Slideshows

Rooftop Retreats

Rooftop Relaxation Stations

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Roof decks and terraces are located several stories up or more, but they're not for looking down on people, and they're not just for tanning anymore, either. Today's roof spaces and decks feature everything that was once found only in a yard or inside the house, only now it's up high with a better view. We're talking cooking and fixing cocktails, entertaining and relaxing, even catching a few winks on a four-poster outdoor bed.
Realtor.com

Roof decks and terraces are located several stories up or more, but they're not for looking down on people and they're not just for tanning anymore, either. Today's roof spaces and decks feature everything that was once found in a yard or inside the house, only now it's up high with a better view. We're talking cooking and fixing cocktails, entertaining and relaxing, even catching a few winks on a four-poster outdoor bed.

Roof decks are, of course, found in houses that have ocean or other scenic views, but they are also quite popular in cities where space is at a premium, and outdoor space is almost unheard of. An urban roof deck or even unfinished roof space is a major added value. Carving out living space from previously unused space in a city almost feels like cheating (and it is often illegal to use rooftops for sunbathing, barbecues, and other personal uses, which might thave a lot to do with it).

So click ahead to see some elevated eye candy, and homeowners considering buying or building an outdoor spread like the following ten examples provided by Realtor.com will soon find they have lots of friends in high places.

By Colleen KanePosted August 16, 2011


Miami Beach, Florida

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Price: $7,900,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 5 / 7Living Space: 5,430 square feetRoof Space: square feet This fabulously located luxury beach residence offers views out to Ocean Beach Park and beyond that, the ocean. Those lucky few taking in the views from the roof deck will be doing so poolside beneath a modern canopy. The also features high vaulted ceilings, wood floors, and garage parking.
Realtor.com

Price: $7,900,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 5 / 7
Living Space: 5,430 square feet
Roof Space: square feet

This fabulously located luxury beach residence offers views out to Ocean Beach Park and beyond that, the ocean. Those lucky few taking in the views from the roof deck will be doing so poolside beneath a modern canopy. The property also features high vaulted ceilings, wood floors, and garage parking.

Jersey City, New Jersey

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Price: $2,495,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 3 / 3 full, 2 partial Living Space: unavailable
Realtor.com

Price: $2,495,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 3 / 3 full, 2 partial
Living Space: unavailable

This unique four-story residence has four decks including the roof for taking in views of New York City. Among the more pedestrian features are exposed brick, a fireplace, plank floors, wood support beams, and features to file under “unique” include a copper banister,  indoor waterfalls, a ballroom, custom baths that are outfitted with multicolored tile, a chandelier, and more copper. For reasons unknown, there are two living rooms, and for the non-suntanning season, the home also has a heated four-car garage.

Los Angeles, California

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Price: $3,195,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 3 / 4 Living Space: 3,600 square feet
Realtor.com

Price: $3,195,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 3 / 4
Living Space: 3,600 square feet

This four-story modern home in the Sunset Boulevard/Hollywood Hills area is built for views with floor-to-ceiling windows. As for outdoor space, in addition to a huge terrace atop the second floor there’s a wooden rooftop deck with a lap pool, and yet another small terrace above that with outdoor beds.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

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Price: $3,795,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 5 / 7 Living Space: 6,727 square feet
Realtor.com

Price: $3,795,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 5 / 7
Living Space: 6,727 square feet

This luxury home is built with stone imported from Brazil and Italy. Its stone and terra cotta rooftop sanctuary offers marina and golf course views. The roof also features an outdoor kitchen that’s probably nicer than most people’s real kitchens, and a fireplace that’s nicer than many an everyday fireplace. Two Jacuzzis flow into a black-bottomed swimming pool.

Glenbrook, Nevada

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Price: $12,700,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 4 / 6 full, 1 partialLiving Space: 7,328 square feet
Realtor.com

Price: $12,700,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 4 / 6 full, 1 partial
Living Space: 7,328 square feet

This mountain home built in 2009 is situated in a controlled-access enclave on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe offering a common beach, marina, pier and tennis courts. Real estate with views of the gorgeous alpine lake is already priced steeper than the up-mountain climb to Tahoe, but when you figure in this rooftop deck with kitchen, spa and fire pit, it becomes clear as the lake waters.


Seattle, Washington

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Price: $4,399,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 2 / 3Living Space: 2,778 square feet
Realtor.com

Price: $4,399,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 2 / 3
Living Space: 2,778 square feet

This downtown Seattle condo has a rooftop fireplace, mini-kitchen, and hot tub. Does anything else need to be said? All right, then: It’s also located about two blocks from the Puget Sound.

Avenida Cresta, La Jolla, California

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Price: $7,800,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 6 / 9 Living Space: 8,718 square feetThis two year-old contemporary has an open and spare but still warm feel, thanks to the dark wood tones that extend to the outdoor spaces. Features include a resort-like pool in the courtyard and of course the AstroTurfed roof deck with views of the ocean.
Realtor.com

Price: $7,800,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 6 / 9
Living Space: 8,718 square feet

This two-year-old contemporary residence has an open and spare but still warm feel thanks to the dark wood tones that extend to the outdoor spaces. Features include a resort-like pool in the courtyard and, of course, the AstroTurfed roof deck with views of the ocean.

Belvedere Street, La Jolla, California

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Price: $3,500,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 4 / 5 Living Space: 3,700 square feetThis contemporary with wood and industrial accents features a copper door, windows galore, a four car garage, and floor-to-ceiling windows opening up to a patio. But the patio is child’s play compared to the hardwood roof deck, offering the unique opportunity to nap near the tops of the palm trees in an outdoor bed offering views of the ocean, just blocks away.
Realtor.com

Price: $3,500,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 4 / 5
Living Space: 3,700 square feet

This contemporary home with wood and industrial accents features a copper door, windows galore, a four-car garage and floor-to-ceiling windows opening  to a patio. But the patio is child’s play compared to the hardwood roof deck, offering the unique opportunity to nap near the tops of the palm trees in an outdoor bed offering views of the ocean just blocks away.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Price: $254,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 2 / 2Living Space: 1,270 square feetPerhaps you only just learned of the existence of the rooftop kitchen, but there’s already a variation: the urban industrial rooftop kitchen. The one on this downtown Albuquerque roof deck looks like it was created from or inspired by restaurant-issue stainless steel work surfaces. The four-story also features solar panels and a one-car garage.
Realtor.com

Price: $254,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 2 / 2
Living Space: 1,270 square feet

Perhaps you only just learned of the existence of the rooftop kitchen but there’s already a variation: the urban industrial rooftop kitchen. The one on this downtown Albuquerque roof deck looks like it was created from or inspired by restaurant-issue stainless steel work surfaces. The four-story condo also features solar panels and a one-car garage.

New York, New York

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Price: $1,950,000Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 2 / 2 Living Space: 1,925 square feetWhile walking around in Manhattan, have you ever looked up and seen what looks like a little house built on top of an apartment building? Those who weren’t only visiting and live in New York likely envied the extra outdoor space of these mysterious rooftop dwellers—not to mention the lack of upstairs neighbors. One of these atypical New York structures is for sale. looks like an independent house, but the exterior porti
Realtor.com

Price: $1,950,000
Bedrooms / Bathrooms: 2 / 2
Living Space: 1,925 square feet

While walking around in Manhattan, have you ever looked up and seen what looks like a little house built on top of an apartment building? New Yorkers likely envied the extra outdoor space of these mysterious rooftop dwellers—not to mention the lack of upstairs neighbors. One of these atypical New York structures is for sale. This one looks like an independent house, but the exterior portion is actually a multi-story penthouse with a portion extending above the rest of the roof. In this case, the owner has use of 500 extra square feet of outdoor space. It's an unfinished outdoor space, and the view includes an old water tower but it also allows proximity to the greenery of Union Square.