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:
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.
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.
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?
• 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.
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…
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.
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…
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.