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 the 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 will need a winning combination of beautiful decoration, matching furniture and subtle view protection. You certainly want to de-stress, but away from prying eyes. Many factors come together to turn your balcony into the perfect wind-down corner.

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

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 Balconies: Natural Tanning Salon

Balconies facing south are the dreams of most sun-worshippers; they get the best of the sun. Here one can get a tan at home, with a cool drink in hand. Because of this, a south-facing balcony is perfect for sunbathing.

Must-have:Deck chair and sunscreen

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

Furniture: Wood instead of metal

Metallic furniture get uncomfortably hot when the sun beats down upon it. 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 are undeniably more comfortable than metal or plastic furniture and do not absorb as much heat in the sun, making them perfect for south-facing balconies. The same applies to tiled floors, especially if you would like to walk around on the balcony barefoot. Tiles heat up too much; laying wooden planks on the floor would be 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 gotten 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 via evaporation. 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

Whoever owns an east-facing balcony has the privilege of enjoying lazy mornings with a cup of coffee outdoors. East-facing balcony are swashed every morning with the gentle first rays of the sun. Spend weekends having 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 work day begins. A dining table and a few matching chairs suited for outdoor usage would be a wise investment.

Furniture: Colourful decoration

Just because you get direct sunlight only in the mornings doesn’t mean the gaiety of the day has to dim once the afternoon rolls around. Try out these simple ways to prolong the cheer till the end of the day: use patterned tableware, at the dining table; place flowerpots in bright yellow and red around the balcony; or decorate the dining area with colourful accents such as table runners and seat cushions. These small bursts of colour 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! Make them the perfect décor for breakfast.

Plants: Suited for 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: The Open-air Lounge

People who only come back from work in the evenings would really appreciate their west-facing balcony. The sun shines here during the second half of the day, making it the perfect after-work spot for relaxing. 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 very cosy ambience. With these, 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 comforts of your own balcony, you will never go anywhere else to wind down after work.

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 a corner for parties.

Decorating Tip 4: Decoration suited for the evening may take on a more romantic theme. Coloured lamps or candles in beautiful candle holders are perfect for this purpose.

Plants: Suited for Partially-shaded Areas

As this kind of balcony receives only half a day of sunlight, plants suited for partially-shaded areas should be considered. To be able to continue enjoying your flowers under diminishing light, choose plants with large and bright flowers in white or yellow such as lilies or petunias. These colours reflect light even under the dimming light of dusk so you can continue enjoying them even when it gets dark. The evenings can moreover smell even better with scented plants such as Damask violets, mirabilis jalapa, angel trumpets, evening primrose or even ornamental tobacco.

The North-facing Balcony: The Cool Retreat

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

Must-have: Creative light sources

Whether with candles or LED lamps, the lack of sunlight on a north-facing balcony should be compensated with another light source. Through the use of lanterns, wall lights, fairy lights, oil lamps, and many other (preferably wireless) light sources, a relaxing ambience on your balcony can be created, making it a great place for the evenings. Use as many light sources as possible; they become more beautiful 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 water-proof material that will be able to withstand rain. The lack of sunlight received here means that the furniture will take a while longer to dry. Wooden furniture should be avoided at all costs; these tend to develop mould when left out in the damp and will get damaged. 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 Tip 5: Lack of space doesn’t mean compromising on beautiful decoration – for starters, print your own wall photos on Acrylic + Aluminium.

Plants: Suitable for Shaded Areas

Because there is little sunlight on north-facing balconies, choose plants suitable for shaded areas for your balcony, such as lobelia, hydrangeas, begonias, and fuchsias. For something 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, furniture to plant choices, these depend on the direction the balcony faces. If you are aware of the different strengths and weaknesses of the type of balcony you have, however, you can create imaginative themes for your balcony, playing up its advantages and compensating its weaknesses. By decorating to suit it individually, your balcony will be turned into a perfect oasis.

Decorative screen made using plants

Decorative screen made using plants

Colourful pillows or customised cushions

Colourful pillows or customised cushions

Painted flower pots make vibrant decoration

Painted flower pots make vibrant decoration

Creating a romantic atmosphere with lanterns and candles

Creating a romantic atmosphere with lanterns and candles

The icing on the cake: the perfect picture for the balcony

The icing on the cake: the perfect picture for the balcony

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