Create a Lush Rooftop Terrace: 9 Design Tricks for a Relaxing Outdoor Living Room


A lush rooftop terrace has the potential to transform your home into a breathtaking oasis. Imagine stepping outside onto a beautifully designed space, surrounded by vibrant greenery and captivating views. To help you bring this vision to life, we have compiled nine design tricks that will assist you in creating a stunning and inviting rooftop terrace.

I. Treat Your Rooftop Like an Outdoor Living Room: Create a Cozy and Inviting Space

Designing your rooftop terrace as an outdoor living room is a brilliant way to transform it into a cozy and inviting space. Treating it as an extension of your home allows you to transition between indoor and outdoor living seamlessly. Here are some tips to help you turn your rooftop into an outdoor oasis that feels like a comfortable living room.

1. Choose Comfortable Furniture

Choose comfortable furniture that encourages relaxation and leisure to create a cozy atmosphere on your rooftop terrace. Opt for plush seating options like lounge chairs, sofas, or a hammock. Ensure that the table is designed to withstand outdoor conditions, and choose stylish and weather-resistant fabrics. Soft cushions and throw pillows will provide extra comfort and make your rooftop feel like a proper outdoor living room.

2. Add Inviting Decor

Add inviting decor to your rooftop terrace like you would decorate your indoor living room. Consider adding outdoor rugs to define different areas and bring warmth underfoot. Incorporate side tables or a coffee table to hold drinks, books, or small decor items. Hang wall art or mirrors to create a focal point and add visual interest. Adding these elements creates a welcoming and stylish atmosphere that resembles an indoor living space.

3. Use Planters for Greenery

Introducing planters and greenery is a fantastic way to bring life and vibrancy to your rooftop living room. Choose various plants, including flowers, shrubs, or even small trees, depending on the available space and sunlight. Arrange the planters around your terrace to create a lush, visually appealing environment. Greenery not only adds beauty but also contributes to a relaxing and refreshing atmosphere.

4. Incorporate Ambient Lighting

Incorporate ambient lighting on your rooftop terrace to set the right mood and create an enchanting ambiance. Hang string lights or install discreet LED fixtures for soft and warm lighting. Consider using dimmable lights or adding candles or lanterns for a cozy and intimate atmosphere during the evening. The proper lighting will enhance the allure of your outdoor living room and make it a beautiful space to unwind.

5. Extend Your Home’s Style

When designing your rooftop terrace, extend the style of your home to create a cohesive and harmonious look. Consider your house’s architectural elements, develop aesthetics and tic, and reflect that in your outdoor space. Choose furniture, decor, and colors that complement the overall style of your home. Doing so will make a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors, making your rooftop feel like a natural extension of your living space.

6. Create Shelter and Privacy

Create shelter and privacy to make your rooftop living room feel more intimate and comfortable. Install a pergola or canopy to provide shade and protection from the sun. Consider using outdoor curtains, screens, or planters with tall foliage to block unwanted views and create a sense of seclusion. Enhancing privacy will help you relax and enjoy your outdoor living room without feeling exposed to the surrounding environment.

7. Incorporate Entertainment Options

Make your rooftop terrace a place for entertainment by incorporating options for entertainment. Install an outdoor sound system or portable speakers to enjoy music while lounging. Consider adding a weather-resistant television for outdoor movie nights or watching your favorite sports events. By incorporating entertainment elements, you’ll create a space that is not only comfortable but also fun for family and friends.

Remember, your rooftop terrace is an extension of your home, and treating it like an outdoor living room allows you to create a cozy and inviting space. With comfortable furniture, inviting decor, greenery, ambient lighting, and a touch of personal style, you can transform your rooftop into a delightful oasis where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

II. Consider the Size of the Space

When working with a small rooftop terrace, it’s crucial to consider the size of the space to ensure optimal functionality and avoid a cramped or cluttered feel. By making thoughtful choices in furniture and decor, you can create an inviting and well-utilized outdoor area. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your small rooftop terrace:

1. Prioritize Essential Furniture

Start by prioritizing essential furniture that will serve your needs without overwhelming the space. Focus on selecting lightweight or foldable pieces that can be easily moved or stored when not in use. Opt for a small table, a couple of chairs, or a compact sectional sofa that fits well within the available area. You’ll maintain an open and airy atmosphere by keeping the furniture minimal and purposeful.

2. Choose Multi-functional Pieces

Maximize the utility of your small rooftop terrace by choosing multi-functional furniture. Look for items that can serve multiple purposes, such as ottomans or coffee tables with hidden storage compartments. Select benches or seating options that have built-in storage underneath. These clever additions will help you keep your space organized and free from clutter while offering additional functionality.

3. Embrace Vertical Space

In a small rooftop terrace, embrace the vertical space to expand your options. Utilize wall-mounted shelves or hanging planters to display greenery and add visual interest without sacrificing valuable floor area. Consider installing a compact vertical garden or trellis to maximize the planting space. You can create a lush and vibrant atmosphere using vertical elements while saving valuable square footage.

4. Opt for Light Colors and Reflective Surfaces

Opt for light colors and reflective surfaces in your small rooftop terrace design to create an illusion of spaciousness. Light-colored furniture, cushions, and rugs will make the space more open and airy. Choose materials with reflective properties, such as glass or metal, for tables or decorative elements, as they can bounce light around and create a sense of expansiveness.

5. Keep Decor Simple and Streamlined

Please keep the decor simple and streamlined on a small rooftop terrace. Avoid cluttering the space with too many accessories or decorative items. Opt for a few well-chosen pieces that complement the overall style and create a cohesive look. Hang a statement wall art or mirror to add visual interest without taking up floor space. You’ll maintain a clean and uncluttered aesthetic by keeping the decor minimal.

6. Utilize Clever Storage Solutions

Make the most of limited space by utilizing clever storage solutions on your rooftop terrace. Invest in weather-resistant storage containers or benches with hidden compartments to store cushions, blankets, or gardening tools. Keeping these items out of sight, maintain a tidy and organized outdoor space.

7. Create the Illusion of Space with Mirrors

Incorporating mirrors into your small rooftop terrace design can create the illusion of a larger space. Hang a mirror strategically to reflect natural light and visually expand the area. Consider placing it near a greenery arrangement or where it can reflect a beautiful view, further enhancing the sense of space and depth.

You can create an inviting and functional outdoor area by considering the size of your small rooftop terrace and making thoughtful choices in furniture, decor, and storage solutions. Remember to prioritize essential pieces, embrace vertical space, and keep the design simple and streamlined. With these tips, your small rooftop terrace will feel open, uncluttered, and enjoyable, providing a cozy oasis to relax and unwind.

III. Utilize Vertical Space: Enhancing Your Small Rooftop Terrace

When designing a small rooftop terrace, utilizing vertical space is a smart strategy to maximize the potential of your outdoor area. By incorporating hanging planters, wall sconces, and other vertical elements, you can add depth and visual interest and create an illusion of a larger space. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of the vertical space in your small rooftop terrace:

1. Hanging Planters and Vertical Gardens

Incorporate hanging planters and vertical gardens to bring greenery to your rooftop oasis while saving valuable floor space. Hang cascading plants from hooks or install a wall-mounted planter system to create a lush and vibrant vertical garden. This adds beauty and texture and draws the eye upward, making the space appear larger and more dynamic.

2. Wall Sconces and Lighting Fixtures

To enhance the ambiance and illuminate your small rooftop terrace, install wall sconces and lighting fixtures that utilize vertical space. These fixtures not only provide functional lighting but also serve as decorative elements. Choose sconces with a design that complements your overall style, and consider incorporating adjustable or dimmable lights to create moods and highlight specific areas.

3. Vertical Storage Solutions

When space is limited, vertical storage solutions can be a game-changer. Install shelving units, wall-mounted cabinets, or floating shelves to keep your terrace organized and clutter-free. Use these storage options to house gardening tools, cushions, or even small outdoor accessories. You can optimize your floor space by utilizing vertical storage while keeping everything within reach and neatly arranged.

4. Wall Art and Mirrors

Add visual interest and create the illusion of a larger space by hanging wall art and mirrors on your rooftop terrace. Choose pieces that reflect your style and complement the overall design aesthetic. Mirrors are excellent for small spaces as they reflect light, making the area feel more expansive. Hang them strategically to capture views, bounce natural light, and give the impression of added depth.

5. Trellises and Climbing Plants

Introducing trellises and climbing plants can add a touch of elegance and vertical interest to your rooftop terrace. Install a frame along a wall or use it as a partition to create privacy. Choose climbing plants that thrive in your local climate and ensure they are suitable for vertical growth. As these plants climb and spread, they will provide a beautiful natural backdrop and further enhance the vertical dimension of your space.

6. Vertical Decorative Features

Consider vertical decorative features to create focal points and add character to your rooftop terrace. Install a unique outdoor artwork or sculpture that stands vertically, drawing attention upward. Incorporate a water feature with a vertical design, such as a wall-mounted fountain or a cascading waterfall. These elements enhance the aesthetic appeal and make your small rooftop terrace feel more dynamic and engaging.

7. Hanging Seating or Hammocks

If space allows, consider hanging seating or hammocks a fun and space-saving option. Hang a swinging chair or hammock from a sturdy beam, or use a hanging daybed to create a cozy and relaxing nook. These suspended seating options free up floor space and add a playful and inviting element to your rooftop terrace.

By utilizing vertical space through hanging planters, wall sconces, trellises, and other vertical elements, you can add dimension and visual interest and create an illusion of a larger space on your small rooftop terrace. These design ideas maximize your floor area and contribute to a dynamic and captivating outdoor experience. Experiment with different vertical elements to find the perfect balance and transform your rooftop into a stunning and functional oasis.

Vertical space utilization in a small rooftop terrace.
Transform your small rooftop terrace with innovative vertical space utilization techniques.

IV. Use Greens and Blues: Creating a Calming Atmosphere on Your Rooftop Terrace

Using greens and blues in your color scheme can create a calming and inviting atmosphere when designing your rooftop terrace. Soft, natural tones combined with vibrant greenery and blue accents can transform your outdoor space into a tranquil oasis. Let’s explore how this color palette can enhance the ambiance of your rooftop terrace.

Calming Natural Tones

Choose soft, natural tones for your furniture and decor to create a soothing atmosphere. Opt for neutral colors such as beige, ivory, or light gray for your seating, cushions, and rugs. These subtle hues provide a serene backdrop and allow other elements like greenery and blue accents to shine. By incorporating natural tones, you can evoke a sense of tranquility and create a space where you can relax and unwind.

Vibrant Greenery

Greenery is an essential component of any rooftop terrace, and it pairs beautifully with a color scheme incorporating greens and blues. Introduce a variety of vibrant green plants into your rooftop oasis, such as lush shrubs, cascading vines, or potted palms. These natural elements add life and freshness and complement the natural tones in your color scheme. The vibrant greens create a connection to nature and infuse your terrace with a sense of vitality and serenity.

Refreshing Blue Accents

Incorporating refreshing blue accents can add depth and visual interest to your rooftop terrace. Choose shades of blue that align with your desired atmosphere, such as calming pastel blues, cool aquamarines, or deep navy tones. Use these hues in your throw pillows, decorative accessories, or tableware for outdoor dining. The pops of blue against the natural backdrop create a refreshing and inviting ambiance.

Complementary Color Scheme

The combination of greens and blues creates a complementary color scheme that enhances the overall visual appeal of your rooftop terrace. Green and blue are adjacent on the color wheel, making them naturally compatible. The coolness of blue tones complements the freshness of green, creating a harmonious and balanced atmosphere. This color palette evokes a sense of tranquility reminiscent of lush gardens and calming waters.

Cohesive and Relaxing Environment

Incorporating greens and blues in your rooftop terrace creates a cohesive and relaxing environment. The soft, natural tones provide a calming base, while the vibrant greenery adds life and freshness. The blue accents add a touch of coolness and depth, evoking a sense of serenity. The overall effect is a rooftop oasis that invites you to unwind, surrounded by the soothing colors of nature.

When designing your rooftop terrace, consider using greens and blues in your color scheme to create a calming and inviting atmosphere. The soft, natural tones provide a serene backdrop, while the vibrant greens and refreshing blue accents add depth and vitality. The harmonious combination of these colors creates a cohesive and relaxing environment where you can enjoy the beauty of nature on your rooftop oasis.

V. Elevate Your Outdoor Space: Adding a Water Feature to Your Rooftop Terrace

A well-designed rooftop terrace can serve as a luxurious retreat—a sanctuary above the bustling streets providing a unique spot to unwind. Integrating a water feature is a critical component in creating this serene atmosphere. This component introduces a new aesthetic element to your space and evokes a sense of tranquility through the gentle murmurs of water flow.

The Therapeutic Sound of Water

Often underestimated, running water is one of the most naturally calming sounds. No wonder it’s a staple in many meditation apps and relaxation playlists. Incorporating this element into your rooftop terrace can aid in creating a soothing atmosphere, an oasis amidst the urban jungle. The gentle trickle or the soft gush of water can help drown out city noise and provide a serene backdrop for relaxation or social gatherings.

Visual Enrichment

Beyond its auditory benefits, a water feature can visually elevate your space. Depending on your preference and the size of your terrace, this could be a simple, sleek fountain or a sprawling, ornate pond. Each introduces its unique charm. A spray can serve as a stunning centerpiece, while a pond can become an interesting point of interest, particularly if you add aquatic plants or fish.

Finding the Perfect Fit

Choosing the suitable water feature for your rooftop terrace involves several considerations. The size and layout of your deck are significant factors. A small fountain might be perfect for a compact space, whereas an enormous deck could accommodate a more elaborate water feature.

Style is another crucial aspect. A modern, minimalist fountain might be perfect for a sleek, contemporary terrace. In contrast, a classic, sculptural fountain or a natural pond might fit better in a more traditional or rustic setting.

Wrapping It Up

Adding a water feature to your rooftop terrace is more than just an aesthetic upgrade—it’s an investment in your well-being. The calming sounds of water, and the visual enrichment, can transform your outdoor space into a haven of tranquility. Whether you opt for a simple fountain or an elaborate pond, choosing the suitable water feature can add a whole new dimension to your rooftop terrace, making it even more inviting. So why wait? Start exploring your options today, and let the soothing sounds of water elevate your rooftop oasis.

A rooftop terrace with a fire pit in the center and comfortable outdoor seating arranged around it, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Stay warm and cozy on your rooftop terrace with a fire pit and comfy outdoor seating.

VI. Invest in a Fire Feature: Creating a Cozy and Inviting Rooftop Terrace

Adding a fire feature to your rooftop terrace is an excellent investment that brings warmth, ambiance, and versatility to your outdoor space. Whether you choose a fire pit, chiminea, or another type of fire feature, it can elevate the atmosphere and extend the usability of your rooftop terrace, particularly in cooler temperatures. A fire feature can create a cozy and inviting space to relax and unwind.

1. Warmth and Comfort

A fire feature’s primary advantage is its warmth and comfort. As the flames flicker and dance, they generate a cozy, inviting atmosphere that encourages relaxation. During cooler evenings or colder seasons, the fire feature becomes a focal point, radiating heat and creating a comfortable space for you and your guests to gather. You can extend the usability of your rooftop terrace, enjoying its charm and beauty even in chillier weather.

2. Ambiance and Relaxation

A fire feature brings a captivating ambiance and relaxation to your rooftop terrace. A fire’s soft glow and crackling sounds create a soothing environment that promotes stress relief and tranquility. Whether you’re enjoying a quiet evening alone or hosting a gathering with friends, the warm glow and gentle warmth of the fire feature set the stage for a memorable and enjoyable experience. It becomes a natural centerpiece that enhances the overall ambiance of your rooftop oasis.

3. Socializing and Entertaining

A fire feature serves as a natural gathering spot for socializing and entertaining. It becomes a focal point that draws people together, providing a cozy and intimate setting for conversations, storytelling, or simply enjoying the company of loved ones. Arrange comfortable seating around the fire feature, such as outdoor sofas, chairs, or benches, to create a comfortable and inviting space for social gatherings. The fire’s mesmerizing presence encourages connection and fosters a welcoming atmosphere on your rooftop terrace.

4. Cooking and Dining

Certain fire features, such as fire pits with grill grates or dedicated outdoor fireplaces, can also offer opportunities for cooking and dining. You can enjoy the experience of preparing meals in an open-air setting, adding a touch of excitement to your culinary endeavors. Whether roasting marshmallows for s’mores or grilling delicious meals, the fire feature becomes a versatile element that elevates the dining experience on your rooftop terrace. Consider incorporating a dedicated dining area near the fire feature to create a unique and enjoyable outdoor dining space.

5. Safety and Convenience

When investing in a fire feature, safety and convenience should be prioritized. Ensure your chosen fire feature is designed for outdoor use and complies with local regulations and safety guidelines. Follow proper fire safety practices, including keeping a fire extinguisher nearby and practicing responsible fire management. Additionally, consider the fuel source and maintenance requirements of the fire feature, opting for practical and manageable options for your rooftop terrace.

6. Design Integration

A fire feature can also enhance the overall design integration of your rooftop terrace. Choose a fire feature that complements your outdoor aesthetic and blends seamlessly with the surrounding decor. Whether you opt for a modern fire pit, a rustic chiminea, or a sleek fire table, select a style and material that harmonizes with the overall design of your rooftop oasis. The fire feature becomes a visually appealing element that adds character and elegance to your outdoor space.

7. Safety Considerations

While a fire feature can bring warmth and ambiance, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Follow local fire regulations and guidelines, ensuring the fire feature is placed on a non-combustible surface. It is a safe distance from flammable materials. Always supervise the fire and take precautions to prevent accidents. By prioritizing safety, you can enjoy the benefits of a fire feature while maintaining a secure environment for yourself, your guests, and your property.

Investing in a fire feature for your rooftop terrace creates a cozy, inviting space where warmth, ambiance, and relaxation harmonize. Whether you’re seeking comfort on chilly nights, socializing with friends, or enjoying an outdoor dining experience, the fire feature becomes the heart of your rooftop oasis. Remember to prioritize safety, choose a design that integrates well with your overall aesthetic, and savor the beauty and charm of your rooftop terrace enhanced by the mesmerizing allure of a fire feature.

VII. Install a Shade Structure: Creating a Comfortable and Protected Rooftop Terrace

If your rooftop terrace receives excessive sun exposure, installing a shade structure is a wise choice to provide relief and create a comfortable outdoor space. With various options available, such as umbrellas, awnings, or pergolas, you can find the perfect shade solution for your rooftop. Adding a shade structure creates a protected environment where you can relax without worrying about the sun’s harmful rays. Here’s how a shade structure can transform your rooftop terrace into a comfortable and inviting oasis.

1. Sun Protection and Comfort

The primary benefit of installing a shade structure is sun protection and comfort. By blocking the direct sunlight, a shade structure creates a shaded area where you can enjoy your rooftop terrace without exposure to harsh UV rays. This shade allows you to relax, read, or engage in activities comfortably, even during the hottest parts of the day. You’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor space without the discomfort of intense heat or the need to seek shelter from the sun constantly.

2. Versatility and Flexibility

Shade structures offer versatility and flexibility in terms of design and functionality. Umbrellas provide portable shade that can be easily adjusted to suit your needs, while awnings offer retractable options to adapt to changing weather conditions. Pergolas provide a permanent shade solution and can be customized with various materials, such as fabric canopies or louvered panels, to control the amount of shade and sunlight. Choose a shade structure that aligns with your preferences and the requirements of your rooftop terrace.

3. Enhanced Aesthetics

In addition to its functional benefits, a shade structure can enhance the aesthetics of your rooftop terrace. Consider selecting a shade structure that complements your existing design aesthetic, whether it’s a sleek modern umbrella, a stylish retractable awning, or a beautifully crafted pergola. The shade structure becomes an architectural element that adds visual interest and sophistication to your outdoor space. You’ll create a harmonious and inviting environment by integrating it seamlessly with the overall design.

4. Privacy and Seclusion

A shade structure can also provide additional privacy and seclusion on your rooftop terrace. Depending on your shade structure, it can shield your space from prying eyes, creating a more intimate setting. For example, installing a retractable awning or curtains along the sides of a pergola can create a private retreat where you can relax without feeling exposed. This added privacy enhances the overall comfort and enjoyment of your rooftop oasis.

5. Customization and Personalization

Shade structures offer opportunities for customization and personalization to suit your specific needs and style preferences. Consider adding features like LED lights, misting systems, or outdoor curtains further to enhance the functionality and ambiance of your shade structure. You can also select shade fabrics or materials that complement the colors and textures of your rooftop terrace, adding a personalized touch that reflects your unique taste and personality.

6. Long-Term Investment

Installing a shade structure on your rooftop terrace is a long-term investment that provides lasting benefits. It improves your comfort and enjoyment in the present and helps protect your furniture and decor from sun damage, extending their lifespan. Furthermore, the shade structure can add value to your home, as it enhances the usability and appeal of your rooftop terrace.

7. Professional Installation and Maintenance

To ensure a safe and effective installation, it’s advisable to hire a professional to install and maintain your shade structure. They can assess your rooftop’s structural integrity, recommend suitable options, and ensure proper installation according to local regulations. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the fabric or inspecting the structure for any repairs, will help prolong its lifespan and ensure continued functionality.

Installing a shade structure on your rooftop terrace creates a comfortable and inviting space where you can relax and unwind without worrying about excessive sun exposure. Choose a shade solution that aligns with your needs and preferences, considering versatility, aesthetics, privacy, and customization factors. With the proper shade structure, you’ll transform your rooftop into a protected oasis where you can enjoy the outdoors comfortably and make the most of your rooftop terrace throughout the seasons.

VIII. Keep it Safe!

When designing your rooftop terrace, keeping safety in mind is essential. Ensure the rooftop terrace is safe and secure, and consider adding railings or walls to make it faster. This will help to prevent accidents and keep you and your guests safe while enjoying your outdoor space.

IX. Make it Your Own

Finally, it’s crucial to add personal touches to the space. Add framed photos, artwork, or other memorabilia to make it unique and reflect your style. This will help make your rooftop terrace feel like an extension of your home and unique space.

Creating a lush rooftop terrace is a great way to enhance your outdoor living space. Using these design tricks, you can create a beautiful, inviting rooftop terrace you’ll love spending time in. So, start planning your rooftop oasis today and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful and relaxing outdoor space.

In addition to the design tricks mentioned above, here are a few more tips to help you make the most of your rooftop terrace:

  • Choose weather-resistant materials: Since your rooftop terrace will be exposed to the elements, it’s essential to select furniture and decor that can withstand rain, wind, and sun. Look for metal, wicker, or treated wood that can hold up well over time.
  • Consider your view: If you have a great view from your rooftop terrace, take advantage of it! Position your furniture and decor to highlight the idea and create a flow between the outdoor and surrounding areas.
  • Incorporate lighting: To make the most of your rooftop terrace, it’s essential to have proper lighting. Use string lights, lanterns, or other outdoor lighting fixtures to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, even after the sun goes down.
  • Add privacy screens: If neighbors overlook your rooftop terrace, consider adding privacy screens to create a more secluded and intimate outdoor space. This will also help to block out noise and build a sense of tranquility.

By following these tips and incorporating the design tricks mentioned above, you can create a beautiful, inviting rooftop terrace you’ll love spending time in. Remember to keep safety in mind and choose materials that can withstand the elements. You’ll have a rooftop oasis you can enjoy for years.