Balcony spaces designed with a little flair can transform into superb outdoor rooms.
Here you can satisfy your cravings for plant life while also enjoying a welcome extra living space, complete with fresh air.
Take the ideas outside
1, 2, 3. This clever makeover turns a bland balcony into something fabulous and functional! It’s full of great tips for a simple renovation. If you’re renting, there are ideas here for you, too – you can take everything with you when you move!
Dress up a downpipe
4. Even an ugly downpipe can be utilised in your deck makeover – it’s all about using every inch of space! This simple piece of curved mesh is designed especially for the purpose. Place a tall cube planter at the base of the pipe and plant an evergreen climber, like this Chinese star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). To keep it in order, trim it back every year after flowering.
Break up the view
5. Bare walls are often a feature of balcony spaces, so try this simple, stylish idea for improving the view. Attach equally spaced panels of lattice to the wall, then position a lightweight rectangular trough in front of each. Plant a climbing plant at the rear of each trough (this is Pandorea ‘Lady Di’) and something shrubby in front, like Adenanthos ‘Silver Lining’.
Cluster your pots
6. Because there are no garden beds on a balcony, the trick is to create a few ‘pot clusters’ to concentrate the greenery and create lovely scenes. Go for lightweight fibreglass pots, rather than heavy concrete or terracotta, and choose a variety of heights so you can create a layered look. Here, a small frangipani tree fills the back corner, while a variety of interesting foliage plants – chosen for their drought-hardy nature – surround it.
Make a plant shelf
7. Shelving units are a great addition to any balcony, as they provide practical storage and a display zone for small pot plants and ornaments. Plus, they’re easy to assemble and portable, so you can take them with you when you leave. To glam things up, screw a decorative screen panel to the back of the unit and replace the MDF shelves with 140mm decking boards, as done here.
Add a breakfast bar
8. Extend the usefulness of your balcony by adding a narrow bench as an alternative eating spot. An off-theshelf metal workbench is excellent for the purpose – just modify it by adding wheels so it’s movable, and replace the MDF tabletop with 140mm decking boards.