Given Cayman’s year-round sunshine and balmy temperatures, roof terraces make an alluring feature for modern island homes.

(Main featured photo: “The Nest” rooftop terrace, The Residences at Seafire. Photo: Dart Real Estate)

An increasing number of residents in the Cayman Islands are enjoying a sky-high lifestyle as several new developments include roof-top terraces in their designs.

Fin and Vela in South Sound, Indigo Bay in Prospect and Seahaven on North Sound will all have roofs perfect for the tropical outdoor weather.

Davenport also has rooftop terraces in its portfolio of properties, and Boggy Sands has made them as a feature of the units under construction in West Bay, with one already being enjoyed by residents and guests.

Meanwhile, The Residences at Seafire boast an enormous 3,500-square-foot private owners’ rooftop terrace dubbed “The Nest,” at 10 stories above the ground.

Boggy Sands Club, West Bay.
Boggy Sands Club, West Bay. Photos by Stephen Clarke

These bird’s-eye living areas are ideal for day-time lounging or making merry under the stars.
If you want to customize your very own rooftop retreat, or pep up a patio to bask in the winter breezes, these are some ideas to style an outdoor oasis:

Cool designs

Consider your materials. Durability is key to combat exposure from direct sunlight and salty sea spray, both of which will eat away at the longevity of your furnishings. Hardwoods such as teak can be left outdoors year-round, as can synthetic all-weather wicker.

Divide and conquer. Think about splitting the terrace into various areas for different uses, such as lounging, dining, pre-dinner drinks and children’s playtime.

Pick a theme. To keep the roof area looking cohesive and stylish, there should be an aesthetic of some kind running through the décor. Think Moroccan souk with floor cushions, curtains and jewel colors; nautical vibes featuring deckchairs and stripes; or tropical shabby chic with driftwood furniture and lush greenery.

White cushion with blue branch-like coral image on itLayer soft touches. Cozy touches like cushions, area rugs and throws aren’t only for inside the house. There are lots of soft furnishing options designed with the outdoors in mind.

Anyone for cocktails? Gathering for drinks on the rooftop is the perfect start to a dinner party. Bring another level of style and functionality to entertaining by adding a refrigerator and mobile serving cart, or a bar area with stools.

Keep your cool. Shade is essential in Cayman’s sun-drenched climate. Opt for a covered awning, large umbrella, pergola or adjustable canopy sails.

Light up. To enjoy your rooftop in the evenings, it’s important to install some good lighting. Add bright spots near the stairwell or door. Hang pendants or lanterns from an arbor, weave string lights through the greenery, or use hurricane lamps for atmospheric lighting accents.

Express yourself. Outdoor furniture traditionally comes in muted shades, but there’s no need to stick to wood and neutrals these days. Try a brightly colored wood or metal patio set, outdoor-friendly sculptures, and a mural or mosaic to jazz up outdoor spaces.

Go green. Plants will add color, texture, shade and freshness to the space, but be sure to pick durable, wind-tolerant varieties rather than fragile blooms as they’ll be exposed to the elements. As well as planting tubs of different sizes, you can attach hanging baskets and grow climbers. You could cultivate your very own herb garden and other small edibles such as tomatoes or chilis.

Deck furniture plants lining the wall behind

Take a dip. A hot tub or plunge pool makes an extra luxurious feature in your rooftop paradise, while water features among the greenery add to the oasis feel. Remember, any soaking spot will be prone to spills and splatters, so ensure it’s located well away from dining areas. Mask unsightly Jacuzzi sides with a wooden enclosure or planters.

Freestyle seating. Instead of rigid chairs, consider a squashy outdoor sofa, a hammock, daybed or a smattering of floor cushions and ottomans.

Home cinema. Bring a touch of Hollywood to your rooftop lifestyle with a movie screen area. Where better to watch your favorite film than under the stars?

A bottle of red wine with two gilled glasses on table beside nibbles. Sea view in background.