New House: Backyard Trellis

One of the last DIY projects I tackled for our new/old house in Oshawa was attaching trelliswork to the rear extension of the house. This room was a 1950s addition and I was a little bummed that it lacked the architectural detail found on the rest of the house — particularly the windows.

Since I planned to set up a table and chairs in this area (under the romantic canopy of the sturdy maple tree), I wanted something prettier to look at as a backdrop. I decided to add painted trelliswork for a classic, old world garden feel.

Adjacent to the house is the freestanding garage. It lacked some detail as well. It’s the spot where we use our barbecue, so I brainstormed some ways to create a backdrop for grilling and tie the two structures together.

You can see from this photo that it was a pretty simple setup. After a trip to The Home Depot, I used exterior screws to attach blocks of wood to the façade of the house, pre-drilling into the masonry as I went along. Next, I cut sections of latticework from the 8′ x 10′ sheets to fit each section and screwed those into the wooden blocks (rather than the wall itself). This way I had fewer screw holes in the wall, and more importantly, there is a pocket of space behind the trelliswork to allow plants to grow. This way they can wrap their way around the trellis and the house can breathe a little.

I also added some pine shelf brackets under both windows to support window boxes I would construct out of more pine boards. This way the windows would be a little more dressed up and framed with foliage.

And there you have it! I covered the whole wall with trelliswork by myself in a day! I was even able to use a handsaw to cut the wood to fit, so no fancy tools needed. As you can see, I added a round mirror with a detailed frame that I found at HomeSense. The plan is to paint everything — trelliswork, window boxes and mirror frame — in the same dark green paint.

Over on the garage wall, I opted not to cover the whole façade in trelliswork, but rather to create a border around the door. I also used this old trellis I found in the garage when we moved in and attached it to the wall so it would be directly in line with the barbecue. I added two punched galvanized metal candle sconces from Pottery Barn for some evening romance. All the trelliswork on the garage would also be painted the same dark green.

And here’s the paint: A rich, classic park bench green that I applied with both a thick nap roller on an extension and brush. You could certainly paint the sheets of trelliswork before attaching them to the wall, or leave the natural wood to fade with age. I used cedar lumber so this would have worked, too. But you know me, I love colour!

Now I don’t have an after photo with the green paint to show you just yet — although you can see a snippet of it in the June 2011 issue of House & Home. And I’ll be sure to show updated photos as this summer gets rolling!

Take a virtual tour of my first floor and second floor on Online TV.

Photo credits:
1-7. Michael Penney