Now that the garden centers have opened back up here in Austria, frantic planting is underway. I haven’t yet joined the fray but really need to get to it by next week otherwise I’ll be left with a choice of sickly, small plants only.
While I am thinking about getting our terrace ready for the summer (still need to paint that table!), I wanted to share a couple of design ideas with those of you that have only a small balcony but still want to create an outdoor space that they can use:
The perfect balcony space for avid loungers
I love lounging about on an outdoor sofa, reading a book in the shade. It is a simple pleasure I usually enjoy for all of 5 minutes before one of my kids needs something or tries to climb over the railing on a suicide mission….If you get the chance to lounge about, you don’t have to have a huge space to enjoy an outdoor sofa – there are plenty of small outdoor sofas you can choose from. Combine this with a small couch table, a pouf that allows you to put up your feet while you read and you are all set. Add some comfy pillows, shade, and a nice outdoor rug and one or two tall plants and you have the perfect tiny outdoor oasis
The ideal balcony for late-night drinks
Imagine a balmy summer night. You and your best friend are finally meeting up again, enjoying a fantastic bottle of white wine and great conversation. All you need for a great summer evening (apart from your best friend and that great bottle of white wine) are two comfy lounge chairs, a small table, the ideal rug and a great outdoor table light that you can dim. Keep planting simple with two big plant containers and plant something like lavender, that smells fantastic and will keep any mosquitos away. Or add plant different kind of grasses and place a sculptural piece in a corner for some visual interest to contrast with the vertical lines of the grass.
An enjoyable spot to watch the world go by
If you enjoy people watching while having a drink or eating a meal consider placing a banister bar on your balcony banister. Add two comfy bar stools that are suitable for outdoor living and you can watch the world go by. If you have enough space, place an additional chair in a corner so you have a designated spot to have your morning cup of tea. If you need some privacy from your neighbors consider using elevated planters that will enable you to hide from view once planted with a pretty plant. Another beautiful choice is having a small tree such as an olive tree on your balcony. It is so pretty, you won’t need anything else.
With any outdoor furniture you need to clear it away or cover it in winter. Even robust materials such as metal start showing wear and tear after two seasons outside in the winter months! Being the long-time owner of a rooftop terrace that gets very hot and very windy, I’d advise you to avoid small planters and concentrate on two bigger planters with larger plants. It looks a lot better and will be a lot easier to keep alive in the long run! So what kind of outdoor space to you have? I’d love to know!
PS: If you need some more ideas on how to best use a small outdoor space head over here.