Summer is officially on the way, so we’ve turned our attention to outdoor spaces. Lots of HomeViews developments offer residents a balcony, terrace or patio as standard. And while some of them may be on the smaller side, it’s easy to inject some style into them if you know how. We’ve drawn inspiration from the experts so you’ve got a set of handy hints to refer to. Just remember to check with your lease or management company for any restrictions before you get started on yours…
1. Start with a purpose
Isabelle Palmer, the brains behind The Balcony Gardener, has dedicated her career to making small spaces beautiful. She says it’s all about being clear before you start on how you want to use the area. For example, are you after an al fresco dining space or somewhere peaceful to meditate? Be sure to have a vision before you begin.
2. Use all the available space
A balcony can actually give you more space to play with than an entire courtyard. You can use the walls, railings and even the floor and ceiling to dress the area. Plants don’t just look lovely, but they’re also proven to reduce stress, and your greenery can adorn window boxes (more on these below) and hanging pots. Climbing plants look fantastic and, if you’re feeling fancy, opt for an entire green wall or living wall.
3. Embrace the window box
Window plant boxes come in so many shapes and sizes you’re bound to find out that suits your space. If you’ve got a tiny balcony with no window just hang yours from the railings, or pop it on the ground around the balcony edge. Not everyone is drawn to real plants, and there are fantastic faux ones out there now that require zero upkeep, not to mention artificial grass carpets if you want the look of a miniature lawn.
4. Make the space sensory
Don’t forget about scent! Flowering plants like nicotiana, stock, four o’ clock and night-blooming jasmine create gorgeous fragrances come nightfall. Herbs are a great option, too. You can keep these indoors or outside, use them for cooking, and enjoy the look and smell of them. The Gardenista has some great advice on herbs, including what’s best for growing inside.
5. Have fun with furnishings
Soft furnishings will completely transform your space with pattern and texture. A well-chosen rug, a fluffy throw and a couple of cushions are all you need. Pair these with lanterns and candles for your very own pocket of outdoor calm.
Let us know if you put these tips to the test! Leave your development review and submit your balcony photos here.