When homeowners Amy and Paul, moved across the country from Michigan to Wine Country, Amy knew that there would be tradeoffs such as warm, California sunshine, but a smaller home. Upon arriving to her new Sonoma County home in Windsor, she wanted to maximize the square footage inside and out, which is what ultimately led her to designing an outdoor living room in her new backyard. Amy desired a peaceful and low-maintenance outdoor living space with some type of shade structure, like an arbor or a gazebo. She turned to Pinterest for inspiration and stumbled upon an image of a backyard with a beautiful redwood pergola. From there, the decision for her backyard re-design became easy: a redwood pergola would be the focal point of her outdoor living space.


Amy’s backyard is truly an outdoor oasis. In addition to the Humboldt Redwood Pergola, there are three different conversation areas: the first is directly under the pergola where there are two couches and a fire table. The second, is a bistro table in the left-hand corner by the fence and flowers, perfect for two to share a glass of wine and appetizers. The third area is in the opposing corner: two lounge chairs are set up for sipping iced tea while basking in the Northern California sun.


Amy explained that she and her husband decided on redwood for the project instead of a different kind of wood for a series of reasons— “redwood is the best of the best,” she explained. “Not being from here originally, we didn’t realize that redwood really is the product of the region. It’s something that we wouldn’t have been able to use in Michigan, and now we are here in Sonoma County, we have that option. As home owners, we also wanted the Northern California feel, which we now have.”


Amy was also inspired to use redwood for its naturally beautiful aesthetic and low maintenance qualities: “The color is gorgeous. We decided to do a slight stain to extenuate the vibrant, red color. If we had not done the stain, it would be just as beautiful, but slightly lighter.” Beyond its beauty, the shade structure in general is low maintenance because it will stand up to the elements of time, weather, rot, and insects. “I knew that if we used redwood, I would be able to trust it 100% and not worry about frequent maintenance.” The design of the backyard overall, fulfilled Amy’s desire to have a simple, yet gorgeous backyard that wouldn’t require daily work and hassle.  


In addition to its beauty, Amy’s backyard is sustainable and doesn’t require a ton of water. Since the redwood pergola is the focal point of the outdoor space, rather than a lawn, she doesn’t have to worry about excessive water use, which is an important factor as California heads into the dry season. Likewise, the redwood used for her pergola and fence are sustainable products alone because they come from an eco-friendly company—Humboldt Redwood—who is Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C005200) certified. 


Now that the project is complete, Amy loves her outdoor living room. “My favorite part about our outdoor space is the outcome” she explained. “When we first moved here, I just wanted to move everything out of the backyard. It wasn’t a nice space and had not been utilized well.” Now her backyard is used as an additional part of her home: “It’s like we added another room on the house. Sometimes I don’t want to go inside.” For the future, the only modification that Amy plans on adding are a few bamboo plants along the fence.


For ideas on ways to start designing your own redwood oasis, visit our website where you can find pergola kits and inspiration designs https://www.getredwood.com/start-my-project