One of my favorite things about our flat is that we're blessed to have ample outdoor space. There's a little deck off the kitchen, a little communal patio/bbq area downstairs and if you're not afraid of ladders there's the roof.
I've focused all my time and attention on the deck and patio. Mostly I've cleaned, swept and added plants, but in doing so I've added valuable usable square footage to our apartment. Living in The City means I'm constantly defending my little garden from all manner of pests, while trying to figure out what will grow where. There's no dirt, so everything is in containers. The deck gets a couple hours of hot sun and then shade the rest of the day, while the downstairs patio is mostly cool and shady.
I've been growing the Hydrangeas for a few years. Since the downstairs area is communal (and directly adjacent to a jujitsu studio) I've tried to keep it minimal, tidy and low maintenance. I really want to add a pallet planter (there are two or three just hanging around under the stairs), and a few more leafy green plants. In a dream world there'd also be a bar/cooler built in under the stairs, but since we're renting I think that needs to stay on Pinterest for now. For the deck, I'm searching for a comfy chair set/bench to upgrade a little Ikea folding table, and I'm constantly adding new plants. For some of my favorite nurseries in SF, check out this roundup!
I love spending time in both of these comfy, outdoor spaces reading or catching up with friends. There's a gas grill and a tiny charcoal one, and the spaces are great extensions of our home. There's something magical about hanging out in the evening, under the bistro lights and watching the sky darken. It feels hidden and romantic but also urban. It's become a quiet, cool oasis, and I can't wait to spend more time outside, especially since SF's Indian Summer is just about to kick into full swing! Full patio tour/updates soon!