Engel & Völkers French Riviera > Blog > Some tips to furnish and arrange your terrace for this summer

Some tips to furnish and arrange your terrace for this summer

Have you just acquired a new apartment or a new house and already have a lot of questions about the terrace? Pushed by the arrival of the long summer days, it became your number one priority? Obviously, your terrace will be the place where you will spend most of your time and share memorable moments during the beautiful summer days. But be careful not to rush!

Match your terrace with your real estate property

Generally, terraces are often transformed into a space considered as a new room of the house with a typical function, such as a bedroom or a bathroom. The terrace is seen as a space that leads outside of the property and the perfect area to clean the mind and body - when the weather allows it. 

However, almost as many varieties of terrace exist as there are types of houses or apartments. If the need to be outdoors is the general theme that links all terraces, each style has its own use: a summer living room, an extension of the dining room, a summer kitchen or simply a barbecue area, a zen space, a garden, a swimming pool or playground for children… the list goes on. 

The smaller the terrace, the more clearly its main function must be defined beforehand. Obviously, this will not prevent the terrace from being more versatile in the end. Its main function ultimately derives from your desires and needs, and must also take into account some external factors, specific to real estate, such as exposure.
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Building a terrace: an important step for your real estate project

Once you have decided on the functionality of your terrace, you will have to consider a multitude of factors to refine your development project before starting work. First of all, you must contact the town hall of your municipality as well as those responsible for any common areas of the city to let them know about your project. In some cases, the law prohibits you from making certain types of arrangements, such as verandas or pergolas. 

Something important to be aware of is that the floor and the walls of your terrace do not belong to you by default. It is therefore recommended to know these types of details before starting expensive work that could potentially have to be modified later. The waterproofing of the terrace is another parameter to take into account if you want to minimise the risk of accidents and damage that could spread through your property. Finally, in a more pragmatic way, developing a plan of the future terrace will allow you to anticipate the management of the space, in particular the possible access issues which are common with small terraces, especially in apartments.

Add ‘greenery’ to your terrace

When we think about outdoor spaces, we almost always draw a parallel with green spaces. Even without green fingers, it would be a shame not to add plants to your terrace. However, if you are not an expert, it is better to act cautiously in order to avoid disappointment and finding yourself with unhealthy plants. The orientation of the terrace should be used as a guide to place your plants strategically. 

Also, if your terrace is often exposed to the wind, it will be better to secure your pots which, otherwise, would likely fall over. This obviously raises the question of the weight of your pots. No terrace, let alone a building, can bear an infinite amount of weight and plants that are too heavy could weaken it over time. Another recommendation is to avoid planting invasive species like bamboo, which tend to quickly damage the foundations of your structures. 

Finally, try as best as possible to anticipate the growth of your plants in order to preserve a path you can walk through once they have reached adulthood.

- Aménager sa terrasse parisienne pour l'été

The choice of materials for a successful design

Firstly, you must take into consideration the room of your real estate property or apartment that is adjacent to the terrace. For a pleasant visual balance, the decorative elements would have to match to create harmony between the rooms. A terrace connected to a kitchen for example, which is open most of the time, will have neither the same design nor organisation as an adjoining bedroom terrace. 

That being said, whatever the configuration of your home, do not hesitate to be bold and use colours outside. A terrace contrasts with the urban environment that surrounds it and offers a heaven of joy, calm and nature in a context often dull and noisy. 

Finally, think carefully about the basic materials that will give character to your terrace. During winter, a wooden deck will tend to freeze and become slippery, particularly in the north. On the contrary, a slate floor on a southern-facing terrace could become hot during warm spells and will restrict the pleasure of walking outside barefoot.
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