Pandemic forced many of us to forgo our summer holidays abroad. While some will visit the Helvetian landmarks, others will take advantage of the beautiful days to spend time at home, sparing themselves the stress of car traffic or airports. By optimizing the outdoor space of your home, you will enjoy moments of relaxation and conviviality. Even the smallest piece of balcony can become an oasis of well-being if it is carefully designed. These few tips will help you turn your outdoor space into a pleasant additional living space.
Before you spruce up your balcony, patio or garden, ask yourself how you plan to use it. Do you like to eat with family, entertain friends, barbecue, or lounge alone? Depending on the size of your outdoor space and your budget, certain options will be preferred, sometimes to the detriment of others. Thus, by being creative, many solutions exist, accessible to all budgets, without necessarily generating major work.
For a small balcony, the number 1 rule is saving space: it is therefore a matter of being selective and prioritizing what is necessary for everyday life. Relaxation area or dining area? The choice is yours. But avoid piling up unnecessary furniture and objects at all costs. A judicious arrangement of furniture will contribute to visually enlarge the space. Compact and foldable furniture is particularly suitable: deckchairs, chairs, tables, etc. If you do not like your concrete floor, there are nowadays wooden, composite and stone tiles to “clip” yourself without difficulty.
Then, the decoration is not to be neglected: some elements will embellish your balcony, such as a mirror, portable lamps, colored cushions, etc. To create a small island of greenery, rather than planters on the ground, hang your plants or install them on a shelf. This will free up floor space. Also, window boxes will allow you to flower the railings, while animating your street. Herbs and mini gardens will add a touch of nature to your environment.
The boundaries between indoor and outdoor seem to dissipate with the new staging you will create on your terrace. All styles are allowed: contemporary, classic, sleek, country, etc. As with balconies, avoid overloading the terrace, especially if it is small. On a larger terrace, clearly delimit the spaces. This way you can have a dining area, a lounge, an outdoor kitchen, storage space, etc. A wide variety of outdoor furniture is available in a range of finishes, including wood, aluminium, rattan, woven resins, steel, epoxy metal and textilene for the fabric. Of these materials, teak is the most popular. This high quality subtropical hardwood is used because of its strength and resistance to weather.
Consider the criteria of quality, comfort, maintenance and wear resistance. Summer kitchens today are as well equipped as traditional kitchens, with cooking methods such as barbecue and plancha. Ceramic tables or tables with a swivel top are very trendy; those in wrought iron add a touch of elegance. To define the different areas of your terrace, vary the floor coverings, carpets and lighting. Don’t forget to create shade with parasols or sails with an airy style. And finally, by vegetating some walls, directly or along trellises or wooden fences, your terrace will become a real lush cocoon.
Outdoor lighting fixtures will brighten up your cozy summer evenings. There are many models, wireless and rechargeable through solar energy or mains: accent lamps, floor lamps, lanterns, wall lights, marker posts, spotlights, etc. Ask for advice on the type of lighting, the location and the light intensity. As for flowers, vary the species to have plants that bloom at different times of the year. Decorative gravel lends a natural, neat look to the flowerbed cover.
Setting up a vegetable patch allows you to combine food and decoration. By mixing flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables, you will enjoy an explosion of shapes and colors. The large pots – especially in terracotta – bring a design touch, while sublimating the plantations. Under a tree, a hammock invites you to relax. In a corner of the garden, the hanging chair is both decorative and comfortable. And if you opt for a pretty pergola, you will benefit from a sheltered space, ideal for an aperitif. You are spoilt for choice, the options are so numerous… resort to the advice of a professional who will guide you while respecting your personal style!
Interiors + Architecture