My Great Outdoors: Meredith & Jenna's Brooklyn Patio

My Great Outdoors: Meredith & Jenna's Brooklyn Patio

Aaron Able
Jun 17, 2009

Name: Meredith & Jenna
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Type of space: Patio
Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: For about a year we've sprucing up our outdoor space. We've tried to make it as socially comfortable as possible, while also keeping it minimal and open. We're lucky enough to have such a large and lovely area that looks out onto our landlord's wild flowering garden. Yet our biggest challenge has been light — our landlord has a grated steel deck above ours, so during the day we only get filtered light and that's made it tough to grow anything. In the evening we didn't want to use the porch light, so we tried using tons of votives, and hurricane lanterns. But it wasn't enough — the space is so tall, we really needed light from above...

How did you create it? Unfortunately, many plants died as we tried to find ones that would survive! Now, we pretty much stick to hearty low-light plants like impatiens, herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano), and bleeding hearts.

As for light in the evening, we decided to utilize our landlord's grated steel deck and use hanging light sources. We also thought to incorporate the white wall that borders our deck, as a reflector. In keeping with the candles, we chose candle lanterns, hanging them just within arms reach so it's easy to take them down to replace candles, light them, blow them out, etc. Plus it adds a modern Northern African touch.

Recommended store, site, product or resource? Everything was bought on the cheap: The hanging candle lanterns are from Ikea, and the chain is from the local hardware store. The chairs and table are CB2, as are the orange and white votive holders. Blue pillows are from Pier 1, blue hurricane lanterns are from Target and the plants are all from the Farmer's Market in Union Square.

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