Turn your Balcony into an Oasis

Decorating ideas for every balcony
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Love hanging out on the balcony on sunny days? Is your next holiday destination…the balcony? With spring around the corner, it’s prime time to start sprucing up your balcony for sunbathing weather! Just remember that the type of furniture, plants and decoration best suited for your balcony depends on its positioning. Whether you have a north-, east-, south- or west-facing balcony, we have some pointers for you.

For a truly relaxing balcony experience you'll need a winning combination of beautiful decoration, matching furniture and subtle privacy protection. You certainly want to de-stress, but away from prying eyes. Many factors combine when it comes to turning your balcony into the perfect wind-down corner.

Decorating ideas for balcony. Beautiful balcony with plants and coffee table.

Decorating Tip 1: Create a natural screen out of plants to liven up the place and keep out nosy types.

When you align every aspect of your balcony according to the direction it faces, playing up to its advantages, you can transform it into a real oasis of wellbeing. Here are a few examples of how you can make the best use of your balcony.

The South-Facing Balcony: Natural Tanning Salon

A balcony facing south is the dream of every sun-worshipper. South-facing balconies are perfect for sunbathing, so you can get a tan at home - with a cool drink in hand.

Must-have: Deck-chair and sunscreen

A comfortable deck-chair is the furniture of choice for anybody chasing a serious tan. If you have the luxury of a south-facing balcony, relax during the long hours of sunshine in a deck chair with your feet up. However, in summer it can very quickly get uncomfortably hot on a south-facing balcony. Erecting an awning or keeping a parasol to hand is indispensable during the long summer days.

Decorating ideas for balcony. Big spacious balcony with plants and iron railing.
Furniture: Wood instead of metal

Metallic furniture gets uncomfortably hot when the sun's beating down. Because of this, only upholstered metal furniture should be used on south-facing balconies. Although wicker and wooden furniture may lose colour in the sun, they're undeniably more comfortable than metal or plastic furniture and don't absorb as much heat in the sun, making them perfect for south-facing balconies. The same applies to tiled floors, especially if you like to walk around on the balcony barefoot. Tiles get too hot; laying wooden planks on the floor is a much smarter choice.

Decorating Tip 2: Cushions bring a pop of colour to the balcony. Be creative and create your own photo cushions!

Plants: Mediterranean

Have you ever got annoyed with how the plants on your balcony keep dying? This occurs particularly often on south-facing balconies because plants placed directly under the sun lose water quickly through transpiration. To counter this, use planter boxes as irrigation systems so that even the petunias and geraniums can thrive. At the same time, the strong sunlight allows Mediterranean plants such as lavender, oleander shrubs or olive trees to thrive. You can also try your hand at growing hibiscus, zinnias, lantana, bougainvillea, or even the curry plant.

The East-Facing Balcony: Breakfast in the Sun

Anyone who owns an east-facing balcony has the privilege of enjoying lazy mornings with a cup of coffee outdoors. East-facing balconies are bathed in the gentle first rays of the morning sun. At the weekend you can have a lovely breakfast or leisurely brunch on the balcony!

Must-have: Table and chairs

Adapt your furniture so it fits the mood of the first half of the day. Having a small dining set-up outdoors allows you to enjoy the morning light along with a good cup of coffee before the working day begins. A dining table and a few matching chairs suited for outdoor use would be a wise investment.

Decorating ideas for balcony. Beautiful old school balcony with plants, iron railing and dog.

Furniture: Colourful decoration

Just because you only get direct sunlight in the morning, doesn’t mean the fun has to stop once the afternoon rolls around. Try out these simple ways to keep the good times going till the end of the day: use patterned tableware at mealtimes; place flowerpots in bright yellow and red around the balcony; or decorate the dining area with colourful features such as table runners and seat cushions. Bold colour accents like these create a sunny atmosphere, even when the sun isn’t shining directly onto the balcony.

Decorating Tip 3: Breakfast tastes even better when you paint your flower pots in cheerful colours! They're the perfect decor choice for breakfast.

Plants: Suited to partially shaded areas

When choosing plants for your balcony, bear in mind that they will only receive light during the first half of the day. There are plenty of plants to choose from including petunias, daisies and ornamental maple.

The West-Facing Balcony: Open-Air Lounge

People who come back from work in the evenings would really benefit from a west-facing balcony. The sun shines here during the second half of the day, making it the perfect after-work relaxing spot. If you have an unblocked view from your balcony, you can even enjoy the sunset. Cosiness is very important here.

Must-have: Exceptionally comfortable balcony furniture

Well-padded lounge-style balcony chairs help create a cosy ambience. You can enjoy a relaxing evening with a refreshing cocktail and soothing music. Armchairs are worth considering, along with some fluffy pillows. The more comfortable, the better. Once you’ve set up an open-air lounge in the comfort of your own balcony, you'll never want to go anywhere else to wind down after work.

Decorating Ideas for Balcony. Mediterranean inspired balcony.

Furniture: Wood or wicker furniture

Your cosy balcony furniture should also be made of wood or wicker; plastic and metal furniture can heat up easily in the afternoon and evening sun. A parasol may also be of use. If barbecuing is permitted, install a small grill in the corner for parties.

Decorating Tip 4: Decoration suited for the evening can have a more romantic theme. Coloured lamps or candles in beautiful candle holders are perfect for this mood.

Plants: Suited to partially shaded areas

As this kind of balcony receives only half a day of sunlight, plants suited to partially shaded areas should be considered. To be able to continue enjoying your flowers in diminishing light, choose plants with large and bright flowers in white or yellow such as lilies or petunias. These colours reflect light even in the dimming light of dusk so you can continue enjoying them even when it's getting dark. And the evenings can be infused with sweet aromas, thanks to scented plants such as damask violets, Mirabilis jalapa, angel trumpets, evening primrose or even ornamental tobacco.

The North-Facing Balcony: Cool Retreat

A north-facing balcony is a shady retreat on hot summer days. For those who prefer not to lie directly in the sun, the lack of direct sunlight on a north-facing balcony is welcome. In selecting furniture for a north-facing balcony, the lack of sunlight must be taken into consideration.

Must-have: Creative light sources

The lack of sunlight on a north-facing balcony should be compensated for with another light source, whether candles or LED lamps. Through the use of lanterns, wall lights, fairy lights, oil lamps or other (preferably wireless) light sources, a relaxing ambience on your balcony can be created, making it a great place for social evenings. Use as many light sources as possible; they become more beautiful when used in harmony and will quickly turn your dark north balcony into a sea of lights.

Furniture: Durable plastic or metal

Your balcony furniture should be made of durable and preferably waterproof material that will be able to withstand rain. The lack of sunlight here means that the furniture will take a while longer to dry. Wooden furniture should be avoided at all costs; it tends to develop mould when left out in the damp and will spoil. Soften the plastic and metal furniture with cushions and warm blankets. Since a sun umbrella or deck-chair is probably not needed here, utilise the free space by creating a larger entertainment area or growing a small herb garden.

Decorating ideas for balcony. Balcony with iron railing, plants and decorative patterns.

Decorating Tip 5: Lack of space doesn’t mean compromising on beautiful decoration – for starters, print your own wall photos on Acrylic + Aluminium.

Plants: Suited to shaded areas

Because there's little sunlight on north-facing balconies, choose plants suited to shaded areas for your balcony, such as lobelia, hydrangeas, begonias and fuchsias. For something a bit different, decorate your balcony with ferns, perennials, plantain lilies or coral-bells.

Conclusion: Customise your Decoration

There are many aspects to decorating a balcony; from lighting to furniture and plant choices, these depend on the direction the balcony faces. If you're aware of the different strengths and weaknesses of the type of balcony you have, you can create imaginative themes for your balcony, playing to its strengths and compensating for its weaknesses. Style it according to its unique advantages and you can turn your balcony into a perfect oasis.


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