5 Tips To Design Your Balcony Like An Interior Designer
Summer is fast approaching; your diary is filling up and alfresco dining has never felt so appealing. Being outside is one of the biggest joys in life especially when the sun is shining. From picnics in the park to walks along the river to family BBQ’s in the garden, it’s all about enjoying nature.
As an Interior Designer I’m often asked how to bring the outside into a house, but more recently I’ve been asked to help style the outside in particular balconies. After all they are a gateway to the outside world, a little oasis in the sky that can transport you to your own private paradise.
So If you are lucky enough to have a balcony, read on for 5 tips on how to create your ideal space.
1) What Is Its Main Use:
Normally it quite a compact space, so have a think about what you really want to use your balcony for. Quite often people who want to style their balconies don’t have a garden and therefore want it to fill multiple roles. This is hard (not impossible) but can be expensive. I would advise sitting down and imagining what you will do there. Is it a space to enjoy alfresco drinks with friends? Or do you want it to be a BBQ area and an extension of your kitchen? Which room does it back onto, if it’s your bedroom, you could set it up as a little yoga studio or maybe you want to fill it with a plethora of plants. Is the balcony south facing and if so do you want a place to lie back and enjoy the sun. The important thing is that this balcony is a reflection of you and how you want to use the space
2) Measure Your Space:
It is so important to measure the space so that you can see what is possible. Remember to take into account any steps, door links etc. Does the door open onto your balcony or do you have sliding doors? Once you have found furniture you like, take the measurements and map out the shape with masking tape on the floor and walls so that you know you have enough space.
You can of course choose foldaway furniture from tables and chairs to cute deck chairs that are the perfect space savers and will give you a bit more of an option on how you use the space.
Deck Chair: https://www.gardenesque.com/products/cream-fringed-wooden-deck-chair-with- head- cushion?variant=42364632137950&gclid=CjwKCAjwu_mSBhAYEiwA5BBmf9IGCuN_spL Ewbv0Xia6tXblgeL5FKLnliJLPcI9Umlaz5GbL1QxVRoCt8UQAvD_BwE
Foldaway table & Chairs: https://www.wayfair.co.uk/George-Oliver--Arianna-3-Piece-Bistro-Set- MBTU2746-L128-K~LAST1635.html?refid=GX434200141603- LAST1635&device=c&ptid=902548906946&targetid=aud- 388180976294:pla- 902548906946&network=g&ireid=45400807&device=c&gclid=CjwKCA jwu_mSBhAYEiwA5BBmf8yRnRRKdsS9vDJJerbmccOweM1HbBXNzwLm J6-JEXlSCDqxPWmIpxoCP7oQAvD_BwE
3) Tripping Hazards:
This is a big one, don’t fill your balcony so much that every step could send you over the edge. Think about who will be using the space, if children can access, then make sure it’s child friendly. Candles are a beautiful edition, but think about what they are housed in and always make sure they are safe. Think about putting some shelving on the walls, it will add to the vibe and also means you can store bits up off the floor.
I love this Round Wicker Wall shelf from La Redoute https://www.laredoute.co.uk/ppdp/prod- 350193027.aspx?dim1=1&dim2=1&cod=Google-PPC-Shopping- 10312116443-104202835578&gclid=Cj0KCQjwjN- SBhCkARIsACsrBz6O0PCsWOtqBvS9fLCEjQhEd94WAb4krg92A2RkfwIuma_ xFzTHDKIaAmerEALw_wcB
Also take into account how high you are, your balcony might end up being a bit of a wind trap and may need some kind of wind breaker or shield.
4) Outside Friendly Furniture:
Don’t make the mistake of adding a lovely old wooden chair that cant take copious amounts of rain, frost and all the other elements – even sunshine can damage wood. It might seem tempting but it’s so upsetting when things like rot takes over. Opt for furniture and accessories that can withstand the weather (you will be able to bring cushions in, but you don’t want to be moving everything all the time)
Here are some outside furniture options I love:
Sofa: https://www.tikamoon.co.uk/art-natural-rattan-double-armchair-ondine- 2005.htm?LGWCODE=2005;27544&gclid=CjwKCAjwu_mSBhAYEiwA5BBmf89PsUMkxT hlWPjhiGye4byAegU5OVczs8B_HPYeL0ODPP83RBxspxoCcyUQAvD_BwE
Chair: https://www.jdwilliams.co.uk/shop/flores-rattan- chair/IX198/product/details/show.action?pdBoUid=6010&option Colour=Natural&optionSize=NO%20SIZE&promo=6202&gclid=Cj0 KCQjwjN-SBhCkARIsACsrBz7SubZ-5URpXLMq7wKL3g_iFQrkSO- BBdvxosL0aYj-wtlVFIWj44MaAv7BEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
Balcony rails come in many shapes, sizes and materials from metal posts to glass panels so think about adding something to the surround of your balcony. Tiles can be a great option as well as a bamboo screen. You could even add a curtain rail with sheer white curtains as they allow light in but means that you can close the space if it gets too hot or you’d prefer a bit more privacy.
Try and pull some of the styling from the room your balcony backs onto into the space to create a flow. Its lovely when the balcony feels like an extension of the room you are in. This could be through colours, fabric, furniture. I love a nonchalant boho vibe to a balcony, mixing rattan and bamboo with woven baskets and heaps of blankets. For me, visiting thrift stores and keeping momentos from holidays to add to the relaxed theme is ideal. If you love boho styling, where possible try to source items direct from the cultures they originate from. However, if you have a mid-century modern living room that backs onto the space you need to think about more clean lines, geometric shapes, glass and vinyl.
And remember to have fun, this is your balcony and therefore should reflect you and your needs whether that’s a little hideaway to get away from it all or a place to relax with friends. If you feel inspired by this blog and need a little help creating your ideal space call or message me and let's see if we can make the change you need.