A balcony forms a great private outdoor space perfect for unwinding and relaxing, especially if living in a city apartment. Yet, the balcony is one of the most overlooked spaces in the home. However, with some innovative designs, one can enjoy the outdoors from the privacy of the indoors. It can quickly transform into a space perfect for relaxing or entertaining guests. Even the tiniest balcony has the potential to transform into a beautiful exterior space and provide the indoors with fresh light and air. Before renovating the balcony, the first step is to consider its functionality alongside the various activities one would like to incorporate within the space.
Rethink The Furniture Layout
The first step is to clear the clutter and create a furniture layout that offers maximum open space. Transform the balcony into a functional zone with a pair of chairs and a center table, go for a built-in seating table, or hang a swing from the ceiling as it allows one to enjoy the outdoor views from a greater height. If the balcony is spacious, then go for a wicker sofa and center table and divide it into two functional zones. Treat the other section of your balcony like a living room by introducing a comfy chair and throw pillows so that it can doubly function as an exciting reading nook. Go for only a few pieces of furniture and choose space-saving furniture that can be folded after use. A shelf can be attached to the balcony railing, as it is ideal for serving food and beverages—built-in seating is one of the easiest ways to maximize space.
Go for outdoor furniture materials like wicker, resin, plastic, or wrought iron, as they can resist external weather conditions. In addition, synthetic wicker or faux wicker is resistant to outdoor conditions. When not in use, the furniture can be covered with water-repellent covers. For an organic vibe, it is highly recommended to go for curvaceous furniture. If the balcony layout permits, include a hammock as it is perfect for open-air naps.
Designers: Peter Hawrylewicz and Ken Lieber
A balcony can emerge into a potential storage zone, especially if there is a lack of storage space within the interiors of the home. Hence, enhance the storage of the home and the utility of the balcony by introducing a chest of drawers and making optimum use of the walls with vertical storage. Since the walls form the under-used part of the balcony, fix a storage cabinet to the wall or add floating shelves. Multifunctional pieces of furniture are best suited for compact balconies. Choose a bench with built-in storage and introduce slim wall shelves, to name a few.
A good dose of color can add life and enliven the overall ambiance of the balcony. Two or three colors can be introduced so that the balcony imparts a neat and uncluttered look. Layer it in the walls, soft upholstery, pretty outdoor-friendly cushions, and outdoor rugs to create a comfortable and vibrant space. Also, experiment with texture and pattern to add a tactile quality and beautify the overall look of the balcony. For example, an outdoor rug can be from the focal point of the balcony in moisture-resistant materials like nylon, propylene, or polyester, and one can surround it with furniture.
Designer: unTag Architecture
Make sure to accessorize the balcony according to the season and occasion. Some accessories include a floor lamp, a bohemian rug, a mural, and string lights. Add an artistic vibe with pottery and outdoor statues in weather-friendly materials like clay, stone, or ceramic. A patterned rug can add oodles of character and softness to the outdoor space.
Look At The Flooring
A good flooring design can instantly upgrade the overall look of the balcony. Some of the best flooring materials include porcelain tiles, cement tiles, and natural stone. You can also spruce up the face of a concrete slab with interlocking wood deck tiles, as they are effortless to install. Plus, artificial grass can be included as it mimics the look of a lawn.
Designer: GJ Associates
Decorate With Plants
Surround yourself with nature and spruce up the balcony with lush green plants. Create a green thumb with potted plants, and bring in flowering plants with a sweet fragrance. If you love to cook, grow microgreens like coriander, basil, mint, and rosemary, and eat fresh produce from your garden. Do some research and pick the right plants according to the climatic conditions and the amount of sunlight the balcony receives. Hang planters on the walls and vines on the railing.
Designer: Veena Rathi
Use Earthy Materials
Nothing beats the earthy combination of wood, brick, and lush green plants outdoors. Go for wooden furniture in materials like cedar, teak, or redwood. Protect the wooden pieces with a sealer and clad the walls with sleek brick tiles.
Designer: ZDesign at Home
Add Decorative Lights
Good lighting plays an integral part in the balcony design. Add warm lighting with a pendant light, wall mounted bracket lights. Introduce mood lighting by wrapping string lights around the plants and railings, making it a cozy space.
Designer: ARQ Designer
Pay Attention To Privacy
Do not compromise the balcony’s privacy and protect it from the prying eyes of the neighbors. Some of the best ways to achieve privacy are with privacy screens made of metal or bamboo. Awnings are an excellent way to achieve some privacy as well as shade from the harsh sunlight. Tall plants, climbing vines, and shrubs are also effective in achieving some privacy.
Design It As An Extension
The balcony can be designed as an extension of the living room or bedroom. Use a similar indoor and outdoor flooring material and create a brilliant inside-outside connection. Make sure that all the furniture looks into the outdoors and only include a few pieces of furniture on the balcony as they can block the view from the indoors. Large spans of glass door panels can be used to separate the balcony from the indoor room without breaking the visual connection, making the balcony feel larger. Coordinate the space with similar colors and choose a color palette that is an extension of your home and personality.
Designer: iA Design
Opt For Zen Décor
Convert your balcony into a zen or dry landscape garden with an elegant combination of boulders and rocks with shrubs, gravel, cacti, and grass. Note that a zen garden is a low-maintenance garden with white pebbles, wood, and green plants that come together to create an interesting textural contrast.
Although the balcony is a great place to enjoy the sun, the scorching heat might make it challenging to use, especially during summer. Some of the best ways to add shade are with a pergola or an open roof system which comprises equidistant slats of wood with plants or climbers growing within it. The best part about a pergola is that it provides shade without blocking the warmth of the sun. An awning offers seasonal shading and works as an accent feature, as it is available in a variety of colors, patterns as well as fabrics.
Designer: Dipen Gada & Associates
The balcony allows you to create a brilliant connection with the outdoor environment. With these tips, you can surely transform the balcony into a relaxing oasis and enjoy your slice of the outdoors.