If, like many apartment dwellers, you don’t have a garden or courtyard, making the most of your balcony is a must.
Breathe new life into your outdoor oasis with these five tips.
1. Use your space wisely
Will your balcony be a place for al fresco dining or somewhere to lounge with a book? You need to decide the function of the space upfront, as it will save you both time and money in the long run.
2. Choose the right furniture
If you’re thinking the balcony will be a place to entertain, then invest in a sturdy outdoor dining setting. A rule of thumb for picking the right size is to do the chair test: can you pull out the dining chairs from the table and sit down easily?
If you’re thinking the space will be a place of relaxation, then outdoor lounges or armchairs are the way to go.
However you choose to use the space, ensure that you buy good quality and weather-resistant materials. Make sure that all cushion covers can be removed and are washable.
3. Go green
Add a touch of nature with a container garden. The size of your balcony will affect whether you can go for a large trough or small pots, but either way it will instantly add a touch of style.
When you’re picking your plants, consider how much sun your balcony will be exposed to – you don’t want to choose plants that need constant sunlight if your balcony is in the shade from midday onwards. Also bear in mind that plants also dry out quite quickly in pots and some need daily attention.
4. Choose a backdrop
If the backdrop of your balcony is a rendered or brick wall, add some much needed personality with decorative screening. There is a wide range of affordable and aesthetically pleasing screens available, from bamboo to wooden to laser-cut steel.
5. Get arty
Being outside is no excuse for forgetting art! Like a screen, art can instantly transform a boring wall and, no matter the size, it packs a punch. If your balcony is particularly small, swap the art for a large mirror, which will instantly double the perceived size of the space.
Naomi Findlay, realestate.com.au, 15 January 2015