Ideas + Inspiration, Tours

Bring Design Home: The Outsider Rooftop Lounge

Rooftop bars, lounge areas and restaurants are a luxurious way to spend a sunny afternoon or summer evening. Offering excellent views and high-end designs, you’ll never really want to leave. Given that most of us can’t afford hotel style living on a daily basis, the best option is to create the same look and feel at home. Even if you don’t have a rooftop, you can easily achieve the same styles and look on a patio, deck or balcony.

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For some easy inspiration and rooftop design ideas, we’re taking a look at the Kimpton Hotel rooftop lounge, The Outsider, in Milwaukee. This expansive rooftop lounge–more than 5,000 square feet–features six indoor/spaces that can be used year round thanks to its retractable glass walls and patio cover. Although the overall space is large, the individual sections feel cozy and intimate with plentiful sectionals and other seating and toasty fire tables. Final touches include overhead accent lighting and umbrellas for shade.

Lots of Comfy Sectional Seating

The most important part of any space, indoors or out, is a comfortable place to sit and host all your guests. Even in smaller spaces, sectionals can be a great option. They provide more seating than just a traditional sofa/lounge chair combo within the same footprint. Just make sure the size of the sectional works for your space. From oversized to small, you’ll want to look for weather resistant materials and cushions. While The Outsider uses wood framed sectionals, you can still get the open frame look with metal style frames as well. Here are some options to help you get the look:


Supplemental Seating

Side and lounge chairs are important pieces for any outside space. They are easy to move around and can take advantage of smaller areas that might otherwise go unused. The Outsider uses cushioned lounge chairs, stools and bar stools that are outdoor friendly. Some pieces to help you get the look are:


Fire Table Centerpiece

No matter what time of year it is, most people love sitting around an open fire while they enjoy the night air. While they provide a lot of ambiance–and a place to set your drink–fire tables also provide heat. This lovely feature expands the life of your outdoor space by allowing you to enjoy it even as the weather starts to cool. Try one of these fire tables:


Portable Shade

Just as fire tables are perfect for cool evenings, providing shade from the harsh summer sun is a must. Outdoor umbrellas are a great way to provide portable shade that can be adjusted as the sun makes it way across the sky. Not only does the shade help keep the space cooler, it also helps protect your skin from the harsh sun. Some great options are:


Overhead Mood Lighting

In The Outsider, string lights extend the usability of the rooftop lounge long into the night. String lights make things festive no matter the time of year. Try these options for the perfect finishing touch:

Nicole Tatem

Nicole Tatem

Nicole is the Sr. Site Merchandiser for Accessories, Kids, and Textiles at YLiving. She is obsessed with great design in all forms with a special love for jewelry, wine bottle labels, and tableware. When she’s not exploring the many museums and art galleries of the Bay Area, Nicole spends time looking for and visiting obscure and unusual destinations (locally and abroad) while practicing her photography skills.

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