Thursday, March 25, 2010

Balcony Surfing...

I am so into my porch these days, borderline obsessed. As most of you already know Brian and I live in an apartment so we don't have a yard with grass, but this balcony is perfect for us right now! There are these french doors that lead out to it from our dining room and there is nothing better in the summer than opening those doors and hanging out in the fresh air. 

Last summer was our first summer out there and I didn't do much with it. This summer however, a whole different story! I am so excited to plant a couple of flowers and veggies (in pots) and maybe hang one of those upside down tomato things from it. The blacony is big enough for a little bisto table, our new weber grill and a couple of plant stands.  It measures 6' x 14'. Here are some photos from last summer:

I have been doing some browsing and am happy to share what I have found including a great balcony makeover from Chicago and 10 great tips for transforming an outdoor space.

Here is the makeover story I found on apartmenttherapy:

"We really wanted to create a space that was multifunctional, allowing us to entertain, eat alfresco, enjoy some pretty scenery, and help hide the view of the busy street on which we live. All of this without having too much cramping the space or overpowering it, and of course, as affordably as we could get." Lisa from Chicago 

photos via apartmenttherapy


I love what they have done with this and I could just imagine being at a party in their apartment, sitting on the balcony with a few people to get some air...

 I found the nice wood tile flooring on overstock and might consider putting that in...

I also thought one of these bamboo fences might be nice around the railing...

a start

I also love this wave rug! 

 For all of you who are in a similar position as me, or just need a little freshening up, here are 10 tips I found so great!

  1. Gather some seating - A balcony can be seen as an extension of the living room. Adding a few key furniture pieces can make a balcony seem warm and inviting. It's important to consider the size of the balcony before purchasing patio furniture. If the balcony is small, choose a couple chairs and a small table. Bistro sets are perfect. Target offers a number of affordable bistro sets. Add some design flair and color with patterned, weather-resistant cushions. For larger balconies a patio table and umbrella makes for the perfect getaway. With comfortable seating balconies can easily become a great place for entertaining guests.
  2. Add some greenery - A balcony is outdoors after all. Therefore it should look like the outdoors by bringing in some green. Plants are also the easiest way to decorate a dingy balcony. Planting pots work great for balconies because they are often design elements all on their own. If space on the ground is limited, then think hanging flower baskets and planter boxes on the balcony railings. These are perfect because they take up no actual space on the balcony itself and still add loads of color and greenery. Be sure to choose flowers that are appropriate to the amount of sun or shade that hits the balcony.
  3. Lay outdoor flooring - Bring part of the living room outdoors. Outdoor carpeting is a great way to define a space and to detract from the cement balcony floors. Outdoor carpets come in a variety of colors, are inexpensive and can be custom cut to fit any size. Carpeting can make the balcony feel more inviting and allow kick off your shoes and relax.
  4. Create mood lighting - If an electrical outlet is available on the balcony, stringing a set of party lights on the balcony railing is a great way of bringing light to the patio, allowing you to enjoy your balcony late into the evening. If an outlet is not available then candles also do the job effectively and inexpensively. Look for some decorative outdoor lanterns at your local garden center.
  5. Plant an herb garden - It may not be possible to grow an entire vegetable garden from an apartment balcony but a small herb garden is certainly not out of the question. Dedicate a corner of the apartment to some small, decorated pots containing favorite herbs. This not only adds color to the balcony but also provides an enjoyable hobby and some delicious herbs for gourmet cooking.
  6. Put up a privacy fence - If your balcony is not very private you might consider purchasing some privacy screening. Bamboo sheets can be purchased at your local garden or building center. They provide some well needed privacy and also work great in the overall design of an outdoor oasis. Even if you already have privacy walls, placing bamboo fencing against the existing brick or cement walls can completely transform the look of the balcony.
  7. Bring art outdoors - Art doesn't have to stay in the living room, try bringing it outdoors as well. Look for weather-resistant, outdoor art pieces that can be hung on a balcony wall. There are a variety of metal and wooden wall art pieces that are meant for the outdoors and will add some style to the outdoor living space.
  8. Add outdoor sculptures - If hanging art on the balcony walls is not permitted then think of art pieces that are freestanding, such as garden statues and structures. Obviously choose pieces that fit the size of the balcony. These are great for adding personality to a balcony and can easily be swapped in and out to keep the space looking fresh. A self-contained water fountain is another idea. The sound of running water provides a soothing atmosphere.
  9. Hang some wind chimes - Wind chimes belong in any backyard or balcony. They are things of beauty, provide pleasing chimes, and also take up minimal space on a balcony. Bamboo wind chimes are quite popular as they produce a lower pitch and provide a more tropical feel to the balcony.
  10. Grill it up - If allowed, purchase a small barbecue for the balcony. A barbecue can easily become the centerpiece of the balcony. It allows the balcony to become a place of gathering and entertaining with friends and family. Char-Broil's Patio Caddie is the perfect choice for the balcony as it takes of minimal space.

goodnight, happy sleeping :)


  1. great tips. agree - the lighting is so important!

  2. You have a very inviting space + a great view!

  3. This is a truly great post - I am so stumped when it comes to outdoors. It's all so overwhelming because we have so much to do with only sod in our backyard! I like that you mention privacy fences - done well they can be so charming! Marija

  4. The lights are going to be great, and the wood tiles! Can't wait to see your "afters"!

  5. I love your balcony and your view! It´s so cute. Happy weekend!!! Kisses, Ana

  6. Your porch looks so delightful...any outdoor space is a great thing! Have a wounderful weekend! xx

  7. Thanks for your comment on my blog. Your etsy shop is great!

  8. this is so great! maybe after our blog tutorial, you can teach me how to plant plants, would love to add some to my balcony!

  9. Your posts are getting me so excited about summer time!!

  10. So fun! Enjoy your balcony and the lovely spring whether...have you been having any up north! I'm looking forward to a nice little porch of my own!

  11. Your porch is adorable!! And the house across the street with the white picket fence.. Love !

  12. your porch looks lovely, and how darling is your neighborhood! i can understand why you're excited to make use of it! ;)

  13. This is beautiful. Thank you for posting. Kind regards.

  14. I love your balcony..., and now since it stopped pouring rain, you'll be able to enjoy it soon!