Even on an open terrace in a city setting, it’s possible to create a feeling of intimacy. Here, designer Magdalena Keck used perimeter plantings — a combination of evergreens and climbers in simple wood boxes — to soften the edges of the space and block exterior views. “We chose glass and steel for the furnishings to echo the city structures,” she says, “and to connect the inside of the apartment with the urban landscape outside.”
Container-grown plantings are your friend when adding greenery to a terrace or balcony. “When you use typical landscape plants in pots or containers you’ll see them very differently than when they are planted in the ground,” says landscape designer Jeffery Erb. “You’ll see all the details up close and notice textures, vein patterns, the colors on the undersides of the leaves and more. So I like to use a minimal selection of plants in a small terrace or patio because it creates a more calm and serene environment — just what we need in the chaos of a city.” Erb advises choosing slow-growing cultivars that won’t outgrow their pots too quickly.
An outdoor dining table makes it easy to entertain under the stars and bright lights of Chicago on this urban rooftop deck. Ceramic planters and wooden container gardens offer privacy while adding a lively touch to the outdoor living space.
This chic outdoor space uses low-maintenance plants to create a small garden area. Bright yellow outdoor pillows and metal chairs add bold color to the space for a casual sitting area, and a wood wall adds privacy to this New York city hideaway.
This urban roof deck cleverly incorporates structural details, like pipes and vents, into its overall design. Here, tall exhaust pipes were wrapped in aluminum frames and cedar boards. The resulting look mimics the city's skyscrapers.
This roof deck features a wide range of outdoor spaces, from secluded sitting areas to large, open flex areas. Cedar-wrapped planters and posts do double duty, camouflaging pipes and vents and gracefully dividing up the roof.
Set under pergolas for shade, this contemporary outdoor deck is a getaway in the city. Comfortable seating areas, from the bed swing to the contemporary sofas and lounge chairs, all center around the stacked stone fireplace.
Durable Trex decking mimics true wood on this simple rooftop living space. Wired cedar, juniper and boxwoods, as well as spiraling topiary shapes, give a nod to a classic English garden from the middle of the city.