Easy Exterior Facelifts

Amanda Harper



These garden and deck features offer a lot of beauty. The open framework of the top can be covered with canvas, vining plants or plexiglass to create shade and protection from rain. But many homeowners leave them open to enjoy the dappled light they provide. Pergolas may be free-standing or attached to a pre-existing structure. The open design makes them somewhat resistant to wind and heavy snow, unlike other covered structures.

The materials you use to construct your pergola greatly change the impression. Sturdy timber offers an Old World appeal while sleek steel can look more modern. Do you want a Mediterranean feel, or something like a secret spa escape?

We’re loving pergolas that offer interesting twists on the classic. Archways, rustic roofs, interesting lighting and more can enhance this outdoor feature. 

Forbes estimates adding a pergola to your home typically costs between $1,500 and $6,000, depending on a number of factors. But the relaxation benefits of this exterior facelift are truly priceless!



It’s easy to overlook your roofline as a spot for potential beautification, but it can be the site of some real magic! Cupolas are little boxes or domes that add some style to your roof. They might add ventiliation, cover unsightly appliances or offer a little skylight, but usually, they’re just there for the flair! 

By contrasting with the material of your roof – say, by employing copper – you can add a ton of visual interest. If you love the look of a weathervane, this is the perfect spot to place one.



Everyone needs a little space of their own. She-sheds are the fabulous extension to your home that you didn’t know you needed.

As the name suggests, she-sheds take the form of a shed, enclosed gazebo or other structure separate from your house. But the “why” is where the fun begins!

She-sheds serve absolutely any purpose you desire. Whether you’re an artisan who needs studio space or you simply want a private room for catching up on gossip, she-sheds are the ultimate “treat yourself” moment. It’s a space to be unapologetically you – whether that means potting up plants or simply curling up with a good book.

Many people purchase kits or pre-built structures to start with, though having one custom-built means you’ll get everything you want – and nothing you don’t. If you want electricity, this might be your best bet.


Arbors & Trellises

If you love plants, arbors and trellises are your garden BFFs. Not only do they add beauty in your outdoor spaces, but they offer climbing and vining plants the chance to really shine.

Generally speaking, arbors and trellises are an inexpensive way to add a big visual impact. It can take some time to get your plants trained to the framework, but it’s well worth the wait!

Notice a little overlap between the design of certain arbors and pergolas? The open woodwork of a trellis often looks similar to what’s used to construct a pergola. The difference tends to be the overall size; arbors are generally fairly narrow archways whereas pergolas are intended to offer lots of sitting space beneath. And while you can use a pergola to help train plants to grow, almost all arbors and trellises are used for this purpose.