As part of this week’s outdoor decorating series, we’re presenting posts from some of our favorite bloggers. Today, Manhattan-based Refinery29 senior editor Diana Nguyen tells us about how she turned a tiny fire escape into a breezy outdoor space.
Living in a typical Manhattan-sized apartment, I have very, very limited space. But when I need to feel a bout of vitamin D or just decompress, there’s always the fire escape. I’m not going to lie — it’s pretty drab out there, what with my dead fern and the rusted metal. But with a few portable adjustments, solitary confinement can become a sanctuary — tiny space be damned. I only needed a few elements I could easily bring in and out of my home (don’t want to break any New York fire codes, after all): dim lighting, a place to put my coffee, and some very resilient plants. Using my Pottery Barn items, I was able to create something equal parts industrial, romantic, and functional.
A small side table may be useful indoors, but it’ll also totally elevate your outdoor space. Although you can’t leave it on the fire escape, it’s small enough to transport and great for adding height and dimension to an area, not to mention you won’t have to put your books, drinks, or whatever on the dirty floor.
A rusty, industrial-like space like this calls for elements that complement and contrast, and these Pottery Barn lanterns blend seamlessly on to the fire escape. For contrast, I added yellow florals inside to bring a touch of color and whimsy. I also coiled metal clothes hangers inside the lantern glass to keep the flowers in place and to maintain the industrial theme. I love the juxtaposition.
Finally, if you’re out more than in, low-maintenance greens and plants are your friends. Succulents and cacti don’t need much care and can bring that welcoming detail (especially if has a pop of color) to an intimate setting, if ever you decide to share it with others (one at the most…let’s not push it).
For a chance to win a $400 gift card from Pottery Barn, head over to Refinery 29 to read more about Diana’s fire escape retreat!
Photos courtesy Raven Ishak