If you are living in the UK it is all too common for the balcony area to become a dumping ground for outdoor furniture and rubbish. However, with just a little bit of effort you can transform your balcony area into an oasis of calm and tranquility.
The first step in deciding what to put on your balcony is to find out what kind of weather it is most likely to have. This will help you to decide which plants you can have which are most suited to those conditions. For example, if the balcony area is really shaded then you will need to make sure that the plants you buy are suited to that condition.
When you are planning out how much sun and shade there will be it’s advisable to look at the sun movement throughout the day and draw out a sun and shade map of the area.
If you know that you need storage space for a bike, clothes drying or a small BBQ then that should be part of your design. Having a nice balcony area is not just about keeping it clear for everyday items, they should be considered and worked around. You can use items such as large plants to disguise those items very effectively.
The first step is to decide on a theme. Perhaps you will go for a rustic, European look or maybe an Italian stylish feel. Whatever it is, have a look online and see what inspiration you can draw from other places such as online magazines, home decorating sites and published magazines. Buying a few magazines is ideal because you can cut out bits and pieces from it that you like and stick them into a scrapbook to make a design map of ideas.
The next phase is to get a one or two items which are focal points of the area, pieces which will really stand out and look good. If you have a larger space it’s a good idea to think about how the space will flow and what direction the arrangement of the pieces will lead the visitor on. If you have a smaller space you should still pay attention to the focal points and the layout. In a smaller space it is important to get it right so that you can ensure the space feels as big as possible. An example of a way to make the space look larger than it is would be to use mirrors and hanging baskets which sit on the outsides of the fences or glass walls which surround the balcony.
How to start
Just give it a go! You have to start somewhere and although you do need to plan as much as possible you must also take action. Take your time to plan out which features are the focus points and then build around it. Perhaps just add bits as you go after getting the main bits in and seeing how it looks.
Images courtesy of anankkml and artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net