I need to find a paradise for me…*

*Lyrics from Heaven For The Sinner by Bonobo featuring Erykah Badu. I felt like lounge music was appropriate for this post (about our outdoor lounge space), and this song is really cool sounding. Their latest album was released in March, but I was otherwise occupied at that time, so I missed it. Until now. I enjoy a good chill album from time to time, and this one is really nice. Have a listen, and find your own vision of paradise.

The roof at night is glamorously romantic thanks to inherited globe string lights.

At the start of the summer I had high hopes for our little roof deck. And by ‘little’ I mean larger than our entire apartment. We’ve estimated that the roof terrace is about 520 sf which is an unheard of luxury for a rental apartment (let alone a non-rental one). But, it’s not flat (like, at all) and it’s hampered by logistical issues – no water source (and pitiful building water pressure), small hallways in the building inhibiting bringing up any sizeable furnishings or grillware, troubling structural questions that prohibit us from putting any large pots or plants anywhere (we just don’t know if the roof could take it). So, we’ve made do with what we could do, and are doing without where we just can’t solve the issue.

When I last showed you the space we’d managed to get a pair of sofas, inherited a couple of teak lounge chairs, as well a couple of plastic IKEA chairs for dining. Since then, we’ve added a rug (IKEA, and not a proper outdoor one, but it’s polypropelene, so we figured it was good enough), a small dining table (IKEA), and a tree stump coffee table (a HomeGoods find that Jeff and I debated about for an hour before caving, and we are so happy we did, even though it’s not properly weather resistant). We couldn’t figure out pillows dedicated for just the outdoor space (and we don’t really have enough storage for extra anything) so we just bring out our indoor pillows when we want to use the space.

Welcome home.

The space is bare bones in a way, but it serves us well. We can entertain, and have only a couple of times (we’d love to have more people over, so please do drop in, pop by). We can dine, and do on mild evenings, or sunny afternoons. We can lounge, and linger over wine or snuggle underneath our indoor throws (which we bring inside after use). We can sit, and read, or have iced coffee, or hot tea, or seltzer water, or gaze at the moon, or whatever we fancy. It’s an efficient yet luxurious space, with the space plan having been determined wholly by the flatness of the roof (or lack thereof), the encroaching tree branches, and the deficiencies of the sofa back cushions (they don’t stay in place without additional support, in this case in the form of the roof railing).

Early day brings direct sun, long shadows, and enticing morning lounging.

We created this little seating nook based on the long branch that is bisecting the roof, and the faux coffee table in the form of a defunct roof vent topped with a spare bit of wood.

We had hoped to find a larger dining table, but by the time we made it to IKEA, they were sold out. This little guy does the trick.

Our space faces east, so mainly we get direct sun in the morning to midday, but the sun shines on the surrounding buildings all day long. We get to enjoy the periphery of good sunsets (usually alerted by noticing swarms of neighbors on surrounding rooftops that are higher than ours, and that face west), and we get to enjoy the immense mass of green that has sprung up during the summer. Of course, now that it’s becoming autumnal, we also have to contend with the beginning of falling leaves and debris. We get the feeling of a yard (and responsibility of maintaining one) in the midst of an intensely urban vista, and we are so grateful.

The other side of the roof sports another encroaching branch. We use it for shade in the lounge area (handy during hot weather), and for a natural border for the dining nook. Plus, it sort of envelops the deck creating privacy, which is sort of hard to come by on this rooftop.

Our stump needs to be treated properly if we’re to leave it outdoors in the long run. For now, though, we’re ok with letting it suffer some damage. (Well, that and we didn’t learn that it wasn’t properly sealed until after it rained for a week. C’est la vie.)

I don’t know how long this little spot will be ours to call home, but for now it really does feel more and more like home each day. I’m so glad we decided to go through the trouble of moving from upstairs to down, and that we invested in a few key pieces to help us to use the space to its fullest. Until the mild weather is over, until fall turns too cold to enjoy in the shade, expect to find me on the roof. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for everyone.

Come on, it’s not bad, right? Bring a bottle of wine, or just yourself. We’d be glad to have you over, anytime.



  1. heather@hawesphotography.com'Heather {A Fire Pole in the Dining Room}

    I love this space. I’m jealous. Though there are a lot of parallels between ours and yours. We have to take a lot of stuff in and out (table, chairs, wine glasses) though more for security (the fence STILL isn’t done) than weather resistance. Ours also feels like this crazy urban oasis that we feel so fortunate to have found.

    You’re totally winning in the actual furniture department, though. So don’t feel too bad if it’s not perfect yet. You’re easily 99% closer than we are. I like what you have (particularly the rug and stump table) and the zones created by the limbs. It feels like it’s zoned perfectly for anything you’d want to do out there.

    1. Kati Post author

      You guys will get there. Plus, there’s the whole ‘forever home’ vs ‘temporary home’ thing working in your favor. I’m just glad we were able to enjoy it during the summer… hoping it’ll make the winter feel less mournful.

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