20 Rooftop Deck Ideas to Create a Private Paradise

Rooftop deck ideas

Design by Jess Bunge / Photo by Sara Legorria-Tramp

A rooftop deck is a prized piece of real estate. If you're the lucky owner or renter of such, there are some things you can do to get the atmosphere on the same level as the impressive views. Here are 20 rooftop deck ideas for how to use outdoor accessories and landscaping to create an oasis in the clouds.

  • 01 of 20

    Make Room for Games

    game on outdoor coffee table

    Sire Design

    A rooftop deck should be a place for both rest and recreation, so consider keeping a game or two up there. Some outdoor games, like this wooden tic-tac-toe set, can double as decorations. A cornhole set is another rooftop-friendly option as well.

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  • 02 of 20

    Grow Climbing Plants on Railings

    climbing plants on rooftop

    indigolotos / Getty Images

    For a touch of whimsy, you can try planting flowering vines that will wrap along your railings as they grow. Star Jasmine is an especially great option because you can grow it in a container, and it produces fragrant blooms.

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  • 03 of 20

    Go All-Out on the Cozy

    Rooftop deck ideas

    Design by Jess Bunge / Photo by Sara Legorria-Tramp

    When it comes to patio furniture, think beyond just metal or plastic chairs. If you opt for cozier furniture with waterproof materials, you'll most likely want to spend even more time out there. In fact, a rooftop deck can function as a second, outdoor living room. With a couch, rug, and coffee table, you'll have the perfect spot to repose. If you really want to lean into the comforts of home, add some throw pillows and blankets, and set up a projector for outdoor movie nights across from this area.

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  • 04 of 20

    Consider the View From Below

    White Sands Design + Build

    White Sands Design + Build

    Your rooftop deck can also serve as a bit of curb appeal flex. If you want to make it visible from street level, pop open an umbrella, grow taller plants, and attach window boxes to the railings or roof edge.

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  • 05 of 20

    Go for Color

    dazey den pink balcony

    Dazey Den

    This pretty-in-pink vignette shows how you can use candy-colored hues to make a fun statement on your rooftop deck. Bright colors will really pop against neutral tones in a cityscape.

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  • 06 of 20

    Try Container Gardening

    box containers on rooftop

    Mike Harrington / Getty Images

    If you want homegrown vegetables at the ready, box containers can help you achieve that. You can also set up an irrigation system with an outdoor faucet hookup. Due to the elevation, you won't have to worry quite as much about weeds finding their way into the boxes either.

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  • 07 of 20

    Choose Oversized Planters

    Large black planters

    @bythereseknutsenno / Instagram

    Planting herbs and lush greenery in large-scale planters creates a polished look and is far less work to set up than a garden bed. Plus, you can save a spare one to use as a cooler for wine if you add ice.

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  • 08 of 20

    Line the Edges With Plants

    Rooftop deck landscaping and decorating ideas

    debbiehelbing / Getty Images

    Creating a leafy border along the edges of your rooftop deck is an excellent way to fill space and immediately make it feel more like a green oasis.

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  • 09 of 20

    Add Ambient Lighting

    rooftop patio

    True Home

    A little mood lighting can go a long way on a rooftop deck. If you have an outlet or two, put them to good use by adding outdoor string lights. If you don't have an electricity source, you can also play around with solar-powered landscaping lights tucked inside potted plants. If all else fails, battery-operated tealights in votives or lanterns will also do the trick.

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  • 10 of 20

    Set Up a Greenhouse

    view of rooftop deck from below

    Fotomax / Getty Images

    A greenhouse is a great option if you want to garden year-round. Plus, it's a great place to store your potted plants in winter.

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  • 11 of 20

    Carve Out Privacy With Screens

    privacy screen on rooftop deck

    Design by Emily Bowser / Photo by Sara Legorria-Tramp

    There are sections of your rooftop deck where you won't want to obstruct the view. However, using privacy screens can keep other people's views off of you and your friends. These additions will significantly enhance the feng shui if you position them behind your seating area. Your guests may feel more at ease if their backs aren't exposed.

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  • 12 of 20

    Gravel It

    rooftop with stringed lights

    monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

    Pea gravel is a perfect addition to flower beds, and you can also apply it to the entire deck. Depending on your patio's size, it can be an affordable and beginner-friendly DIY project.

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  • 13 of 20

    Create Shade

    rooftop shade

    Amy Leferink at Interior Impressions

    A pergola or sleek pop-up tent is just as functional as it is beautiful. It will protect you from the sun and can also double as shelter from the rain. If you invest in a pergola, definitely make sure you add a cozy lounge chair or sofa underneath it so you'll have the perfect reading, napping, or yoga spot.

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  • 14 of 20

    Put Up Hanging Plants

    Rooftop patio with pergola

    xavierarnau / Getty Images

    Even though there's obviously no roof on a rooftop deck, there are still a couple of spots you can hang plants. Let them drape underneath a pergola or hook them along the interior side of a railing, for example.

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  • 15 of 20

    Simply Add an Umbrella

    large umbrella covering seating area

    Emily Henderson Designs / Photo by Sara Legorria-Tramp

    A large outdoor patio umbrella provides an easier-to-assemble alternative to a pergola. While it may not offer as much coverage as a pergola, it can supplement the shade you already get from nearby trees or buildings.

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  • 16 of 20

    Set Up a Hammock

    hammock on rooftop

    the-lightwriter / Getty Images

    You don't need a pair of trees to post up a hammock. You can purchase a hammock stand or hook it up at an angle between the railings. Don't forget to place a side table nearby for a beverage and book station.

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  • 17 of 20

    Utilize Walls Where You Have Them

    Wall on patio with storage hanger

    Design by Jess Bunge / Photo by Sara Legorria-Tramp

    Rooftop decks typically have at least one wall near the entrance, even if it's just a half wall. This space makes the perfect spot for hanging decor and storage racks for garden tools or even wine and cups.

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  • 18 of 20

    Dine Al Fresco

    dining area on patio black walls

    Design by Emily Bowser / Photo by Sara Legorria-Tramp

    If you're already adding a secondary living room, you might as well add an outdoor dining area while you're at it. You can start the evening here before you end it with cocktails in the living area. Plus, it can also double as a remote working area with help from a hotspot.

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  • 19 of 20

    Opt for Turf

    turf on rooftop deck

    stevegeer / Getty Images

    Turf is a low-maintenance ground covering that will add a touch of greenery amid the concrete. Add some reclining lounge chairs on top, and it'll feel just like you're lounging on a lawn.

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  • 20 of 20

    Think Minimal

    minimal rooftop deck

    Julian Porcino

    Creating a relaxing atmosphere on your rooftop deck doesn't have to be complicated. Embrace a minimal look with a limited color palette, a few chairs, and a handful of potted plants.