H&D recently renovated a whole apartment, and it really was creative therapy. So by popular demand, I’m going to take you through the before, the after and everything in between – one room at a time.
I started this ‘Apartment Therapy’ series with the kitchen renovation, then moved onto the storeroom turned into an enetertainment area/man cave. This post is dedication to the balcony area that was just crying out for a refresh.
Many of us are apartment dwellers these days, so even if you have the smallest slither of outdoor space, you should try and make the most of it. Don’t let it languish away disused – there are really simple, quick and inexpensive ways to update your balcony. It’s a worthwhile investment as it extends your usable living area and considering most balconies are off the main living space (as is the case here), it creates a great flow from indoors to out.
This balcony space is approximately 4.5 meters long by 1.2 meters deep. So it’s a long, narrow space that could be totally functional for some outdoor entertaining or relaxing. Luckily, the outlook for the balcony is also great with a lovely, big tree providing a lovely canopy and some privacy in the space between this and the next apartment block.
Firstly, the tiled balcony floor – it was in good condition, but the tiles were just a little boring and far from chic. I didn’t want to turn it into a complicated and expensive project by ripping out these tiles or getting permanent decking put in, so I had a little wander around. I found the solution in an unexpected yet familiar spot – Ikea.
Ikea has these fantastic ‘Platta’ click-together outdoor decking tiles that are super easy for creating an instant deck. They cost just $40 for a 81 m² space and considering it is instant – no tools required, no installation costs – they are at a really good price point. Plus they add such natural, warm tones to the whole look of the balcony.
Ikea Platta decking tiles. Photo courtesy of Ikea.com.au
The tiles don’t have to fit perfectly into the space so don’t worry too much about matching their dimensions exactly to your balcony floor measurements. If there is a gap or if you have an oddly shaped balcony which isn’t a perfect square or rectangle, just fill the edges in with some crisp, white pebbles to act as decorative edging. You can get these in larger bags from your local hardware store.
The inside wall of the balcony got a good scrub down and was painted in a neutral tone with a coat of semi-gloss outdoor Wattyl Solagaurd paint to freshen it up. As were the metal railings (that were sanded down where the previous paint had bubbled) and then given a coat of rust-proof outdoor high gloss enamel paint.
One end of the balcony had a slight privacy issue, so I bought this great metal planter which is streamlined and is nearly an exact fit to the width of the balcony. It’s painted in a lovely blue-grey called Ironstone which is a standard Colourbond tone. The plants placed on top of this planter are small now, however when they start to grow, they will create a barrier to make that part of the balcony a lot more private. Using the same white pebbles from the wooden floor edging around the plants in the this planter created a very ‘Zen’ look to the space and added a point of continuity in design down to the floor.
With a small space like this, it is essentially to keep the furnishings simple. It’s just way too narrow to fit in a table, so instead I’ve opted for some simple bench seats with some bright blue and green cushions to create a pop of colour. Along with a simple hydrangea pot plant that is compact but packs a lot of colour. All of these items were from my local Bunnings hardware store.
So there it is, a quick and simple project that is inexpensive and requires an spare afternoon of your time. Although this project was minimal effort, it is now a much more inviting area and the refresh has created the allusion of more space – the decking tiles and other design elements have visually opened up to area to look like it is wider.
Nothing in this project required any tools or permanent fixtures so it is great for those that don’t like complicated projects and it is also perfect for renters, as everything can be lifted up and taken with you if you decide to move.
No matter what season of the year it is, balconies are such a gem. So it’s well worth your while to think of ways to make the most of them.