October 21, 2021

High Gold

Its The Taste Of Gold

Urban Spaces: How Hoboken + Jersey City Locals Designed Theirs Part ll

9 min read

Table of Contents

There’s nothing like fresh air and a space of your own – two reasons why patios and balconies are so sought after in the city. Even the smallest space can be transformed into an oasis, a little getaway if you will. Hoboken and Jersey City residents have gotten creative with their outdoor spaces, despite the limited space. We thought it’d be fun for locals to share how they decorated their patio/balconies including the square footage, design inspo, budget, and more. This month features a multi-family home in Jersey City, a Hoboken building facing the Manhattan skyline, a Jersey City rental building with a huge outdoor space, and a Willow Terrace home in Hoboken. Read on for the next four features of our new Urban Space Series.

To be considered for our Urban Space Series, email [email protected].

Ashley Zazzarino’s Patio

Ashley and her husband, Brian, rent an apartment in a multi-family home in Jersey City Heights. They are both writers and work in the TV and Film industry.

HG: What is the square footage of the balcony?

AZ: Our balcony is 60 square feet.

HG: What type of building do you live in?

AZ: We live in an apartment in a multi-family home.

HG: What was the design concept + goal of the space?

AZ: When we first moved into this space in 2019, we didn’t have huge plans for the balcony. But once the pandemic hit and we were both out of work and forced to stay home, we took solace in our tiny outdoor space and prioritized making it feel cozy and warm so that we can spend the long days retreating somewhere that felt welcoming. We were both out of work and stuck at home for months, which really forced us to beautify our tiny outdoor retreat and make it a place where we can relax in a stress-free environment.

HG: Tell us about the furniture, where did you purchase each piece?

AZ: The bistro set and rug are both from Wayfair. The blue bean bag (which our dog, Retro, has happily taken over as his own) was from Kohls and the lights are from Amazon.

HG: Any plants/decor/unique items there that you’re especially proud of?

AZ: I am especially proud of the Dracaena Mass Cane we have in the corner. I am a big plant lover, so the addition of that plant really made a huge difference, not just in ambiance but in adding a bit of privacy to the corner. I always love how easily outdoor rugs make a space feel warmer, so that was the very first thing I purchased, even before the table and chairs.

HG: What challenges did you encounter, if any, when creating your space?

AZ: Our biggest challenge in creating our outdoor oasis was just making it feel like home, where we can play some music and have a cocktail with our rescue dog.

HG: Share your budget for the space. How did you fare? Under/over budget?

AZ: All in all, this space cost about $300 to put together.

Read More: All About Buy Nothing: Neighbor to Neighbor, Putting Sustainability First

Katie Rie’s Patio

Katie lives with her boyfriend, Mike, and has recently moved to Hoboken from living eight years in Manhattan. Katie is 31, works in Public Relations, and has a side business making charcuterie plates.

HG: What type of building do you live in?

KR: In an apartment rental building.

HG: What was the design concept + goal of the space?

KR: The design concept was to make it chic and have as much seating room for guests as possible. We love to entertain so having space to put food out and seating was key.

HG: Where did you pull inspo from?

KR: The inspo was really done by looking at neighbors’ balconies and seeing how we could make the space work best.

HG: Tell us about the furniture, where did you purchase each piece?

KR: Target! They have a great mood board section when shopping which made it super easy. Then Amazon for the privacy screen which makes such a difference.

HG: Any plants/decor/unique items there that you’re especially proud of?

KR: The privacy screen, I am always shocked why other units in this building don’t have. It adds such charm to the space.

HG: What challenges did you encounter, if any, when creating your space?

KR: Cost! It’s shocking how expensive outdoor furniture can be. Also finding a privacy screen that fit, I ended up having to order extra to make it work.

HG: Share your budget for the space. How did you fare? Under/over budget?

KR: Spent ~$1,000 which was in budget. Thank God for Target.

Eric Graham’s Patio

Eric lives on Beacon Way in Jersey City and is renting the space. Eric is 30, flirty, and thriving as a single gay investment professional. He currently has his dream job as a director at a financial firm.

HG: What is the square footage of the balcony?

EG: 550 square feet.

HG: What type of building do you live in?

EG: I live in an old hospital (Jersey City Medical Center) that has been converted into luxury condos and rentals.

HG: What was the design concept + goal of the space?

EG: My goal of the space was to extend my interior living space and have a space that showcases the panoramic views of Manhattan and Harbor. With such a large outdoor space, it was a challenge of balancing finding furniture that was in scale proportionally while not making it cluttered.

HG: Where did you pull inspo from?

EG: The OC (lame but I loved the backyard in the show).

HG: Tell us about the furniture, where did you purchase each piece?

EG: This is a fantastic fun bit of information. I happened to be heading to LensCrafters at Newport Center and my Uber dropped me off in front of Sears. This day was when they were changing out their seasonal department with new displays. What was left was the floor models of the couches and table and both were the last one and already assembled. The manager was super chill and gave me an incredible deal because he wanted it gone. I got $5000 worth of furniture and accessories for $700. Plus, he threw in the pool for free. It couldn’t have been better timing.

HG: Any plants/decor/unique items there that you’re especially proud of?

EG: I am proud of the lighting at night. The entire terrace has an amazing vibe when the sun goes down and the skyline is just breathtaking.

HG: What challenges did you encounter, if any, when creating your space?

EG: Well, the only challenge was the pool. Turns out the building management did not like an above-ground pool on a terrace. I had to take it down but was able to configure the layout in a way that is much more functional. Also, getting everything moved onto the terrace was a hassle, and buying plants every year is a pain.

HG: Share your budget for the space. How did you fare? Under/over budget?

EG: I probably spent two grand or less to get it looking shipshape every year (included plants, lighting, accessories).

HG: Any other things you’d like to share or tips for people wanting to beautify their urban outdoor spaces.

EG: Lighting makes such a big difference and doesn’t cost very much. Big Box stores like Sears have surprisingly good quality items. Head there and ask an associate when they are discounting their inventory for the end of the season. Even ask for the floor model and negotiate.

See More: Places in Hoboken + Jersey City to Work From Home + WFH Tips 

Meredith Golmont’s Patio

Meredith and her husband are homeowners of property on Willow Terrace in Hoboken. They are high school sweethearts, moved into their ‘fixer-upper’ home in 2017, got married in 2018, and had their son in 2019. They did a full gut renovation to their home soon after their baby was born. Construction, design details, and new parenthood in a pandemic have been a great lesson in patience for them. But it was all worth the wait!

HG: What is the square footage of the balcony?

MG: I don’t remember. We have 4 outdoor spaces. 3rd-floor balcony, 2nd-floor deck, 1st-floor patio, and a bench on the sidewalk outside the front door. The 4th outside space (and bench) is a stretch- but we make it count!

HG: What type of building do you live in?

MG: A townhome; it’s 12 feet wide and 3 stories tall.

HG: What was the design concept + goal of the space?

MG: 1st = functional use of space and 2nd- clean lines, modern details with attention to historic charm (willow terrace homes were built in 1885).

HG: Where did you pull inspo from?

MG: Pinterest, Instagram accounts, magazines, etc. The whole house project was with the help of Pinterest mood boards and stalking comments to locate links for tiles, paint/stain colors, furniture, light fixtures- everything!

HG: Tell us about the furniture, where did you purchase each piece?

MG: We got our planters from West Elm, chairs and couches from Overstock and our storage box from Amazon.

HG: Any plants/decor/unique items there that you’re especially proud of?

MG: My husband, FIL, and myself made the outdoor coffee table. While in Vermont, we selected the wood from a lumber yard, had it cut and we shaped, sanded, stained added legs- and I love it! My son enjoys playing with his vehicles and train sets on it, too.

HG: What challenges did you encounter, if any, when creating your space?

MG: My neighbor and I have adjoining 2nd-floor decks. If you’re looking for pure privacy, you don’t move to a city and especially not Willow Terrace. However, I like to feel like I can chill without having to offer a glass of wine over the railing to my neighbor. I put tall thin planters at railing height that gives the slight illusion of ‘privacy.’

HG: Share your budget for the space. How did you fare? Under/over budget?

MG: Our outside space was on a budget or under. All the high-end outdoor furniture I could find that would exactly fit the small spaces were also way too oversized and looked like they would belong in the burbs. I’m more than happy with overstock for outdoor furniture.

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Written by: Katherine Chaves Diaz

Katherine is a recent Montclair State grad who has a passion to explore the world. Apart from her family and dogs, she loves traveling the most. She has fallen head over heels with experiencing the world, trying new foods, learning about new cultures, and getting out of her comfort zone. She’s been to 14 countries and counting. In her spare time you’ll find her listening to music or daydreaming about a new adventure.

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