The balcony can become an important and functional part of your home if you take pains to remodel it in accordance with your needs. USA designers have generated numerous ideas of exploiting this space to the extreme: some remodel it into a wonderful chill-out zone; others transform it into an area where you can drown yourself in work. This article reviews some of the best ideas, from totally anticipated (like the balcony orangery) to completely unusual solutions.
1. Sun parlor balcony.
A space for relaxation and chill-out is the most popular usage of a small balcony. Did you ever dream of watching the sun rise above the horizon, while sitting on your veranda and sipping on a hot and refreshing mug of coffee? If you have a most ordinary non-glazed balcony at your disposal, your dream may come very true. You just need to organize the external space in a proper fashion.
Patio furniture complemented with soft pillows and plaid blankets will instill the romantic atmosphere and comfort of a private cottage terrace on your urban balcony. The more pot-plants you manage to arrange within this small space, the more lively the sun parlor will be. This option is perfectly suitable for those US homeowners who are lucky to live in an area distinguished by mild or hot climate. If you’re not one of them, you might want to employ compact fold-able furniture pieces, which are easy to remove from the small balcony when the weather gets nasty.
2. Baby room.
A small glazed balcony is a real catch for a family with an infant or toddler. It’s much healthier for the child to sleep in the open air than in a frowzy room. A compact cradle for the baby occupies very little space (especially when suspended from the ceiling). It will leave enough room for a chair or arm-chair for the comfort of the adult who will be keeping an eye on the infant. Decorate the windows with lovely curtains of soft pastel colors. Hang an interesting and colorful mobile above the cradle, so that the baby has something to watch and scrutinize when awake.
3. Dining room.
A balcony dining room is the remodeling option to choose if your apartment is distinguished by an unfortunately small kitchen where you have hardly enough space to cook and dine. This idea works only if the small balcony is adjacent to the kitchen, as no one will find it convenient to carry the dishes across the entire apartment.
Glazing, winterization and removal of the balcony door will help you make the most convenient use of the new dining room. Some designers insist that the wall between a small balcony and the kitchen should be removed in order to fully combine the two spaces; however, this solution requires a corresponding residential space remodeling permit.
4. Mini Party room on a small balcony.
Organizing a mini room for parties on the balcony is a simple and functional designer’s solution. If you own a recessed balcony, you have numerous remodeling options to chose from. However, designing a long and narrow space with beveled side walls may be a pain in the neck.
Replace the windowsill with a broad countertop and add stools that can accommodate several people. Place a pile of magazines or books on the counter; they will serve as both decorative and entertaining items. If you install the countertop along both the window and the side walls, you’ll have plenty of space for various accessories and decorations: flowers, lamps, figurines, etc.
5. Balcony study.
If you’re a freelancer or an employee working remotely, the balcony can be remodeled into a perfect home office. Such a solution will help you get away from the noisy home-mates in a small apartment.
Organizing the working space on a small balcony is difficult yet possible, if you approach the task wisely. You’ll need a desk, a comfortable chair, a computer and a wall outlet to power it, and good lighting. However, not everything on this list is mandatory. If the balcony is almost tiny, you may exploit a decent broad windowsill as the desk. If you cannot have the balcony electrified for some reason, use a laptop instead of a desktop PC.
6. Balcony workshop.
Fond of arts and crafts? If it’s your hobby or vocation, the balcony space can be remodeled into a cozy workshop. You can move all the creative mess that emerges around the crafting in there, so that it no longer annoys your home-mates. Furnish the balcony workshop with a spacious cabinet or a case-of-drawers, which will accommodate all the materials you need to practice your hobby. Pay special attention to the lighting scheme, as your working area should be brightly lit, while the illumination intensity should be comfortable for your eyes. Don’t forget about the radio or audio system! Music is the acknowledged booster of spirits, which will inspire you infinitely.
7. Balcony garden.
A small green balcony garden is an inspiring and uplifting idea for those who live amidst the concrete jungle where greenery is so scarce, amidst the rat pace that leaves no time for visiting parks. If you intend to keep the plants on the small balcony all year round, winterization of the space is the first step you must take, while the second involves arranging additional lighting sources. If you are not much self-reliant in terms of gardening and flower cultivation, opt for the most fuss-free plants: aloe, kalanchoe, crane’s bell, etc.