Terrace and Balcony Ideas and Designs

There’s nothing quite like an outdoor space with a view and if you’re elevated up high then there’s more chance of getting that view. Even if you’re not blessed with a natural view from your home, an elevated space outdoors will at least give you the chance to survey the land in front of you; whether that’s a few square metres or whole acres! A terrace is one way of achieving this as it gives you the flat surface of a patio but elevated; either on a flat roof, as decking in your garden, or extending out from your house at ground level or higher, perhaps as a balcony. Whether a terrace is your only outside space and you want it to function as a garden or you’ll be using it as a dining or seating area, there are all sorts of design ideas, furniture, plants and accessory options to think about.

How do I decorate or design a roof garden?


UK homeowners are resourceful when it comes to outside space and will make the most of anything they can get their hands on, so it’s no wonder that in urban areas and cities we look to the roof for a place to get some rays. A roof terrace can work in just the same way as a decking area, but you just may need a few extra elements to make it more comfortable – a way of shading an area from the sun, perhaps a parasol or sun shade, a touch of green to break up the stark nature of a roof, and a drainage system that will stop rain water collecting in colder months.

If you want to create a whole garden on your roof you’ll be a little more restricted than when on ground level. Plants may have to remain potted, but you can find companies that design and install green roofs – systems that allow plants to be planted into the roof surface. However, green roofs can be costly and tricky to install, so stick to pots and raised flower beds if you want to stay on the safe side.

Loungers, deck chairs and rattan chairs are great pieces of roof garden furniture as they’re portable and can be moved around your rooftop garden easily; perfect for sun chasers. However, if you want to create a larger sense of space for your roof terrace design, think about built-in benches or seating around the sides or a corner of your roof garden.

What to consider when designing garden decking


A decked garden area may look simple once finished, but there are so many factors to consider when it comes to putting together decking ideas. You’ll need to think about the materials you want to use, the balustrades or railings you might choose, whether you will have a raised deck and decking steps, and whether you want decking lights.

Which decking material is best?


Composite decking is a popular choice for outdoor deck material because it offers a combination of practicality and style. The boards are made of wood and plastic fibres so that the classic wooden look is kept but the plastic fibres mean they will be much more durable and easier to maintain than traditional hardwood. If you can’t resist the natural look and feel of hardwood decking boards, then yellow balau, iroko and ipe decking are suitable outdoor boards that will give you the classic feel of a traditional wooden deck.

Remember, with hardwood decking you will regularly need to treat the wood to keep it clean, waterproofed and to maintain the colour. As wood is usually more of an investment than composite or plastic decking, it’s a good idea to speak to decking specialists or timber merchants because they will be able to advise you on the best wood for your design and how best to treat it. You may find that different decking materials are better to suited to different types of terraces; whether that’s on a roof, in the garden or on a balcony.

How do I make the most of my balcony?


A balcony can be the smallest of the terraces and outdoor spaces, but, unless you have a juliet balcony, you’ll still be able to make the most of it with a few design touches, here and there.

If you like to throw open your balcony doors and let the light and air flow in, you could think about extending your room out onto the balcony with balcony furniture that matches the interiors or colours of your room. Smart furniture, neat balcony planters and coffee tables will make you feel like you’ve brought the indoors outdoors.

If you have a glass balcony or a balcony with rails that looks out over a street or nearby neighbours, then you may want to shield your balcony terrace from prying eyes. It’s a shame to block out the edges of a balcony completely, so consider potted plants or high balcony planters to act as a shield. The leaves and flowers of your plants will obscure the view onto your balcony but still let in light and air.

For small balconies, look for slim furniture, such as slim console tables, benches and shelves so you can still display ornaments, plants and knick knacks but without cluttering the space too much.

Whether you are designing a terrace, balcony or decked garden area from scratch, or just looking to decorate what you already have, take a look through the photos on Houzz to find terrace and balcony ideas and inspiration.

Elina Pasok
virginia creeper - webuser_162514937

Miriam Sheridan Photography

Tony Woods

Nigel Gomme

light and use of space - sineadlroe

Inviting corner - brid_farnan

Elba table (for in and outdoor use). As shown, white high pressure laminate with black inner core/matt black structure lacquered. H75xW200xD91½cm. Elba chair (for in and outdoor use). As shown, grey wicker/matt black structure lacquered. H89/42½xW56xD63½cm.

From the outside the seamless connection between home and garden is clear, with the choice of pocket slider rather than traditional back door creating a consistency of design across the rear elevation. Architects: MOOi Architecture Photographer: Matthew Smith

Chris Cunningham

Photography by JawDesigns

Blackened larch cladding references the industrial heritage of this former Miner's cottage. design storey architects

Ireland
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