20 Apartment with Terrace NYC Ideas for a Cozy Urban Oasis

Last updated on January 17, 2024

Maximizing terrace space transforms any New York City apartment into a personal oasis, especially because creative decoration strategies open up a world of possibilities.

These are my unique design concepts made using design tools. I hope you find them inspiring!

Getting the most out of a New York City apartment terrace requires some thoughtful planning and design. While plenty of standard terrace ideas circulate on the internet, this article aims to break the mold with fresh, unique recommendations.

For those enamored with existing concepts, references to the best looking and most practical will be provided at the end.

Take a leap into the unique and find something to inspire your apartment terrace, using this list as a tool to unlock undiscovered potential.

Let’s delve into new dimensions of terrace decoration that will make your outdoor space the envy of your neighborhood.

What's Inside

Zen-Inspired Terraces With Minimalist Furniture

zen inspired terraces with minimalist furniture

Achieving a Zen-inspired terrace can be a tranquil escape within the heart of NYC. Start by opting for minimalist furniture; a sleek, low-profile seating arrangement in neutral colors works wonders. The key is to not overcrowd the space and select few but functional pieces.

Consider adding a small coffee table or a bench made of natural materials like bamboo or teak. Make way for a sense of balance and harmony by incorporating elements of nature. Choose indoor-friendly plants like succulents and orchids.

Balance the minimal setting with calming accessories and decor. Think about a small Buddha sculpture or carefully arranged rocks, a tabletop water fountain or wind chimes to add soothing sound effects. Stick to a limited color palette, mostly earth tones, to amplify the tranquility.

Lastly, maintain the minimalistic appeal by ensuring a clutter-free space. This not only underlines the Zen aesthetic but also reinforces the sense of peace and serenity.

Outdoor Barbeque Area

outdoor barbeque area

Designing an outdoor barbeque area on your terrace calls for a strategic approach. Firstly, aim for a layout that is both functional and aesthetic. Ensure your grill is positioned safely away from any flammable structures. Considering New York’s fluctuating weather conditions, plan for shade and rain cover as required.

Choosing a grill is a significant step. Based on your space and financial constraints, you may opt for a moveable grill or a built-in one. A mobile grill offers flexibility, while a built-in version can provide a more streamlined look with added features such as a preparation counter and storage space.

Next, allot an area for a dining set. Picnic-style benches offer more seating and take up less space than individual chairs. Foldable furniture might be a good option for smaller spaces.

To keep ambiance in mind, positioning solar or string lights around the dining area can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Outdoor rugs and plants can further enhance the aesthetic. Prioritize comfort and ease-of-use to enjoy many memorable barbeque sessions on your terrace.

DIY Pallet Furniture for Terrace

diy pallet furniture for terrace

Creating your own furniture out of pallets is an affordable and stylish option for apartment terraces. Here’s how to get started:

1. Acquire: Many warehouses give away or sell used pallets at a low cost. Make sure to choose durable, treated wood free of splinters and damage.

2. Design: Sketch your desired piece, whether it’s a simple bench, a cozy loveseat, or an intricate table. Measure twice, cut once!

3. Build: After cutting your pallets to size, secure the pieces together using screws or nails. For extra support, add L-brackets on corners.

4. Finish: Sand your furniture to prevent splintering. You can then leave the wood natural, varnish it, or paint it to match your decor.

Remember, safety first! Always wear protective eyewear and gloves when manipulating pallets, especially cutting or sanding.

Enlisting a friend can make the task more enjoyable and less cumbersome. Plus, you can brainstorm together to come up with even more unique designs. This way, you’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind piece that adds character to your terrace while also being incredibly functional.

High-Rise Oasis With Large Green Potted Plants

high rise oasis with large green potted plants

Creating your own high-rise oasis involves strategically placing an assortment of large, green, potted plants to breathe life into your terrace. A variety of foliage will not only provide you with a refreshing view but also improve the air quality— a small respite from the city pollution.

1. Suitable Selection: Opt for robust plants that can thrive in your city’s climate. Consider evergreen shrubs or bamboo for a year-round lush look.

2. Strategic Placement: Place taller plants at the back or corners to create depth and shorter ones in the front to ensure each plant is visible.

3. Container Choice: Ensure your pots have proper drainage and are sturdy enough to withstand wind conditions on a high-rise terrace.

4. Plant Maintenance: Regular watering and occasional trimming are crucial. Consider installing a drip irrigation system to maintain consistent soil moisture.

5. Plant Safety: Make sure your plants are secure and won’t topple over in case of strong winds.

With these points in mind, you’re on your way to creating a serene garden oasis amid the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Moroccan Designed Terraces

moroccan designed terraces

In creating a Moroccan-inspired terrace, think vibrant and earthy color palettes. Rich tints of reds, oranges, and blues are prevalent in this decorative theme. Also, incorporate striking mosaic patterns – whether in your terrace flooring, decorative wall tiles, or your outdoor rug.

Furniture plays a crucial part, too. Opt for low-lying seating options to evoke a traditional Moroccan vibe, and don’t forget a handful of plush, patterned cushions for comfort and additional color.

Lastly, consider adding some brass or copper lanterns. These not only produce a warm, welcoming light as the sun sets but also plays beautifully with the mosaic and vivid color palette to truly transport you to the heart of Marrakesh.

Remember, with a Moroccan style, more is more – so, let your creativity soar.

Rooftop Herb Gardens

rooftop herb gardens

Cultivating your own rooftop herb garden not only adds some freshness to your terrace space but also offers a sustainable and convenient source of fresh herbs for your culinary adventures. Here’s a quick guide on how to get started:

1. Choosing Your Herbs: Opt for herbs that thrive in your local climate. Consider popular choices like basil, rosemary, mint, and thyme that are suitable for various dishes.

2. Container Gardening: Ensure a proper drainage system in your pots as herbs don’t like to sit in water. Choose the right soil mixture and make sure the containers receive enough sunlight.

3. Regular Care: Water, prune regularly and watch out for pests. An organic pesticide can help maintain the health of your herbs.

4. Vertical Farming: For space efficiency, consider vertical gardening methods. Use a hanging planter or install shelves along the walls of the terrace.

5. Harvesting: Harvest your herbs in the morning when their oils are at their peak for the best flavor. Only harvest about one-third of the plant to allow it to continue growing.

Doing so transforms your terrace into a functional, beautiful space, while adding an unbeatable freshness to your home cooking.

Faux Grass Terrace Flooring

faux grass terrace flooring

Starting a terrace makeover journey with faux grass flooring can significantly upgrade the outdoor space without the stress and upkeep of natural grass. Made from synthetic fibers, this artificial turf comes with numerous benefits.

First, this low-maintenance option helps maintain a lush green aesthetic year-round, regardless of the weather. Say goodbye to watering, mowing and weeding chores, instead, enjoy a flawless green carpet that calls for minimal upkeep.

Furthermore, it offers an excellent way to infuse a touch of nature into a metropolitan setting. Living in an apartment skyscraper in NYC can often keep you distant from greenery, but a faux grass terrace floor can change that.

It also provides a comfortable, soft surface, perfect for barefoot strolls, pet-friendly activities or even yoga routines. Apart from these benefits, faux grass is cost-effective in the long run as it remains durable and vibrant for years, with no need for seasonal replacements.

For installing, it’s best to hire professionals to ensure a smooth and even surface, tackling any possible drainage issues, and making sure it’s securely fastened to avoid upward curls at the edges.

Outdoor Cinema Experience

outdoor cinema experience

Installing a portable screen and a projector can take your terrace entertainment to the next level. This turns your outdoor space into a unique spot for movie nights, creating unforgettable experiences for family and friends.

Make sure the position of the screen doesn’t interfere with any light pollution from the city’s lights. Choose comfortable seating options, such as bean bags, outdoor sofas or even well-placed hammocks. Ensure there’s a small table or surface nearby to hold snacks and drinks.

For a cozy vibe, consider adding string lights or lanterns. Weather-proofing your equipment is also essential to protect it from possible unexpected rain showers. Choose a projector with high lumens for optimum viewing in various light conditions.

Lastly, pay attention to the sound quality, outdoor speakers or a sound bar can greatly enhance your watching experience. Remember to respect local noise regulations and the tranquility of your neighbors.

Efficient Storage Solutions for Small Terraces

efficient storage solutions for small terraces

A well-organized space not only enhances functionality but also leaves your terrace with a neat and uncluttered appearance. The concepts for effective storage in smaller areas:

1. Multi-Purpose Furniture: Opt for items that serve multiple roles. A bench with an under-seat storage space or a coffee table with drawers can significantly boost your terrace’s storage capacity.

2. Vertical Spaces: Exploit the vertical area. Free-standing or wall-mounted shelves, hanged pots for plants, and pegboards for smaller items are valuable alternatives.

3. Weather-Proof Cabinets: Outdoor cabinets are perfect for stowing away cushions, blankets, or even outside eating utensils as they provide protection from the elements.

4. Rolling Carts: These are ideal for keeping items like BBQ sauces or cocktail mixes. Easy to roll with the occasion, they provide mobility and versatility.

5. Smart Plant Arrangement: Use tiered plant stands to arrange your pots and free up floor space. Also, consider wall-mounted planters.

6. Hidden Floor Storage: If your space allows, you might consider building deck storage for a cleverly concealed solution.

Vertical Wall Gardens As Privacy Screens

vertical wall gardens as privacy screens

Living in a bustling city often means sacrificing privacy. But with vertical wall gardens, you effortlessly create a natural privacy screen while adding an essential touch of greenery. They are perfect for densely populated areas, where you’re often overlooked by neighboring windows.

Firstly, select a vertical garden structure, such as a trellis or garden wall panels. Consider choosing climbing plants like ivy or jasmine, which are fairly easy to maintain and provide thick coverage. Succulents are also an excellent choice given their diverse shapes and easy maintenance, creating a vibrant visual appeal.

Furthermore, adding a drip-irrigation system can ensure your vertical garden has low-maintenance hydration. Remember to also account for sunlight needs. Place sun-loving plants higher on the wall garden and those needing less light closer to the base.

Finally, add an extra layer of privacy and novelty with hanging or mounted planters. With the right selection of plants and good care, your vertical wall garden can serve as a lush, green privacy screen, creating your private outdoor sanctuary.

Convertible Terrace Furniture for Space Efficiency

convertible terrace furniture for space efficiency

Efficient use of space is paramount when it comes to apartment terraces. Choosing the right furniture makes all the difference. Opt for pieces that can be quickly transformed, such as a storage bench that doubles as a comfortable seating area, foldable tables, and stackable chairs. These varieties are user-friendly, easy to put away when not in use and provide multiple functions, elevating compact spaces.

Another smart option is investing in multi-use, larger pieces like a convertible daybed. It’s perfect for lounging in the day and can double as a comfy sleep option for summer nights or when hosting guests.

Remember, in smaller spaces each piece of furniture should serve more than one purpose. This principle ensures maximum functionality with minimal clutter, opening up your terrace and creating a relaxed atmosphere.

Tailor your furniture choices to your lifestyle needs. If dining outdoors is a priority, a table that extend when required is ideal. If hosting small gatherings is your thing, opt for seating which can be easily reconfigured.

Do a thorough market survey before making purchases. Investigate durability, ease of storage, quality of materials and design aesthetics. It’s an investment that requires deliberate thought to truly enhance your terrace experience.

Compact Fire Pit for Warm Evenings

compact fire pit for warm evenings

Adding a compact fire pit ensures intimate, warm gatherings during chillier evenings. Opt for a small, portable model that can easily be moved around, giving flexibility with the layout and design. Ensure the chosen area is free from flammable materials, particularly overhead canopies, for safety.

Custom or pre-made, fire pits come with diverse designs to match your outdoor decor aesthetic. Stone veneer fire pits lend a rustic feel, while sleek stainless steel ones exude a modern vibe.

Ensure there’s enough space for seating around the pit. Cozy armchairs with plush cushions, or even a few oversized pillows directly on the floor, can create an inviting ambiance.

Remember to stack up on firewood or propane – based on the type of fire pit you opt for. Trunks that double as a table or seat can be a great place to store logs.

Lastly, for apartment living, always check local laws and building rules to ensure fire pits are allowed and used safely.

Incorporating Water Features for a Tranquil Aesthetic

incorporating water features for a tranquil aesthetic

To construct a calming environment on your terrace, water features can play a vital role. Here’s how to incorporate them while ensuring a tranquil aesthetic.

1. Scale: Choose a water feature that fits your terrace perfectly without dominating the space. Smaller terraces could benefit from compact wall-mounted fountains or tabletop features.

2. Style: Ensure your water feature complements the overall design of your terrace. A minimalist urban space might suit a sleek, modern design, while a rustic area might work best with a natural, stone feature.

3. Sound: Remember, the sound of flowing water adds to the tranquil atmosphere. Opt for features with adjustable sound levels to suit your preference.

4. Lighting: Illuminate your water feature for a warm and inviting ambiance. Submersible LED lights can work miracles, especially for evening entertainment.

5. Maintenance: Choose a water feature that’s easy to maintain. Clean it regularly to avoid algae build-up and replenish water as needed.

This way, your terrace will serve as an inviting sanctuary amidst the urban jungle, providing a peaceful retreat from city life.

Rustic Vineyard-Inspired Terrace

rustic vineyard inspired terrace

To create a charming rustic vineyard-inspired setting, focus first on choosing the right furniture; opt for distressed wood pieces, sturdy iron tables, or rattan chairs which embody the rustic aesthetic. Patina-finished decor items can further enhance the atmosphere.

Consider installing a wooden pergola, draped with textile shades or climbing vines to mimic the feel of dining under grapevines. You can also hang grapevine-themed string lights for a warmer ambiance.

Incorporate elements of wine culture into the decor; a vintage wine barrel can function as a conversation-piece side table or unique plant stand. Wine crates are great for decorative storage or could be transformed into custom, one-of-a-kind planters.

Wine-themed decorative elements such as wrought-iron wine racks or recycled wine bottle candle holders will help your terrace feel like a personal vineyard. To truly bring the winery experience home, consider constructing a compact wine cooler or cellar for beloved varietals protected from the elements.

Artificial Ivy-Covered Terrace Walls for a Green Vibe

artificial ivy covered terrace walls for a green vibe

This faux-ivy option requires minimal upkeep, contrasting to real plants. Once installed, you’re free from watering duties. Yet the lush greenery effect adds a freshness to your apartment terrace that’s hard to beat.

DIY-lovers, this is for you! You can find sheets of artificial ivy in various types and sizes online or at local home improvement stores. Choose a pattern that suits the vibe of your space and start installing! They’re weather-resistant and easily attach to most surfaces, perfect for a relatively hassle-free transformation.

Remember to cut and adjust the size based on your wall measurements. You might want to use cable ties or a UV resistant bond for extra security.

While this hack turns your terrace into an urban Eden, pairing it with selective real plants enhances the authenticity and balances the artificial component. Try hanging baskets or potted colorful blooms to add more depth and dimension. With this, you’ve just stepped into your private enchanted forest without leaving your NYC apartment!

Incorporating Giant Floor Cushions for Casual Seating

incorporating giant floor cushions for casual seating

Giant floor cushions can inject an element of casual flair to your terrace, providing a perfect spot for lounging and casual conversations. Versatile and comfortable, they can double as impromptu seating when you entertain guests.

1. Material Choice: Opt for sturdy, weather-resistant fabric like Outdura or Sunbrella. They are not only easy to clean but can also withstand harsh weather elements, ensuring your cushions stay in optimum condition for longer.

2. Size and Shape: Oversized square or round cushions create a modern, fun look. However, ensure their dimensions fit seamlessly within your terrace space.

3. Color and Pattern: Bright, bold colors can bring liveliness to your terrace. Patterns also add visual interest, but remember to harmonize with the overall theme of your outdoor area.

4. Layering: Layer the floor cushions to create a stylish, comfortable, and flexible seating area. You could even discourage formal seating by creating a mix-and-match with varied sizes and shapes of cushions.

5. Storage: Consider space-saving storage solutions such as cushion boxes, particularly if your terrace is exposed to inclement weather.

Giant floor cushions are a delightful addition to any terrace; they create a casual and inviting atmosphere, perfect for a relaxed NYC apartment lifestyle.

Mini Greenhouses for Urban Farmers

mini greenhouses for urban farmers

To tap into the growing trend of urban farming, mini greenhouses fit perfectly on a New York City terrace. These mini greenhouses are compact, efficient, and can house a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

1. Space Efficient: Even the smallest terraces can accommodate these models, allowing you to make optimal use of every square foot.

2. Control over Environment: They offer a regulated environment that shields your plants from fluctuating city weather, pests, and pollution.

3. Year-round Planting: Grow and enjoy your favorite produce all year round, regardless of the season.

4. Easy Assembly: Most designs are DIY-friendly and come with clear instructions. You don’t need to be a skilled handyman to construct one.

5. Variety of Sizes: Mini greenhouses come in different sizes to cater to your specific needs, from tiny cloche-style ones perfect for small herb pots to walk-in versions suitable for bigger plants.

Remember, even in an urban setting, you can engage in rewarding activities like farming. It’s therapeutic, sustainable, and with mini greenhouses, quite doable.

pop up kitchen on the terrace

Creating a small cooking area outside can provide a delightful setting for meals and get-togethers – and it’s easier than you might think. You don’t need a full-blown outdoor kitchen; you can use versatile and mobile options. Opt for compact and portable equipment like a grill, a multipurpose outdoor cooker, or a rolling bar cart for utensils and ingredients.

Invest in a weatherproof storage unit for essential cooking items and ingredients to avoid hauling kitchenware in and out of your apartment. Also, consider an umbrella or a sunshade for weather protection.

Space can be maximized by including fold-down tables or counters attached to the wall. Not only are they practical and space-saving, but they also add a chic urban vibe to your setting.

Remember to keep your appliances and cookware basic and multifunctional. Versatility is important for a space-limited pop-up kitchen, plus it simplifies the cooking process. Finally, ensure a sustainable and safe setup by using secure power sources and adhering to the fire codes of your building. After all, safety is key when we’re cooking with flames or electrical appliances outdoors.

Customizable LED Lighting for Evening Atmosphere

customizable led lighting for evening atmosphere

Customizable LED lights can swiftly transform your terrace into a delightful evening gathering spot. With a range of colors and brightness settings, these lights offer versatility that suits any mood or event.

The trick lies in strategic placement. Outline walkways or staircases with dimmable LED strip lights for guidance and safety. Hang a few twinkling fairy lights over the seating area to foster a magical, intimate vibe. Alternatively, wrap string lights around potted plants or along your fence line for a distinct aesthetic.

Another tip is to opt for smart LED lights that offer control through a smartphone app. This way, adjusting brightness or color conveniently becomes a touch away. It’s also possible to set schedules for the lights to automatically turn on or off according to your routine.

Last but not least, consider solar-powered LED lights for an environmentally-friendly option. They charge during the day and illuminate your terrace at night, offering a sustainable solution for your outdoor lighting needs.

Remember: with customizable LED lighting, you’re not only providing illumination; you’re also creating an atmosphere. Your terrace can shift from a serene lounge to a lively party space as you please by simply playing with lights.

Cozy Hammock Corners

cozy hammock corners

Creating a cozy hammock corner can serve as a relaxation spot amongst the hustle-bustle of NYC life. Here’s how to get it right:

First, ensure the hammock’s anchors are secured firmly to resist the weight. If concerned, call an expert before installing.

Second, consider the material and style of the hammock that aligns with your terrace’s overall design. Cotton and polyester are common and durable. From vibrant stripes to chic solids, choose a design that resonates with your taste.

Third, add more coziness with some fluffy, all-weather pillows. Flash a portable reading light for those dusk to dawn book immersion and don’t forget to add a small side table for a drink or snack.

Lastly, ensure there’s a balance between lounging in the sun and shade. Adjustable umbrellas or a drape of fabric can create the perfect sun-shade solution. Now you’re all set to lounge in comfort right on your terrace!

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