Happy 4th of July (almost)! I am happy to finally share our latest project with you, which has been a long time coming. If you have been keeping up with a few of my posts, you might already know that Brian and I have been spending a lot of time working on our rooftop deck. Our goal was to transform it into a garden area where we could relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Especially from a big city!
Although we are happy to have the outdoor space, you can see how it looks bland and feels very unwelcoming. Yet another reason Brian and I wanted to spruce it up a bit. So the first thing we did was brainstorm ideas of what we could do with the space-which was fun considering it was a blank slate (literally). I found some amazing photos of a few rooftop gardens online, but we wanted something that was 1. feasible and 2. affordable.
One thing Brian and I both liked was the idea of adding a garden wall, which we thought would add more color and hide the prison-like concrete. The artist in me then went on to draft a sketch of our design so we could get a better idea of what it might look like.
Beautiful, no? You can see that it is highly professional… and very accurate to scale. It also clear to
everyone no one. But that is okay. [I just happen to be exceptionally talented and have the ability to work from the visions and ideas in my head. Ha! This actually might be one of the reasons this project took a little longer than expected. There may or may not have been a slight misjudgment in the amount of ivy we needed to cover the wall. And then said said ivy took a few more weeks to ship :)]
Anyway, that is beside the point. The point is that Brian and I transformed our boring deck into a rooftop oasis shortly after we came up with our design. We started with the garden wall by securing four long 2 x 4’s into the concrete (using a hammer drill). We then ran chicken wire across the length of the wall, which was later used to hold the ivy.
In addition to the chicken wire, we also assembled the flower boxes you see underneath. They were easy to make and basically involved four 1 x 1 inch posts and several cut 2 x 4’s. However, the flower boxes aren’t 100% finished (a trait I must have inherited from my dad- ha!). At some point I plan to add another 2 x 4 to the top so it hides the flower boxes altogether.
Next came the hanging flower boxes you see on the wall. I’d like to say it was my brilliant idea to use the wine boxes, but it wasn’t. It was 100% Brian’s. But then again, kudos to me for holding on to them! 🙂 As you can see, we cut the boxes in half and secured them onto the wall using L brackets. We also made sure to drill holes in the bottom so water could drain from the flowers.
Then came the ivy, which is fake in case you are wondering. Or faux if you prefer. It was a little pricey, but we decided to use the faux ivy instead of real ivy for several reasons. 1. it’s cheaper, 2. it requires less maintenance (meaning I can’t kill it), 3. it is non-invasive (it won’t take over the entire building, which we do not own) and 4. it is removable (should it affect the ability to sell our home). The ivy came in square panels, which we secured to the chicken wire using zip ties.
We decided to put the smaller ivy (boxwood) in the middle of the wall. This was because it is flat and someday in the far future we might add an outdoor TV or projection screen. We also mixed the ivy around the hanging flower boxes to give it a little more color and texture. [Although we aren’t sure if we are sold on the light green patches…thoughts anyone?]. Lastly, we also added the lights across the deck (which we got at Costco for a steal!).
Overall, Brian and I are LOVING how our deck turned out! Especially since we built the entire thing ourselves. We now spend most of our time out here and we enjoy having people over. There are a few things we have to finish/fix (i.e. staining the rest of the wood), as well as a few things I want to add in the future (such as a hanging lantern next the flower boxes). But a lot of this can wait. We want make sure we take the time to relax and enjoy the fruit of our hard labor 🙂
I love looking at the before and after photos. What a difference! You’ll have to stay tuned for our next big project–which is to add
a small chicken coup an outdoor kitchen 🙂 Although this won’t happen until next year.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and that you are all having a great summer. Get outside if you can. You know where I’ll be 🙂