Rooftop Decor that Won't Break the Bank

Design a beautiful outdoor space on a budget with these tips.

If you happen to be lucky enough to have your own rooftop space at home, you’ll want it to be a comfortable and fun environment where you can spend lots of time relaxing. Most city dwellers are happy to escape city life for their own outdoor oasis, but want the decorating process to be quick, easy and affordable.

But wanting the design process to go off without a hitch doesn’t mean that you have to skimp on style and creativity with your space. Kaylan Kane, founder and interior designer at Olive Juice in Chicago, explains what she is seeing across the city, saying, “Rooftop decks are a fantastic space for urbanites to entertain and take in city line views. I've seen rooftops decked out with fireplaces, outdoor TVs, furniture, plants and even faux grass.”

There’s no reason you can’t transform your small rooftop space into your own beautiful escape. Start by thinking about the main purpose and functions of your space before you begin buying decor. Consider your main style or theme for your rooftop so you can easily decide on each piece.

Kate Marengo, president and designer at Interior Chicago, describes the ideal design process. “You always need to first set the scene with the basics—which means starting with seating solutions. Then, you layer with what your personal preferences are, most definitely plants of some sort, and then you can add an outdoor rug, seat cushions, pillows or candles in lanterns,” said Marengo.

Now that you’ve envisioned your space with furniture and décor, and you’ve thought about your what order you will purchase each category of items, you’ll want to do your research for the pieces that you need first and might cost you more.

Marengo and Kane both recommend shopping at quality but affordable stores when shopping for decor. That includes shopping online or in stores at Overstock, Wayfair, CB2, West Elm, Home Depot, Home Decorators Collection, Target and AllModern.

When it comes down to sticking to a budget, you may have to start with certain decor items first and take your time filling in the rest. If you have to choose, there are items you’ll want to spend more on and items you can get away with buying the cheaper version.

“I always recommend to my clients to spend more money where they sit and sleep, because you can’t underestimate comfort. If you end up spending less on an outdoor set, you will likely need to replace it earlier than you would hope to need to,” said Marengo. She also recommends the Hampton Bay line from Home Depot as an affordable and sturdy option for rooftop seating.

Think about items will give you a bigger bang for your buck in your space such as a hammock or table, or pieces that can create the ambiance you’re looking to achieve like plants, candles or fire pit.

A few of Kane’s favorite items this season for outdoor entertaining include this gold chair from CB2 and these hanging planters from AllModern that can quickly add style to your own eclectic retreat.