Make a me-space

Friday - - Society -

is a great op­por­tu­nity! For those of us liv­ing in apart­ments, the bal­cony is a pre­cious lit­tle bit of space un­der the sun. While we can’t do much with our bal­conies dur­ing our blaz­ing sum­mers, we can spruce them up for the win­ter. Your bal­cony can be­come what­ever you want it to be: a tiny gar­den, a place to chill or an ex­ten­sion of your liv­ing room when you en­ter­tain. Since apart­ment bal­conies are usu­ally small, it’s im­por­tant to de­cide on the func­tion first, or at least pri­ori­tise your needs to avoid clut­ter­ing it. Here are some sug­ges­tions for what you can do with your bal­cony:

Cre­ate a mini gar­den

Long­ing for a gar­den but live in an apart­ment? Then turn your bal­cony into one! Think in terms of planters and win­dow boxes. If space is lim­ited, cre­ate steps, where you can layer your pots with the plants that need the most sun­light on the top level. You can also hook up hang­ing pots and place a metal trel­lis on one end for climb­ing plants and creep­ers.

Opt for quick-flow­er­ing an­nu­als and herbs that you can make use of for cook­ing. It’s also im­por­tant to choose hardy plants that are easy to main­tain.

To com­plete the gar­den ef­fect, cover your bal­cony with a green grass-style car­pet that recre­ates the look and feel of a lawn un­der­foot, and place a small wa­ter fea­ture or gar­den gnome in a cor­ner.

There you have it – a gar­den with a view! You can also turn your bal­cony into a cor­ner where you can just sit back and chill with a few loved ones.

First, if you have nosy neigh­bours, in­stall a pull-up blind or a wooden screen. Next, get your­self some com­fort­able seat­ing. Re­mem­ber to buy your seats to fit the size and shape of your bal­cony. Get a bench for a long, thin bal­cony and a full gar­den fur­ni­ture set for a larger bal­cony. Ot­tomans and stools are great for smaller spa­ces as well. Arm­chairs, a ham­mock and even a swing – sin­gle or two-seat – will add a cool and play­ful vibe to your out­door space.

Ex­tend your liv­ing room

This works par­tic­u­larly well if your liv­ing room bal­cony has glass doors and of­fers a view. When you en­ter­tain, some of your guests can spill out on to your bal­cony.

Of course, you need to make sure that there is good seat­ing. Again, ar­range this ac­cord­ing to the size and shape of your bal­cony. Place ad­di­tional bean bags and floor cush­ions just be­fore your guests ar­rive, along with a cou­ple of small, low ta­bles to hold food.

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