Boston Back Bay: A Summer’s Dream

The sixth floor is unlike any other city space. High above the city, this deck provides a luxurious escape…. So high, it almost touches the sky.

We love a city that has iconic images and buildings. Boston has the Hancock Building, Copley Square, Faneuil Hall and, of course, the residents’ quirky passion for the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square outside of Fenway Park. Any rooftop deck is a coveted space in the city but this one with views of Newbury Street, Copley Square, Beacon Street and just off on the horizon, barely out of view are the Charles River and Boston Gardens, is definitely a bit of luxury.

Senior designers Andrea Georgopolis and Kellye O’Kelly along with design associate Oshi Gardarian created a majestic rooftop deck recently on a 150-year-old townhouse in Back Bay, Boston. The job was multifaceted and required working through many, many layers of design from the past – some good, most quite… unique. The five stories culminate with the deck space where the owners retire most every evening in the summer to watch the sun dip behind downtown Boston.

Before the transformation, the best part of the deck was the 360-degree views of Boston. There was nothing unique, inspired or welcoming about the space – what a waste! The patio runs the entire length of the house: Found space, which is like gold in a city like Boston.

The owners loved the idea of extending the inside out, so architect Ron Payne of Payne Collins designed the gazebo, planters and flooring, creating a stunningly cohesive look. Resurfacing the previously ugly floor was the first step: Now, the wood floor in a grid pattern, is inset into the tile perimeter, along with planters, adding visual interest.

floor before
Wood Floor BEFORE
Floor After
Wood Floor AFTER

The gazebo is hardwired with wrought-iron pendant lights, allowing for late evening dinner parties, or a dinner for just two. Additionally, the outdoor grill set up was a must with top-of-the-line outdoor Lynx barbeque. It completes this extraordinary sixth floor.
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Come summer, the best place to relax with a cocktail or early morning cup of coffee is in the rooftop living area: elegantly plush seating by Sutherland & Mckinnon & Harris sets off the fire table perfectly. It’s the only way to enjoy the short New England summer with friends or family, or to sit and daydream.

Andrea sums up the project, “This was a dream project in the city – transforming a piece of Boston history into a current masterpiece. We’ve worked with these clients on four previous homes, so it was a treat to have such an understanding of what they were looking for.”


After working for 11 (!) days straight, eating take-out and enjoying a few Italian delicacies from the North End, the team had a chance to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor: on the rooftop deck, or course. Fun fact – Andrea’s mother worked at New England Life Insurance Company on Boylston Street – as seen in the picture where Andrea (finally) rests.

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