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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

need help on design for a back patio in Brooklyn townhouse

weepikidsDecember 21, 2012
would like it to be more greenery and more interesting. Perhaps furniture a fire pit flowers, etc. any suggestions would be welcome. thanks
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Uplight the birch (?) tree, and any other focal points, as the main value of a Brooklyn backyard is probably the view of it from the back rooms or summer evenings. You need a focal point at the farthest end - a visual and physical destination. Then you need a path to get there - again, visually as much as physically. Ponder whether you want that "path" to meander, or to lead straight to it. In either case, think about how to ENHANCE that sensation. If it's a straight path, narrow it at the end to make it seem longer. If it meanders, plan the interim objects and landscaping to create glimpses of it.Look at the surroundings and decide which features you want to capture as part of your view or which you want to screen. Make your decisions about sizes and siting of plants and objects with that in mind. I.e., an arbor may be working to block out a neighboring window (which is apt to be lit at night and thus a prominent feature in your view). Test this with something you can move around that is the eventual size of any tree or structure. In other words, first think about how you dreamed this precious open space would make life in NYC more fun, romantic, healthy, creative, peaceful, luxurious, pastoral or urbane for you. Don't neglect the practical potential of open space. For many of us urban dwellers, being able to hang up sheets in the sun is the greatest luxury on earth. I would include an aesthetic option for that. And you probably will want to entertain, work, grill out there. Don't be afraid to make that activity at the far end, serving as the destination. Now stand at that destination (whether a place to sit, stand, or turn around) and look back at your house. The view and the journey to it should be every bit as interesting. Take pictures from every possible viewpoint (windows on all floors, doorways, corners, alleys, etc.), print them, and draw on them.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:49AM
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Aesthetic Tile Imaging
You can brighten up your outdoor environment by adding custom art tile. With proper installation techniques it can be applied either on or in front of the fences. If you are adding other features such as a fire pit or water feature, these are also opportunities for including weatherproof art tile. Think out of the box, it's all in the art you choose to use and the skill/experience of the installer - see my Houzz page for photo ideas
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:55AM
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Some photos for inspiration.

Traditional Small Scale Patio · More Info

South End Courtyard · More Info

City Update · More Info

An Indoor & Outdoor Oasis · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:49AM
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I would use the bench as my destination point back by the iron fence angled between the trees. It appears to have shelves on each end, so that would be a great place for a plant and/or sculpture. Your tile looks to be in good shape, so rather than take it up, use pots of tall plants to visually bring the walker through the area to the destination. The plants can block a direct view to the bench. You might paint the bench a fun color and could give the patio a good power washing to renew the tiles.
garden · More Info
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
One word Plants. It is cold and hard edged now. Shrubs across the back tall enough to make that wall disappear will be a great start. If budget is a concern as it usually is that is the place to start. All the above ideas are wonderful and should be your long term plan.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:05AM
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You could also splash any leftover or spoiled milk and yogurt on that stone and encourage moss...
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:20AM
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