Homes - Exteriors

Outdoor decor: Modern rustic rooftop terrace

Jennifer Hughes
Photography by
Donna Griffith; produced by Catherine Therrien

Create a contemporary outdoor living space in your backyard oasis for relaxing or entertaining guests.

When Toronto realtor Kara Reed moved from a big house with a full backyard into this urban condo, some sort of outdoor space was on her must-have list. The 400-square-foot rooftop terrace now acts as her oasis when she’s too busy to get up to her Muskoka cottage on summer weekends. An extensive redesign by Terry Ryan of Cubic Yard Design saw plenty of wooden planters installed, lush greenery brought in and a new outdoor kitchen area with a built-in barbecue and cabinetry. And thanks to views over sprawling green space, “I don’t feel like I’m in the middle of the city,” says Kara.

Modern rustic backyard
The contemporary rustic persona of the space comes from natural Western red cedar decking and cladding and chunky teak furnishings with durable outdoor fabrics. Wood strapping was applied to much of the terrace's concrete structure to lend texture and warmth. In a clever move, Kara had custom metal trays made to fit overtop of the lounger when it lies flat, creating a coffee table for setting down drinks and hors d'oeuvres. She also added a long planter of yew that created a hedge-like backdrop, while oversized planters with Japanese and fragrance and a lush leafiness to the space.

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