As children, we might have been lucky enough to have a tree house in our back yards. We’d climb up a rickety ladder and claim the space among the treetops as our own. If we were lucky, we had a rope and pulley rigged to the main house that served as a conduit for snacks and soft drinks. These retreats served as our own little slice of heaven.
Flash forward a few decades and, as adults, that desire for a getaway with a view still lingers. But, with age, we’ve gotten a bit more sophisticated. Weather-resistant rugs and cushy couches create cozy seating areas. Outdoor kitchens ramp up the options for dining choices and include mini-fridges holding beverage options that have grown up with us. To keep bugs at bay, we might have retractable screens or glass walls that can slide out of the way to let the fresh air flow.
Many of the homes at this year’s HOMEARAMA® Urban Edition will feature a rooftop deck or terrace that takes full advantage of the striking Cincinnati skyline view. Here are some of the features that will be included, along with a few ideas to create an outdoor oasis of your own.
Watch the game…or a movie under the stars with a television designed for outdoor use that offers protection from the elements—like water, direct sunlight or dust. Be sure to check how the model handles glare and reflections, and if it provides enough volume for outside use.
Get fired up…with a free-standing firepit or built-in fireplace. It will extend the use of your balcony throughout all four seasons, and the warm glow will act like a magnet pulling your guests outside. It’s a great spot for story time with the kids too!
White noise…sprinkles in with style when you add a soothing fountain. They might be wall mounted or free standing. Smaller is probably better when it comes to weight limits for your balcony. Get expert advice if you want to make a stronger statement with a larger model.
Year-round color…might come in the form of reliable plants such as arborvitae and boxwood. Check with your local nursery to see which varieties are hardy in Zone 6 and be sure to plant them in deep enough soil to guard their roots in cold weather.
Food tastes better…outside. This might mean hotdogs over an open fire, or steaks, chicken and shish kabobs cooked on the fancy grill in an outdoor kitchen. Mini built-in fridges keep an assortment of beverages handy.
A view of the skyline…is the ultimate eye candy for your rooftop deck, but if you aren’t fortunate enough to have that option, consider adding soft outdoor lighting, in the string variety, or built-in to the floors, walls and railings. They go far to set the mood.
Article by Karen Bradner
Article originally appeared in June 2023