When you are looking at a new home, either to rent or buy, a balcony is a big bonus in an elevated apartment. You picture all the possibilities, breakfast, brunch, evening cocktails while the sun goes down and the very idea of it will probably sway your decision to buy or rent over another apartment. You may even be willing to pay extra for the privilege.
When you move in though, something happens. That balcony space becomes a clothesline and gets cluttered with those extra items that don’t seem to fit anywhere else; bikes, extra furniture, weights you never use, and soon your balcony becomes a friendly mess that is conveniently out of the way.
It’s a nightmare to clean up when you come to move but that’s also when you start to realise its actual potential. It’s only when we start to move that we really appreciate how amazing that space actually is, you may have regrets that you didn’t use it more, especially when you start to see how irresistible it is to new renters or buyers.
Which is why we have sorted out some easy solutions for you to create a balcony space you will love and use, or if you are getting ready to sell, a way to show off the full potential of that space and have someone else drooling over possibilities.
Get rid of stored items
One of the biggest complaints people have when living in an apartment is the lack of storage space. Apartments are typical small with few hiding spots. Often balconies become storage spaces simply because there is nowhere else to put additional items. Is the problem really a lack of storage or is it that we just hold onto too much stuff? Minimalist lifestyles may look amazing in magazines but they aren’t always easy to maintain in the real world.
The great thing is when you do a clear out your home not only looks better, it feels better as well, and if you are heading towards selling and moving in the near future, you will be grateful that you have less to do come crunch time.
Go through your whole place and do a genuine clear out. Think about when you last used the stored items. The longer it’s been, the easier your decision will be to gift them to a new home. Sell, donate, recycle or repurpose those items that you don’t have time and space to use. If you really can’t part with anything consider hiring self-storage where you additional items can be housed out of the way.
Use small furniture outside
Another reason people often find their balcony space hard to use is they overestimated the size and use furniture that is just too big and bulky to fit well. Small furniture items are perfect for outdoor spaces. You are looking for use, not style and that’s actually all you need, showing outdoor liveability is attractive and creates atmosphere that is tangible. The simpler the better.
The same goes for plants. Balconies are great spaces for growing pots or having a small garden, just make sure the plants you have are not inhibiting your own use of the area. Less is more. Spread your plants around so they live indoors as well.
Create a sense of space
You can free up a lot of room on your balcony by being smart about how you set up your space. Consider bench seats rather than chairs. Not only does this allow more people to use the space but you also can apply some colour and personal touch with cushions or pillows.
One trending idea is to use storage (chests or bookshelves) that double as seating with some thick cushion tops.
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Aim to free up as much floor space as you possibly can.
You can also turn the rail of your balcony into a bench, which is especially handy for narrow balconies. This works well with stools, which takes less space than chairs and can be moved around easily when you have guests.
When used correctly your balcony opens up a space that is both luxurious and entertaining. While it’s been many years since we’ve lived as cave people we still love and crave fresh air and open sky, so if you are lucky enough to have a balcony area be sure to free up space so you can free up more living.