Green walls are fantastic because they allow you to have lots of plants but take up a minimum footprint of space
FOR Queensland’s increasing number of apartment dwellers, the humble balcony has become the only opportunity for outdoor living.
Yet the space is often overlooked when it comes to styling.
Landscaper and Selling Houses Australia co-host Charlie Albone said people usually considered interiors before exteriors when doing up their home.
“A balcony is a waste of space if you don’t do anything with it,” he said.
“The first thing you would probably do is have nice furniture – you want to be able to relax in the space. Once you have that, get into plants.”
Mr Albone said green walls, or vertical gardens, were an effective balcony solution.
“Green walls are fantastic because they allow you to have lots of plants but take up a minimum footprint of space,” he said.
“They are becoming more and more popular.”
Wife and celebrity stylist Juliet Love said a balcony that was well-styled would also get more use.
“We’re so lucky in Australia with our climate, especially in Brisbane,” she said.
“With balmy nights and beautiful weather all year around, there’s no reason not to go outside.
“Add a table and chairs to immediately convert an outdoor area into an outdoor living area. Furniture can also break up the space to create virtual room dividers should you want a lounge area separate to the dining.
Beautiful Balconies initiative in conjunction with Mirvac at Skyring Terrace, Newstead. P
Beautiful Balconies initiative in conjunction with Mirvac at Skyring Terrace, Newstead. Pic Mark Cranitch.
“Decorated in the right way, you can enjoy a balcony all year around and not feel claustrophobic in an apartment building.”
Ms Love said her top tip for decorating was to know exactly what the balcony would be used for.
“Really think about how you are going to use the space and decorate accordingly,” she said.
“If you like to cook and eat outside, fill the space with a table. But if you are more the type to sit out on the weekends and read, you might want to decorate with lounge chairs and that sort of thing.”
Ms Love said stylish people also knew the power of a throw cushion – or two.
“From monochrome to vibrant floral prints, you can add a pop of colour and pattern to any outdoor room,” she said.
“Play with size and texture to achieve the most interesting look.
“For seasonal updates, experiment with trending colours or opt for geometric patterns for a more trans-seasonal look.”
Weather-proofing is also an important consideration for furniture and furnishings.
“When styling your outdoor area, consider the elements your outdoor furniture will be exposed to and choose materials that are built for those conditions,” Ms Love said.
“For wet or damp weather, choose synthetic rattan and waterproof fabrics.
“Wood weathers with time and requires regular maintenance.”
Mr Albone said the right plant selection would also improve your space.
“Densely populated suburban areas receive milder temperatures and reliable rainfall allowing
you to successfully grow a wider range of plants,” Mr Albone said.
“If your balcony gets a lot of sun then try herb gardens, grasses or succulents.
“Different garden styles evoke different emotions and set a distinct mood and tone. Choose a combination of similar plants known as a plant pallet. Contrasting styles can also be achieved with the right balance between style and layouts, however only select a few elements from each to avoid a busy mismatch.”
And just because your balcony is shaded doesn’t mean you can’t grow stunning plants and
“Walking Irises, Peace Lillies, Fuschias and Bleeding Hearts will still blossom in lowlight areas,” Mr Albone said.
Originally published as Balcony ideas for inner city unit dwellers, we found it at http://www.couriermail.com.au/realestate/news/green-walls-are-fantastic-because-they-allow-you-to-have-lots-of-plants-but-take-up-a-minimum-footprint-of-space/story-fnihpu6h-1227217406593