As we hear more birds chirping and temperatures rising, we know that summer is almost here! Anyone living in Europe will know what a special place summer holds in their hearts. We can have the balcony and windows open without worries of the cold, the barbeque grills are coming out and we just love to spend time outdoors.
Spring and summer are when we start using our balcony and terraces more actively. We want to make them comfortable for us, look good and meet our functional needs.
But before that, What is the difference between a Balcony and a Terrace?
A balcony is a raised outdoor platform attached to the side of a building and enclosed by a low height railing, accessible from an upper floor and designed to extend living space past the indoors. In Dutch and German, a Balcony is called a Balkon.
Whereas a terrace is a paved or tiled outdoor area next to or at the top of a building. It's open, flat, and (when not located on a rooftop), it's slightly raised. In Dutch, terrace is called Tuin and in German, Terrasse.
Styling an outdoor space has a different set of challenges. Fixtures have to be weatherproof and make space for outdoor activities whilst also being easy to maintain. Here are 10 key styling tips and ideas that you can right away apply to your balcony or terrace to make it summer ready for you!
Consider the view
Most people living in high rise buildings have an incredible view. That doesn’t mean the others need to be discouraged. Take some time to check out the view from your apartment, villa, townhome, or multi-story house. Is your view great? Then incorporate it into your terrace/balcony design ideas.
You can add a coffee table and some chairs along the walls of the terrace to have a beautiful view of your surroundings. You can even push one end of a dining table against the fence and surround the free sides with dining chairs to create a dining area for special occasions.
If, on the other hand, your view is somewhat marred by unpleasantness, consider using the central area of the terrace while adding some tall plants, maybe some wooden/rattan screens, etc. to shield yourself and your guests from the horrific view outside while you enjoy the serenity.
Seating and table
One of the best balcony ideas is to use the space for more than one thing. If you have the room, why not add a spot for both dining and lounging?
All you need to enjoy your morning coffee on your balcony is a café table and a chair. Choose one that folds up easily so you can store it inside if necessary.
It can be incredibly useful to have furniture to store away things like seating cushions, or outdoor decor during the winter months. If there is a lack of space, choose sofa benches that double as a storage trunk as well.
Plants best belong outdoors. If you are a plant lover, be sure to add lots of greens to your balcony. Pack your balcony with planters filled with lush plants to create the feel of that backyard you've always wanted.
Do check for sun orientation when you put the plants. Add some herbs to make your balcony smell as good as it looks. Flowering plants add a colourful touch.
Apartment balconies come with a huge concern for privacy. There are several ways in which this can be taken care of. You can introduce a wooden privacy screen to cover a metal balustrade.
If your balcony is right up against your neighbour’s, add tall plants like bamboo to create a natural wall. You can also hang bamboo shades that can be raised and lowered as needed.
Enjoy your balcony in any weather with a retractable awning that will protect you, rain or shine. Go for a classic stripe, or opt for a bold colour to make your balcony stand out.
4. BAR AND GRILL
If you enjoy engaging guests, a bar would be a great addition to your terrace or balcony, while you can lounge and have a great time with your friends.
Grills are a popular addition to any terrace or balcony if you have the space.
5. ALL ON THE FLOOR
If you are not a fan of chairs and tables, you can consider putting a nice rug and floor cushions to create a cosy atmosphere. You can also extend your interior space out into the balcony if you have a covered balcony.
6. TEXTILES AND TEXTURES
Adding fabrics and a variety of textures brings a cosy and well thought out look to your outdoor space. You don’t have to limit the fabrics on your balcony to durable canvas and vinyl. You can take the texture up a notch by adding some sheepskin to the outdoor space. Just be sure to bring the more delicate fabrics inside before a big storm!
7. TREATING THE WALL
Often in a balcony, walls are exposed and open for decoration. You can add a trellis and let a plant climb over it, hang your favourite wall decorations or spice up the place with serial lights.
The outdoor space can reflect your personality and the design of your indoor space. Choosing to use popping colours and a lively colour palette makes a lot of difference. It can make your outdoor space feel playful, fun and eclectic.
You can add colours by incorporating colourful furniture, cushions, rugs or wall paint.
Lighting is often not given enough attention when it comes to outdoor design. Once the sun sets, bringing up decentralised accent lighting is a great idea. You can consider placing candles on tables, hanging serial lights along the wall, maybe even draped along the vertical beams of your terrace pergola.
A rooftop terrace is a mood in itself. Don’t limit your lighting options to the bare minimum. You can turn this place into an outdoor disco with some wiring along the roof or tapestry above to attach a disco ball. You can also add accent lighting to highlight your graffiti and art deco.
10. WATER ELEMENT
A perfect outdoor space needs a wow element. Adding a water element is a great way to do it. If you have sufficient space, consider installing a water feature such as a fountain, small waterfall, etc. to liven up your roof terrace. Bring in a fountain into your terrace and watch the change in mood, with the serene sound of water flowing.
You can also put in a birdbath, it will fill with rainwater when you forget to top it off.
We hope that these styling tips inspire you to transform your outdoor space into something more fancy and cosy. Have a happy Summer!
All pictures courtesy of Pinterest