Does Your Balcony Need A Makeover?
It’s the perfect time of year for a balcony makeover.
It’s cold, they are out in the elements and are starting to look a little sad. Unless you have some great outdoor heating, you are likely not to be using it very often. And that’s OK; you can’t use every room in your home all year around, but it often means some spaces get ignored and need some extra love. A few hours and a little bit of colour are all you need to brighten up space. Our upstairs deck is an area we use all the time (more so in the summer for a sneaky afternoon G&T!) it’s lovely spot to soak up the winter sun, but I was getting a little bored with it.
A few things to think about...
- Look at the area with fresh eyes. Sometimes you have to clean it all out and take it all away to get a real idea of the space.
- Freshen up outdoor canvas cushions that may have become a little green over winter.
- Look at any potted plants that are outside and may need a freshen up - more soil, mulching, deadheading.., etc
- How do you use this space? Do you need more cushions, table space, an umbrella perhaps? What will get you outside more?
- If you have plants, are they easy to water and how much sun do they get? Do they need to be moved to another area?
- Make sure the plants you have are suitable for this area. Do you have good drainage? If it does rain, how will that effect what you have outside?
- Make sure your umbrella is weighted down. You don't want that flying over the balcony!
- Lanterns are gorgeous and create such beautiful light. Make sure you have matches and keep the glass clean after they have been lit (nothing uglier than the black smoke).
- If your cushions do get wet make sure you dry all sides, is there somewhere to store them indoors?
- Look at the space from inside too and are certain it looks visually attractive all sides.
- Most importantly - don't forget to use it!
Taking inspiration from the gorgeous hollyhocks, I chose my palette of dusty pinks, orange and wood tones to keep it fresh and straightforward. My aim was to make it a brighter, more inviting space. Bringing in some colour and some new cushions to make it homely, and of course, finish it off with some plants and flowers. I started with giving the space a clean down, after months of neglect - a good rearrange already gets it into shape. I love changing the look of flooring in spaces and introducing a carpet to the balcony is an instant brightener. There are some great outdoor rugs available that will withstand the elements.
Not every item needs to be weather proof. I find that outdoor furnishings can be a little limiting when it comes to styles and design, so I am more than happy to decorate with indoor furnishings, storing them indoors when the weather turns. Having an array of brighter cushions in my bedroom is a colourful pop on a gloomy day and in turn I am saving these items from the weather. Mixing and matching patterns, textures and materials are one of my favourite decorating tricks so blending the wood of the lanterns with the soft velvet cushions makes for a cosy space.
How to clean your outdoor cushions...
Follow the instructions! Read the labels and do as you are told, I have learnt quite a few times that hosing down a cushion isn't always the best way to clean it!
Keep them clean by sweeping of debris or dirt regularly. Even better if you can keep them out of the harsh winter weather. But if they do get wet, you can speed up drying time by placing cushions on their side.
By mixing a solution of chlorine, liquid washing and water. Give your cushions a good spray - followed by a scrub with a hard bristled brush. Let it soak and then hose it off in 20 minutes. Simple!
How is your balcony fairing this winter? Is it time for a makeover?
To achieve a similar look visit Canvas + Sasson.
Photos: Lisa Atkinson, Copyright © Chyka Keebaugh.