SECRET SAUCE: Outdoor space was a big selling point when I first saw our apartment listing. We had been looking for months with no luck and then, out of nowhere, I stumbled on our rental apartment. Seeing the patio sealed the deal for me and I couldn’t wait to start on the design process. We moved into our new apartment in October, so I knew that I would need to wait until Spring to really start work on the patio.
The Before Photos
Our patio is roughly a 9’ by 16’ rectangle with a fire escape. The patio is a simple bluestone, with two wood fence walls and a gate on the front. It looks out into our neighbors’ yards, which is not bad (it is Brooklyn, after all), but is not ideal for privacy.
I am the first to admit that the patio is great as-is. We could have easily kept our existing lounge chairs and folding tables and have been done with it. However, I have never had this much outdoor space in New York (and who knows if we will ever again) and decided to take on a bigger project for fun.
Here are more “before” photos of the space:
The fire escape constrains the space a bit, but I love the black metal against the brick and think it will ultimately add a nice design element. My goal is to have a seating area and dining area. Since we have a counter table and not a dining table, I really want the patio to be an extension of our indoor living space. It’s not a big space, so my biggest concern is how to have a seating area and dining table without it feeling too cramped or crowded.
The fire escape creates a divider in the space and I am also a little unsure what do to under the stairs. I want it to feel connected to the rest of the space but still utilized. For example, if there is a dining table on that side, I probably wouldn’t want for someone at the head of the table to be under the stairs. As I said before, getting the layout of this space right will be critical.
I spent a LONG time looking for inspiration photos. City patios/terraces are unique spaces and I couldn’t find any inspiration photos that were similar to my space. So, I shifted my search to outdoor spaces more generally. Being totally honest, I wasn’t able to find my “dream” space anywhere and leaning on the designs that I drew initial inspiration from sent me down the wrong path initially (more on that later).
Below are a few inspiration photos that I LOVE. Lights, architectural elements, and metal furniture are all on my wish list for this project.
After inspiration I tend to turn to layout before I start doing product research. Below was one of my first attempts at a layout for the space and all I will say is that a LOT changed. Stay tuned!