A summer-ready terrace in 8 easy steps | homify
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A summer-ready terrace in 8 easy steps

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Atlantic Drive by House Couture Interior Design Studio Eclectic
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With spring and summer already eyeing us from their respective spots, we South Africans have started planning our spring/summer socialising schedules. Even those of us stuck in the city with nothing but balconies and tiny patios / porches substituting as gardens and lawns. 

But where does one even begin to breathe new life into an outdoor socialising spot that’s seen nothing but icy temperatures (and wind, and rain… ) for the past few months? 

Right here! So, to get your terrace / porch / balcony / patio in a summer-ready condition, start reaching for the following:

1. Soapy water

First things first: your balcony needs to freshen up after the long, cold winter. Clear everything, including plants and lights, grab your bucket filled with hot soapy water, get your cleaning sponge, and start scrubbing.

2. Reorganise it

Once your outdoor space has dried off, move everything back, but this time choose different spots. Hang your lanterns somewhere else, maybe swap out some potted plants with others kept in your garden or interiors… Try and look at your balcony / terrace / patio with new eyes. 

3. Bring on the patterns and textures

Roca Llisa by ARRCC Modern

Roca Llisa


For a plush balcony look, pile on the textiles with cushy pieces like patterned rugs, scatter cushions, and perhaps one or two throws/blankets (but the flimsy kind just adequate enough for that evening spring breeze). But don’t forget to add character via colours, patterns and textures, which can help make any look possible (bohemian, retro, modern… ).

homify hint: Why not see if the services of a professional Interior Designer/Decorator can help you add some extra style to your balcony? 

4. Make it (look) more spacious

House Hout Bay - Babett Frehrking Architect by Babett Frehrking Architect Modern
Babett Frehrking Architect

House Hout Bay—Babett Frehrking Architect

Babett Frehrking Architect

Easy peasy: 

• Paint your balcony / patio walls a light, neutral colour.

• Add wall-mounted pieces to keep as much legroom open as possible.

• Opt for folding furniture that can be minimised when needed.

• Look for pieces that can add function and beauty, such as a mosquito net canopy that protects while also impresses with style. 

• Add a mirror to create the illusion of more space, etc. 

5. Illuminate your work

Which lighting options you choose will depend on various factors, like your balcony / patio’s size, its design style, your budget, etc. Consider how candlelight is conducive to an intimate, romantic setting. And how solar string lights can cast a magical glow. Or maybe some hanging lanterns (in a stunning Moroccan style) to save on floor space…

6. Fake your greens

These days, plastic plants and flowers look perfectly realistic. That’s good news for anybody not born with green fingers, but it also means no more excuses not to add some fresh greens to your outdoor (and indoor) spaces. 

7. Protect from the elements




We don’t need to warn any South African about the dangers of the sun. But what about the wind? Or those unexpected rainfalls? Opt for items that can make your al fresco time that much more enjoyable, such as parasols, canopies, a covered pergola, shade sails…  

8. A faux turf

House La Croix Fresnaye Modern Garden by KMMA architects Modern
KMMA architects

House La Croix Fresnaye

KMMA architects

Might as well fake the grass too, right? But seriously, artificial grass has become the next-best option, considering what that scorching summer sun can do to real-life grass and plants. It’s a fantastic weather-resistant flooring solution for exterior spaces, plus there’s much less maintenance involved than with regular grass (no mowing or watering, for once!).

Still sticking with the outdoors, let’s see 7 of the best ways to upgrade your garden in 2020.

What other summer-ready tips do you have for balconies, porches and patios?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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