Beautification Commitee

We live in a condo in a building that was converted to condos in the ’90s.  It used to be a very old factory so it has some great exposed brick walls and high ceilings with think beams.  Last year we started a beautification committee to try to get some of the community areas looking a little better.   We have a very shady courtyard in front of the building and a rooftop deck with a grill.  The roof only had one old plastic picnic table that was starting to bow and a grill and some plastic chairs that you would have to bungee to the railing so the wind would not move them around.  Last year, my husband and I focused on the roof top.  We build some slated benches, an planter bench.




All of the plans for these benches are from the book

Big Book of Home How-To (Better Homes & Gardens (Paperback))Big Book of Home How-To (Better Homes & Gardens by Better Homes and Gardens






We added a picnic table and recycled the old picnic table. We took the old picnic table apart and replaced the plastic with wood.  We repainted the metal and stained all the wood.  I love the result.

Here is the before for the rooftop last year

and the after:



In the courtyard, I tried planting some free plants I was able to get and bought some 50% off bulbs.  He bulbs were on sale, because it was the end of the season and most of these bulbs did not come up.  We also have a big problem with too much shade in the courtyard.

We added some bird houses and bird feeders and a  bird bath as well. I put some old yarn in a suet holder for the birds.







I think the birds are appreciating it!


We also had one member find this great sculpture.  I think it looks great.



We tried adding a path, but the stones are very thin, and it seems to have sunken.

We bought some large planters and filled them with some bight flowers for the summer.  This winter, we but some evergreens in there so there was still some color for the winter.

Today was such a beautiful day (60’s and sunny!!!!!), we bought some flower seeds and painters plastic.  I am hoping this woks so we can save some money on plants for this year. We planted the seeds in the pots on the roof and covered it with the plastic and some painters tape to create a little green house.  We see what happens!


This year, we need to do some replanting in the pot on the roof and in the courtyard.  I also would like to find some more shade appropriate plants.  I am also planning on adding a soak hose a with a  water timer for the largest area of the courtyard.  The hose would not have to cross the sidewalk here. and this area is looking really bad because we did some tuck pointing that killed everything.  We know refer to this area as “the dead zone”.  I am really hoping I an fix this.  I will have to post more when I have more definite plans for this year.


  1. Sharon said,

    March 11, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Love your evergreen bouquets. What a great idea!

  2. Lilybell said,

    March 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I love that bench planter-it looks gorgeous! I want two of those on our back porch! have to chat with the bf…

    • ElizabethL42 said,

      March 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      They were pretty easy t make…and they look awesome. We went up there today and the weathered the winter outside just fine!

  3. craftingismybliss said,

    March 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Great picnic tables, planters and benches. You guys do great work and it’s so nice of you to spend time to spruce up your common areas for everyone to use.

    • ElizabethL42 said,

      March 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      It needed it so bad!!! Now we have a nice outdoor area for parties in the summer!

  4. StasiaCrafts said,

    March 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Wood always looks so much nicer than plastic. And how nice you don’t have to worry about things blowing away. What a great place to sit in the sun and read or crochet. 🙂

    • ElizabethL42 said,

      March 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks, it is very nice up there now….take a glass of wine and a book… 🙂

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