With three national lockdowns under our belt and a whole year since the first 'Stay at home' guidance was announced, it comes as no surprise that we're all craving some fresh open air. And with 'outdoor space' becoming a must-have for home buyers we're all clearly more appreciative of what even the smallest of sun traps can do for our health and wellbeing.
So with outdoor space at such a premium, we thought we'd share our top tips for making the most of every square inch of your balcony and turning into your own private oasis.
Did you know we help can help with outside spaces too!? From just £195, one of our designers can help you transform your patio, terrace or balcony to become a real extension of your home. Book a free no-obligation call to find out more:
1. Welcome to the jungle
Image credit: Maria Faust
This is number one for a very good reason! Surrounding yourself with greenery has a multitude of benefits. For starters, they bring in fresh oxygen and filtered air - a must have for city balconies.
They've also been proven to reduce stress levels and even boost productivity! What's more, they can also cover a multitude of sins - like an unsightly concrete wall perhaps or a rusty railing.
A huge benefit to balconies is that by planting in pots you can quickly bring them inside if the temperature takes a tumble. Not uncommon for our great British weather!
2. Put a swing on it
Image credit: lisadanielle__/Instagram
Swing your way into spring by installing a hammock between your balcony railings. Settle in with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other and you might even hear the sound of waves lapping on a sandy beach! No promises though.
3. Grow your own
Image credit: Couch
With such close proximity to your kitchen, balconies are the ideal spot to start your very own herb garden, making it far easier to forage what you need while cooking than garden owners.
The wind protection and sun provided by balconies will provide you with a fruitful crop while you enjoy the fragrance when taking in some rays.
4. Eyes up
Image credit: Ikea
Balconies aren't blessed with endless floor space and so if you can't go out - go up!
Vertical planting is not only a great space saver but it will also give you the feeling of being surrounded by nature.
There are many creative options for this like installing a trellis against one wall, buying stacked vertical planters, putting up shelving or upcycling an old ladder to hang planters from. The sky's the limit! Sort of.
5. Concrete cover up
Image credit: Alvhem
Now these are a stroke of genius and Ikea at its finest! If you have a scruffy looking balcony floor take a look at their range of interlocking deck tiles that couldn't be easier to install as they simply click together. If only all tiling was that simple!
They're also a renters best friend as they can be just as easily removed too with no damage to the original floor.
Image credit: Shelterness
Travelling has been off the cards for a while now but that hasn't stopped us channelling our inner explorer. In fact, a new trend has emerged; escapism. And why not? If we can't go to the Himalayas then let the Himalayas come to us!
There's no better place to put this into practise than on your balcony. Create your own personal jungle with leafy green plants and get inspired by the interiors of the countries you long for. Whether that's ornate Moroccan tiles, earthy African inspired terracotta planters or Miami pastels, you can't go wrong by surrounding yourself with memories of past adventures.
7. A work of art
Image credit: My Bespoke Room
Uninspired by that concrete wall staring you in the face during your morning coffee? Then it's time to get creative!
You can either hire a local artist or give it a go yourself to create a truly unique talking point for your balcony that can be enjoyed from the inside as well as out.
8. Take the inside out
Image credit: My Bespoke Room
Often more so than a garden, balconies have a fantastic flow from your inside space so let's talk about how you can maximise that and make it a true extension of your home.
Bring the outside in by placing indoor plants near to the door to your balcony to blur the lines between the two spaces. Use similar style planters to blur the transition even more.
You'll also want to take the inside out with indoor comforts like cushions and throws. This can instantly make your balcony more enticing.
Outdoor rugs are a must have. The range of waterproof outdoor rugs is fantastic nowadays and so you're sure to find one that works for your style and the size of your space. Not only do they hide a tatty floor instantly and affordably but they also help you to feel right at home on your balcony.
9. Get the glow
Image credit: zyhomy.com
Nothing quite elevates the feel of a space like lighting and your balcony is no exception. The right lighting can keep you and your guests enjoying your balcony oasis long into the night.
Balcony railings create the perfect place to wrap fairy lights around. Drape festoon lights or strings of paper lanterns to create a cosy and whimsical feel.
Lanterns also work wonderfully for low level lighting, essential for ambiance, and add a beautiful soft glow.
10. Hang in there
Image credit: @mia_sandmark_design
You might have noticed that a running theme of this guide is keeping floor space as clear as possible. That's why one of our favourite balcony design ideas is to make good use of those railings and hang a small table for your coffee mug or wine glass to rest on.
Opting for a fold away table is also a great solution because you can put it down when it's not in use keeping as much space clear as possible.
Some of the more nifty designs also incorporate a planter as well to give you another spot to add in more greenery at head height. Pop your herbs in there to take the phrase 'garden to table' to a whole new level!
Image credit: Amara
11. Made to measure
Image credit: @Christine Cambring
With every square inch of space a valuable commodity you'll need to carefully consider each item of furniture you choose for your balcony.
L-shape bench seats works wonders in small spaces because they fit neatly into a corner and they can also double up as additional storage too. Perfect for tucking away cushions, blankets and garden equipment.
12. Go faux
Image credit: Homify
So you might not have a lush lawn but that doesn't mean you can't create the illusion of one! Artificial grass used to be seen as a big design 'no no' but we've been so impressed by the quality and options available today.
There's no risk of mud being traipsed inside and you can even run your hoover over it! A no brainer for the non green fingered amongst us!