Up on the roof...

Here in California, we spend a lot of time outdoors. In LA, where the weather is good year round, I try to spend as much as my weekends outside as I can to counteract the rest of the week, when breathing 15 minutes of fresh air a day is considered a minor victory. We're lucky that our apartment has a large roof deck-- it's actually slightly bigger than our living room, and it really adds something to our quality of life around here (and the boys' too…). 

Fudgy, enjoying the sunshine.

Fudgy, enjoying the sunshine.

I've got big plans for our little outdoor living room, but unfortunately not the cash reserves to implement all of said ideas. So, we're working on the deck a little at a time, and instead of buying furniture and things to fill it, we're DIY-ing everything we can. We even built our daybed (which will get a post of its own once it's finished), because outdoor furniture is pricey. Anyway, I thought I would share the process with you, starting today with the before shots and a few inspiration photos of where I want to take the design. Enjoy!

Here's the floor plan. As you can see, a portion of the deck is covered. The "view" looks out over neighboring rooftops, but when the sky is clear, we can see the hills in the distance. Because the apartment faces north, it gets steady but soft light all day long. 

Planters are, in my humble opinion, crazily overpriced, so rather than pay $50 for crummy plastic rectangles, I built my own planters from 6 cedar fence planks. Screw them together, drill a few holes in the bottom, and presto. This is my herb garden! I haven't killed it yet, which is a huge personal accomplishment.

Behold, our mishmash of furniture. The butterfly chair went to boarding school with me a million years ago, and the arm chair is a castaway from our dining room. The bamboo and plants look like ambience, but they're actually part of a very high-tech cat-escape-deterrant system (pre-plants, Chandler would fling himself at the lattice, hang there a few seconds, then catapult himself over the bamboo).

My daybed! It may not look like much, but I am seriously proud of this sucker. Miles and I built it over the course of two weekends (we could have done it in one, but our drill is terrible and only holds a charge for an hour or two.). Yes, that is a flannel sheet over the mattress. I sewed a natural denim box cushion (complete with zipper!) for the mattress, but during what can only be considered an epic brain cramp, managed to sew the damn thing two inches two narrow. It such a devastating experience, I had to put the cushion on hold for a bit while I emotionally recovered (and procured more fabric). The sheet was leftover from a project at work, so it's pinch hitting until I can redo the cover so we're not sitting on the waterproof cover. It doesn't look like much now, but I've got big plans this little daybed, mark my words...

What's a roof deck in California without a few surfboards, I ask you? Finally, here's a glimpse at my mood board for this space…

Image sources, clockwise from top left: here, here, here, and here.

Image sources, clockwise from top left: here, here, here, and here.

As you can see, it involves comfortable, relaxed lounging, multi-patterned fabrics, and lots of greenery. How cute are those cement planters? I see a DIY in our future, friends.