Balcony design inspiration: How to transform your balcony into a relaxing outdoor space
The sun is shining, and the bright green hues of the fresh leaves on the trees dominate the view when you look out of the window. Spring has brought new growth, summer is hot on its heels, and your balcony is calling: Perhaps for a sunny nap on your lounger, a cold beer after work, or a long and lazy Sunday morning breakfast with the family.
However you plan to use it, it’s time to get your balcony ready for all of your summer plans. It doesn’t take much to get your miniature outdoor space in shape; all you need is a little inspiration. Get inspired by our balcony design ideas and transform your balcony into a relaxing outdoor space this summer.
Sit back and enjoy: The comfiest furniture for your balcony
When you’re not chatting to your neighbours over the railings, there’s one thing you probably use your balcony for more than anything else – sitting, or perhaps even lying down for some rest and relaxation.
With this in mind, it’s essential that you choose the right balcony furniture so that you can make the most of the summer weather. Once you’ve chosen your seating, you’ll also need a table: At a minimum, it needs to be large enough to hold your newspaper and morning cup of coffee, but a larger table that can accommodate a family breakfast or evening meal is, of course, even better.
Even if you have a large balcony, you might find that it looks pretty full once you’ve added a generous table and enough chairs for family and friends to sit around it. If space is a problem, flexible furniture might be worth considering. In the afternoons, you can swap your breakfast set for a sun lounger, and the furniture can be stored in the basement during the winter.
Turn your balcony into an outdoor living space in just a few steps
The interior design concepts you apply to your interior are equally applicable to your balcony: It’s all about the details, especially in small spaces. To finish your perfect balcony, you’ll need a few carefully selected accessories: that means it’s about time you replaced those faded old seat cushions you inherited from your parents with a new set.
And give a little thought to the flooring too – often, you can create an attractive new look easily and at very low cost. Wood-effect click tiles can be laid in just a few hours and will give your balcony a more homely and welcoming feel. An outdoor rug is an even easier finishing touch – and there are so many great designs out there.
A green paradise: Plants that breathe life into your balcony design
In our opinion, balconies without plants are a sad sight – so flex your green fingers and get planting! Of course, you could just wander around the garden centre and grab any plants that you like the look of.
But to really make the most of your balcony garden, you should do your research in advance to find out which plants are most likely to thrive on your balcony: A sun-loving plant like the oleander won’t last long on a north-facing balcony. And begonias won’t do well in direct sunlight – they prefer the shade. You have to factor yourself into the equation too: Are you green-fingered, or do you prefer plants that demand nothing more than a quick watering once a week? The best thing to do is get advice from the experts in a garden centre.
Whatever you choose, there is one type of plant that deserves a space on every balcony: Herbs are useful in the kitchen and give off a lovely fragrance on your balcony too. There are a number of easy-care options, including classics like basil and rosemary.
Protection against sun, wind and prying eyes
If you’ve got space for a few large plants, you can arrange your own urban jungle as a natural visual barrier for some privacy on your balcony. Tall grasses make ideal ‘screen’ plants. There are other options, too: A bamboo screen deters prying eyes, keeps the wind away and gives your balcony a beach bar look.
On south-facing balconies in particular, it’s important to find a way to protect yourself from the sun. Instead of a timeless awning-style sun blind, you could opt for an attractive shade sail or a parasol that attaches to your balcony railings. Why not choose a colourful fabric to cheer you up even on cloudy days? You should also always check that the shade you buy also protects you against harmful UV rays.
Balcony design ideas: Candles and fire pits for cosy summer evenings
During the day, you might find it tricky to escape the sun on your balcony – but after sunset, it will quickly go dark.
There are lots of ways to create atmospheric mood lighting on your balcony – including candles, lanterns, fairy lights and oil lamps – so that you can enjoy your balcony long after the sun goes down. Solar-powered lights that use the sun to charge up during the day are ideal for balconies.
On larger balconies, you may be able to add a fire pit or basket, which will keep you warm on cool evenings and create a cosy atmosphere. You won’t need a permit for the standard models available in the shops, but always be careful with open fire.
You don’t need much to create your dream balcony design: Just a few pieces of comfortable furniture, mood lighting for the evenings and maybe a quick and easy makeover for the floor, plus a suitable parasol and privacy barrier. And let’s not forget the final ingredient: Plants, plants and more plants. Once you’ve got everything in place, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy a well-earned break in your new favourite spot.
How are you getting your balcony ready for the summer? Share your balcony design ideas with us in the comments.