Reader Rhonda entered the Style Unearthed birthday competition a couple of months ago, and said she would love to see a post about how to style a balcony garden. Here you are, Rhonda! A balcony or patio can be tricky to style as they are small spaces, but they are definitely usable.
How to Style a Balcony Garden
Choosing suitable furniture
A balcony space is not the place for a huge six seater table and chairs. A bar table and stools (1 – Finlay & Smith Prato 3 Piece Bar Set – $148) is a great solution and would be the perfect place to sit and sip on an afternoon drink. Bench seats (2 – Del Terra Northwood Bench Set of 2 – $169) are also a great option, especially if you have a very small space as there is enough space to place a couple of drinks and a platter of food if you are entertaining. You could use the bench as a feature, and add a couple of folding chairs or ottoman seats if you have guests. I love all of the bright patio sets that have sprung up lately – just perfect for Spring when it arrives (3 – Finlay & Smith Steel Setting – $89). The bonus is that they are weather proof and very easy on the wallet. Deck chairs (9 – Portsea Deck Chair – $99) and Adirondack chairs can bring a classic style to your balcony or patio. If you choose timber furniture, make sure that it has been treated and is weather proof. If it has fabric, like the Portsea chair, you may like to store it inside or under a chair cover. Having furniture that is easy to manoeuvre will make your space a lot more versatile, as you won’t be locked into one specific configuration or look.
Brighten it up with accessories
The best way to change the look of your space is with accessories, like patterned water jugs (4 – Carnivale Servingware – from $3.95), powder coated metal lanterns (5 – Bermuda Lantern – $54.95), and bright cushions (6 – Panama Cushion – $34.95). There are an abundance of stores that sell great outdoor accessories. Some of my favourites are Pillow Talk, Freedom, Barbara’s Storehouse and Haven & Space. You can also pick up some stylish and inexpensive pieces at Target and Kmart.
Make some screen time
One of the worst things about balconies are that you often are overlooked by neighbours. One of the ways to minimise this (and you overlooking them) is to use screening. Plants are a fantastic natural screening tool that will give fantastic coverage as they grow taller and thicker. There are so many lovely options including palms (8 – Rhapis Excelsa Palm – $29.98). Fruit trees can also be used, and they have the added bonus of giving back to you. Many nurseries carry spliced varieties with two fruits per tree. You could also use screen fencing such as this one. It is only $14.95 per roll, so a very cost effective option. A box seat with a trellis (7 – Finlay & Smith Box Seat – $199) is also a great option if you’re pushed for space as it incorporates a seat and the greenery. Two plant pots with a creeper could be placed either side, and you could encourage the plants up the trellis for a great screen cover. Check with your nursery to make sure that the plant is suitable for outdoor use, and consider the sun coverage before you buy.
Create the illusion of space
One of my favourite tricks on shows like Selling Houses Australia is the use of mirrors, both in and outside the home. Placing a mirror on a balcony or patio wall or fence makes the space appear a lot larger. It looks especially nice when it reflects plants, creating the illusion of a thick garden. I love mirrors with heavy timber frames like this one, but you could tie it in with your other decor and colour scheme.
As always, Pinterest is a great place to get some inspiration for your outdoor space. Consider playing around with software like this to design your balcony or patio to perfection, and think about what suits your needs.
Do you have a balcony or patio? What does it look like?