s size and sturdiness it’s easy to move. I don’t like big clunky furniture that’s heavy and cumbersome. It’s nice to have a table and chairs that can easily be moved around. The chairs are also really comfortable to sit in (dinner guest approved).

Jess Ann Kirby reveals her backyard renovation with a brand new deck and an Article Tavola teak dining table

While the weather is still nice we take every opportunity to enjoy our new outdoor space. We did a little decorating for fall with some pumpkins, gourds and mums. I found some pretty string lights to hang around the Pergola which adds a really nice subtle glow as the sun goes down. As you can see from the photos below the Pergola also provides shade and privacy. We get full sun all day which makes the deck almost too hot to enjoy in the summer months. The pergola and the umbrella are perfect for enjoying the space and staying cool even on hot days. We’ve been lucky with beautiful fall weather, hoping it sticks around for a bit longer. Believe it or not, we’re already on to the next project, which is close to finished, stay tuned for our mudroom reveal!

Jess Ann Kirby reveals her outdoor space renovation with a pine board and batten siding cedar pergola
Jess Ann Kirby decorates her newly renovated outdoor space for fall with pumpkins and mums
Jess Ann Kirby completes her backyard renovation with the tavola teak table from article

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  1. Katie Gill wrote:

    This looks amazing!

    10.3.18 | Reply
  2. Rach wrote:

    Your porch turned out amazing! I really like the Pergola! It really does add some privacy and makes the outdoor space look cozy!


    10.3.18 | Reply
  3. Will Butler wrote:

    The deck is great. Seeing the before and after pictures makes it seem even greater.

    10.3.18 | Reply
  4. Kelsey Middleton wrote:

    So beautiful!! I told my fiancé that the one thing I wanted for our house at some point in the future would be a pergola. They are just really pretty spaces that you can do so much with 🙂

    10.3.18 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      They really make such a huge difference. So happy we have one now. Thank you!

      10.4.18 | Reply
  5. Marianne wrote:

    I can’t believe the transformation – it looks absolutely amazing!! I’m in love with that table!

    x Marianne

    10.4.18 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Thank you so much. Quite a project but very happy with how it turned out.

      10.4.18 | Reply
  6. Lynn wrote:

    What a gorgeous deck and yard! I just love it!!

    10.4.18 | Reply
  7. Kristin wrote:

    Are those solar panels on your roof? Do they integrate with your utility provider via grid-hookup/do you have an energy storage situation on-site? (your deck looks absolutely lovely :))

    10.4.18 | Reply
    • Jessica wrote:

      Yes they are solar panels. They are connected to the grid so any energy we produce that we don’t use goes back to the grid and we then get paid for it from the utility company.

      10.4.18 | Reply
  8. If your porch looks this magical and cozy, I can’t wait to see how your mudroom will turn out to be. Your porch really seems like one extra room and that’s something you should definitely take advantage of in the summer. Love the neutrals furniture colors and the Pergola is lovely!

    11.7.18 | Reply