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Apartment Living - Petite Balcony Décor

Updated on November 1, 2016

al·fres·co

adjective or adverb

: in the open air

: taking place or located in the open air : outdoor, outdoors

<an alfresco lunch> <an alfresco café> <dining alfresco>

When I moved from a two bedroom cape cod into a two bedroom apartment, I was blessed with not having to mow and tend the landscaping. However, I was missing digging in soil and decorating the out-of-doors areas surrounding my house. My solution - decorating my petite balcony. The following tips will assist you in tricking out your tiny deck so that al fresco living is done in an area customized to your taste.

A pillow was the central source for color scheme.
A pillow was the central source for color scheme.

syn·er·gy

noun, plural noun

: The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

: <The synergy between artist and record company> <There's no synergy between the two, so no costs are saved>

Tip #1 Pick Your Theme

Before you begin your project consider having a theme. Without a theme, your project could turn out looking like a preschool watercolor painting which by the way are adorable, but we're creating your outside oasis and we want there to be synergy. Consider not only color schemes, but a central theme. For instance, do you want this to remind you of the beach, or your trip to Italy or that rustic farmhouse you once visited? It's important to try to pin down some central focal point from which you can build around.

One way to do this is to peruse ideas on Pinterest. If you search "tiny balconies", you'll come up with a host of picture ideas. You can also Google the same words and search under "images". With decorating, the work has often been done for you and you just need to spend some time finding the idea that fits your taste and add your own touch for personalization.

Secondly, consider the color scheme. I used a decorating trick. Find something that you love and utilize the colors therein. For instance, we found this pillow at The Christmas Tree Shops and it became the wheel of color for our balcony. Quick, easy and mobile, you can take an object or picture with you shopping to match paint, fabric and other shades while in the planning stage.

bis·tro set

noun

: A small round table and two matching chairs, usually made of wrought iron; designed for casual dining

Tip #2 Consider Your Space

When dealing with a small area, a carefully laid out plan is essential as you do not have much room with which to work. A tape measure is a good place to start as you'll need to know what will fit or like me, you'll be laying rugs out in the store and taking an educated guess.

As with any project - start asking questions. What do you want to happen in this space? Do you want to visit, dine, relax or some combination of the three? When I started my project, I removed a bistro set from my deck. Although functional for eating, it took up most of the space. I wanted my space to become more of an area for visiting. Would we eat or drink on the deck? Yes, probably, so I made sure to add a table, just a much smaller version. What if we wanted to relax on the deck or sunbathe? I made sure the table and chairs were foldable so they could be easier moved to the side and a lounge chair set up.

Think functional and attractive!

The petite deck before decorating and after cleaning.
The petite deck before decorating and after cleaning.

D.I.Y.

: Do it yourself

Tip #4 Clean Your Space

My mother always believed that you don't decorate a dirty house. This is a rule I've followed religiously. My deck was post-winter and spotted with green mold. I used a homemade mixture similar to the one below and a scrub brush to tidy it up.

The website for This Old House offers this great D-I-Y deck cleaning mixture:

D-I-Y CLEANER
Here's a deck cleaner you can make yourself. Recommended by the U.S. Depart-ment of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory, it's good for mildew and dirt.

•1 qt. sodium hypochlorite solution (household bleach) •1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent •3 qts. warm water

In a 5-gal. plastic bucket, add the bleach and detergent to the water, then brush the cleaner onto the deck. Rinse thoroughly before applying a finish.

Caution: Do not use a detergent that contains ammonia. Ammonia and bleach react to form a poisonous gas.

For more on deck cleaning from This Old House, visit:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,213692-6,00.html

Before
Before

am·bi·ence

noun

: the character and atmosphere of a place.

<the relaxed ambience of the cocktail lounge is popular with guests>

#4 Furnish & Decorate Your Space

How you furnish your space is entirely up to you. As I mentioned above, I used foldable furniture so that I could open the space up more if necessary. The idea here is to not let this small space get so cramped, you don't utilize it.

Furniture: From a picture I saw on-line, I decided to use folding chairs to decorate my space. I obtained these chairs for $3 a piece at an estate sale and painted them with a primer/paint combo. For added fun, I stenciled some lyrics from one of my grandson's favorite songs by Bob Marley. All toll, the project cost me less than $20 and some time.

Flowers: Flowers are a great way to decorate space and mine have offered me the added benefit of hummingbird visitors. I affixed window boxes to the porch railing and utilized the brackets from the balcony above me for hanging baskets. Potted plants can also be added.

Lighting: For lighting, I prefer solar so as not to have to deal with cords in a confined space, however, strings of lights come in great varieties and can really add ambiance. I added lantern's to the railing and will light them with battery operated lights for those special nights when I have company. Candles are another way of adding lighting to your area.

Flooring: Never underestimate the power of a good outdoor rug to make an area feel like home. I chose a foam-backed straw mat, but any outdoor rug in the right shades will be a great enhancement for bringing the indoors outside.

The ideas for furnishing and decorating your space are endless.

After -  Bob Marley inspired - "Three Little Birds" lyrics
After - Bob Marley inspired - "Three Little Birds" lyrics

#6 Enjoy Your Space

This is the simple part. Mix yourself a favorite beverage, relax and enjoy. It took me just two partial days to shop and create this lovely little space for me as a get-away after a long day. It can be done on a small budget with minimal time and a little bit of creativity. So sit, back and put your feet up and in the words of Bob Marley, "Don't worry about a thing".

A Petite Tour

A Happy Little Extra

"Three Little Birds"

Watch video at this link: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/bob-marley-three-little-birds-wm


"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right! "

Rise up this mornin',
Smile with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Each by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou: ")

Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry (don't worry) 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right! "

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Each by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', "This is my message to you-ou-ou: "

Singin': "Don't worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
Every little thing gonna be all right. Don't worry! "
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing" - I won't worry!
"'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right" - I won't worry!
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing, oh no!
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great job. Some people bring home the furniture items and then try to make space which isn't there. Voted useful and more.

    • carlajbehr profile image
      Author

      Carla J Behr 2 years ago from NW PA

      It was a fabulous project that we did quickly and I feel like I have room outside : )

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