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May 14, 2021
The temperature’s rising and the trees are budding… Spring is in full swing! If you haven’t already started thinking about it, now’s the time to prep your outdoor space for the coming months. We’ve compiled a few tips to keep in mind when creating (or updating) your balcony. And the best part- they’re all renter-friendly! Those in apartments, condos, or houses can pack up their things and leave when the time comes to move along.
Back to Basics
My balcony in downtown Toronto is 21 sq. ft., so that doesn’t leave me a whole lot of space to get creative. I managed to cover the basics: seating, lighting, and greenery. So did Siv Runi Gammelsæter at @osloleiligheten! On her balcony she included a black bistro set, a few potted plants, and strung some outdoor lights around her railing. Perfect for a snack & a glass of wine!
Make it Shine
Unsure of how to string up some lights in your space? Get creative! Norm Ofstead (@normofstead) stuck two long pieces of wood in sturdy planters and strung up his lights to create a wall of lights. We love the ingenuity!!
Watch Your Step
Cement flooring is common for most apartment balconies. If your style isn’t industrial, we recommend laying down wooden removable tile for a fun, summer-y feel. If you have the space, a patterned area rug can tie a space together, too. Like Jackie Giardina’s (@jackiegiardina) large, tropical rug! The pops of green from the palm frond pattern adds a pop of colour and ties in her potted plants. You can read her blog post here.
Or layer a few for something new! Brittni Mehlhoff (@paperandstitch) layered two rugs, one striped and one checkered, and it transformed her space! For more tips on how she created her happy little corner, check out her blog post here.
Functionality is Key
With limited space to work with, it can be difficult to find pieces that’ll fit. Items like Jana Wind’s (@jana_wind) folding table, (seen attached to her railing), and the wooden bench chest that doubles as a table and storage are PERFECT for balconies! We love how she can rearrange her cozy space into a social setting for company, too. (And how dreamy does it look at night?!)
Horse Chestnuts are one of my favourite trees, so when I came across this photo I had to share. If you have a balcony that overlooks a busy street, or you have neighbours too close for your liking, privacy screens may become your new best friend. Bamboo, mesh, or patterned, you can find one in just about any colour or material. They’re an extra decor piece that allows for some peace in your outdoor sanctuary. This gorgeous photo is courtesy of Fantastic Frank.
In Full Bloom
Tending to a little life is sure to spark some joy in your day-to-day life. If you have a green thumb, that is. Let’s not talk about the three (!) plants I’ve already killed this season. Karin at @theurbangardeness has a green thumb, pinky, index finger, pointer finger… You get it! Her balcony is a gardener’s heaven, with flowers in every colour of the rainbow. Take notes, plant lovers!
When creating a new space, remember to scour places like Facebook Marketplace. Kijiji, and second-hand stores first before purchasing new. It helps Mama Earth in the long run! Or better yet, repurpose anything you have lying around. See an old skid on the side of the road? Give it some TLC and turn it into a DIY boho couch with some cushions. You’ve got options. We’d love to know about your balcony must haves or wishes. Comment below!
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