Whether you have a backyard or not, don’t neglect your balcony or terrace while decorating your home. Even though it may be a small space, it still could do with a bit of styling to give it a personal touch and make it more functional and comfortable.
If you’re stuck for ideas, there are a number of ways you can style your balcony or terrace, as well as things to consider or think about.
Think about the core function of the space
Just like when you are planning to style your backyard, there are plenty of things to consider when styling your balcony or terrace. One of those things is the core function of the space, that is, what you plan on doing in the space. Whether you’d want it to be a space for entertainment or just a place to relax after a big day, taking this into account may dictate what kind of things you’d need to include when styling.
More often than not, the balcony or terrace will have more than one purpose, so the design decisions will need to reflect that. You may require an area for children to play in safety, as well as a place for you to kick back and relax, so you will need to plan out a way to integrate both of these things without taking up too much space.
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Think about the overarching style or atmosphere
You’d want the style of your balcony or terrace to be consistent throughout. This means deciding on a particular style or vibe and keeping that in mind as you choose pieces of furniture and make decisions about the design of the space. Whether you fancy a coastal style to create a relaxing beach-side atmosphere or a boho style full of colour for a casual, carefree look, focusing on this throughout the design process can ensure a more cohesive look.
Create an outdoor dining room
For those who wish to entertain or if you fancy enjoying a view with your daily meals, you can set up an outdoor dining room. You may have limited space so it doesn’t have to be anything too big. A small table and a couple of chairs will do. Style the space with some string lights and shade for an al fresco dining option for when the weather is just right.
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Set up some lounge chairs and a hammock
If you don’t have the space for a full outdoor dining area, but you can fit some furniture onto your balcony or terrace, adding a couple of chairs or a hammock, might do the trick. Whether you opt for a lounge chair, a hanging chair, or some armchairs with some comfortable, brightly coloured cushions, you can very easily set up a nice space to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea and the view if it’s what you desire.
For something that is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye while providing the relaxing and inviting feel that you want to invoke, furniture with softer lines and fluid shapes or sculptural chairs may be what you’re after. If you don’t have the room to keep the chairs there permanently, folding furniture that you can store away may be your best bet.
Add some shelter
The sun can get a bit much sometimes so introducing some shelter into your space may be a great idea. You can do this using various materials including brushwood, high-grade vinyl, cotton, acrylic canvas, or polyester.
In addition to protecting you and your balcony or terrace from the elements, this can also give you more privacy from your neighbours above.
Think about space storage solutions
You can never have enough storage. Integrating storage into your balcony or terrace design may not be a difficult task despite the small space. In fact, it could create even more space. You can have a storage bench for cushions, blankets and barbecue accessories that can double as a place to sit or a small coffee table.
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Create an outdoor greenery
You don’t need a big backyard if you want to create a beautiful garden. There are plenty of ways to make the most of the outdoor space you have and set up some plants in an interesting way. There are plenty of small potted plants that would prevent the space from getting too overcrowded that you can consider including lavender, caladium, sweet alyssum, lobelia, mandevilla, and even lettuce. A simple tiny tree could also do. Try vertical gardening to save space.
This is also a great place to set up a herb garden. Your balcony or terrace is the perfect place for this and allows the convenience of being able to walk out and take what you need for your meal while in the middle of cooking. Be warned, there are different herbs for different climates, depending on your set-up. For example, if you have a lot of sun but no shade, choose basil and rosemary, whereas if you have some sun and some shade, you can branch out and get cilantro and chives.
Another popular way to integrate some plants or flowers into your small space is through a balcony bloom. Hanging off the edge of the railing, you can add a beautiful pop of colour that can be seen by everyone down below.
Consider a room divider
If you’d like to get some extra privacy from your neighbours or to create some division between the indoors and the outdoors, thinking about a room divider could be the answer you are looking for. You can do this in a tasteful way by using bamboo to create a natural wall or set up some tall plants with climbers. For your door or window leading out to the balcony or terrace, you can hang some drapes or silk curtains to create this division.
Set up a DIY outdoor kitchen
If you have the space for a small barbecue or fire pit, you can set up a small outdoor kitchen so you can utilise the great outdoors while entertaining at home. While there are a number of things to consider if you want to set up a fire pit on your balcony or terrace, it can also be a great way to keep warm on those cold nights.
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Think about the room it leads to
The room that the balcony or terrace leads to is something that you should take into account when decorating the space, as well as the said room that it leads to. For example, if your balcony leads into the bedroom, you may choose to face the bed outwards, so you can face the view. At the same time, if that balcony is narrow, loading it up with furniture and another bulky decor may block the view.
It also may be important to ensure that the design flows inside and out, that is, making sure there is cohesion between your design choices for your outdoor space and indoor space. This could involve choosing furniture that blends in well with the furniture inside your room or having the same tile or timber floorboards to include your outdoor space in your open floor plan.
Add an outdoor rug
If you are looking for a pop of colour or pattern, adding an outdoor rug may be a good idea. This can make it feel more like your indoor space and create some cohesion between the two. Be careful with material choices as it will need to be able to withstand the elements.
Hang planters or weather-resistant art on walls
You may have some blank walls on your balcony or terrace that are looking a little bare. Dress these up with some hang planters or weather-resistant art that helps you convey the style that you are looking for.
Prior to this, you may consider painting the wall a nice colour. Using a warm colour could make the balcony look more inviting. If you do opt for a lighter colour, consider painting the trim, such as baseboards, and frames on windows and doors in a contrasting colour for a more striking statement.
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Keep it minimal
At the end of the day, your balcony or terrace is most likely a small space, so you don’t need to pack it with decor. Sticking to a more minimal approach may stop the space from becoming overcrowded, and therefore less uninviting than a more streamlined and clean space may be. You may have heard the phrase, ‘less is more’, which couldn’t be more true when you consider these small spaces.
Focus on the details and make every choice count.
Words by Jessica Testa
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