I see so many unloved balconies with bucket loads of potential. But more importantly this is really valuable space in an apartment that is often overlooked and neglected. I’ve lost track of all the apartment balconies that have a few pots with dead flowers or balcony space that ends up being storage for the linen rack or wash bucket.
Living in the city can also mean that although there may be plenty of parks around it does mean that nature can be more limited than living in the countryside. However, that doesn’t need to be the case and there are lots of possibilities to create a little haven for yourself in a city apartment balcony.
In a survey conducted by Chill Insurance it seems that Summer is the time to get decorating and 68% of those polled said that they undertake DIY tasks during the sunny season. With the Summer we’re having it’s a really worthwhile investment to be able to extend your living space and there’s no better way to create additional room in your apartment than to create a beautiful space on your balcony. The beauty of this and my favourite part is that even if your renting you can still create this haven for yourself and all the pieces you buy you can just bring with you to your next home. Win Win.
The great thing about recreating a beautiful outdoor haven on your balcony is that you have a small space to work with and I believe that this is really really positive. Why you might ask? Well I think when you’ve got limited space it can push your creative boundaries and force you to think through exactly what you want out of the space and what the possibilities are within the balcony space.
How to design and decorate your Balcony Space
What do you want from the space
Is it somewhere to relax and have a glass of wine in the evening, do you want to dine al fresco, have bbq’s, is it a space that you want to be able to use to work in and create an extension of your home office during the Summer months, is it somewhere just to hang out with some friends and relax in?
What’s your Style
So you’ve thought about what you want to do with the space. Next step is to decide on what kind of style you want to create. Should it be minimalist, sleek and modern or cosy and homely?
Ask yourself what kind of planting you would like – do you want a floral filled balcony (remember there is more maintenance with this), would you prefer to be able to grow veggies and herbs or just greenery with shrubs and trees. Of course you also need to think about the fact that whatever you grow will need to be suitable to grow in pots, window boxes, baskets as opposed to plants/shrubs that need to be grown in the ground.
Let your Inner architect or kiddie style sketches break out
Measure up your area and depending on what you want out of this space decide on suitable size furniture and window boxes or pots or whatever else it is that you would like to put into your balcony space which you know is going to look stunning when your finished. What you want to avoid happening is filling the space with oversized furniture that will perhaps dominate the space. Make a list of what you need, measure the pieces and draw a quick sketch before purchasing. This will help you visualise what is going where and that it will work cohesively.
Don’t forget the floor space. There are several options. If you want a grass effect you could opt for artificial grass, if it’s a sheltered balcony you could use rugs or personally I prefer deck tiles (maybe because the wooden ones have more of a natured inspired feel to them).
Then the most exciting part. It’s time to add some finishing touches – cushions, lanterns, candles, throws (especially if you want to use the space in the evening when it can get a little bit chilly) and lots of pretty things to make it cosy and homely (if that’s the look your after) and to make it your space.
This is your balcony and an extension of your apartment space so buy all the things you love so that you will use the space and enjoy using it whether it’s to relax after work with a glass of wine, have friends over to hangout or have bbq’s or if it’s somewhere you’d like to work from and use as an outdoor office space.
Just a quick reminder:
- Decide what you want to do with the space.
- What style do you want or what feeling would you love to have in this space.
- Decide on whether to use flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, veggies or herbs.
- Measure the area and do a quick sketch and don’t end up in a position where your at the garden/furniture store and just pick things willy nilly. This doesn’t work and can end up in expensive mistakes (oh trust me I know this all too well :)). Think through every piece you are going to put on your balcony.
- Pick your furniture (depending on the style you go for this will dictate what type of furniture you choose).
- Decide if you want to do something with the floor of the balcony. My belief is if your going to invest time and a money recreating a little haven on your balcony then it’s definitely worth doing something with the floor space.
- Last but not least are the soft furnishings. I can’t stress how important this is and this is what will help to pull the overall look and feel together. It’s soooooo important.
Don’t just go to one garden centre or outdoor furniture store – visit lots of places and do your research so you know exactly what the choices are and what the possibilities are.
Anything is possible and the options are endless but the most important thing is to have fun with this. It should be a project that gives you joy that will ultimately result in a beautiful space. This is also a really worthwhile investment if your thinking of selling your home as this can only add additional value and will definitely appeal to potential buyers.
Below is an example of our city apartment makeover.