Design Dilemma: Tips on Making the Best of Your Balcony | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Tips on Making the Best of Your Balcony

Wester Coates House

Somehow, the balcony seems to get short shrift. Perhaps that’s because in the United States, more emphasis has been placed on single family houses, where front yards and backyards seem to get all of the attention. And balconies? Well, leave those to city dwellers who mostly use them as a place to store old mops and buckets.

That was the old thinking, but today, more of us are moving into dense cities and we expect to see a resurgence in balcony interest. It’s a little slice of the outdoors that can have quite an impact on anyone living in a multi-family apartment or condo. To that end, we thought we’d offer a few tips on how to make the most of your balcony, no matter what size it happens to be.

    1. Think of it as an extension of your indoor space.

In the balcony above, just open up the sliders and your living room instantly has the feel of a terrace. Balconies can be the perfect opportunity to enlarge the feel of a small apartment, and to give any room an outdoorsy feel. Below, a balcony right off a bedroom of a Newburyport cottage gives the whole cottage the feeling of a houseboat. Enhance the indoor/outdoor feeling by keeping balcony doors unobstructed. Opt for window coverings that can completely disappear so as not to distract from views.



Newburyport Riverside Home - Balcony

2. Use privacy walls to bring in interest.

Paddington Terrace

Many balconies are outfitted with privacy walls which keep you and your neighbor from feeling like you’re in the same room if you both happen to be using the balcony at the same time.  If you want to keep your balcony feeling homey and not institutional, use your privacy wall as an opportunity to cozy things up. Above, the owners added a handy shelf for plants and decorative knicknacks.


3. Keep it functional.

Central Park West

We’ve seen far too many balconies become a repository for household clutter that doesn’t fit inside. Don’t let it happen to you! If you’ve got a balcony (especially one as spectacular as the Central Park West balcony above) or even something more modest, like the balcony below, keep it clutter free, ready to welcome you and your guests when you want to appreciate the great outdoors. All you really need is a couple of chairs and a small table.

The Shelby Residences - 303


4. Add plants, plants and more plants.

Central Park West

No balcony is complete, of course, without the presence of plants. Plants provide a feeling of restful ease that is particularly satisfying if you live in a busy city. Not only can seeing a bit of greenery around you make you feel great when you’re outside, but glimpsing a bit of greenery from the inside is restful and gratifying as well.

5. Bring in some color.

Appartement GR

A balcony without color can feel a bit serious. One important last consideration is to bring in touches of color to lighten things up a bit. The easiest way to do this is to opt for a few colorful flowers, as you see below. But if the flowers aren’t always in bloom, try adding colorful pots, chairs and tablecloths, as you see above.

Small Gardens

Even colorful pillows can be enough to do the trick:


>Keep these few tips in mind and you’ll see that your balcony will quickly become your favorite “room” at home!

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