How to create a city terrace

 

As part of a TV show last summer, I renovated the terrace of a young family living in the heart of downtown Montreal. The challenges: the lack of space for entertaining and suffocating heat during heat waves.

 
As part of a TV show last summer, I renovated the terrace of a young family living in the heart of downtown Montreal.

The challenges: the lack of space for entertaining and suffocating heat during heat waves.

In town, space is limited. Every inch counts. To enlarge the space, we placed the family's large dinner table off-center, right near the fence. Here, benches with colourful cushions or furniture can do wonders, making the entire area more pleasant. Adding just a hint of colour to an urban courtyard, where concrete, asphalt, stone and brick reign supreme, can make everything more appealing!

Vegetation and landscaping may be also worth exploring during a yard project in town. At times, we think that it's unnecessary to work with a landscaper — when we only have a small piece of land to work with — but these experts have a knack for creating a cozy backdrop with plants that suit your surroundings to a tee.

To counteract the stifling heat in the backyard, I found an aluminum pergola that requires no maintenance. It closes completely even when it rains, plus the slats rotate to make shade. A truly interesting find! Painted black, I think it's the perfect style for a modern urban or industrial courtyard.

And here's another tip: use an outdoor fan. Little used in Quebec, yet widespread in the U.S., fans can maximize air flow in your backyard. Most lighting retailers offer designs perfectly tailored to the outdoors.

Last but not least, I love to decorate terraces with rugs that help delineate every area of the yard. They dry quickly after a rainstorm and, often very small, are easy to store in the wintertime. Currently, many retailers and big box stores offer a first-rate selection of designs.

Have a great summer...in your backyard!
 
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About the author

University of Montreal graduate in interior design (2004), Jessica Rivière Gomez is passionate of both interior design and architecture.

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