Annex the Outdoors with a Rooftop Space

When you think about the footprint of your home and the resulting square footage, you might be neglecting to consider a sizeable piece of real estate: your roof!

Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to – or permission to use – their rooftop space, but if yours is easily accessible and safe, it's definitely worth checking with your landlord.

Make sure the roof has been safety-checked and that local regulations allow for its recreational use, and also involve your neighbors if they also have rights to the space.

A few other easy ideas for claiming your new space:
  • Put down an outdoor rug to cover an objectionable roof surface.
  • Invest in sturdy outdoor furniture. Roofs tend to catch the worst of all elements (wind, sun, rain, etc.), so you want something built for the long haul.
  • Decorate with plants. Again, look for hearty plants that can withstand sometimes-harsh rooftop conditions. Larger plants in oversized planters will help balance the scale of the space. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it works!
  • String some lights. If electricity is available on the rooftop, a string of lights will help define the space (and, duh, provide some light). Oversized holiday lights are vastly cheaper than their designer "globe light" cousins, and built to withstand outdoor conditions.

    Check out the Brooklyn Roof Garden blog for a roundup of some stunning outdoor spaces to inspire your own outdoor project.
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