The first day of spring has come and gone and the weather is heating up. Okay, it’s still somewhat chilly in the morning, but temperatures have hit double digits a few times! That means all you condo and apartment dwellers are starting to think about how to get your balcony ready for warm weather.
If you look out on your balcony or terrace right now, it’s likely in pretty rough shape...and understandably so...you probably haven’t used it in half a year! The fact that you only get use of your balcony for six months is even more of a reason to make the most of it.
Before jumping into the tips below, the very first thing you should do is check with your condo rules to see what’s allowed and what isn’t when it comes to balcony use. There’s a pretty good chance you can’t paint anything or affix anything to the balcony railing, and you probably can’t have a barbecue unless you have a gas hook-up.
Clear it out
If you have anything on your balcony, we recommend bringing it indoors so you can look at your balcony as a blank slate and start planning from scratch. Keep in mind that the dirt and dust have piled high on your possessions, and there may be some water from melted snow and rain, so before bringing things indoors, lay down some garbage bags or drop cloths to prevent making a huge mess.
The concrete floor of your balcony is probably filthy, and same with your balcony rail and glass panels if you have them. Your windows are probably dirty too. Just give everything a good scrub. Yes, it will be dirty again pretty soon, but when you see the space clean and blank, it will help inspire all that can be done with your outdoor living area, big or small.
Try a different layout
If you have a tiny balcony, then you may be restricted with how it’s used, but if you have the space, why not try mixing things up a bit. We’ve seen balconies with sitting areas, bike storage, dining space, and dog lounge areas. Yes, you read that right. Dog lounge areas. And why not? If you’re planning on making your outdoor space beautiful and cozy, why not have a space for the pups?
Consider cushions and flooring
Covering your concrete floor with plastic tiles that snap together is a quick way to make your balcony feel warmer and more comfortable. We also recommend investing in some outdoor cushions for your couch/bench/chairs. Once you have cushioned seating and better flooring, your outdoor space will start feeling like a true extension of your indoor space.
Green it up
Just because you live a few storeys off the Earth doesn’t mean you can’t be surrounded by greenery. As more people decide to call condos and apartments home, balcony gardening has become huge! If you’re a cook, try growing your own herbs; you may find some starter plants at your local grocery store. There are pots that are designed to hang on balcony railings without any hardware required, but you should check with your condo rules before moving forward with this idea.
This is a pretty basic checklist for anyone looking to make the most of their balcony this spring and summer, but we bet you haven’t done a lot of these things! Along with the plants and flowers, your living space grows at this time of year, so take advantage of it!