My Great Outdoors: Kathryn's Chicago Roof Deck

My Great Outdoors: Kathryn's Chicago Roof Deck

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Janel Laban
Jun 30, 2009

Name: Kathryn
Location: Chicago
Type of space: Roof Deck

Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: I was fortunate that my loft has a 200 sq foot private deck with a great view of downtown Chicago. Unfortunately, the deck also had no privacy, east-facing sun and lots of wind. I wanted to improve the space so that it can be enjoyed more often during that brief window of time we call "summer".

How did you create it?:
Last year, I petitioned our condo board to allow fences to be constructed on the decks (we previously had metal railings). The same contractor built a set of planter boxes along the front of my deck. My (very talented) neighbor helped me install lighting and an irrigation system.

This year got off to a slow start because of the weather, but I just finished painting the fence and boxes with a dark chocolate stain. I was considering painting the deck floor to match, but I think that will retain too much heat. I chose to plant mostly perrenials, with a few flowering annuals, since we're looking at a short summer season.

The deck still gets a lot of harsh sun during the day, but it's a great place to be at cocktail hour!

Recommended store, site, product or resource?
Cabot stains (Burnt Hickory for the boxes and Pepperwood for the Adirondack chairs)
The Drip Store (www.dripirrigation.com) for the irrigation system
Better Than Rocks (www.betterthanrocks.com) for the recycled drainage material in the planter boxes
Restoration Hardware for the dining table and chairs
Gesetheme Gardens for the plants

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