Becki Griffin's Curious Details


Easy to Make Shade Arbor

This post will show you how to make a simple shade arbor. Or, as I like to call it, my love letter to Steve Giannetti.

Steve and Brooke Giannetti are a California design duo building their dream house, Patina Farm, in Ojai.  While following the building progress of their beautiful home on Brooke's blog, this built-in trellis above the window caught my eye and got my DIY wheels turning.


The space where we needed shade is narrow and there is no room for vertical supports. We were able to apply Steve's design using galvanized plumbing pipe to achieve a casual poolside shade arbor and it took less than two hours. It was so easy!

Here's how we did it with materials from Home Depot and some sheer cotton drapes that were no longer being used in the house:

Galvanized floor flanges were attached with wood screws to the top piece of trim board above the siding. Then we simply threaded 48" galvanized plumbing pipe into the flanges. The pipes are available in several lengths. Use the size that works best for you. 

I put a sheer panel on each of the outside pipes and one in the middle that we cut and swagged over in a random pattern.

Really, we just made it up as we went and love the results.

Then we measured and cut a length of reed fencing that we laid on top of the pipe. This was tied to the pipe with some jute thread that we had on hand.

Backyard X-Scapes 6 ft. H. x 16 ft. L Reed Fencing
1 in. x 48 in. Galvanized Steel Pipe
3/4 in. Galvanized Malleable Iron Floor Flange
8 in. x 2-1/2 in. Coarse Zinc-Plated Steel Flat-Head Combination Multi-Material Wood Screws 133 per Box

Here's what it looks like from the underside:

Lightweight hooks were screwed into the siding and the panels were pulled back with string.

I've always loved the idea of a little boho, casual, colorful shade area. Adding a collection of mirrors under the arbor really brightened up the wall space and extends the garden element.

This was such a fun and fast project for us. I think the options are almost limitless as to how you could change it up to suit your style. Such as:

~paint the pipe

~use painter's dropcloths or sheets in place of sheers

~spray paint the reed fencing

~add planters to the wall space

Many thanks (or apologies:) to Steve Giannetti for the inspiration. We love it!