Design Dilemma: Making Your Balcony More Inviting | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Making Your Balcony More Inviting

modern patio how to tips advice

Are you one of those people who has a balcony that you never use?  With a little forethought you can make your lonely little balcony a well-used retreat during the summer months. But first, you must do a little soul-searching. Why are you not using your space?  There are a myriad of  reasons that might keep you indoors.  Perhaps you live in a tiny apartment and your balcony has become a defacto storage room (you can fix that). Or perhaps your balcony faces a noisy, uninviting street (you can’t fix that.) Here are three common reasons why people don’t use their balconies, and what you can do about them:

1). Your balcony feels too exposed.

This one has a quick fix. If your balcony is extremely visible to the street and neighbors and that makes you feel uncomfortable, create privacy. A clever use of trellises and plantings can act as a shield from pedestrians at street level and neighbors next door. For example:

home design how to tips advice

The patio above features a tight-knit trellis that acts as a barrier from prying eyes. Below, a balcony off a bedroom features a high-railing and built-in bench that provides not only a place to sit, but privacy as well.

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice

If you prefer to create a natural barrier, create a group of tall plantings. Like this:

modern patio how to tips advice

Or this:

traditional landscape how to tips advice

Is your concern more the balcony next door? Create a privacy shield with either the use of clever plantings, or even an architectural structure, if your building allows it.

Here’s a simple way to create privacy:

contemporary porch how to tips advice

And here’s a more elaborate way:

mediterranean patio how to tips advice

Here’s yet another fabulous idea:

modern landscape how to tips advice

2) Your balcony is too hot and sunny.

Here’s another common problem that can be solved. One of the most popular ways of dealing with this issue, especially in Europe, is having an awning installed.

modern exterior how to tips advice

Here’s another example:

traditional porch how to tips advice

Or this:

modern patio how to tips advice

But there’s no need to get fancy. If you don’t have the bucks for an awning, just put up an umbrella instead.

Something like this:

mediterranean patio how to tips advice

Or this:

mediterranean patio how to tips advice

3. Your balcony doesn’t feel comfortable.

This may be the easiest fix of all. You may not use your balcony simply because you haven’t furnished it properly. If you’ve got enough space, create a place to lounge and put up your feet, as well as to eat and to entertain. If you have less space, then a simple table and chairs will do. Every balcony featured in this blog post is equipped with just enough patio furniture to create an inviting space. Even the tiniest balcony usually has enough space for a couple of folding chairs and a tiny table. Like this New York City balcony:

traditional patio how to tips advice

When you’re furnishing your balcony, don’t forget the touches that really make it feel like home. Flowers are always a winner. Planters and window boxes make a balcony feel lived in and inviting. A balcony resplendent with greenery can even make a balcony facing a noisy street seem pastoral.

In short, there’s no need to ignore your balcony any more. Pull out your lounge chairs and prepare to enjoy the summer months outdoors!

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