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Enjoying a small balcony

Living in a flat or townhouse might only offer a small balcony to sit outdoors and enjoy the sun, but that doesn't mean that you can't make the most of the space. Even a tiny balcony that only seats two - at a squeeze - can still be dressed up and made comfortable.

 

If you want to get the most enjoyment out of your balcony, add furniture and accessories that dress the space as you would any indoor area. These days you can buy fabrics in plains and patterns that are suitable for outdoor use and are designed to withstand exposure to UV rays without fading. This gives you the option to splurge on ready-made or save money by making your own.

Think comfort and add accessories that not only look good but also entice you to sit and relax on a balmy evening. Select colours that enhance the setting, taking your cues from Mother Nature by bringing a touch of the outdoors to your balcony.

Where you have enough room, look for furniture that you like and that will fit nicely on a balcony without cramping the space. At first glance, the steel furniture shown above might appear too large, but the design of the set - with its open back and arms - doesn't overpower the setting.

If you don't plan on entertaining on your balcony and a setting for two is sufficient, a small folding bistro table and a couple of matching fold-up chairs are perfect. These can be packed away during the colder months without taking up too much space.

To complete the setting, don't forget to add a few container plants to your balcony. Keep it simple with just a few colourful, lightweight plastic pots that you will find at your local Builders Warehouse, as well as colourful annuals or foliage plants. What you plant all depends on whether or not you have a green thumb! If you don't, be on the lookout for plants that require little maintenance... just in case you forget to water them!

You can make use of wall and floor space for a few plants. Set up an arrangement of plants in heights of medium to low and these will add interest to a bland corner, or mount hanging baskets or wall pots to fill up a blank wall.

Mounting a vertical garden is ideal for a small balcony, plus you can fill up with succulents or plants that only require a good watering now and then. You will find plenty of tips in our Garden section for making your own vertical garden.

Make your balcony a place where you want to spend time. A couple of comfortable chairs and a small table are essentials, but don't forget about a few accessories to complete the setting.

Make the most of your small balcony and use it for daytime or nighttime. When the weather is hot, hot hot, set up a small table for alfresco dining. Keep it simple with a small steel bistro set for two, a string of LED fairy lights and sit back and enjoy.