From high-rise city living to condominiums as second homes, balconies offer a compact spot for fresh air without the encumbrances of maintenance. Along with their postage stamp sizing, however, comes a dilemma in decorating. While mimicking a spacious patio is out of the question, it is still possible to create a zone of comfort that is both stylish and usable. Restraint in number of pieces and their sizes helps maintain scale, but it is just as important to provide a spot worth retreating to at any time of day.
Deciding How the Balcony is Used
Uses for a balcony vary, based on location and whether it is a full-time residence or a vacation getaway. This might be the place to relax alone with a morning cup of coffee, or it may be the spot for cozy entertaining after work. For those who enjoy dining outdoors, additional issues lie in how to combine meals with lounging space. In some cases, the balcony or terrace is simply a place to spread out for sunning and reading.
While folding chairs and tables may seem practical, they often prove to be more problematic. Taking a few minutes for setup and take down can become a hassle and off-season storage can use up valuable space indoors.
Multipurpose Balcony Decorating
Whether dedicating a balcony to one or two main pieces or splitting up the space into dining and entertaining zones, choosing multipurpose furniture is a practical option. For instance, there might not be room for a chaise, but club chairs with matching ottomans are just as comfortable, and there may even be room for two if they are down scaled a bit. Choosing sturdy footrests that can serve as seating solves the problem of having an extra place to sit when guests arrive.
For families, bench seating added to a rectangular table allows more room for little ones. When adults gather, they can spread out a bit and still be comfortably seated with plenty of elbowroom. Extra benches in lengths to fit along railings or at the ends are easy to move about and rearrange as needed.
Bistro or pub sets with seating for two make excellent dining ensembles, and there is usually room left over for other chairs. Bistro tables typically include side chairs without arms that may be fine for a quick cup of coffee in the morning, but armchairs are always more enjoyable. Bar height tables paired with swivel stools that incorporate backs and arms are still space-conscious and, ultimately, more inviting.
Easy chairs with side tables constructed for outdoor use are another wise choice. They provide less crowding than loveseats and give individuals a greater sense of personal space. Tiered accent tables with one or two lower shelves are also great space-savers while providing room for reading materials and serving pieces.
Shapes and Sizes Count in Smaller Balcony Spaces
Perspective is everything when it comes to decorating cramped outdoor areas. Round tables and oversized chairs tend to take up usable space without adding benefits. Rectangular and square tables are easy to slide into a corner, and then they can be pulled to the middle for dining as needed. Square or rectangular accent tables also tuck tightly in between two chairs or beside a lounger. Outdoor runners with stripes running end-to-end are another way to redefine the feel of a smaller floor plan. For privacy, lattice or metal trellises with hooks added can hold window boxes for a touch of greenery that will dress up any balcony.
Making every inch count on balconies with limited footprints also means less crowding so that there is room to navigate. Measuring and choosing every component with regard to its placement and use translates into relaxed living with a dose of fresh air added in for more enjoyment.