Big-box hardware stores, DIY projects and “cheap and cheerful” seasonal accessories are the secrets to styling a balcony on a budget this summer.
Melbourne-based interior designer Amanda Ayres, shares her tips for creating a stylish balcony without breaking the bank.
One of the best ways to make a big impact on a balcony is to install an on-trend green wall, Ayres says.
“Many balconies, by their very nature, are long and skinny, so a vertical garden can really enhance the space, without taking up precious floor space. It can also make use of wall space previously ignored,” she says.
On-trend doesn’t need to equal expensive.
“In the last five years or so, we’ve seen an increasing number of vertical garden products come onto the market, so it can be done in a cost-effective way.
“You only need to visit a big hardware store to discover a heap of different versions of vertical gardens. They provide such beautiful green foliage and can even be planted with herbs,” Ayres says.
The internet is the thrifty decorator’s best friend, according to Ayres.
A quick Google search will turn up dozens of projects turning wooden pallets into furniture, which could work on a balcony.
Reinforcing or rio bars, which are long steel poles, can also be used to create furniture or a vertical garden. But you may need a welding kit with this type of DIY job.
“I’ve even see old ‘rio’ bars used in creative ways to house pots. There’s lots of different ideas out there, you just need to look.”
Seasonal is best
While it’s worth investing in good quality, weatherproof furniture for a balcony, especially one exposed to the elements, Ayres says the best way to freshen up the space is to use “cheap and cheerful” accessories.
“Inexpensive outdoor cushions – which you can just pull inside during winter and only use when you’re having a dinner party – are great.
“They can be your cheap and cheerful seasonal accessories that you can update when you need, rather than a long-term investment piece,” she says.
Ayres says it is worth investing a few dollars into major pieces for the balcony, though.
“While all products tend to say they’re weatherproof, you can see the difference between something cheap and something you’ve spent a bit more money on. When you’re looking at furniture, it’s the difference between metal starting to rust or not,” she says.
Having to repeatedly replace cheap furniture can actually cost more in the long run.