THE PROBLEM: How to maximise small balcony space and increase privacy?
THE SOLUTION: Use layout, colour and plants to create a space I’ll actually want to hang out in.
This is what the balcony used to look like…
This is what it looks like after the DIY makeover…
Use ‘unused’ space to create a stylish corner without taking up extra room
I planted a pot of Jasmine in the small nook between the air conditioning unit and the wall to my apartment to spruce up the eyesore.
I measured the available space and Googled suitable pots online (Bunnings was the winner with a vintage cottage style pot for only $30).
I also installed a standing decorative trellis. I bought it from Bunnings for $12 (90cm x 180cm) and spray painted the original bare pine frame in the same grey as the privacy screen.
My intention is to slowly train the jasmine plant to crawl over it. In the few weeks I’ve had the Jasmine, it’s grown pretty quickly, so I’m excited to see if this works.
Extend space using the same flooring outside as I used indoors
These are IKEA RUNNEN floor decking tiles. The come as 30cm x 30cm tiles that easily click into place. For $30 for a pack of 9 tiles, it’s actually a bargain price for a great look.
I bought 4 packs, so the job only cost me ~$120.
There’s an air conditioning unit to one side of the balcony so I had to measure the floor and cut the tiles so they wrap around the unit for a seamless look.
This was pretty easy to do with a ruler, some masking tape to mark out the cut-out lines and a simple jig-saw.
Installed a privacy screen in the same colour as my sofa to stop the space looking smaller
The existing railing and my large windows meant that I could see my neighbours while sitting on the sofa. I wanted privacy but I was concerned about closing off the space with a solid visual barrier.
To resolve this, I bought a privacy screen in the same colour as the sofa that sits in front of the balcony. This makes the balcony look like a natural extension of the living room. A great indoor/outdoor illusion.
This is a privacy screen sold in pre-cut rolls. After measuring, I realised I only needed 1.5 rolls, so I just cut off what I didn’t need. The 2 rolls cost $100.
I secured the screen to the railing using fishing wire.
Fishing wire is flexible to use and virtually invisible so I didn’t need to worry about tying it perfectly. I knotted the ties a couple of times to the existing railing posts and I was done.
Added plants to make the balcony more welcoming, and less stark
I added plant baskets to hang over the outside of the balcony railing to maximise the usable balcony space without compromising on style.
Cars drive by underneath so I secured the baskets with metal hooks AND lots of cable ties to prevent them from swinging in the wind.
I’m really happy with how this turned out. The makeover has dramatically changed the space and maximised my very small balcony. I know find myself wanting to just hang out there – and just in time for the Australian summer!