Being in lockdown has definitely helped us redefine the meaning of home and value what little green space we have in our cities, sparking a rejuvenated love for our condo balconies and small outdoor spaces. Meet our client Red Barrinuevo, principal designer at Redesign4More, as he explores pandemic-related changes impacting the home design industries. He explains that lockdown has created a need to expand the use of home space. Designing your balcony into a functional space with meaning, while being sure to utilize the entire area, is key to condo living. Below, Red is sharing some of his top styling tips for creating a meaningful balcony design.
Break up your space
Function is the first element to consider when designing a balcony space. No matter the size or orientation of your outdoor space, it is important to know what sections you want to create in order to best serve your needs. As Barrinuevo puts it, “if it’s a small balcony, think about what you’d like to use it for and what is most important to you. If you have a larger space, zoning is essential because there are many more possibilities to consider. Playing with screens can not only help define a space but also provide privacy where required.”
Introduce colour to all that grey
Adding colour to your balcony is one of the easiest ways to spice up the space. Pops of colour add visual interest and there are so many ways you can achieve this. You can warm up your concrete condo using organic elements and plants. “When shopping for outdoor furniture, opt for natural and renewable materials such as teak, mahogany or rattan,” says Barrinuevo. Try playing with textures and scale with greenery, plants can really help brighten up a space and provide some privacy when needed. He suggests artificial bamboo panels as a great option because they act as a curtain, but have a more natural feel.
Function over fashion
Speaking of scale, it’s important to remain aware of the size of space you’re working with. If you are limited on square footage, smaller side tables and corner chairs may better suit the space. It will also help if you can integrate storage by finding double-duty furniture. As Barrinuevo suggests, “choose a coffee table with storage space underneath or a chest that can also serve as a bench.”
Create the right atmosphere
Creating the right ambience is very simple, it’s all in the lighting. Changing the style and type of lights can shape the atmosphere of your outdoor space. Barrinuevo recommends LED string lights or lanterns, with Edison bulbs or an outdoor chandelier centred above a dining table. Solar powered lighting is also a great option for a space that doesn’t need much light. No matter what you are looking for, you are bound to find a lighting style that fits your space.
Don’t be casual about your flooring
This is a staple element in any balcony space that is often neglected. Although it’s not always necessary in a condo balcony, changing the texture from concrete to wood or tile can exponentially enhance the space. Outdoor rugs are the simplest way to achieve this transformation (and are renter-friendly). “It really looks like an extension of your living room if you pick a colour that is similar to your interior flooring,” he explains. There is a range of options to choose from, you are sure to find a trendy fit that is within your budget.
Whether you’re preparing to host again or are looking for a new setting to have your morning coffee on the patio, now is the time to upgrade your outdoor space. Designing with meaning will help make your space unique and stylish at the same time so you can fall in love with your balcony!