As any urban dweller will tell you, space is limited; and when you have even just the smallest nook, you need to make the most of it. With warmer weather (hopefully) fast approaching, now is a great time to start thinking about cocktail recipes, holiday planning and patio season.
If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony, you may consider transforming it into a small outdoor oasis. An escape from the bustle of the city streets below, and your own little vacation spot. You owe it to yourself, and your friends and family, to do a little more than just putting up a lawn chair and call it a day. While you may not have a huge, green backyard, there are still plenty of ways to create a cozy, stylish and welcoming balcony for any style and any budget. Below are four key style elements to consider when transforming your space from top to bottom.
Maximize Minimal Space
This is perhaps the most important point on the list, as urban balconies tend to be miniscule. Seating is a balcony essential, and can be tricky when dealing with such a small space. Rather than opting for a traditional outdoor sofa or patio furniture, you may consider trying a custom built-in bench that fits perfectly along any wall and comes equipped with storage space underneath. You can add cushions and blankets atop the bench, and use its storage space to store cozy extras.
Standard benches are also great, and a less permanent option. Foldable chairs and tables complement any balcony nicely, and can be easily tucked away to free up floor space. Alternatively, you can make further use of the cushions by using them for seating, which is a great option if you’re renting and not interested in investing in patio furniture.
Fairy lights and planters are great accessories for any railing, and instantly add a lush and cozy vibe to the outdoor space. The best part is that they don’t take up any floor space, and provide the perfect ambience for either relaxing me-time, or late-night cocktails with friends.
Don’t Forget Your Walls & Ceiling
You’re guaranteed to have at least one wall and a ceiling in your balcony, and in the spirit of maximizing space, these features shouldn’t be neglected. Make your dreams of a sprawling lawn come true (at least partially) by installing a vertical garden. These wooden planters sit against your wall and have shelves to accommodate pots that you can fill with your favorite flora and fauna. There are, however, a number of variations of the vertical garden. You can also opt to install individual planters along your wall in specific arrangements, or choose hanging pots to drape around your balcony.
In addition to plants, you may consider installing floating shelves to display plants, succulents and water-resistant artwork. You can even throw in some books if you’d like to create a cozy reading nook—just ensure you bring them inside afterwards to avoid exposure to the elements. Your balcony is an extension of your home, so don’t be afraid to incorporate homey elements such as photographs, a clock and other knick-knacks.
Contrary to popular belief, ceilings are conducive to a variety of space-saving seating options. You may consider investing in a trendy eggshell chair or hammock, both of which can be suspended from the ceiling and provide cozy and relaxing spots, ideal for pretending you’re on holiday.
Keep Things Sweet & Simple
Adopting a minimalist, Scandinavian approach to transforming a small balcony space is ideal. It’s often best not to overthink the decorative process, and it should be focused on serving your needs. Sometimes, all you need is a small table with a couple of chairs. If your balcony doesn’t have a transparent railing, you may consider an elevated table and bar stools to offer you views of the skyline and cityscape. If the railings are clear, you can opt for a couple of chaise lounges if you’re seeking to create a space of relaxation rather than entertaining.
Plants and lights are other simple design elements that can be used to warm up your space, or add privacy from your neighbors, as taller plants can be used as a makeshift wall and also provide shade. Even if your balcony is so small that you can’t fit any furniture, there’s always room for flowers and plants.
Cozy is Key
Many balcony floors are made from cold and unsightly cement; however, there are a few easy design options to combat this. Try a large area rug in a cool pattern or vibrant hue that matches your style. Rugs are a great way to tie a space together and provide warmth. Just remember that depending on the climate of the city you live in, you may be wary of the material and style of carpet you choose.
As aforementioned, pillows and large cushions are another great way to add an instantly cozy element to your outdoor space. Try spreading them around your floor space as seating alternatives and expressions of your personality. Like rugs, there are a number of style, color and pattern options that can easily be switched out to match your current mood and aesthetic.
Balcony furniture doesn’t have to be lavish and expensive to transform your small space into a relaxing outdoor oasis. Whether you’re looking to create a space for outdoor dining, relaxation, entertaining or anything in between, there are a number of style elements that you can use to match your needs, style and budget. Once you have a basic layout with a few key pieces, all that’s left is to add in a few personal touches: perhaps a bistro set, decorative knick-knacks, a dish and cutlery set, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Use these tips to create the ideal balcony, grab a refreshing drink and enjoy your new space. So whether you’re looking to buy your patio furniture online or in store, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to your very own balcony haven. fff