It may feel like summer is an age away but we all know how quickly time flies. Get organised now and enjoy beautiful early spring days on your newly revamped balcony.
Before we even start thinking about specifics it's a good idea to work out priorities and look at your space in detail. Note down all of the following:
- Measure the space and note the location of doors (and how they open), taps, gas points etc.
- Decide on the primary uses for the space - dining, lounging and relaxing or entertaining.
- Take a look at the balcony, courtyard or garden from inside - what do you want to see when you look out and what colours/materials will work with your interiors.
- Take a look around, any views to hide, privacy issues or views to accentuate. Are there views of greenery that you can borrow therefore reducing the need for as many plants on your balcony?
Space planning is a really important first step. Start with the furniture as it will most likely be the largest element and will define the space. Taking into consideration the primary use, available space and your style you can find your ideal piece(s) of furniture and decide on the positioning on your balcony.
Ideally you want to be able to see the furniture fom inside as this is what will draw you out into the space. Also consider the view from the furniture when in use and the flow within the space. The furniture shouldn't be an obstruction either physically or visually.
Once the furniture is in place, either literally or on paper, you can start to include some pots. The pots will form the structure for the planting. Think about porportions, balance and contrast when looking at style, size and shape of pots.
The green of the planting will provide some contrast however you want the pots to tone in with the furniture yet still offer something different in terms of colour or texture. You also want to balance the overall volume. If you have selected large bulky furniture then the pots will need to appear to balance this. Again ensure there is suffucient circulation space and the proportions are appropriate.
Now it's time to look at plants. Determine what shape and size of plant would work in each pot. The plant and the pot should form an overall design element so the planting needs to compliment the balance, contrast and proportion of the pots. There are often a number of plants that will be suitable so it is at this stage you need to consider climate and maintenance requirements before finally deciding on the planting.
Don't forget our Balcony Garden eDesign service. By late August we'll be swamped so if you would like some advice and ideas contact us soon! in the meantime here are a few interesting design ideas to consider:
If placing a sofa along a wall consider placing pots and plants behind it to create a soft green backdrop.
It is so tempting to place everything around the outside of a balcony, particularly smaller spaces but here is an alternative that places everything in the centre of the space.