Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Before & After: Converting an Unusable, Exposed London Rooftop Into a Tranquil, Private Terrace

Search

Before & After: Converting an Unusable, Exposed London Rooftop Into a Tranquil, Private Terrace

March 20, 2024

We generally save the “before” images for the end of our articles, but in this case, it’s helpful and inspiring to see upfront the space pre-remodel. Take a look at this entirely drabby and exposed rooftop. If a tiny, depressing roof can be transformed into a private urban oasis, one that invites lingering and relaxation, then anything’s possible.

The incredible terrace makeover is the work of London-based landscape designer Lis Eriksson. Her client gave her free rein over the design but did have a few requests: 1) adequate shade as he is fair-skinned; 2) low-pollen plants on account of his allergies; and 3) flowers in shades of purple, his favorite color.

Here’s what Lis delivered.

Photography by Rachel Warne.

Before

The roof of the Victorian coach house pre-transformation. Skylights protruding onto the roof made it unusable for the homeowner. The entire space measures just 9 square meters (or \29.5 square feet).
Above: The roof of the Victorian coach house pre-transformation. Skylights protruding onto the roof made it unusable for the homeowner. The entire space measures just 9 square meters (or 29.5 square feet).

After

The client can now walk out directly onto a tranquil rooftop deck. Partitions composed of Sapele slats, lightly brushed with Rustoleum paint in Chalk, provide privacy.
Above: The client can now walk out directly onto a tranquil rooftop deck. Partitions composed of Sapele slats, lightly brushed with Rustoleum paint in Chalk, provide privacy.
Everything, from the plant design to the custom built-ins, was designed by Lis. A pergola offers ample shade, as promised. &#8\2\20;I also added a heater hanging from the pergola so that he can comfortably enjoy the space in the colder months,&#8\2\2\1; she shares. 
Above: Everything, from the plant design to the custom built-ins, was designed by Lis. A pergola offers ample shade, as promised. “I also added a heater hanging from the pergola so that he can comfortably enjoy the space in the colder months,” she shares. 
&#8\2\20;I added a bronzed mirror behind the planting to make the space feel bigger and to amp up the effect of the planting itself. I chose the mirror to be bronzed as it has a subtle effect in such an intimate space,&#8\2\2\1; says Lis. 
Above: “I added a bronzed mirror behind the planting to make the space feel bigger and to amp up the effect of the planting itself. I chose the mirror to be bronzed as it has a subtle effect in such an intimate space,” says Lis. 
Above: The client’s request for lots of purple and little pollen led to Lis choosing species such as salvia, geranium, agapanthus, verbena, and ferns. At left is Agapanthus ‘Poppin Purple’; at right, Verbena bonariensis and Agastache ‘Black Adder’.
The slatted walls multitask as a trellis for Clematis montana &#8\2\16;Freda&#8\2\17;.
Above: The slatted walls multitask as a trellis for Clematis montana ‘Freda’.
Astrantia &#8\2\16;Moulin Rouge&#8\2\17;. &#8\2\20;The terrace is northeast-facing and although it has quite high walls, you still get a lot of sun and it is fairly dry. I wanted to add some hardy perennials to make it as sustainable and low-maintenance as possible.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: Astrantia ‘Moulin Rouge’. “The terrace is northeast-facing and although it has quite high walls, you still get a lot of sun and it is fairly dry. I wanted to add some hardy perennials to make it as sustainable and low-maintenance as possible.”
The view from the inside. Note the new frosted skylight, now flush with the flooring. &#8\2\20;The kitchen lies below, which in parts had a really high ceiling, so working with an engineer and an architect, we were able to lower it approximately one meter to make room for the terrace.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: The view from the inside. Note the new frosted skylight, now flush with the flooring. “The kitchen lies below, which in parts had a really high ceiling, so working with an engineer and an architect, we were able to lower it approximately one meter to make room for the terrace.”

For more purple flower inspiration, go to our Lookbook.

For more rooftop gardens, see:

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0