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Making the Most of Your Balcony

Decorating a balcony can be one of the most liberating and therefore fun experiences you can have whilst giving your home a makeover. Not only is your balcony the cheapest “room” in the house to decorate, it is also a separate area which is used less regularly meaning you can afford to be much more adventurous.

If you are lucky enough to have a large balcony, make more use out of the space by dividing it into smaller areas. Use screens, seating or plants to section of areas to add more rooms to your home that you can use as dining area, private sunbathing terrace or a small garden. Should you ever need the combined space for a party or large BBQ you can always reposition your dividers.

Take advantage of the open air and include lots of plants and flowers to transform a boring balcony into an exotic garden in the sky. Continue the natural theme with wooden decking finished in a classic dark wood stain.

Experiment with bold colours. Plant pots, flowers, beanbags and outdoor furniture and fabrics all provide an opportunity to add even more colour to sunny days sat out on the balcony.

A common concern with balconies is privacy. Ensure some for your balcony without ruining the natural and relaxing ambience with some stylish bamboo screening. This is especially apt if it is a tranquil Japanese garden theme that you desire. You could really build on this by adding some Bonsai trees and lanterns.

Alternatively, a screen of ivy complete with birdhouses and birdbaths will lend a look of English garden to your balcony- but hopefully without bringing the weather!

Furniture for balcony can range from a porch swing to two or three chairs with a coffee table or just a chaise lounge or a bench with a side table. It really depends on what you think you be mostly using the space for. If it is a small balcony that you intend to use as a peaceful getaway, it is best thinking about comfort and convenience. An oversize beanbag or comfy single seat with a side table for your coffee will provide an ideal setting to get lost in a good book. For larger balconies that will be the setting for Sunday barbeques with all the family, traditional pub-style wooden benches and tables would probably allow you to seat the most people.

One important but often overlooked consideration is lighting. A warm summer night is an ideal time for a glass of wine and some conversation out on the balcony- but only if you can see the person keeping you company! The trick is not to go too bright or position your lighting too high up- which would spoil the intimacy. Candlelight is by far the most mood enhancing and flattering light for a nice summer evening but as they are being used outside, can be easily blown out. A nice oil burning table lamp with protective glass windshield will easily solve this problem and will provide a perfect warm glow. Add some built in up lighters around the perimeter of your balcony for safety and your mood is set. You could make a feature of your up lighters by purchasing cool blue bulbs.

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