Cue the barbecues, afternoon garden naps and pottering around with plants, summer is officially here which means we can finally spend some quality time with the great outdoors. Admittedly, not all of us are lucky enough to have a sprawling yard or sweeping rooftop to our name (hands up my fellow urban city dwellers), but that shouldn’t mean we have to miss out on all the fun. The tiny balcony is the new darling of the outdoor living world! Here are three ways to make the most of yours.
1. Power Plant
Good for the soul and the environment, gardening is perhaps one of the most rewarding weekend projects to take up this summer. Imagine growing your very own fresh herbs and vegetables to serve up in a zesty salad, farm-to-table style – how charmingly rustic! There’s only one problem: how on earth do you grow a garden on a balcony?
Growing a balcony garden is actually not as difficult as you might think. The key here is to get creative with planters. Limited floor space? No problem – opt for a wall-mounted design which doubles as a form of wall art. These geometric garden modules are crafted from polypropylene cord, making them flexible and fully customizable.
Another option would be to stack your plants on a laddered shelf. This minimalist Scandinavian-inspired version by KEKKILÄ Garden even works as a stylish design statement too.
One thing to bear in mind is that balconies are usually microclimates that differ hugely from the climate on the ground. More often than not, balconies tend to be subject to extreme weather conditions and unpredictable temperature fluctuations. That’s when vitrines (or mini greenhouses) come in handy. If you’re living in the city, these mini greenhouses are also great for keeping pollution and pests at bay.
If being green fingered is not your thing, how about utilizing your balcony as an additional entertaining space? So you might not be able to host a dinner party for 12, but an intimate gathering of your best gals or a romantic dinner for two? Now that a balcony can handle with aplomb.
To maximize the functionality of the space, look into folding tables and chairs. When the food turns into drinks, simply fold away for more floor space.
For a more casual entertaining affair, the Skydeck table by Japanese-based Torafu Architects offers an additional surface ideal for resting glasses and small trays on. Designed in collaboration with Ishinomaki Lab, an initiative set up to support the local community of Ishinomaki following the 2011 tsunami, the Skydeck acts as a small portable counter that is made to hook onto the handrails of balconies.
To make the most of a narrow angular balcony opt for an L-shaped bench configuration that runs along the wall or railing. Accessorize with comfy cushions and throws for a cozy nook that’s the perfect setting for an alfresco movie night.
Relax and Retreat
After a long week, all we really want to do on a sunny Saturday is lay around and do absolutely nothing. The balcony can help with that.
Gather some floor pillows and an assortment of cushions to create your very own outdoor bed away from bed. Add tealights into the mix when the sun goes down for an impromptu glamping under the stars experience.
Upgrade your balcony to beach resort status with a laid back hammock. The great thing about hammocks – apart from siestas, obviously – is their flexible design, which make them ideal to fit in a variety of spaces, big and small. Simply anchor it to your walls (or opt for one on a stand) and swing all your stress and worries away.
How will you be styling your outdoor space this summer? Show us on Instagram by using the hashtag #N9Home – you might even be featured on the official NONAGON.style feed!