The balcony is a fantastic space no matter how big or small it is. And we love the modern and innovative balcony designs that we are seeing. If you do nothing else this year, breathe new life into your balcony with these great ideas:
1. Incorporate a hammock or swing seat
Garden furniture is no longer just about formal dining sets or café seating. Informal, ‘slouchy’ seating is where it is currently at. We are loving the idea of incorporating swing seats or hammocks alongside other balcony furniture.
Providing you have a secure overhead fixing for a swing seat, you are good to go or opt for one that comes complete with suspension frame. Hammocks can be self-supporting with a frame. This means that there is no need to drill into outside walls for secure fixings.
Make the balcony even more inviting with the use of relaxed cushions and throws.
2. Minimal monochrome
It is a look that suits many a balcony, and we can see why it is so popular. Paint the wall a crisp white, and use black ceramic pots as the sculptural assets of the balcony. Keep planting simple and evergreen. Perhaps use sun-worshipping plants such as ‘Hens and Chicks’ and others from the succulent Sempervivum family. And keep furniture minimal in design too, opting for black items if you can get your hands on them.
3. Outdoor mirrors
Using a mirror outdoors is nothing new and for a balcony, especially for a bijou one, it is a worthwhile addition. Helping to create the illusion of it being bigger than it is, we have noticed that increasingly these outdoor mirrors are becoming more ornate.
In effect, the outdoor mirror is now a reflection – pun intended – of the more ornate mirrors used inside the home. Designers have been telling us for some time to marry the interior of our homes with our outdoor space. Whether you have garden and balcony, or just a balcony, using an ornate mirror is a great way of connecting interior and exterior space.
We are loving the art deco inspired mirrors. In particular, the use of brass-framed mirrors with delicious clean lines and angles.
4. A no-furniture zone
Of all the modern balcony designs we have come across, we admit there is something delightful about the no-furniture rule!
We love the abundance of rugs, throws and cushions, making the floor the place to lounge enjoying the fresh air and sunshine of the summer months. Taking on a Moroccan inspired design, there are many richly coloured balcony spaces that also use lights to good effect too.
We notice that like the ornate outdoor mirrors, many of these lanterns and lights are brass effect and we think that this is the accessory colour of choice this coming year.
5. “One item says it all”
The only difference between this design and the minimal monochrome designed balcony is the use of colour and other accessories. All of these are in place to do one thing. Support the star of the show.
Banana garden benches do everything. They can take on a formal appeal by leaving them plain and supported by potted plants. Or with the addition of beautiful coloured throws and matching cushions, they can become the lounging seat of choice on the balcony.
The curvy shape of the banana garden bench means that it adds a hint of detail that makes it stand out from the conventional, ‘straight’ garden bench.
6. Making more of the floor
And finally, we are loving the fact that on Pinterest, users are showing us that the floor of a balcony is an important but often forgotten area. We have seen some fantastic use of patterned, tiled lino. For the small balcony, this utilises a cheap off-cut section of lino – as well as recycled plastic woven rugs too.
But there is one other addition that we wouldn’t have thought of- artificial grass! Adding a fantastic expanse of green to your balcony, it makes the perfect balcony floor covering. Again, relatively inexpensive, artificial grass is hardwearing and robust against everything that the weather throws at it.
7. Lanterns and lights
Using your balcony at dusk and after dark is no longer optional but a must! And for that, you’ll need pretty soft lighting. Imagine kicking back after a hard day at work, enjoying the view and your favourite podcast or audiobook in the soft glowing light of the balcony.
Candles are always the perfect fit for the balcony. We certainly haven’t fallen out of love with candles and soft lighting.
What we are loving is the trend of grouping candles together – using a mix of sizes and styles for great effect. We also like the art deco mirrors we talked about earlier, the finish of choice seems to be the brass effect.
Lighting remains soft, although if you want to add colour, people seem to be doing so with coloured paper lantern lights. And there is no need to ration your lighting either. All the balconies we came across looked simple fabulous using a lot of ‘fairy’ garden lights.
Cluster your lights together, hanging them from any ceiling overhang you may have, across the balustrade and clustered in old jam jars and other glass accessories to add detail, as well as a soft romantic glow to your balcony.