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Ways to maximize your balcony space

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Small bistro sets are prefect by balconies Photo: HomeSense for Ways to maximize your balcony space by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]


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Balconies are not often known for being big. But they do provide just enough space for you to step outside and get some fresh air, and even host a couple of people. Because space is usually tight, you want to maximize every square inch of your balcony, so here’s a quick look at some ways you can do this and make the most of this area.

When furnishing your balcony, think of it as an extension of the interior of your home. Choosing colours, patterns and even materials that mirror what you have inside will make it feel more inviting and spacious.

Whether you’re renting or own your own home, you can transform your balcony space by updating the flooring. Using riser pedestals you can raise the flooring about half an inch and put down pavers, says hardscapes specialist John Moroz of Alberta-based company Belgard. Your balcony will feel bigger, cleaner and more inviting.

“You’re not changing anything about the infrastructure of the home; it’s nothing permanent, but you can personalize it and make it feel a little sophisticated,” Moroz says. “So rather than looking at this great chunk of concrete that you had there before now, you can add a bit of colour, maybe you can add a porcelain tile, and transform that space into something a little bit less pedestrian.”

Another option for balcony flooring that will transform this area, while not taking up any valuable floor space, is using turf grass. Not only does it add visual interest, from a tactile perspective the floor is no longer cold and concrete and invites activities like yoga and other wellness pursuits.

The key to making your balcony feel more spacious is keep it tidy, organized and junk free, while being really selective about the furniture you put out there. Less is best. Multi-functional furniture is a great idea for balconies, such as a sturdy garden stool that can also be used as an extra seat or side table, says HomeSense design expert Tamara Robbins Griffith.

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Bar cart at HomeSense can be used for gardening or cocktails Photo: HomeSense for Ways to maximize your balcony space by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]

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“A bar cart is another great investment that can be used in many different ways,” says Robbins Griffith. “Use it as a prep space for gardening or to display ceramic cache pots. You can also easily switch out the garden gear and use the cart for entertaining. Set it up with pitchers and acrylic drink ware and it is transformed into an outdoor bar.”

Plants are a must on a balcony, as they really create an outdoor feeling, and they can add privacy and visual interest to this space, Robbins Griffith says. If you’re wanting to maximize floor space go for raised planters, she says.

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Raised planters free up floor space on your balcony Photo: HomeSense for Ways to maximize your balcony space by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]

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Small spaces require us to think more creatively when it comes to furnishing them, and though there are any number of great bistro sets on the market — typically a small table and two chairs — you could try something unorthodox like the corner of a sectional sofa, says Joanna Leung, vice-president of Vancouver furniture company Ratana, who did just this when furnishing the balcony of her tiny Hong Kong apartment.

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Bistro set by HomeSense Photo: HomeSense for Ways to maximize your balcony space by Rebecca Keillor [PNG Merlin Archive]

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“I dressed it up with throws and pillows and it created a nice corner, a nook for people to hang out,” she says.

Comfy is king in home interiors and exteriors these days, with people really wanting to relax to the fullest in their homes, and we see this in the growing popularity of padded outdoor furniture, says Alan Wilson of Vancouver’s Industrial Revolution.

French furniture brands like Lafuma are proving really popular, he says, because they offer all the comfort of oversized loungers, but can be folded away when not being used, to free up space.

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