Create a retreat just like you would an interior room by starting with furnishings. Consider your style and budget, along with how you’ll likely use the space. If your retreat is a cherished space for reading and hanging out with family, include plenty of seating options. For a retreat that provides an escape for morning coffee, you might just need one seat and a spot to park your favorite mug. Include container gardens to give the space a touch of greenery and nature that will minister to you, body and soul. These pots sport a mix of annuals: dwarf purple fountain grass with ‘Sweet Caroline Light Green’ sweet potato vine and Intensia blueberry phlox, dark Vertigo purple fountain grass, and Blushing Princess sweet alyssum solo and with Supertunias Royal Velvet and Trailing Silver. A pot of Diamond Frost euphorbia adds a just-right blooming accent to the coffee table.
In the uphill residential area of Paradiso, Switzerland, this luxury duplex-penthouse offers a private rooftop terrace with amazing views of the hillside. The glass railing provides an unobstructed view of the city, while the large, potted plants make the space feel like an open air museum.
Sometimes the best spot for your outdoor retreat is a sun-splashed area. If you’ll be enjoying your retreat during the day, even if it’s only on weekends, it’s worth investing in some kind of shade. A simple patio umbrella can cast enough shade for a table and chairs, or consider adding an awning to your home to shade a greater area. Other options for creating a cooling pool of shade include a permanent structure, like a pergola (add vines for color) or gazebo. For a portable shade option, check out pop-up canopy designs. You can also use a temporary canopy to help you determine where you might want to add a more permanent structure in future.
Barefoot in the Park: Added Square Footage With a Rooftop Lawn
The owners of this New York penthouse apartment added overall square footage to their home by creating a rooftop entertaining spot. The concrete planter houses low maintenance shrubs and the synthetic turf feels great on bare feet.
This vertical garden offers a contemporary spin on the more traditional garden wall. The oversized, textured medallion serves as a focal point, though plants in a mixture of textures, colors and shapes draw the eye onward, and raised redwood beds ground the space.
For retreat areas that you’ll use after sunset, include lighting in your design. Twinkle lights, outdoor lighting, lanterns, candles, solar lights—there’s definitely a light to suit your style. Consider combining different lighting options to give your retreat a dual personality—candles or twinkle lights for intimate gatherings or strings of larger wattage bulbs for entertaining. Built around a tree, this covered rooftop retreat features multiple lighting options, comfy built-in seating and even a bed for Fido. Pets like green spaces, too.
The Roof is on Fire: Rooftop Artificial Grass in Arizona
This Sedona, AZ home boasts blazing views of the world’s most beautiful rock formations of which the homeowners wanted a better view. So, they converted the patio over their garage into an entertaining space carpeted it in synthetic green grass.