Toronto Condo

Creating A Balcony Sanctuary In Your Condo

Monday Jun 22nd, 2020


Summer is already upon us in full bloom and like me, you may be daydreaming of lazy sultry afternoons, lounging idly with a good book in your lawn chair, an icy margarita in your hands, basking in the sun away from the prying eyes of your nosing neighbors. But wait, don’t you live in a condo where privacy on a balcony is just a pipedream, where you don’t even know what to do with the little outdoor real estate you are given. However, regardless of the size of your condo, a little imagination and a few smart ideas can turn your condo balcony into a super-cozy refuge. Experts give us some great ideas for creating an outdoor sanctuary you’ll want to hang out on all summer long!

Go Green

Numerous studies tell us that keeping in touch with nature helps us relax and unwind, and if there is one thing we can all unanimously agree on, it is that adding greenery to any space makes it feel welcoming and refreshing. When it comes to sprucing up your balcony, don’t just pick up plants that catch your fancy; consider what will suit your patio.  Another factor that should be considered is whether your balcony gets ample sunlight through the day or stays shaded all day during to the building looming next door. Pick the plants that will thrive in the environment. For instance, Tomatoes thrive in sun but hostas prefer shade. Another factor to keep in mind is the wind level. Delicate flowers wither in high winds, but hardier ornamental grasses would survive high winds. If you are a cooking aficionado, try herbs. They are inexpensive to buy, easier to grow and take care of, and you can spruce up your meals with fresh herbs from your little garden. Don't have a green thumb? Faux plants are the next best thing and even the cheap ones look pretty real. All they require is occasional cleaning and you can fool anyone.

String Up Some Creative Lighting

If you want to enjoy your condo balcony in the evenings as well, reveling in balmy breezes, you need to invest in ambient lighting. Solar-powered light bulbs are all the rage these days, and you can find them at any DIY home store. Don’t worry; you don’t have to battle with tangled mess of cables. These lights can be hung anywhere easily and don’t need very much sunlight to charge. Its time to put on your creative hat when hanging up or decorating your string of lights. I have personally hung large, retro-style lightbulbs from thick cables in my condo balcony and complemented them with herbs in mason jars and paper lanterns.

Put Together Stylish Terrace Furniture

With the right outdoor furniture, your balcony becomes an extension of your condo. While the furniture stores have hundreds of options to choose from, I especially love tables and benches made from pallet. If you have a dab hand at DIY like me, just grab some standard pallets from your nearest DIY store and screw them together. Add some cushions and a chic tabletop, and you have got a stylish piece of furniture and is truly you. Leverage your craftmanship and creativity to add personalized touches to your pallet furniture. For instance, I have designed a lounge chair made from two pallets for my balcony.

Add Privacy

You can create a secluded haven on your balcony with fast-growing tall plants, thickly branches evergreen and dense hedges, for a more natural looking barrier. If you want a low-budget, low-maintenance option, you can plant shrubs as close together as possible to give the effect of a screen. Some people prefer Cedar hedges since they are relatively inexpensive, but they take up a lot of prime outdoor real estate and are not popular in small balconies. You might also consider a yew tree, which is hardy, thick and grows high, while looking aesthetically pleasing. Another great option is black stem bamboo since it doesn’t take up much space. If you are a big fan of DIY, you can even construct your own fabric screen. It’s really not hard. All you have to do is Stretch some outdoor fabric really tight and staple it on a wood frame.

Another great option to utilize portable screens which come in all shades, materials, and colors to suit your theme. Depending on your budget, you can even add a lattice screen covered in vines, roses, and flowering shrubs for a more natural backdrop. A wall of tall planters filled with sculptured boxwood gives your balcony a bold, manicured statement. What could be better than having a living wall with your favorite plants in one place. Another easy idea to add privacy and shade to a covered deck is by layering hanging pots, especially those containing trailing plants like ivy.

Throw In Pops Of Color

Paint a chair cherry red, incorporate bright blooms, toss in some teal cushions, or throw in a vibrantly patterned rug, to add visual interest. Incorporating small, colorful elements lets you change your outdoor theme easily from season to season or even on festive occasions.  I have a set of cheery yellow pillows which I leave lying around outside all season.

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