If you live in an upper-floor apartment and have the advantage of a balcony, here are a few ways in which you can get the most from this valuable part of your home.
1. Turn Your Balcony into a Garden
Whatever its size, your balcony is first and foremost a valuable outside space that you can develop into a lovely garden. Buy a selection of pots, hanging baskets, window boxes, and other containers and fill them with plants and flowers that are suited to a balcony setting, such as lavender and fuchsias. If you prefer a more functional garden, you could choose to grow vegetables, if you have the space, or create a simple herb garden. One thing to consider when creating your balcony garden is how much light the space gets each day. If your balcony is mostly in the shade, this will affect the types of plants that you can grow. For example, Mediterranean herbs, such as rosemary and sage, need plenty of sunlight. Finally, to get the most from your balcony garden, add some suitable outdoor seating, so you and your friends can enjoy the peaceful surroundings and the lovely fragrances from your flowers and herbs.
2. Add to Your Indoor Living Space
If you have moved from a larger property into a smaller apartment, or simply need more living space, a balcony can provide a great solution. As a general guide to downsizing your home, it is important to maximize your available space. In this way, a balcony can offer valuable storage. There are all kinds of weatherproof storage boxes that you can place on your balcony to keep your items safe and dry. Alternatively, use the space to create an additional room in your house. If you have a larger balcony, invest in some outdoor furniture, such as recliners, chairs, and a table, so you can use the space to eat, relax, and socialize. Consider awnings, umbrellas, outdoor curtains, and blinds to make the space more versatile and private. Also, there are lots of options for safe outdoor heating and lighting to make your balcony useable year-round.
3. Get Creative with Your Balcony
Finally, balconies are inspirational spaces, so think outside the box and make yours unique to your style and tastes. For example, you could hang up a hammock, lay floor pillows, fit bench seating, or add funky lighting. You could also design a balcony that is in keeping with your location or favorite place. For example, if you live by the sea, or aspire to, you could choose a nautical theme. Alternatively, create a Zen-style space with decorative stone pots and pebbles, or a Parisienne café with chic metal furniture. Whatever you do to improve your balcony, the changes should be safe (no precariously balanced plant pots), unobtrusive to your neighbors, and permitted by your lease or homeowner agreement.
This article has hopefully shown that, whatever its size, a balcony offers a versatile outside space that can become an integral and useful part of your home.