In Partnership WithThe Home Depot®

This Roof Deck Is a Master Class in Using Whatever Outdoor Space You Have — and It Includes an Easy Fix for a Common Design Challenge

published Jun 28, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

City living has so much to offer — convenience! amenities! walkability! But outdoor space is often not on the list. So Victoria was determined to make the most of what she had: a small private terrace off her Jersey City one-bedroom apartment.

This little nook was a dreamy oasis waiting to happen. It just needed some creative thinking, especially when it came to a rather bulky design challenge: three unsightly HVAC units around the perimeter. To help Victoria reimagine it, we headed to The Home Depot. It’s a literal one-stop shop for outdoor living, with gardening tools and DIY essentials as well as on-trend furniture, decor, and accents: everything Victoria needed to turn her terrace into a serene respite above the city.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

Add Nature However You Can

A plethora of potted plants amps up the urban jungle effect. Greenery is a lovely contrast to so much concrete; plus it provides shade, movement, and privacy. Victoria shopped The Home Depot garden center for everything she needed to get growing, from potting soil to watering cans. Here, a mix of palm trees and ferns adds visual texture and depth while potted plants add height. Outdoor planters combined with tall metallic-legged planters make the space feel cozy but not crowded. And by keeping her plants around the perimeter, Victoria made a serene natural border perfect for relaxing inside.

Lay Out Your Space Creatively

Part of the puzzle with reimagining this terrace was dealing with its three bulky HVAC units. No way around it, but we had to work with them. Victoria had the clever idea to use a few wood privacy screen planters to hide the equipment without affecting their operation. This added even more greenery as well as warm natural wood tones, which all help soften the hardscape (and muffle machine noise!).

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

And in such a small space, it’s smart to choose furniture that can multitask. A chic pouf makes a nimble seat, or it can be topped with a tray to serve as a side table. This compact, comfy sectional has an ottoman that can give a chaise effect or stand on its own for extra seating. And a breathable cotton hammock adds resort-level relaxation.

Credit: Photo: Christopher Broe; Stylist: Margaret Ward

Let Your Style Shine

Think of your outdoor space as another room to have fun decorating. Victoria brought her clean boho aesthetic outside, with plenty of patterns, natural materials, and saturated pastels. She layered rugs — a trick that creates a lived-in texture — in a relaxed combination of patterns, colors, and neutrals. Throw pillows and blankets are another opportunity to show off Victoria’s style and give the terrace that “outdoor living room” feel. And when the sun sets and she’s taking in the twinkling skyline, string lights and candles are a must for ambiance.