Friday, June 13

Nest by Tamara's UNDER THE PERGOLA summer column, plus, the value of adding a pergola to your outdoor space for instant coziness

My love for the Pergola was realized 
a few years ago when we added this one off the back patio at our beach cottage in 
East Hampton...
views of our classic, cottage-style pergola from the front yard.   
adding a structure gives an instant place to entertain, and we've had many lunches & dinners 
"Under The Pergola"
You may have read my stories over the years about the parties I have hosted, many in East Hampton.  With summer kicking in, I'm adding this column to my regular summer content, so please stop back for Under The Pergola stories this summer--a time and place to show smart stylish entertaining, and, of course, tips and tricks on how to do it with less money, but all the while utilizing creativity and great style.  


various parties I've hosted under my pergola
















I am not a landscape designer by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes my interior design skills do expand to the outside.  I've seen the value of adding hedges, plants and flowers in order to create smaller, cozy spaces outdoors, which is not that different from interior design and how we create small rooms within a larger room with seating and furniture arrangement.  
Since we built our beach house in East Hampton almost 15 years ago, and the property was created from "scratch" on a lot that was formerly a farm, we have added landscaping bit by bit to give the outside of our home the same well-worn, almost patina'd feeling we brought inside to our brand new cedar shingle home.  Once the pool in the back yard was added and slate steps inlaid in the grass, we had an instant walkway to our back brick patio that extends off the back door.  Somehow it still felt too open even after adding privet hedge to the sides of the brick patio, but when we erected a white, open slatted pergola over the patio it suddenly became a magical corner and a room outside. 
I love this lattice style pergola and it allows some sun but filters the harsh, strong afternoon rays and the rounded Palladium columns are lovely too but I opted for something a little bit simpler to match my farmhouse style architecture.
 Bridget hanging under the pergola
When choosing the style of pergola there are many options,  from minimalist and Frank Lloyd Wright influenced chunky structures, to English Country painted slatted pergolas.  Whichever you decide, my suggestion is take your cues from the existing architecture of the home.  My home is a simple farmhouse-style home borrowed from the typical Sagaponack cottages that were built over 100 years ago.  The builder literally used this Sagaponack cottage I linked here above as a guide when designing our home.  It's basic cedar shingle frame, warrants less fancy and formal architectural details, therefore, the pergola should follow those lines as well.  We opted for columns that were square not rounded as opposed to those more formal architecture like Palladium or Greek, but, rather, more cottage style and almost unfinished, which was typical of the architecture in the Hamptons during this era (well, before all the mega-mansions with 10 different architecture styles in one home were built, but that's for another story).  
But, the options are almost endless -- there are rounded edges, lattice and while some are made of wood (like mine) there are new PVC man-made materials that do not need to be painted yearly (like mine).  I'm a fan of wood, and it's "old school" but the vinyl options are far better than years ago and they look like wood. 
for recipes and party ideas read my Fourth of July dinner party profiled last summer in Traditional Home's Great Kitchen issue.

 interesting pergolas 
I spotted in my travels:


 check out more of my Pergola favorites on Pinterest
and next on my list is to plant wisteria on my pergola like these shown
stop back soon for Under The Pergola 
party tips and ideas 
and, in the meantime,

Happy Nesting
XO Tamara