Making the Most of Your Small Balcony
If you live in an apartment or condo with a tiny balcony, chances are you have completely ignored your only outdoor space. Sure, it may not be much, but with these easy ideas, you can transform it into a mini-oasis to enjoy at your leisure!
Think About Furniture
Ok, I know your balcony doesn’t offer much in the way of space for furniture. However, you can squeeze a couple of simple and stylish pieces into the most cramped of balconies. First, determine the function of your dream balcony. Is it for dining al fresco, reading, sunning or simply a place for daydreaming?
You can purchase a bistro set with two chairs and a small table for dining under the stars. Or choose a comfy chaise lounge for sunning and afternoon napping. Maybe an all-weather wicker chair and side table is all you need for catching up on the latest best seller.
If you are really cramped, consider topping a slender, teak storage bench with a bright cushion to create the perfect spot for quick cup of java to get your day started. Plus you’ll have a place to stash some of your outdoor supplies.
Add Pretty Accents
Once you have the furniture situated, you can get on with the business of accessorizing.
Drag your balcony out of concrete drabness with something colorful underfoot. If you own your condo, find out if the CC&Rs allow for tiling or painting your balcony floor. A textured tile or paint designed for outdoor use will not only keep you from slipping in damp weather, it will also add a bit of personality to your outdoor oasis.
If you can’t tile or paint, ground the space with a colorful outdoor area rug. A rug will make your small balcony space more room-like.
Place a small fountain on the wall or in a corner to lend a sense of serenity to your meditation altar. The combination of an iron wall grille and Deruta urn will remind you of your Tuscan vacation. If your balcony has a cover, string fairy lights or lanterns above for a romantic evening glow.
Lastly, keep your color palette simple. The last thing you need in a small space is a wild and disjointed color scheme. If you want shots of color, do so with cushions, throw pillows, a rug or flowers.
Give It the Green Treatment
Speaking of flowers, why not carve out a corner for a balcony container garden? If you have the room, consider a palm tree for a tropical feel. If extra space is truly an issue, buy a planter box that secures onto the railing of your balcony. They are a great for planting a small herb garden or seasonal plants and flowers.
Before you go running off to buy plants, make note of the amount of sun and shade your balcony gets on any given sunny day. For example, don’t expect to have a fern grotto on a balcony with Western exposure. Nor will your sun-loving rose bush survive on your North-facing balcony.
Plant specialists at your local garden center will be able to help you with plant selection to suit your balcony's unique microclimate.
Get Set for Entertaining!
I’m not saying you can have dinner for a party of eight on your diminutive balcony, but you can certainly use it as an extension of your indoor space.
Stage it as a bar, a spot for outdoor grilling or simply a relaxing place to catch a breath of fresh air after dinner.
Your guests will appreciate your attention to detail -- and when they depart, you can enjoy spending many quiet mornings, afternoons and evenings in the privacy of your stylish and comfortable outdoor retreat!
© 2013 lindacee
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