Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Your Secret Garden: The Balcony & Small Spaces Edition Part 1

So it's finally spring and your bummed out because you don't have a yard. Do not fear my dear, because creativity flourishes within boundaries. If you have a small deck or patio, but no yard, then this post is for you. I'm going to share some inspirational pics in this post and some of my favorite products for amazing tiny outdoor spaces in the next one. I've divided this topic into two posts because it was getting to be too big! But awesome for you, because there will be lots of great info and inspiration to make your small outdoor space your very own secret garden!
Have a Moroccan Themed Patio Party
First things first: It doesn't matter if you have a huge yard or a tiny balcony, the number one ingredient is plants, plants, plants! Hanging baskets, potted plants, plants on the walls, etc, etc, etc. No outdoor space is complete without greenery.
So Chill
Good lighting is also a must. In fact, your lighting requirements will not be that much different from any indoor space. You'll want a combination of general spacial lighting, mood lighting and task lighting. Mood lighting can be things like candles, little white Christmas lights strung across the ceiling of your balcony or floodlights that are dramatically up-lighting your plants. You know, the fun stuff. While task lighting is for, of course, specific tasks. For proper task lighting, think of how you imagine utilizing your space. Do you like reading? Then you will need and outdoor table lamp or well placed sconce so you can sit out there on beautiful warm summer evenings soaking up the latest novel. General spacial lighting indoors often functions as a ceiling fixture, but in an outdoor space it is generally a wall or ceiling mounted porch light. 
Comfy Outdoor Nest
A lounge chair, table and plants are all you need on this lovely little balcony
Now this is outdoor living!
Colourfully decorated little nook
Lastly, you'll want to add furniture and accessories. Accessories such as outdoor rugs, pillows and lanterns complete a space and add the drama and personality. As far as furniture goes, choose wisely! If you only have a small patio or balcony I hate to say it, but don't bother with a bistro set. I know, I know, everyone with a small outdoor space automatically thinks "bistro table and chairs". My problem with bistro sets (although very adorable and admittedly hard to resist) is that they are rickety and uncomfortable. Seriously, have you ever sat at an outdoor bistro table and thought "well, this is certainly a comfy experience"? If you have I would love to know where you got your set from. An outdoor space is meant for enjoyment and lingering for long luxurious periods of time, therefore it needs to be comfortable for more then five minutes. I would suggest a larger dining set, couple of lounge chairs, outdoor floor pillows, a hanging chair, a hammock, or even an outdoor couch (if you can squeeze it in) as viable alternatives. Add a coffee table or a couple of end tables and viola! You have yourself an outdoor space that you will actually use. I sure hope you find this info will help you fully enjoy your outdoor space, no matter what the size. And please, if you have any tips or tricks, I would love to here about them!
Modern Lush Balcony

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