Design Behind the Scenes | Radiance Condo: Balcony

Everyone wants a little escape that they can call their own. Whether it’s a cottage surrounded by wilderness, or a balcony makeover with a twist. The reality is most people fall into the latter category, with a small balcony as their only outdoor retreat. I am no different. Condos in the city tend to have a heavy price tag on them, which means for most, living space is quite limited. But if you can find a way to utilize your balcony to the fullest, you can really extend that living space for the warm summer months, and if you’re lucky into the fall.

I’ve lived in my current condo for almost four years now, and I have finally done something with my balcony! To begin with my balcony with certainly nothing special, black steel and glass railing with a basic concrete slab floor. Not exactly what I would consider a desirable extension of my living space, but I was determined to make it into a beautiful place that I would want to be in.

I started with a wish list of how I wanted to be able to use the space. I knew I wanted to be able to relax, be able to dine, I also wanted personality and a little more privacy, but most importantly I wanted to do it on a budget. To achieve all those things I created zones; one end of the balcony would have a lounge chair and the other end would have the dining area. 

A quick trip to Ikea (my happy place) was in order! I got a simple lounge chair, two folding dining chairs, a few black cushions, and finally an inexpensive folding table. To add personality to an otherwise complete Ikea balcony, I added a custom live-edge tabletop to my Ikea table base, which creates the perfect little bistro area for dining. I chose to use wood furniture and black cushions, because it was important to me that my balcony living space would be a seamless extension of my interior living space due to the fact that the entire wall connecting the two consists of floor to ceiling windows. Since I have lots of wood furniture (my coffee table and some framed artwork) and a dark grey sofa, these finishes were the obvious choices for me.

To complete the look I wanted to add something that would really make my balcony totally different from all the others. I chose to add some plant life, which is very fitting since I have become obsessed with adding nature in design lately. Plus since my boyfriend is from Vancouver, adding a little more nature to this otherwise concrete view of ours was really important to him. I chose to go with four small cedar trees (about 4’ tall) in simple matte black round planters. Having two on each side of the balcony certainly helps warm the space up. Now it’s the perfect retreat in the middle of the city to sip a glass of wine and enjoy these warm summer months.