Not sure how to make the best of your minuscule outdoor space? Thoughtful (and multifunctional) balcony furniture will go a long way
Some of us are not blessed with a glorious green patch to stretch out on during this unusually warm weather. We're confined to one-by-two-metre balconies that only get a few hours of sunshine before another building edges into the way.
And even when we do get a run of unbroken sunshine lashed upon us, it's difficult not to capitalise on it by hanging out a bit of washing or maybe bringing out your houseplants for a dose of vitamin D.
But what about us? If your balcony is just an empty lot of concrete marked by railings on one side and a sliding door on the other, it can be difficult to coax you into it for more than 10 minutes, even with the sun shining.
Here's how to make it a little bit more habitable while you're stuck at home.
This will improve your experience both in the space and when you're inside looking out at it. Lovely leafy plants will break up the rigid lines of a balcony, making it feel larger and more homely. Garden centres have limited opening hours now so call by and they should be able to advise you what would work best for your balcony and how to care for it. Just know the dimensions of the balcony, how many hours of direct sunshine it gets and what direction it faces as this will help them pinpoint the right plants for you.
Terracotta pot, €45, Arket
Invest in some beautiful pots for some year-round colour, like this yellow beauty from Arket. Make sure to pick a pot with a tray base, otherwise your pots will leak water all over your balcony and you'll have to water them more often too.
We can all pretend that our balcony is for lounging in and the place we use to enjoy an evening beer but most of the time, it has a more functional purpose. Invest in a decent clothes horse, one which holds a lot but doesn't take up excessive space.
Habitat Misto clothes horse, €37, Argos
This clothes horse by Habitat (available in Ireland through Argos) is narrow and tall, meaning it can be stacked with clothes while only taking up a half square metre of floor space. It shouldn't be left outside all the time but as it folds up into almost nothing, it should be easy to find a place for it.
Take a Seat
It can be difficult to cram seating into a small balcony but the key is finding furniture that ticks one of the following options: multi-functional, able to fold up or sufficiently small enough to fit in neatly.
Palladium lounge chair, €249, Meadows & Byrne
This chair from Meadows & Byrne is surprisingly small, if your balcony is wider than a metre it should fit in perfectly. It's also incredibly comfortable and, as balconies are sheltered from the worst of the Irish weather, you can leave the cushions on it.
Lois Woven bench, €259, Woo .Design
If you almost have room for a bench but not quite, this clever little woven bench can be folded up in a jiffy or opened out to fit two people. The sloping back and seat makes it extra comfortable for lounging.
Solblekt foldable chair, €80, Ikea
If you are super tight on space and just can't imagine yourself parked in one of those stiff-looking bistro chairs, Ikea has a selection of fold-up deck chairs that aren't as long as the ones you would typically find, and so work well in a confined space.
This is Ireland, so it is important to have a blanket to wrap yourself in once the temperature cools. Pick up something that's washable and that doesn't show up the inevitable stain too easily.
Speckled tweed blanket, €120, Industry & Co
This beautiful blanket from Industry & Co is made of Irish lambswool and while dark in colour the fleck gives it an interesting twist.
Feature image: Arket
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