“Il y a trop de monde sur le balcon” has always been one of my favourite French phrases – meaning that someone’s showing too much cleavage (translated literally as “there are too many people of the balcony”). This popped into my head yesterday when visiting a friend’s new home, where he was extolling the pleasures of a morning coffee on the bedroom balcony.
It reminded me that the Juliet Balcony is often an overlooked space but provide a couple of metal garden chairs and a neat aluminium outdoor table, and you can really benefit from this small private space.
There are two main things to bear in mind; the first is don’t cramp your space, so keep your metal outdoor furniture neat. Think aluminium patio furniture but more so. There are lots of neat options with clever folding café style tables, with a top that flips down when not in use, to bistro chairs or stacking metal garden chairs.
The second consideration is the weight – if you have garden room for a planter or two, go for resin plastic, woven rattan or lightweight cast aluminium, and fill the base of the garden pot with broken polystyrene chunks as opposed to traditional natural caramels for water drainage. Potting compost is much lighter than soil (and should always be used in garden pots in any case).
If you dress your balcony with props in this smart way, you will create a mood that looks as good as it feels to use. Adding a touch of design drama to your house in this way, just like dressing the outdoor patio, means that you will probably improve the view.
I have seen many balconies in cities where this is the only out door space the home owner can use as their own – in London the most popular choice seems to be metal garden furniture.