Last year, my partner and I decided we wanted to start our own celebration of Sukkot.
We’re city people, and we had finally found an apartment with a balcony large enough to accommodate a sukkah you could reasonably sit and eat in at the same time. But we’re also fans of great design, and while we wanted something simple and easy, we did not want to attach a PVC-and-shower-curtain blight to our apartment.
Growing up, my suburbanite parents had an amazing sukkah. It was made of thick bamboo poles, lashed together with rope by my former boyscout father. My mom purchased big sheets of burlap fabric for the walls from an old tobacco factory near our house. It was beautiful. And totally impossible for a city-dweller to replicate.
So here’s what we came up with, using some of the same principles, but with city-friendly solutions.
What you need for a 6×11 balcony sukkah like ours:
- (4) 2×2 pressure-treated wooden poles, 8 ft – zip-tie these to the 4 corners of the balcony railing as supports.
- (2) 1×2 pressure-treated wooden poles, 8 ft – zip-tie these to the center of the longer sides as additional supports
- (2) 1×2 pressure-treated wooden poles, cut to 7 ft – these are the top rails of the 6-foot sides
- (4) 1×2 pressure-treated wooden poles, cut to 6 ft- connect them together in sets of 2 at the top rails on the 11-foot sides
- 1/4-inch nylon rope – use this to lash together the poles at the top corners
- 1 pack of very strong zipties
- 6 cheap Ikea curtains – thread these onto your poles first, then lash together at the top
We created a space that feels celebratory and special, that we’re excited to have guests in, and that makes us look forward to the holiday. And that’s why I started this blog.
Sukkot is an amazing excuse to build something beautiful. It’s the one holiday dedicated to interior design. Please say no to plastic fruit.
Got a tip on a sukkah that doesn’t suck? Send ’em right here: firstname.lastname@example.org.