5 Design Ideas for a Minimalist Rooftop Deck

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Using a flat roof as a deck isn’t that uncommon in urban sprawls and apartment buildings where tenants don’t have the luxury of a normal deck or balcony. The idea of these rooftop decks are more common on the East Coast but are gradually becoming more popular nationwide. A rooftop deck space is eye-catching, increases the value of the home, and allows for homeowners to have more room for entertainment without sacrificing yard space.

The minimalist trend in home design can easily be applied to a rooftop deck. Here are 5 ideas to help you design a beautiful modern, minimalist deck.

Combining a Rooftop Deck with Green Roof Design

A major trend in sustainable architectural design is the implementation of green roofs. Green or living roofs are essentially a raised surface on top of a roof where plants and local native vegetation can be grown. This provides a number of benefits to homeowners as well as the environment. It is more common in European countries but a growing number of homeowners are finding the perks of increased energy-efficiency and a positive impact on their local environment to be tempting.

Combining a rooftop deck with a green roof offers the best of both worlds – a deck where guests can be entertained and a planted area that can even function very much like a lawn. From a minimalist perspective a green roof can be quite simple yet beautiful, and planted as a lawn or a small garden, doesn’t require excessive maintenance.

Take Advantage of Natural Shade from a Nearby Tree

If your roof is partially covered by the shade of a nearby tree, think twice before you decide on cutting this tree down. A rooftop deck, unless covered, isn’t going to offer very much shade. You can certainly build a covered structure over the deck but some argue this detracts from the nature of a rooftop perch of sorts. Instead consider building the deck on a portion of your roof where part of it will be shaded naturally. You could also have small-medium container trees on the rooftop deck to act as a natural shade. A similar option would be having vining plants on trellises along one or two sides of the deck.

Choose a Railing that Won’t Spoil the View

Minimalist design is all about reducing visual clutter, but a railing is a safety necessity for a rooftop deck in particular. Instead of going with a traditional wood type of railing, consider some different option that will give a more near-invisible effect.

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Glass or acrylic is always a popular option for commercial rooftop deck spaces and about as invisible as you can get, especially if there isn’t a top railing but rather just posts between the panels. Not everyone like this high-scale look or finds it to be within their budget. A great alternative that is sturdy, safe and still won’t disrupt your view is cable, commonly referred to as a Tokyo style cable railing.

Metal top railings and posts always look very nice and modern, making it ideal for a minimalist design. Dark stained composites or wood can also look nice.

Consider a Light Colored Decking Material

Whites, grays and neutrals are some of the most commonly used colors in modern minimalist designs, and they can certainly be used on a deck. Aside from simple aesthetics, light colored decking also reflects heat which is incredibly useful in warmer regions where a dark deck would only absorb heat.

Wood decking is an option but a better choice would be fiber cement, a composite or some similar type of decking that is low-maintenance, long-lasting, and comes in a variety of colors. Placing a beautiful modern patio set on a dingy brown wood deck hardly does anything to improve the appearance of this space. A light grey or cream is a beautiful color choice for a minimalist deck and will probably look great with your current house exterior, regardless of the color or other styling.

Recessed Lighting Looks Modern and Doesn’t Add Clutter

Lighting on a rooftop deck can easily be done in a way that is almost hidden which adds to the minimal appearance. Recessed lighting kits can easily be found and installed on a rooftop deck, either directly in the deck along the railing or under the top railing itself. This looks far more attractive than traditional post topper lights.

You can also easily set up small solar panels to run these lights. LED lights are ideal for deck lighting. With LEDs it’s also easy to choose lighting strips or bulbs in different tones, such as a crisp bright white or a subdued warm white-yellow.

Minimalist rooftop decks are a unique way of adding more leisure space to your home without using up any additional space. Many homeowners find that these decks really add value to their home, especially if they plan on selling, as it offers an elevated viewpoint into the surrounding neighborhood. Rooftop decks also work towards protecting your existing roof which in turn increases the longevity of the roof. This is very useful in regions prone to storms and high winds.