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

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 a little getaway. 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. Read on for the fourth installment of our Urban Space Series.

To be considered for our Urban Space Series, email hello@hobokengirl.com.

Alexandra Mavic’s Patio

Alexandra and her boyfriend, Alex, rent the space in Hoboken. Alexandra is an oncology nurse in NYC and runs a book Instagram  on the side for fun – you may have seen her book recs on Hoboken Girl! Alex works in business development for a large bank. They moved into this apartment last November and adopted a kitten named Lady in April. They love spending time outdoors and entertaining so this yard was a major selling point for them.

HG: What city do you live in?

AM: Garden Street in Hoboken!

HG: What type of building do you live in?

AM: We live in a duplex apartment in a 4 unit brownstone building.

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

AM: When we moved in, the backyard was pretty overrun with bamboo and weeds. Thanks to my mom and my aunt, I have a strong appreciation for beautiful plants and flowers. I like to think I inherited my green thumb from them as well!

HG: Where did you pull inspo from?

AM: My aunt has a gorgeous garden in her own backyard, which has been an absolute dream for as long as I can remember. Growing up, we spent countless hours playing and hanging out with family there. My mom also has done amazing things with the limited space in my parents’ front yard. They live in a townhouse but she is one of the most creative people I know and was able to create the most stunning outdoor oasis! (You can find pictures of my aunt’s gorgeous garden on Instagram.

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

AM: Our furniture was mostly mixed and matched. We got the black lounge set for free from a neighbor who was throwing it away. It just needed a good scrub and was good as new! The dining table was there when we moved in but the chairs it came with were extremely damaged so we replaced them with this set from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. The daybed from Lowe’s can be found here.

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

AM: We’re really proud of all our plants! We were able to grow two different kinds of peppers until the squirrels, unfortunately, ate them.

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

AM: We were planning on having a friend build us a new dining table to better match our chairs and overall aesthetic but the wood shortage really put that on hold. Due to the increased pricing, we decided to wait until next year since we had already put so much time and money in the yard this year. We have also been working with our landlord to have the fence fixed since it is pretty run down and needs to be totally replaced. Our deck and stairs also had to be replaced (this occurred recently after these photos) but both items took some time due to labor and material shortages.

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

AM: Definitely look into the Facebook marketplace and yard sales for free stuff! Patio furniture is SO expensive and definitely needs to be covered/protected during the winter months. Also, keep in mind that squirrels can do a lot of damage to plants so do your research on what plants are best and pay attention to the amount of sun that area gets throughout the day. Keep in mind that most backyard spaces can only be accessed through your apartment so some furniture might not fit – definitely take measurements!

Read More: A Hoboken Home Makeover — Inspired by a Song + Scandinavian Vibes

Tracy Novak’s Patio

Tracy and John both work in sales for Indeed.com. They help people get jobs. Tracy has been working at the company for three years and John started this month.

HG: What city do you live in?

TN: Hoboken.

HG: What is the square footage of the balcony?

TN: 65 square feet.

HG: What type of building do you live in?

TN: Luxury Building.

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

TN: My goal for this space was to create a cozy atmosphere for my guests. I wanted them to feel right at home with the lounge seating and colorful pillows to match. We are big on hosting and the more space the better.

HG: Where did you pull inspo from?

TN: Pinterest.

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

TN: Wayfair and Target. The rug can be found here. The pillow can be found here and here. Our outdoor furniture was purchased here and here.

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

TN: The lounge I managed to fit on our patio. It is my prized possession. It fits at least 4 people and it has been my go-to spot when laying out this summer.

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

TN: Making everything fit properly! We had to sell certain pieces when I first ordered everything on Wayfair.

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

TN: Spent around $1,500 on the space. We definitely went over budget but it was worth it.

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

TN: Tape measures are your best friend! Use painter’s tape to map out the dimensions on the ground before purchasing anything. Use fun colors to spice things up and take your time when purchasing decor. John adds: Make sure to lay off plenty of times when setting things up lol.

See More: Inside the Most Expensive Townhouse to Hit the Hoboken Market at $7M 

Janeen Bellafiore + Brian Levine’s Patio

Janeen is an Art Director and her partner Brian is an Associate Publisher in the luxury travel industry.

HG: What city do you live in?

JB: Grand Street in Hoboken, a charming cobblestone street uptown. (one of the few cobblestone streets that exist in town)!

HG: What type of building do you live in?

JB: A 6-floor condo building that is 100+ years old and I was told it used to be a leather factory.

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

JB: Goal was to have an extension of our apartment, another three-season living space. A place to relax, unwind together, with our precious dog Barkley as well as a fun entertaining space. (Before COVID, we had some great parties, which we hope to do again! We even had a 13th birthday for our dog with more than 30 people here to celebrate with us!) We are out here as much as possible. We eat, grill, drink wine, watch movies on iPad, work on my laptop during the day, drink morning coffee, work out/yoga, and entertain. I also am an artist and bring my easel and oil paints to work out here. And because we’re top floor and it’s a western exposure, we get great sun and warmth all year. Incredible sunsets.

HG: Where did you pull inspo from?

JB: (Pinterest, Instagram accounts, magazines, etc.) Pinterest was a big go-to. Also, I love the Houzz app. I used it a lot!

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

JB: The wicker sectional with striped pillows is Echo beach from Pier One. Unfortunately, one of the pieces is starting to deteriorate after a long time and the set is discontinued, so may have to be replaced. The table set was from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It’s great and looks like teak but way more affordable. Floor planters are from Target. Lights from Amazon. Wall planters from Wayfair.

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

JB: I love the dark wood fences and the metal wall planters. My vision was to have the planks installed horizontally, (as opposed to vertical like the old fence when we moved in, see before photo) The result is a more modern look, and I’m very happy with my decision. I also LOVE the peonies that have grown back every year for 3 years. I wasn’t sure if they’d take it, but the sun is ideal for many plants and flowers. They’re gorgeous. A friend who visited early in the summer said she felt like she was in Tuscany. That was a huge compliment!

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

JB: Well the entire front is very open with a low wall and only black metal decorative bars. We were a little worried about our dog’s safety. We didn’t want to close up the space and lose all the light. So we decided to buy large planters to line across the length of the space as a barrier. It worked! He doesn’t even realize what’s behind them and is usually more interested in trying to eat the soil lol.

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

JB: We didn’t come up with a figure beforehand tbh. We did try to do what we wanted while keeping costs down where possible. It’s a constant work in progress!

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

JB: One thing I can say is to enjoy your outdoor space if you have it! It amazes me how many decks/patios I have seen around town that just never get much use. A little fresh air can do wonders for you!

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Written by:

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 16 countries and counting. In her spare time you'll find her listening to music or daydreaming about a new adventure.


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