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How can I turn my terrace into an outdoor room?

Patio rattan chairs and table

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The question

I have a 23rd-storey downtown condo that faces south. How can I turn my terrace into an outdoor room?

The answer

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Living high up in the sky and facing south is a condo dream, but you might consider it a nightmare when the hot midsummer sun starts beating down on your terrace. The solution is to create an outdoor room that provides protection from harsh rays as well as wind and rain.

Before you start, be sure to get permission from your condo board. A pergola made up of columns and beams and draped in wisteria can help create the look of an English country garden. Alternatively, you could go modern with a canvas-covered metal frame that has drape panels for privacy. Opt for heavy, durable furniture and accessorize with pillows and throws to create a room-like feel.

Caution: Wind can be dangerous, so when items such as rugs or pillows are not in use, take them inside. Magic carpet rides are no fun for you – or the people down below.

Starting June 1, architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace will be appearing on The Real Designing Women, which airs on HGTV Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET. Follow her on Twitter @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail

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