When I went looking for an apartment in Brooklyn Heights a couple of years ago I did not have a terrace on my wish list; the apartment I found had a large terrace, however it was junky and rather sad…
PARADISE ? !
At some point in time a terrace had been ‘carved out’ of the top floor of this modestly scaled townhouse on Hicks Street; the slope of the roof would have made the room(s) here quite cramped and dark with only small windows near the floor. One neighbor has the same type of terrace space, while the other has a roof for what is likely only an attic space.
I considered all of the things that I might use this space for and came up with a program that included dining, lounging, entertaining, dancing (why not?) and sleeping!
I called on my long-time landscape design collaborator Billie Cohen who helped guide me to a dazzlingly rich but easy to maintain approach to the plantings, including an irrigation system from Lifesource Irrigation.
I had another long-time collaborator, Dale Faught from Nutech Interiors, make a couple of twin-sized ‘opium beds’ set end-to-end for a combined length of 12 feet. They are deep and loungy for relaxed seating, and occasional nights of sleeping under the stars! I installed outdoor speakers which are connected to the apartment-wide audio system, added some simple stake lights, and a couple of flood lights onto the large trees behind the building, and lots of plants including a couple of trees that have become quite large in only two years.
And if you look closely, I also added a large mirror on the South wall to magically create more terrace, and to expand my view of the sky.
The ‘AFTER’ photos are from last Summer – giving the plantings, and me to settle into a very happy existence.
I have heard from others that once you have outside space in New York City it is hard to go back to just four walls; I think that I may be one of the converted!
It is a wonderful thing to have one’s own outdoor space to make into whatever version of paradise suits you…
P.S. Last Fall I hosted 22 seventh graders for a dance party!
You are brilliant! What a gorgeous transformation!
Thank you Lisa!
From a lovely terrace and now 9 acres!
It is true – I started with just 300 square feet and just added a bunch of acres in another state, thankfully there are stone outcroppings and woods on a lot of those acres.
What an elegant and sophisticated use of a small space!
Thank you very much!
What a wonderful rooftop oasis you have created! It is so lush and inviting. I like the earthy colors for the umbrellas, cushions and other furnishings. It always appeals to me when outdoor décor blends rather than contrasts with nature. I like the vintage mercury glass and glazed pottery accessories that add so much character. How nice of you to share the names of experts who helped you bring this leafy retreat to reality. Also, you get a “gold star” for hosting 22 seventh graders.
Thank you very much Mary!
Looks lovely, Glenn. Soft and inviting. How much upkeep does it present?