deck area overlooking the skyline:  Terrace by Interface

How do I give my balcony a complete makeover?

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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In most modern apartments and small houses in India, the balcony is the space that connects you with the outdoors. You can relax in the midst of greenery and get some fresh air while you sip a cup of tea. However, in many homes, balconies lie neglected, because they are considered either too small or too costly to decorate. Decorating this space, irrespective of how tiny it might be, can add a green element to your home. Today, we present small balcony makeover tips that you can use to spruce up even a small space without spending too much.

What is the first step to a tiny balcony makeover?

deck area overlooking the skyline:  Terrace by Interface
Interface

deck area overlooking the skyline

Interface

Like with designing any other space, first, you should assess the space to see what’s possible. Will the space be large enough for a couple of chairs and a table, so you can dine al fresco? Is the balcony too small for anything other than stepping out for a cigarette? Does it get sunlight? Can you make a balcony garden? Ideally, before you buy anything for the space, you should measure it, so that when you look at furniture or planters, you will have an idea of the ideal size for your balcony.

Should I change the flooring during my apartment balcony makeover?

Balcony makeover - English:  Terrace by Studio Earthbox
Studio Earthbox

Balcony makeover—English

Studio Earthbox

It depends on the existing flooring in the balcony as well as the style in which you want to decorate it. Basic ceramic tiles that are in good condition can work well if you accessorise with colours that blend or brighten up the space. This way, you won’t have to spend on redoing the balcony flooring. However, if you need to change the flooring, wooden or WPC deck tiles are an excellent option. They won’t cost too much, if your balcony isn’t large. The advantage is that you can install them over the existing flooring.

If you plan to have balcony garden plants, ensure that the area has proper drainage, as the last thing you need is for stagnant water to damage your wooden deck flooring. Additionally, if you opt for natural wood instead of WPC deck tiles, then it should be coated so that it can withstand the sun and rain.

How should I decorate the balcony walls?

In some balconies, the wall space can be extremely limited, so you should design the area to optimize it. If you are looking for ideas on how to decorate balcony walls, the options include creating a green wall or painting a mural or in a bold colour. You can consult an interior designer or landscape professional for advice on the best option for your balcony.

How to decorate the balcony with plants

Terrace Garden Decor at Civil Lines, Delhi:  Terrace by Grecor
Grecor

Terrace Garden Decor at Civil Lines, Delhi

Grecor

A balcony would be incomplete without at least a few plants. If floor space is limited, use hanging pots or install a wall-mounted system to hold your balcony garden plants. Before you buy plants for the space, it’s vital that you assess the amount of sunlight in the area. This will help you to choose plants that thrive in your balcony. Getting a plant that needs a lot of sunlight won’t work in a balcony with a lot of shade, and similarly, shade plants would wither in a balcony with ample sunlight.

When you visit the local garden store or plant nursery, ask for recommendations of plants that are ideal for the conditions in your balcony. Additionally, if you are a newbie gardener or one of those people who forgets to water the plants regularly, consider growing low-maintenance plants such as succulents that are extremely hardy.

Get tips on bringing nature into your balcony.

How should I choose the design theme for my balcony?

Majiwada, Thane:  Terrace by aasha interiors
aasha interiors

Majiwada, Thane

aasha interiors

When you undertake a balcony makeover, it’s best to follow a similar design style and colour palette as the room to which the balcony is attached. This provides for a smooth transition between the two spaces. If your home is decorated in a modern or minimalist style, then you should carry through the same style to your balcony by choosing straight lined planters and furniture. If your home has a classic style, then carved or round planters will look more in sync with the rest of the decor.

What furniture is ideal for a balcony?

Since balconies have limited space, it’s best to choose low seating with light chairs that don’t make the area appear cluttered. When you are considering a tiny balcony makeover, folding chairs and tables are excellent options, so that you can store them when you don’t need them. Another alternative is to get customised furniture built for your space. These include a low diwan-like seat that fits perfectly into a recess or a semi-circular table that can be fixed to the balcony railing.

How can I protect the privacy in my balcony?

When you relax in your balcony, you don’t want the mood to be spoiled by having your neighbours prying on you. Installing a wooden or bamboo screen as part of your small balcony makeover can help to protect the privacy of the space. You don’t have to cover the entire balcony. Place the screens in strategic spots so that your block direct views from nearby houses or apartments.

Can balcony makeovers work even on a small budget?

CUBE House:  Terrace by SAGA Design
SAGA Design

CUBE House

SAGA Design

If you are worried that you can’t spend too much on giving your balcony a makeover, don’t fret! You can find hundreds of small balcony decorating ideas on a budget, including some DIY options. For instance, instead of buying new planters, you can rummage through your kitchen and find old utensils or pots than can be used to grow plants. Similarly, instead of spending money on a screen to provide privacy to the area, you can grow a creeper or vine that protects the space from curious neighbours. Look around your home and get cool balcony ideas such as using an old wooden box to create low seating with cushions. Make a table out of a piece of drift wood and a tray… let your creativity flow! This will not only offer an affordable makeover, but also give your balcony a unique look.

Get inspired by these ideas to decorate your balcony.

Should I enclose my balcony as part of the makeover?

RESIDENCE:  Terrace by Rubenius
Rubenius

RESIDENCE

Rubenius

The benefit of a balcony is that it provides the opportunity to experience the outdoors. However, in many Indian homes, especially apartments, when space becomes scarce, enclosing the balcony is the only option for expanding a room or an area. If you are contemplating this as one of your small balcony makeover ideas, then you need to reassess whether it is essential.

If the balcony is attached to a kitchen, then enclosing it to expand the work space or to create a laundry area with the washing machine or dryer is a functional idea for a balcony makeover. However, for a balcony that is attached to a living room or bedroom, you will restrict the natural ventilation in the room by enclosing the space. The idea is to enjoy the feeling of being in the outdoors. Therefore, if covering the balcony helps to enjoy the space throughout the year, you should do it. For instance, if you live in a coastal area that experiences heavy rains during the monsoon, then an enclosed balcony will ensure that water and wind doesn’t affect the interiors. Ideally, you should install sliding glass doors so that the natural light and views are unaffected. Additionally, this will allow you to enjoy some fresh air by sliding open the doors.

A perfect balcony makeover can be a challenging task, especially in a small space. Working with a professional landscape architect or designer will ensure that you optimize the space to create a relaxing oasis to which you can retreat every day.

Which of these balcony designs is your favourite? Answer in the comments.
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