28 Jun 2010

Even a tiny balcony deserves to be pretty

 ελληνικό κείμενο

It 's been a hot day. You worked for many hours in the city but now, late in the afternoon  you are back at home sweaty and exhausted by the high temperatures. You make yourself a drink and head to the garden where you collapse in a comfortable chair in the shadow of a tree. Time to relax, you think. The blue reflections of the swimming pool are tickling your eyes....and then you wake up in your small apartment with your miserable tiny balcony. Don't get despaired, with the right moves you can have your little corner of paradise too. Maybe you won't be able to have a party with many guests but at least you 'll have a cool spot to drink your coffee or read a book. Think about the positive aspect of the situation, since your balcony is so small you can make it on a very tight budget.
First you 'll need plants. Unfortunately you won't find gardening advice in this blog because all I know about plants is that they need watering. Anyway, suppose you get some plants. Now you have to place them somewhere. Υour balcony may be of minimum surface, but there are some walls and railings normally. So you have one solution: go vertical! Mount your flower pots on the walls or hang them on the railings, so that they leave the floor free. Hanging baskets, shelves and vertical flower pot racks make space for your plants without taking up much surface of your balcony. Small side tables and stools in the corners can do the job as well.

picture by pimpelwit-styling

picture by EDWW day dae

 Here's a great idea that will save you space and allow you to have your own herb garden in a small balcony.

via sprig

Cans painted in striking colors is something you can make yourself and will add a mediterranean look to your balcony.

picture by Happy Sleepy

A new trend in gardening is vertical gardens, a wooden frame with soil and vegetation which can be hang on a wall. 

picture by Jill Clardy

and more examples

A ladder leaned against the wall could provide you with some additional space to put flower pots and some decorative accessories.

found on Viva Terra

Here you can find a tutorial to make easily a vertical stand for flower pots which will allow you to have flowers in you balcony but also save you space. 

Now that you have plants but still some space left you will need furniture so you can sit and enjoy the results of your labor. Choose a table and chairs that don't take up much space, folding furniture is ideal. Don't use your balcony to store away broken or mismatched furniture unless you are sure the mix is pretty. 

 picture by ambrayasmin

What your balcony lacks in surface must gain it in style. Add color by using colorful flower pots, accessories and fabrics.

Έτσι απλά  (Etsi apla)  magazine

picture by de zus

Then you have to add some things that will make your balcony a special place to spend some time in.

Some ethnic additions like a Buddha statuette

 picture by designerscall

or moroccan pottery

 found on E-Mosaic

will give an exotic style to your balcony.

It doesn't have to cost you much, it could be as simple as a collection of food tin cans to use as planters or vases,

or pebbles you collected last summer

picture by robep 

But your work won't be finished until you light up your candles and lanterns 

picture by Tarkeena 

because the point here is to create the right mood that will carry you away, no matter how many square meters are available.

Have you tried it yet, to make the most out of a tiny balcony? I'd love to see some pictures.


Anonymous said...

love the pebbles ...with which I would make a mosaic...! no time to plant or keep plants but I love the idea...

Annuk said...

Lovely post, full of atmosphere!!! I love having plants on my balcony, and I always say it's my little "garden"! My cat Zoe (BTW she's Greek!) enjoys it too! I am half German, and in Germany decorating balconies so as to make them into little gardens with plants, a cozy relax corner and lights is an art in itself... There is even an expression, "Urlaub auf Balkonien", which means "holidays in balconyland"... Hope you enjoy your little balconyland too :)!

TinaA said...

Thank you ladies!
I wish Athenians had the same attitude towards their balconies, they care for them when they are quite big but neglect them when they are small, maybe they think they are not worth it.

Sammy said...

I simply love it. Did you do all that yourself? I am impressed. You should call your local news paper tell them about your balcony, and I am sure they will run an article about you.
Your balcony is HEAVEN.

Thank you for sharing,

-Samya :-)

Stacey Beck said...

These are all great ideas! I really want to give my patio a makeover so it will be fun for family get togethers. I also think it would be cool to add some patio speakers as well for parties and such.

plumbing said...

A balcony is outdoors after all. Therefore it should look like the outdoors by bringing in some green. Plants are also the easiest way to decorate a dingy balcony.