Ever since Shakespeare's Juliet stood atop her Verona balcony dreaming of her beloved Romeo, the balcony has been the most romantic of architectural features.
That said, if you are installing one, the structural incorporation is only half the battle. Equally important is considering the décor and design, both of the balcony itself, and how it will fit with the rest of your home. Below, we offer a trio of practical balcony design ideas for furnishing and decorating your outside space.
1. Create a botanical balcony
Plants are perfect for incorporating a sophisticated natural aesthetic into your balcony décor ideas. Climbing plants like ivy and sweet peas are a popular choice for balconies with railings; rising up from below, they offer an additional layer of privacy. They are also an ingenious way of integrating foliage without encroaching too much on the usable floor space.
The same goes for window boxes, which can be draped over the edge of your balcony and filled with seasonal flowers for a vibrant visual and sensory impact. Hanging baskets can also bring colour and freshness to your balcony design ideas without taking up too much of the floor space.
2. Experiment with railing materials
Railings are of paramount importance to your balcony design ideas, representing the main architectural style choice you will need to make. For traditional buildings, wrought iron remains a classic; this age-old style works equally well on a charming rural cottage or a European city apartment.
Glass dominates the contemporary property landscape, and offers a particularly shrewd choice for properties which benefit from a view. You may, however, like to consider some balcony décor ideas to protect your privacy. Some outdoor-friendly curtains are a simple solution, also bringing another touch of colour to your balcony. If you live in a wetter climate, you'll need to choose the material wisely, favouring canvas over cotton.
3. Incorporate furnishings into the design
The furniture you choose for your balconies will be as much an aesthetic decision as a practical one. It's common to furnish in line with the period and decor of your home's exterior, ensuring continuity.
For balconies with limited space, folding chairs and tables allow a space to become multi-purpose; some items of furniture may be completely removable. Why not hook up a hammock, providing an easy and comfortable means of enjoying some rich afternoon sunshine?
Larger spaces are ideal for full-length sunloungers and a table with a parasol for luxurious al fresco dining. Adding a trellis with a climbing plant, such as a clematis, provides some shade and a more natural feel if you're in a bustling city.
Visit the Engel & Völkers property search to browse luxurious homes in more than 30 countries across the world. Keep an eye out for some inspiring balcony design ideas to help you furnish and decorate your own outdoor space.