My Great Outdoors: Kathryn's Chicago Roof Deck

My Great Outdoors: Kathryn's Chicago Roof Deck

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 ( for the irrigation system
Better Than Rocks ( 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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