*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.
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.
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).
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.
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.