For most people living in apartments, the balcony is their sole access to the outdoors. However, concrete and tiles don’t exactly warm the cockles of your heart, which is why, so often, the balcony turns into the family dump, the unplanned storage space or the Pigeon Central.
Giving your balcony a more naturalistic, outdoorsy feel can do a lot to improve your use of space and your peace of mind, in these polluted times. Here are a few ways to make that balcony for you, instead of against you:
1. Go for a wood theme
Wood panelling, wooden furniture, wooden flooring, even, if you can manage it. Your plants will look twice as luxuriant in this setting, even if you forgot to do the watering yesterday. Those stools that are made to look like logs can finally find their home here.
2. Hang up your plants
Who said that greenery needs to be arranged in neat rows along the floor? Using different levels with either wall-attached wire baskets or hanging pots on a chain (or both) gives you that unexpectedness of the real wilderness, without actually taking you through its traumas. It’s also excellent use of available space.
3. Play with pebbles
If you’re not interested in paying for expensive flooring ideas, then pebbles might just be your answer. Round, smooth, river-bottom pebbles give you a sense of travel, flowing water, and a little acupressure to boot.
4. Get grass
Even a small patch of grass can make a miraculous difference to your mood. With a little clever planting, you can create your own little patch on your balcony. It gives you a feeling of absolute luxury, grass under your feet five floors up.
5. Disguise your appliances and washing-up space, if they’re around
If you’ve been using your balcony for your washing machine and sink, and are thinking uh oh, fear not. Some clever wood panelling can contain your appliances, along with some disguised shelving. A stone-effect sink can perfect the look.
Remember, once you’ve got your balcony sorted, you can do what you’ve always wanted to do, outdoors. Sit back, put your feet up, read a book and take a nap.