Planning your Balcony
However large or small your balcony area is, there are so many different ways in which you can bring it to life. Many people don't make full use of theirs and it simply becomes a redundant and wasted space. It doesn't take much effort or money, though, to turn it into something special.
Have a Plan
Don't just add a selection of furniture and accessories on to your balcony thinking they'll all work together. Instead, you need to think about exactly what you want to include, what you need and which items will complement each other. When you're planning your balcony you need to consider the size and shape of the space available and furnish it accordingly: you don't want the balcony to appear cluttered. Think about the areas that get the most sun or shade, how much privacy you want, how the patio doors open and what you're intending to use the balcony for.
There is an extensive range of outdoor furniture available that's suitable for use on balconies. Simply adding a set of table and chairs will make you more likely to use the patio. However, if you want something a bit different, take a look at hammocks, swing seats or benches. When you're choosing your outdoor furniture, pick pieces that are easy to clean and maintain. They also need to be weatherproof, especially if you've got nowhere to store them when not in use. You don't want them to become damp from the rain, crack or fade in the sun or get blown away by the wind.
Choosing the right lighting can make all the difference to a balcony. Even if you don't intend to use it a lot in the evenings, it can make it look more attractive from the inside. Your choice of lighting will depend on whether you've got an outdoor socket. However, even if you don't, there is still a wide selection to choose from. Solar lights have advanced considerably in the past few years and there are now many more designs. Try putting a set of string lights across your balcony railings to instantly brighten up the area. Or if you want the balcony to have more of a feeling of a real room, add some upright or table lamps. Outdoor lights come in a range of different colours and they don't have to look like Christmas lights.
Once you've furnished and decorated your balcony, you'll be amazed how much more use you get from it.