When it comes to apartment living, space is hard to come by. If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate that allows the use of a balcony all year round, you can transform this space into a small second living area in a few easy steps, perfect for lazy weekend brunches and after work drinks at home.
The very first thing you need to do is get rid of all the mess and clutter that is currently filling up your balcony space. Get ride of, or find alternative storage for, everything you possible can. Keep your barbecue and any outdoor plants.
Once this is done, give the area a good sweep, mop or wipe down (depending on the surface and materials your balcony is made from) so you have a clean base to wok with.
2. Choose flooring
Make your balcony feel more like a living space with an outdoor rug that feels plush underfoot, or outdoor flooring that can be easily rolled out and laid over your existing balcony floor.
3. Pick furniture
When shopping for furniture for your balcony you want to choose pieces that are made from weather-resistant materials such as steel or treated timber. Pick a couple seating options and a coffee or side table that can fit snugly into the available space of your balcony without making it feel cramped. Some balconies can fit a small sofa, coffee table and chair, while others can only fit a small garden setting of two chairs and a table. Choose furniture that’s comfortable, weather-proof and suitable to your space.
If you desperately need storage on the balcony, consider bench seats with hidden storage.
4. Create privacy
Use potted plants to create a sense of privacy on your balcony by popping a few large foliage plants - such as bamboo or palms - into the space, and use hanging pots on the balcony railing for herbs, flowers or small foliage. This will not only give a sense of privacy, but add a green garden element to your balcony, which is much needed in urban environments.
The final step is to accessorise your balcony as you would any other living room. Check out your local furniture or hardware stores for cushions made from durable weather-resistant fabric. A throw blanket is always welcome outside, so look for one in a robust knit or fabric that could withstand being pulled around a bit, and store it somewhere protected from rain, wind and sunshine. Candles set the mood in any living room and are even more romantic outside; citronella candles will keep mosquitoes at bay.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens.
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