5 of the Best Terrace and Courtyard Transformations
Before and after photos show how, with clever design, even the most unpromising space can be improved beyond recognition
The terrace of this one-bed flat in Madrid was not only unloved and largely unused, it was disconnected from the interior, which was such a waste.
The terrace itself has been refreshed with new flooring and crisp white paint. Nora divided it into two zones – a relaxation area with an L-shaped sofa, seen here, and a dining area (behind the camera). The outdoor rug and plants soften the space, and Nora also installed an awning to provide shade, turning the terrace into a well-used extra room for the owners.
See more before and after shots of this transformed flat.
At 70 sq m, this terrace is almost twice the size of the Barcelona flat to which it’s attached, and its new owner, Matthew Coe, immediately realised that was a wasted opportunity.
Together with architect Luis Turrens of Arcworld, he set about turning it into an outside room, but to do that he first had to lower the floor to align it with the interior, which cost just shy of £9,000. For Matthew, though, it was well worth it for the lifestyle he can now enjoy.
Key to the success of the terrace is a slatted canopy, over which Matthew can drape fabric on very sunny days. The canopy also helps to zone the dining area. Smart grey decking and plenty of plants, including bright bougainvillea, a lemon tree, strawberries and aromatic herbs, add the finishing touches.
Now, Matthew not only eats almost all of his meals on the terrace, he often works out here, too. Not bad, as offices go…
Explore the whole of this flat and terrace.
If you have a courtyard that’s needed for storage, it’s easy to overlook it as a potential extra living area, especially if it’s shady.
This north London space, which is the passageway from a car parking spot to a first floor flat up a metal staircase, was needed for storing bikes and bins, and had largely been ignored. The owners decided to ask garden designer Georgia Lindsay to explore whether it could become a secluded seating spot.
The bins now sit in the car parking area behind the screen, while a tall, custom-designed bike shed (behind the planter on the far left in this photo) accommodates the whole family’s bikes and equipment.
A porcelain floor featuring a decorative ‘rug’ further emphasises the ‘living room’ nature of the space, while plants such as Euphorbia, heucheras and Lysimachia add a range of gorgeous greens.
Read how Georgia considered every element of this clever redesign.
Find a local garden designer and explore ways you could make more of your outside space.
It’s hard to think of a better example of the power of greenery than this urban transformation.
The designers – Edward Jones and Irene Kalina-Jones of Outside Space NYC – were given the challenge of turning this 86 sq m ‘bunker’ into a haven from the New York City streets.
Under the metal staircase seen in the previous photo, the designers custom-made an ipe wood storage shed. In the centre, a curvy outdoor sofa softens the harsh lines and is surrounded by plants chosen to provide year-round interest, including variegated Miscanthus grass, Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ and a Kwanzan cherry tree for height.
Not only is this now a gorgeous place in which to sit and relax, it also offers leafy views for anyone inside the two-storey apartment.
Tour the whole of this leafy haven.
The small terrace at the top of these stairs outside a house in Marseilles, France, was a wasted opportunity. It was disconnected from the interior and essentially functioning as a passageway.
Chrystel Laporte of Un jour d’avril was brought in to renovate the whole house, and felt the outside was just as important, saying the running theme of her work was “opening this home to the outside”.
Chrystel created a slim, built-in ‘sideboard’ against the house on the right-hand side to provide an extra surface for dining paraphernalia and display. And in place of the small, high window, she fitted a large pane with a low ledge looking out from the office to connect the home to the refreshed outdoor space.
Take a look at all of the transformed rooms in this home.
Which of these transformations do you like best? Have any tempted you to revamp your outside space? Share your thoughts in the Comments.