Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, balconies have taken a centre stage in blurring the threshold between the outside and the inside. Throughout history, this liminal space has maintained a perennial charm, adapting to newer cultures, traditions, and landscapes. Especially, in this time of quarantine and isolation, they have been places that bridge the gap between people and the outside, offering perspectives of possibilities and hope. 

Balconies have brought with them something bigger which is the gift of rediscovering what it is to pause and connect—from concerts to clanging utensils, our balconies have been our “raison d’être” this year. This protean space accommodates every personality and can be inspired by using different elements and aesthetics. 

From minimalistic to bohemian, here is how you can renovate your balcony in 10 ways: 

1. Go for Retractable Glazing Systems

By installing these sliding tempered glass panels, (which allows for closing, partially opening and completely opening) the balcony can maintain transparency, allowing for good ventilation, light and views but also account for indoor comfort whenever necessary. Adding this feature allows for the extension of the living space transforming the balcony into a more seamless indoor-outdoor experience. Pairing this space up with indoor plants and eclectic furniture can create a cosy, inviting corner where you can comfortably read your book on a rainy day. 

Retractable Glass Louvres with Vertical garden © Pinterest
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Retractable glass louvres paired with interesting textures and prints ©Pinterest

2. Use Moody Bold Colours

From dark moody to airy light colours, you can create the perfect saturated balcony corner that complements the rest of the house. These accent colours would be a perfect backdrop for a workstation or a reading seat, as it would bring about an ambiance that is sophisticated, calm yet exciting. It would break up the space, adding to the visual interest and playfulness of the house, and create a space that is personal, optimistic and raises creativity. Furthermore adding statement furniture pieces and accessories would be a great way to enliven the space.

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Using Moody Bold Colours and Statement art piece as a background for a study corner ©Pinterest
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Using a moody colour with statement furniture pieces and interesting tiling pattern ©Pinterest

3. Add a green patch!

If you would love to spruce up your balcony economically, plants can be a great way to soften the threshold between the inside and the outside. Inviting nature inside your living space sets an airy, earthy mood that does not only bring a visual delight but also helps one live more sustainably. From cascading vertical and herb gardens to container and hanging potted gardens, you can seamlessly blend them into your indoors. It helps you take a pause from your busy quotidian life and connect with the tranquillity of nature. Raised platforms, ledges, shelves, and even cupboard greenhouses can help you grow your plants, reduce stress and boost your happiness and mood levels. 

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Potted Garden ©Pinterest
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Plants create privacy and form a beautiful background for statement chair ©Pinterest
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Greenhouse Cupboard ©Pinterest

4. Swing it up!

Adding this classic element can make your balcony much cosier and enjoyable. It allows for the young and the old to relax, cuddle up and stare at the sky as the swing would sway in its rhythm. This perfect “me time” space, would help create relaxed seating, enhancing the space and introducing a focal point, creating a flow from inside to the outside. Materials for these swings can range from wooden, metal to rattan swings, each bringing in their unique way of expression converting the balcony into a perfect reading nook.

Swing along with hanging and potted plants ft. soft textured rug ©Pinterest
Two seater Rattan Swing ©Pinterest

5. Turn it into a Caffeine corner 

Balconies are made to enjoy the quiet, adding a hot cup of coffee and your favourite book to that would be an astounding combination. Designing a high bar seating on the balcony ledge would facilitate a breakaway space combined with breathtaking views of the city and the ever changing sky. Moreover, turning this corner into an outdoor cook and service area or a barbeque station would make it an ideal entertainment space. This can be even more inviting by adding soft mood lighting and music that sets the tempo for slow lazy activities. 

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Coffee Bar in the balcony with Roll down curtains to maintain privacy ©Pinterest
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Coffee Bar with interesting Lighting design ©Pinterest

6. Add protective layers

Adding on a roof cover creates shade and an interesting light quality within the space, from cloth awnings to wooden pergolas and metal trellises, they increase the use of outdoor spaces and make your balconies intimate and personal. Further, letting vines climb and cascade down beautifies the overhead structure giving it a relaxed holiday charm. Opting for additional curtains and string lights would make for a perfect entertainment night that will surely put a twinkle in one’s eyes. 

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Intimate setting created using Bamboo Roof covering ©Pinterest
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Interesting Pergola design creating a play of light and wood allowing for some privacy ©Pinterest

7. Make it privée

For all the different activities you might carry out on your balcony, and for which you might need a little privacy—you can opt for roll-up shades, bamboo screens as well as plant some golden bamboo to create a tropical ambiance yet keeping the sun and rain out. Whether it is working out or just snoozing on your daybed, you can tailor how much light and privacy you require. A different way to look at the same would be adding a projector screen that can function as a privacy screen as well as an ad hoc cinema, whenever needed.

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Bamboo screens to maintain privacy ©Pinterest
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Privacy is maintained with curtains while string lights and upholstery make the balcony intimate ©Pinterest

8. Weave it out!

While combining different textures and prints can make your balcony snug and comfortable, they can underscore the overall experience of the room. Textures add visual weight and introduce layers and depth into the space. From floorings to upholstery, wood to jute – you can combine and complement different scales and patterns to soften your exterior space. Introducing a pop of colour and eye-catching patterns can make your balcony look harmonious and inviting. 

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Beautiful textures and geometric patterns frame the space ©Pinterest
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Bohemian textures paired with mood lighting and jute daybed ©Pinterest

9. Yours truly

Adding statement furniture, accessories or art to your balconies can be a great way to transfigure the space. From space-saving furniture to sustainable materials like ceramic, rattan or repurposed wood can be used to draw the eye outside. Ottomans, coffee tables with a throw blanket combined with sculptures, paintings and avant-garde light pieces can make your balcony interesting and arresting. Selecting pieces that accentuate existing architectural detail and allow for displaying all your eclectic tastes, makes an amazing impression and gives an insight into your personality. 

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Statement wall shelves and stool frame the balcony perfectly © Pinterest
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Statement sculptural pieces and geometric upholstery make this balcony inviting and inspiring ©Pinterest

10. Master the Art of Observation 

Balconies are fascinating as they give us a reason to look outside, and when paired with a hobby like bird watching and stargazing it can be a great space to set an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Moreover, it can be divided into different areas making the space flexible that allows for movement and merging it with useful storage units and pegboards would help display all your paraphernalia. Building a custom daybed or bay seating will aid in maintaining the space for all the fun-filled activities as well as a useful corner for all your hobbies.

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Balcony can be the perfect place to carry out your hobbies © Pinterest
Dividing your balcony space to keep it flexible as well as put on show your interests © Pinterest

Nakshi is a recent architecture graduate from BSSA, Mumbai who thrives on the visual and the literary. With a special interest in graphic design, urban design and research, Nakshi is deeply interested in culture, poetry and music. Born and raised in Mumbai, she is often found scrolling through random newsletters or searching for vinyl and erasers to add to her collection