Tuesday 29 November 2011

Terraces & Balconies

I think that outdoor areas like terraces, balconies and patios should be an extension of indoor living spaces. They are especially important in the context of urban living. However small, these spaces provide us with a green escape, an opportunity to recharge our batteries, and they are a much needed breathing space away from the concrete jungle just beyond our doors. In addition to all this, they are a great space to entertain.

Obviously there are more options available to you if you are lucky enough to have a large outdoor space at your disposal. However, no matter how big or small, you can transform your balcony into a little green oasis.

Whether you are aiming for a complete over haul, or just want to oomph up an existing balcony, here are some ideas when designing these spaces.

Deside on a Style

To achieve this look, neutral colors have been combined with simple and understated design elements.

This terrace is comparatively less structured, and the use of wood and colorful plants add a touch of warmth to the area.

Even small balconies can be made into green retreats through the use of plants, some simple outdoor furniture and sculptures.

Flooring Ideas

The key words when it comes to flooring are- anti-slip, wear resistant and easy to maintain. Materials like anti-slip tiles, rough stone, rustic tiles and wooden decking are great options for an outdoor area.

Use a single flooring material, or play with a combination of materials.

Lighting Ideas

Use low intensity yellow lights that create a sense of relaxation. They also create an intimate atmosphere great when entertaining. Use low intensity lights to illuminate a few plants. Hang fairy lights or tea light holders in plants to add a sense of whimsy and playfulness.

Use lighting to highlight features like a water body or sculptures.

Furniture Ideas

If your balcony is large enough for furniture, you can go the fixed route and have your seating built in. This can be in the form of ledges or platforms. Or if you prefer to keep things flexible, then loose furniture is your best bet. Whatever the furniture, make sure that it is weatherproof.

Seating in the form of a fixed platform that running along a planter bed can be used to create an interesting feature.

In this tiny balcony the carefully selected accessories lift the space from what would have otherwise been a rather boring and uninviting space.

Those Little Extra Touches

Small accessories like decorative planters, lanterns and candle holders add a personal touch to an outdoor space. These often neglected elements take a well thought out space and transform it into a something really special.

Photo sources courtesy

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