How To Plan Your Spring Garden In The Fall

Caring for your tools, storage sheds and preparing the soil

No matter where you live, the cooling temperatures mean the end of the gardening season. Instead of waiting for the weather to warm up next year there is plenty you can do right now to prepare your garden for the spring.

Fall doesn’t mean it's time to pack up your garden and move inside. Even if you don’t plant any fall vegetables or flowers there is plenty you can do to get a jump start on spring. Set yourself up for success next season! Do you have a game plan for next year? How is your storage shed looking? Do you need to replace any equipment? Does your soil need nutrients? Your plate is plenty full!

If you are winding down your gardening for the season and don’t know what you can do during the fall and winter here are a few ways you can be productive and proactive for the next season.

Garden Bed Cleanup

When you have harvested your final vegetable or your last flower has bloomed your garden beds will now remain vacant until the next season. Before you walk away from your garden beds take the time to prepare them as best you can for next season. 

Once you have finished with your garden beds make sure to thoroughly rake any debris or leaves from the soil. Also ensure you pull any and all remaining plants or weeds to make sure the beds are as clear as possible. Clearing out your garden beds now will save you time in the spring and protect the soil for future planting. You will still need to do a bit of cleaning come spring but your beds will be in much better condition.


Plant Early Bulbs

Depending on what you want to harvest next year you may want to start planting bulbs in the fall. Flowers like crocus, daffodils and tulips all require you to plant their bulbs in the fall so they are ready for an early spring bloom. If you want to try planting early spring flowers next year you have to plant them much earlier than you think!


Caption: The Pine Harbor Quivett Cape storage building.

Clean And Store Tools

Even if you don’t live somewhere with snow, cleaning and safely storing your tools is important in keeping them in the best condition. The fall is a great time to invest in a quality storage shed to have a clean, dry and safe place to store all of your outdoor essentials.

If you have a shed make sure that it is free from holes and rot to keep the moisture out. Before you store your tools make sure that you clean them thoroughly and make any necessary repairs. If you use any tools that require gas or electricity make sure that you have a safe place to store them.

Prepare The Soil

One of the best things you can do for your spring garden is to prepare the soil so it has all the nutrients your garden will need come spring. Once you have cleaned out your garden beds be sure to layer shredded tree leaves or compost into the soil and turn it in. During the colder months the leaves and compost will continue to break down and release nutrients into the soil.

If you have a larger space you may want to plant a cover crop to keep the soil in its best condition. Planting a cover crop like clover will add nutrients to the soil like a fertilizer while preserving the soil through moisture, snow and freezing.

Make Plans

Once you have stored all of your tools in your new shed, cleaned your garden beds and planted a cover crop it's time to start planning. Take the time to make a map of your garden or home area you plan on using for next year and mapping out what you want to plant and where. Fall is a great time to do some research to look at the growing season of certain plants and the sun and temperature progression of your area. Maybe you want to try out some new plants next year? This is the perfect time to make sure you are prepared for whatever your plan is next year.

Final Thoughts

Cold weather doesn’t mean you have to give up perfecting your garden. Use the time when the temperature goes down to give your garden beds and tools some much needed TLC. Don’t have a storage shed? Now is the time to install one to protect all of your tools and equipment. If you have ever thought about planting something new, this is the time to do your research to make it happen!


Curb Appeal: Why Making A Great First Impression Is Important

Have you ever been walking or driving down a street where one home jumped out so much that you had to take another look? That is the power of curb appeal!

Say there are two identical homes right beside each other. Everything about these two homes are the same on the inside but the outside of each home is cared for in a different way. One has an old fence with chipped paint, patchy lawn and non-working exterior light by the entryway. The other has a well cared for lawn, classic lantern on a post at the start of the walkway and a well cared for and clean entry gate. If these two homes were for sale, which one do you think would get more attention? Which would sell for more?

Curb appeal has the power to make lasting first impressions. You would certainly favor the home with the more cared for exterior in the scenario laid out above even if everything about the homes themselves were the same. The unkempt home could even be larger and better maintained on the inside but it still wouldn’t get as much interest as the home with the prettier exterior. First impressions are just that hard to change!

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is the attractiveness of your home from the outside. It is the impression someone has of your property when they are visiting it for the first time. How appealing is your home from the curb? That is curb appeal.

Everything that can be seen from the front yard matters when determining the curb appeal of a home. This includes landscaping, paint, exterior structures, paving and layout. This could include large things like fencing, stairs and the home’s paint or siding and smaller things like attractive light fixtures, mailboxes and decorative elements like planters.

Why Does Curb Appeal Matter?

Curb appeal may not seem like the most important thing on the planet but it has a huge impact on how people perceive you and your home. If you are concerned with property values or the sellability of your home, curb appeal becomes even more important.

Curb appeal deals in first impressions, which are notoriously hard to change. The first impression someone has of a person or a place colors how they perceive them for weeks, months, even years to come. If you are planning on selling your home first impressions are crucial because you don’t have months to try and change a buyer’s first impression of your home.

Impacts Perception

Curb appeal has a direct impact on people’s perception of you as a homeowner. If your home is unkempt and messy from the outside that impression is going to stick with any visitor or passerby. This kind of negative first impression can be hard to shake and overcome. If you are looking to become a more active participant in neighborhood activities, having an unattractive home can really put you at a disadvantage in your neighbors eyes.

Curb appeal also impacts the perceived value of your home. If it looks nice from the outside your home will look like it is worth more than it is. If it is not well maintained it will look like it is worth less.

Critical For Selling

If you are looking to sell your home either now or in the future then curb appeal is something you cannot ignore. In a competitive market the homes with the most curb appeal get the most views and the most interest. More interest equals more offers.

Real estate experts stress the importance of curb appeal and say that it is one of the most critical factors for success if you are trying to sell your home. People make snap judgements, especially when browsing home listings online, in as little as a few seconds. Having a home with a lovely exterior will extend a buyer's interest and make a great, lasting first impression.

This doesn’t mean that only homes with expensive exterior renovations will be successfully sold. Cleaning up the front yard, doing a little landscape maintenance and updating some exterior fixtures is a great way to make your home more appealing to buyers.

Can Increase Your Home’s Value

While it’s not definitive, curb appeal in many cases can actually increase a home’s value. According to the National Association of Realtors just investing in a professional landscaping service can increase a home’s value by 15 percent. If you maintain your landscaping yourself with regularity you could see an increase of 7 percent.

If just maintaining the landscaping can lead to an increase in value just think of what other additions can do for your home’s value! Adding a fence or other outdoor structure can give your home a sizable boost. Smaller things like mailboxes and planters can also work with your landscaping to maintain the manicured appearance.


What Shed Is Right For Your Home?

If you are a homeowner who takes pride in the exterior of your home you probably need space to store equipment, tools and gardening materials. But you don’t have to settle for a shabby little wooden box you can pick up from any hardware store! Invest in the perfect shed for your home and only add to the beauty of your outdoor space.

One of the most practical structures you could ever invest in for your home is a quality storage shed. Sheds are made to store anything you need, adding a little extra space outside of the interior home space. What makes a shed or small building a great investment is that you can get something that compliments and adds to the exterior beauty of your home. Don’t settle for the standard shed that may or may not have the square footage you need – get something custom that fits your requirements and matches your home.

So how do you figure out what kind of shed you need for your home? Here are a few ways to determine what kind of storage shed is right for you.

What Do You Need To Store?

The first step in finding your perfect shed is knowing what you will be using it for. Storage sheds can be used to house a variety of different things from tools to outdoor equipment to pool supplies. Will you be storing large equipment? If so you will need something with large doorways and a ramp so you can easily get it in and out. 

The Pine Harbor Stony Brook shed has an extra wide doorway with a built-in ramp to make it easier to move larger tools in and out including things like lawn mowers and snow blowers. If you are looking to store mainly gardening supplies you might get a ton of use out of something like this custom Potting Shed. This structure is a standard storage shed that can be used for storage as well as potting.

Take an inventory of what you are looking to store and be generous with what you need. It’s always good to have more room than you need than to have too little.

How Much Stuff Do You Have?

Once you determine what you need to store you have to look at what you have on hand. If you have a lot of large tools like lawn mowers then you are going to need a larger shed to house everything properly. Think about how you would arrange your tools and smaller items. Can you use the walls for storage? How about shelving? If you can store vertically you may not need as much square footage.

If you don’t have a lot of tools and supplies you can opt for something compact and attractive like the Pine Harbor Lean-To Cuttyhunk. Small sheds like this are perfect if you don’t have a ton of outdoor space or don’t need to store a lot of things. These can be easily tucked away to leave plenty of outdoor space.

If you have a lot of stuff and need a larger storage shed you can opt for something like the Pine Harbor Cape Codder that measures 14’ x 20’ with plenty of space for all of your storage needs.

Where Will It Reside?

Another big consideration is where your shed will be located on your property. The location will greatly affect what kind of size and shape your new shed will be. If you are using a storage shed to hold pool supplies you will likely need it to be close to the pool. How much area do you have to build on? 

This custom Pine Harbor Small Building with french doors is perfect for a poolside shed because it has ample storage space, large doors so you can move supplies in and out, and is aesthetically pleasing. This is a storage shed you will not get sick of looking at while you spend your summers by the pool.

Final Thoughts

There is a Pine Harbor shed for every homeowner. Don’t just pick up something from the local hardware store and hope that it will suit your needs and match you home. Order a Pine Harbor small building and get everything you need as well as customize its look to perfectly match your home. A storage shed doesn’t have to be ugly or industrial looking! It can be another structure that adds beauty and character to the exterior of your home.

Shop for your perfect storage shed online or visit one of Walpole Outdoors’ showrooms to learn more about your options.


Create The Perfect Home Entry With Flower Boxes and More

Spruce up your home with flower boxes, number signs and color 

Creating a good first impression is always important, but it isn’t always easy. Luckily it doesn’t take a ton of effort to design a home entryway that is memorable. All you need is a flower box, pop of color and a little bit of a green thumb.

One of the most important parts of the exterior of your home is the entryway. This is where guests, friends, and family pass through every time they visit. You want to make sure this space is well manicured and inviting. Your entryway is also a highly visible space for passersby who will make judgments about you and your home subconsciously by what they see outside.

Designing an inviting entryway doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Simplicity, in this case, is beneficial. If you want to give your home entry a much needed makeover, focus on a few of the areas highlighted below. You can do one, or all!

Show Off Your Number

Many homes feature the house number either very close to, or directly at the entryway. Your house number is something very easy to ignore. How often has the number on your home even entered your mind? 

For most homeowners the house number that is currently on the home is the one that was there when they moved in. This detail, though small, is a great place to start updates. Adding a new number sign will give your home an updated look in a place that everyone is looking. You can also consider moving your house number from where it currently is – you are not stuck with what you inherited from the previous owners.

Add Some Life

One way to really add some life to your entry is to add some actual life! Adding a planter or flower box is a great way to introduce some green to your home – and who isn’t impressed by a little gardening! 

Depending on the size of your entryway you can choose to add flower boxes to the nearby windows or planters placed on the ground flanking the door. If you have a good amount of room, one planter on either side of the door looks the best. You want to create symmetry wherever possible.

Using your green thumb you can plant whatever seasonal plants or grasses you feel looks best in front of your home. If you don’t have a green thumb using fake plants is also great! The fun of a window box or planter is that you can easily update the look of your home season to season.

Embrace Color

One of the best ways to really give your home a fresh look is to paint your front door. Now this doesn’t mean painting your front door black or white – this means painting it red or teal or even pink! Select a color that is bright and contrasts nicely with your home's trim and siding.

If you are not ready for a bold door you can always select a color that is a little more muted like a pastel or subtle tone. This pop of color will add some life and cheer to the entry of your home. Plus a fresh coat of paint always makes things look newer and fresher!

Shine Some Light

Even more than looking inviting, home entries have to be safe for egress. You can add some additional safety and some additional style with the installation of a light fixture like a lantern.

Side-mount lanterns are the perfect choice for a home entryway. There are dozens of varieties and styles to choose from and they are a reliable source of light for people entering and exiting your home. This is especially important in the fall and winter when the sun sets much earlier. Lanterns are also extremely stylish and can really elevate your entry space.

Add Whimsical Touches

It’s your home so why not show off a little bit of your personality! While you are crafting your perfect entry make sure you embrace the small details that can add so much fun. A great start is by adding a timeless and whimsical door knocker. These small touches, whether they be a leaf, crab or seashell, will bring out a little more of your personality to your guests.

Wrapping It Up

Creating a beautiful home entry is all about adding simple touches to an already tight space. It’s important that the path to your door remains clear, but what you do with that extra space on either side can make a huge difference. So have fun and let your style guide your choices!


What Your Mailbox Style Says About Your Home

Like the interior, the exterior of a home says a lot about its occupants. Even the tiniest of details can tell passersby a lot about your personal style. One of those details is the style of your mailbox.

You probably wouldn’t think of a mailbox as a beacon of style, but every detail of the exterior of your home has a big impact on curb appeal. If you’ve ever driven to a new home for the first time the first thing you notice is their mailbox because it is the first thing you see. If a mailbox is quirky, upscale or completely busted you will notice and that will color your impression of the home and its occupants without you noticing.

A mailbox doesn’t have to be particularly flashy to make a first impression – a simple, clean and classic shape is enough to give guests a positive impression of your home. You don’t need a mailbox shaped like a boat or racecar to make a lasting impact!

So what does your mailbox say about you and your home? The three available Walpole Outdoor mailbox styles each have their own aesthetic that can make a great first impression for your home.

The Aluminum Strong Mailbox

The Aluminum Strong Mailbox is the most popular mailbox available at Walpole Outdoors and for good reason. This mailbox is a classic piece of decor and looks good in front of any home. 

This mailbox, crafted in heavy duty aluminum, is durable enough to be placed along a busy road but sleek enough to live outside a home in an upscale cul-de-sac. The Aluminum Strong Mailbox comes in a variety of colors to match the exterior of any home.

This mailbox shows off a classic, clean and simple style. It is not showy but its clean lines and rich color makes a great first impression.

The Copper Mailbox

The most flashy and stylish option available is certainly the Copper Mailbox. The Copper Mailbox is crafted in a durable 20-gauge copper that will last for many years, even outdoors. This mailbox starts out as a shiny, gorgeous copper before oxidizing into a rich verdigris finish like all real copper.

A copper mailbox is a stylish statement and really shows off an upscale style. This mailbox, though a classic and clean shape, will make an impression. If your mailbox is placed prominently in front of your home this is a great choice to really amp up your curb appeal.

The Stainless Steel Mailbox

If your style is more on the modern side you will love the Stainless Steel Mailbox. This mailbox is crafted in marine grade 316 stainless steel with a brushed satin finish making it extremely durable as well as sleek and shiny.

The Stainless Steel Mailbox is a great option if your style is more modern and looks especially striking when paired with a black or dark mailbox post. This mailbox would do great in any kind of setting because of its durability but looks especially good when located near the home.

Though the satin steel finish is modern, the box itself is crafted in the classic mailbox dimensions with a red flag. This is a great way to add a touch of style to the exterior of your home without overwhelming it.

So Which Do You Choose?

So, which mailbox reflects the style of your home best? Only you can make that decision. If you are looking for something a little more special and flashy but still timeless you should go for the beautiful Copper Mailbox. This mailbox is an investment in the beauty of your home!

If your style is a touch more modern and you want the exterior to your home to reflect that you should think about adding the Stainless Steel Mailbox. This mailbox is crisp and shiny, sure to attract some positive attention.

And finally if you want something classic, simple and unassuming you should go for the Aluminum Strong Mailbox. Select the color and number customizations to match your home perfectly. This mailbox can match any style home in any setting.

Finishing It Up

Regardless of which mailbox you choose for your home you can’t go wrong with a Walpole Outdoors mailbox. Each mailbox is crafted in the highest quality materials in the classic mailbox shape, perfect if you want to keep it simple and make a statement. Each mailbox is made to be strong so it won’t fall apart after inclement weather. Pair with one of our timeless mail posts for an even more stylish look to boost curb appeal and make a great first impression.

Which mailbox will you choose for your home? Shop all of our styles online or in person at one of our showrooms.


Pergola Ideas: More Than Throwing Shade

Popular for both their form and function, pergolas are a versatile outdoor architectural element. Scroll through any outdoor design magazine and you’ll see them peppered throughout dreamy backyard living spaces, providing shade, comfort, and style to many a lucky homeowner. But pergolas, like the AZEK vinyl pergolas created by Walpole, are good for so much more than simply shade. Read on to learn how AZEK pergolas can bring a whole new definition to your outdoor space. 


An Entrance with Distinction

A custom vinyl pergola like this one defines the home’s entryway with style and architectural interest, but entrance pergolas don’t need to be grand in scale. Even a modest front porch gets a big aesthetic boost from the addition of a pergola. Whether you go big or small, a front-entry pergola is a simple way to add flair to your home’s facade. Add in a vinyl fence and an AZEK gate and you can substantially increase your home’s curb appeal without major renovations.


A Sense of Passage

The most popular use for pergolas is over dining, seating, or other gathering spaces in your backyard. But a pathway pergola creates an outdoor passageway, perfect for thematically connecting one area of your yard to another. A pathway pergola is equally at home as a side entrance to a backyard, a connection from your main home to a guest home or pool house, or a stylish entry that leads from your driveway to your front door. For secure backyard entries, it’s possible to pair a pergola with an AZEK gate, creating a unique and beautiful garden entry that keeps pets and children in and uninvited guests out. 


A Frame for Urban Views

First and foremost, this custom vinyl pergola and board fence provide shade and privacy, a desirable commodity in any city. Moreover, painted in a soft, Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe brown, it frames and complements the urban skyline, adding definition and separate zones to an otherwise blank rooftop canvas. In settings like this one, AZEK vinyl pergolas are a smart choice. Rooftop patios inherently have increased exposure to the elements and air pollutants. AZEK pergolas are made of high-quality, low-maintenance PVC, which looks and feels like wood but lasts years longer. They’re also far easier to clean than wood pergolas, and don’t rot, chip, warp, or crack—which means fewer maintenance workers traipsing through the apartment for repairs.


A Poolside Oasis

A well-placed pergola can draw people to use other areas surrounding the pool, rather than just remain on one side, which not only creates more usable space but adds visual interest and definition. From a user standpoint, this placement invites you to step further from your home (and the distractions and chores that await within it) and into a true, private oasis—even if only for a short while. AZEK pergolas like the one above are a good choice here, too. Since the vinyl lattice backing encourages climbing plants, AZEK will better withstand not only the elements and pool water, but the wear and tear associated with vine growth. A pergola and lattice combination like this one can also perform double duty as a boundary to your pool; add in an AZEK gate and you’re ready for a safe summer. 


A Stunning Spa

A custom vinyl pergola is a perfect addition to an outdoor spa, creating a secluded and intimate space perfect for relaxing day or night. The stunning ones above are custom-crafted AZEK vinyl pergolas, stepped and joined to create a sense of majesty, but you don’t need to think this big when it comes to your own spa design (unless, of course, you want to). Even a smaller-scale pergola offers the style, function, and intimacy that will bring your spa to the next level of luxury.


A Horticulturalist’s Dream 

Gardeners of all levels will swoon over a dedicated spot for wisteria, clematis, honeysuckle, and other climbing flowers and vines. The custom, wide-set vinyl lattice in the one above creates extra room for growth while still letting ample light in, and the pergola defines a dedicated space for a planted garden bed beneath it. 


It should come as no surprise that the designers at Walpole love pergolas, and with so many options, it’s easy to see why. Most importantly, a well-designed and installed pergola extends your living space and increases the amount of time you spend outside. When you add a canopy or retractable shade, your space becomes all the more inviting. If you’re considering adding an entrance, poolside, garden, or pathway pergola to your home, please give us a call for a free consultation. At Walpole Outdoors, we want you to love your landscape.


Why Incorporate AZEK arbors into your landscape designs?

Impressing clients with a great finished landscape design project is a good feeling and a big professional win. Once the spaces and structures you’ve designed are delivered and installed, your clients can start living out the excitement that started when you first showed them your sketches and schematics of gardens, dining areas, and walkways with lush flowers, AZEK arbors, and architectural elegance tying everything together. Satisfied customers mean good recommendations and repeat business.


But as an experienced professional, you know that your work started before those inspiring drawings. In fact, it started long before the customer even contacted you. Your ability to plan and create in your clients’ outdoor areas is the result of keeping your own knowledge of premium materials, products, and processes strong. It requires having a toolkit of versatile, practical go-to options in your head and the confidence that you can get make them real. If AZEK arbors aren’t already part of your project planning arsenal, they should be. This article will show you several important reasons why.


Why Arbors?

Flat-topped or arched, slatted or spindled – arbors are one of the most versatile landscape design elements. As grand, airy outdoor doorways, arbors create transitions like no other piece can. Entrances to enclosures around gardens, pool areas, and patios become more elegant and exciting when framed with a decorative arbor.


By designing an appropriate custom arbor (or selecting an existing style from a premium manufacturer’s design collections), you can direct traffic, frame scenic views, add vertical structure, and shade sitting or dining areas. A custom arbor can also be a destination and focal point of its own, providing a handsome architectural accent or turning an otherwise-empty side yard into an interesting transitional space.


Beyond these design considerations, financial priorities can also make arbors attractive options for both your clients and your own bottom line. Clients who initially imagine a pergola may be better served by an arbor, particularly in cases where a high-quality vinyl pergola might put the overall cost of the project out-of-budget, or simply be too large for the space. An AZEK arbor can also be an excellent addon to larger projects (perhaps creating a great transition to another area of the property and setting the stage for next year’s project). You shouldn’t overlook the opportunity to suggest arbors as improvements to existing fences, walkways, and enclosures, or to be a standalone project when something bigger might need to be put off for a year or two. After all, developing long-term relationships with clients who intend to keep investing in their outdoor spaces is a win-win for both of you.




A fully synthetic form of cellular PVC, AZEK is known to many architects and designers primarily as a trim, flooring, or accent material. But in the hands of the right manufacturer, the full potential of AZEK comes through for you and your clients, providing the look and finish of real wood while providing decades of sturdy, low-maintenance structural beauty.


Not so long ago, when clients and professional heard about a “synthetic fence” or “vinyl pergola,” they might have thought of a hollow, plasticky product, or one that lacked the rigidity and strength to be made into large structures. But things have changed, and hopefully your knowledge of improved options is up to date. In particular, AZEK products made by Walpole Outdoors are engineered, handcrafted, and reinforced for stability, longevity, and impeccable style. They may occasionally be referred to as “vinyl,” but the difference is clear to any discerning homeowner or design pro.


Why Walpole Outdoors?

To smoothly and capably integrate AZEK arbors into your designs and executions, the importance of a good working partnership with the #1 fabricator of AZEK structures cannot be overstated. With a wide range of design collections, exceptional collaboration and customization capabilities, and nationwide jobsite delivery, Walpole Outdoors has been the creating top quality spaces and structures for over 85 years.


In the New England facility of this leading fabricator of AZEK solid cellular PVC, the material is milled and carved with the same care and precision as premium hardwoods. Reinforced with internal metal supports, Walpole’s unique expertise allows the creation of stunning AZEK arbors, railings, pergolas, and other premium products. They even arrive at your jobsite factory-painted in over 100 Sherwin-Williams VinylSafe colors, including a 25-year paint warranty. Walpole’s AZEK products are even manufactured to be easier to assemble and install. So you may be able to delegate the final step of installing and finishing your vinyl pergola or arbor project to fewer and less specialized workers, saving cost and time while remaining confident of the end results.


Inspiring projects using AZEK Arbors

Above all (no pun intended), AZEK solid cellular PVC arbors offer you and your clients endless possibilities to make something you’ll both be proud of. Check out these examples, incorporating both custom arbor designs and prefabricated arbors from Walpole Outdoors design collections: 


  • Standard Verde Green Sheffield Arbor: This spindle top arbor from the Walpole Outdoors Sheffield collection is easily adapted to the grade of this hilly yard. And despite sun, weather, and climbing vegetation, it will keep its beautiful color and finish for decades.
  • Seaside Custom Moon Gate: A gated arbor that combines eye-catching curves above and below creates a truly dramatic statement.
  • Gallery Arbor: A series of arbor arches can be laid out in close sequence with open or joined sides for a range of effects and functions, from grape arbors to enclosed walkways.
  • Historic Restoration Pergola and Gallery Arbor: Often confused with each other, arbors and pergolas also work beautifully together. The coordinated style and sturdy structure of this Walpole handcrafted custom pergola and its accompanying gallery arbor replace an irretrievably deteriorated wood structure.
  • Special Formal Decorative Arbor with Bench : Arbors can evoke the sense of being in an outdoor room. Here, the unrivaled craftsmanship of Walpole made it possible for a designer to create this magnificent garden backdrop and sitting area.


Contact Walpole Outdoors to learn more about how we help design professionals with projects of all sizes.



Dining Out: How Commercial Pergolas Elevate Your Outdoor Dining Experience

Dining al fresco has always been an alluring prospect. Sitting outside, sipping a cocktail, and savoring a bite to eat is like a mini-holiday, whether you’re basking in the daytime sun or under the evening stars. Considering the average American spends 90% of their time indoors*, it should come as no surprise that al fresco, which loosely translates to “in the cool air”, is so enticing. Adding aesthetically pleasing outdoor dining spaces with commercial pergolas can be a game-changer when it comes to your restaurant’s appeal. 

More importantly, outdoor pergolas can help keep customers feel both comfortable and safe year-round. While we’ve all been affected by the pandemic, few businesses have bit hit quite as hard as the restaurant industry. Between shutdowns, reduced-capacity protocols, and germ-leery customers, it’s been an uphill battle for restaurateurs, to say the least. While establishments with outdoor seating (permanent or makeshift) caught a bit of a respite during the warmer months, luring diners outside year-round is challenging. If you’re considering ways in which to keep your patio open, here are a few reasons to add commercial pergolas to your plans.

Expand Your Dining Room, Increase Your Profits

Outdoor pergolas, like the AZEK pergola pictured above, allow you to define a separate dining space outside, increasing your seating options (e.g., giving your customers a choice), as well as your overall seating capacity. When designed and installed by professionals, the right outdoor dining space can also make up for limited capacity and draw customers that might prefer not to share an indoor space. 

Enticement Beyond Cuisine

While food is the star of the show, the ambiance is integral to an overall dining experience. Commercial pergolas can transform your outdoor space into an enticing sanctuary. Whether freestanding or attached, outdoor pergolas are easily customizable, making it easy to turn even the most uninspired patio into a dining oasis. And when paired with a vinyl arbor, you can create an alternate entrance that will beckon passersby.

Another point to consider: in an increasingly visual digital world, the more your establishment creates an appealing aesthetic, the higher the likelihood of social sharing on the part of your customers, taking your word-of-mouth marketing to a new level.


Smart Investment Over Temporary Solutions

Expanding your outdoor dining in any way has obvious and immediate financial benefits, but in a world that’s become used to post-pandemic life, makeshift outdoor setups can’t compete with long-term design solutions. If you are going to invest in commercial pergolas, make sure they’ll last. A Walpole AZEK pergola is made of low-maintenance cellular PVC—it looks just like wood, but won’t warp, rot, chip, or crack over time. That means lasting beauty and a return on your investment. 

Optional Shade Control

Enhancing your pergola with a retractable screen and/or canopy ensures that neither the sun nor the rain can close your patio for the day. Canopies can be motorized or mechanically operated—either option helps provide sun and rain protection. Retractable screens offer a more private experience and help reduce heat and glare—especially when the sun starts to go down. 

Fully Customizable 

Commercial pergolas from Walpole are fully customizable. Whether you choose a cedar or AZEK pergola, a freestanding, attached, or custom model, our structures are available in a variety of Sherwin-Williams colors for a design that truly fits your space


Beyond Commercial Pergolas: Other Elements to Consider

 While a pergola is easily the focal point, here are a few other elements to consider when creating your outdoor design space:


  • A heat source. Whether freestanding gas heaters, a gas firepit, electric heaters, or an outdoor fireplace, depending on your location and time of year, a heating element may be necessary. 
  • An outdoor lounge. For casual cocktails and bites, an outdoor lounge is a welcome addition for waiting guests. For year-round use, have a dedicated heating element here. 
  • A vinyl arbor. Beautiful and practical, a vinyl arbor can serve as a side entry, a structure for climbing vines, or a way to guide traffic flow.
  • Lattice or privacy screens. Lattice can add texture to bare walls, create charming enclosures, and obstruct any unwanted views. 
  • Lighting. Whether you choose string lights, sconces, freestanding lights, or a mix of all three, the right light should add warmth and beauty without overpowering diners.


If you’re considering taking your outdoor dining space to the next level, talk to Walpole. Incredible outdoor spaces are our specialty. From classic to contemporary and everything in between, our extensive line of hand-crafted outdoor structures offer beauty and distinction your business will enjoy for years to come. Our team of designers is available now to schedule a free measurement and design consultation of your property, so you can get your outdoor project underway! 



*According to a report by the EPA


Amazing Entryways to Improve Curb Appeal

Our homes represent a reflection of ourselves—where we are from, how we live, our signature styles, even who we are. With that in mind, a home’s facade is the most outward expression of those ideals—and the first impression to guests and passersby alike. Whether seen from the street, sidewalk, or moving vehicle, a home’s curb appeal (or lack thereof) sets the expectations of the experience and people within. The common thread that sets some homes’ curb appeal apart comes down to the details, and with the right ones, the impact of the end result is usually far greater than the sum of its parts.  

If your goal is to elevate your home’s approach from simply average to amazing, don’t underestimate the power of outdoor entry details—specifically driveway gates and entryway pergolas. Whether you choose a beautiful, prefabricated product or create a unique, custom driveway gate, your options are nearly limitless when it comes to personal style. For a little inspiration, and to get your creative juices flowing, we’ve compiled a few of our favorites below. 

Driveway Gates

While driveway gates ultimately exist for functional purposes, they’re extensions of the home they protect nonetheless. In most cases, they’re the very first impression. Tall, sculptured driveway gates add a sense of drama, minimalistic styles add clean lines to modern architecture, and both classic picket and rustic board and rail gates add a finishing touch to colonial and farmhouse homes. To amp up your home’s aesthetic, your style choice should blend seamlessly with both your architecture and the flow of your property.  

This custom driveway gate by Walpole Outdoors blends horizontal and vertical boards, extending the style to the pedestrian gate to its right. Soft green paint picks up the awnings and foliage, while brick posts coordinate with both the home’s edifice and driveway pavers. Custom curved hardware adds the final detail for a gate that hints at private courtyard charm within. 


Classic Pickets

Classic pickets enhance the New England styling and keep the home visible, while long, sweeping end curves mimic the rolling landscape in this Walpole Outdoors Chestnut Hill Entrance Gate.


The clean lines of this universal board entry gate, made in low-maintenance AZEK cellular PVC, effortlessly blend sophistication with security, making it at home in both classic and contemporary designs. 


This simple Morgan Post & Rail gate brings a dignified, open, and airy look to this country home. 


Subtle and sophisticated, this contemporary custom driveway gate is crafted in AZEK and finished in black for muted refinement that highlights the natural landscape and implies an artful experience awaiting within. 

Entryway Pergolas

Most people consider pergolas a backyard patio or garden feature with good reason. Beautiful and functional, a well-placed pergola is akin to adding an outdoor room to your home. Less considered but equally appealing, custom vinyl pergolas are an excellent way to add allure and interest to the front of your home. Whether used as a portico alternative or to extend your home’s porch, an entryway pergola is a simple addition that brings major ROI to your curb appeal


Custom vinyl pergolas, like the one above by Walpole Outdoors, add a distinctive presence. An arched line over the front door guides guests in, while the covered seating area invites them to stay.


Your Project Deserves a Great Partner

Looking to up the wow factor of your home? Walpole offers a wide range of custom vinyl pergolas and driveway gates that can be tailored to your personal style and enhance your existing architecture. Our team of designers is available now to schedule a free measurement and design consultation of your property, so no need to wait. Give us a call today!