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The Rooftop Pergola Reveal!

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.

When we last talked about Project Pergola, we left you with a rooftop deck that went from bare to pow! As a refresher, we’ve been working with our friends Josh and Liz to give their upper deck a transformative makeover that would provide them with shade, comfort and an intimate gathering hub for their loved ones. Perhaps our motivation was ever-so-slightly selfish, as we can see their rooftop from our own back patio (ha!), but seriously, their former setup was never to their tastes – or if we’re all being honest, it was mostly an afterthought. We wanted to help them change that, and we knew that adding a cedar pergola kit from Lowe’s would not only be a fantastic starting point, but it would lay the groundwork for every element we layered in thereafter.

As I shared sneak peeks in our Stories, we received so many questions on the rug, table and planters, and yes, it’s all from Lowe’s! (All items are sourced at the end of this post.) We knew Lowe’s would be our one-stop-shop for All Things Outdoors, and we also knew we’d get it all at the best price. From the evergreens to the wind chimes, we had so much fun shopping in-store and online to pull this look together. Before I dive into the details, let’s take a look at where we started:

Rooftop Patio | Before

A DIY pergola for a rooftop patio | via Yellow Brick Home, in partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement

And here’s how Project Pergola looks today! (How cute is this family?)

Rooftop Patio | After!

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

The Prep Work

Living in the city means dealing with a lot of above ground power lines, cables and all-around ‘grit’ (as we like to call it), and we wanted to shield them from some of that unsightliness. The pergola kit itself was the initial step in keeping things feeling airy, while also providing that first visual barrier, but we knew that greenery would go a long, long way.

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

One of their biggest wishes was a place for their family to dine al fresco, but what if they have friends over? As soon as we spotted this outdoor dining table, we knew it was The One. It extends an additional 2′ with the help of a hidden panel (we were so amazed by this), and it’s incredibly well made for a great price! Of course, what’s an outdoor dining experience without the glow of cafe lights? So we added these, too.

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

We surrounded two sides of the table with comfortable sling stacking chairs, and we added these upholstered chairs (rated for exteriors, hooray!) on either end. The 9′ x 12′ rug baaarely fit between the legs of the pergola, but we were able to slide it under the corner beams. We chose the tone-on-tone gray rug so that the natural wood tone of the pergola and the greenery could really shine!

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

Speaking of, we chose hearty evergreens and tall arborvitae so that they could add color year-round, but for a fun pop, we picked up two large lilac bushes in a vibrant purple – the lilacs are those taller twiggy plants. Although it’s too early in Chicago for those lilac blooms, they are starting to show the first signs of life!

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

And that modern trellis that we added on one end of the pergola? We think that will be a great spot for our friends to add climbers. Liz is a lover of roses; don’t you think climbing roses would be so fun and add so much?

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

Two strings of these cafe lights add the perfect amount of ambience in the evenings. We debated using only one strand, but once we filled the slatted roof of the pergola with a second line, we knew that was the right choice. (We love seeing them glow from our own back window!)

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

The sling-style seat of the stacking chairs will be cozy for late night conversations, and we like that the table easily offers space for two more. We layered on a couple of lumbar pillows, too, which we think the kids can use as floor cushions, if they’d like.

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

For the final touch, we couldn’t resist hanging swings from the strong crossbeam of the pergola. We referred to it as our secret project, and it made our whole day week to see their reaction when they first saw them!

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

We’re so happy with how this makeover turned out, and we’re even happier with how truly easy it all was! The entire refresh could fall under a ‘weekend project’, with one day to build the pergola and another to plant greens and style. We see many late nights here with our friends this spring (and summer and fall – and as long as they’ll have us, really).

A rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick HomeA rooftop pergola reveal using a kit from Lowe's! // via Yellow Brick Home

All items are from Lowe’s! Here’s what we used:

freestanding pergola | 9 x 12 rug | expandable patio table | stackable dining chairs | upholstered chairs | tall resin planters | medium resin planters | self-watering black planters | cafe string lights | faux stone end table | bronze wind chime | outdoor lumbar pillows | outdoor black pillows | Monrovia plants (will vary by store)

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  • Allie4.10.19 - 9:42 AM

    Obsessed with those upholstered dining chairs! Was hoping there would be a picture and source of the little plack that your neighbor showed on her snap storyReplyCancel

    • Kim4.10.19 - 9:44 AM

      Hahahaha, I wish! I had taken all the photos, and then before we went to bed that night, we remembered we had gifted them that little plaque! We ran it over to them right away, but sadly, it didn’t make it into any of these photos. Ack! (For anyone reading this and wondering, we nicknamed the pergola A$SAP PERG and had a plaque made for them from an Etsy seller.)ReplyCancel

  • Nikki P4.10.19 - 10:26 PM

    Love those upholstered end chairs! Do you think they would work as kid friendly indoor chairs or do they look like outdoor chairs in person?  Great work on this outdoor space! ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.11.19 - 9:18 AM

      I think those upholstered chairs would look AWESOME as indoor dining chairs! We couldn’t believe they were outdoor grade in person. We’re all about using exterior products inside to keep things family friendly! (Our dining room rug is an outdoor rug!)ReplyCancel

  • Danielle4.11.19 - 7:59 AM

    What a beautiful space! I bought chairs from that same line a few years ago with a bistro table for a small balcony, and now that I have a house with a larger patio I’ve been looking for a table that wouldn’t be huge but could accommodate our extended family for dinner. I just saw this exact table two days before you posted this and am so happy to hear your thoughts on it. The chairs with the same frame material have lasted perfectly through two uncovered winters, so I’m hopeful that the table will last just as well!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.11.19 - 9:19 AM

      We still can’t get over the quality of the table for the price. It is SO well made! Run, run, get it!ReplyCancel

  • Steph4.11.19 - 1:03 PM

    LOVE THIS! (and the new site design) I lived in an apartment in Boston for a bit and if I had any money at the time, this would have been my dream :) Outdoor space during the short summers = luxury. ReplyCancel

  • Katherine4.13.19 - 2:34 PM

    Hi Kim and Scott! Inspiring project as always!! I’m in Chicago, too, and looking at a similar set up on our garage-top deck. I have two very key questions for you: did you have to get a permit to install this pergola? Chicago building laws are so finicky and strict, our neighbor was dinged for  building something like this on his rooftop.
    Secondly: did you insulate those resin planter boxes and/or how do you anticipate having to winterize those trees over the harsh Chicago winter? All we have is deck space, no ground to plant in, so we are solely container gardeners. We’ve had poor luck with leaving containers out over the winter but we would love to incorporate small trees like these ones for visual privacy.
    Thanks SO much- you guys are rock stars! I do really love seeing you help out your neighbors’s places! ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.13.19 - 6:56 PM

      Hi Katherine! That’s so strange that your neighbor was dinged… do you know how large the structure was? We checked about permitting on the city website, and with a structure of this size, a permit was NOT required. That said, I would definitely triple check if you’re unsure about anything! As for the planters, we didn’t insulate, but I’m sort of kicking myself and wondering if we should have. You might remember that we insulated our above ground planter boxes, and most of our plants have been surviving just fine years later! Evergreens and stonecrop are the rock stars in our garden, whereas coneflowers and more delicate ground cover have died off over the years. I think, when in doubt, insulate. Here’s more on how we did that: https://www.yellowbrickhome.com/an-easy-built-in-bench-diy/ReplyCancel

  • Megan4.18.19 - 1:34 PM

    LOVE those upholstered chairs.  Do you happen to know (with your Lowes connections) if they will ship them again? I keep checking and everything says unavailable.  :( I can’t find them in my area either.  Maybe you have an alternative?ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.18.19 - 3:08 PM

      Oh, man! Such a bummer that they’re unavailable right now. We’ve noticed that Lowe’s stock will come and go, and sometimes it will reappear again! I would recommend keeping an eye on it and hopefully they’ll come back in stock. Either that, or I wonder if you can call your local Lowe’s store to see if they can do an inventory check for you? They may be able to hunt something down. Sorry I can’t be of more help! ReplyCancel

  • Lauren4.24.19 - 2:52 PM

    Did you have to reinforce the existing deck in anyway to be able to support the new load of the pergola? Or did you just plop it down on top? Love the look of this!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.24.19 - 3:48 PM

      That’s a GREAT question. Josh had the rooftop reinforced when they purchased their home, with the intention of one day putting a pergola up there!ReplyCancel

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