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Balcony Style: Getting Your Bird’s-Eye View All Dolled Up

December 3, 2012 Florida Keys Lifestyle

The Florida Keys lifestyle is all about the indoor/outdoor life – and most homes in the island chain are built on stilts and include covered balconies. Most condo units also have a balcony where the homeowners enjoy a bird's-eye view of sunrise, sunset, and the waterfront.. When you think about the decor of your new home, don't forget to include the balcony and other outdoor seating areas in your overall design. 

Of course, not every Keys balcony offers a spectacular sunset view, but regardless of the view, your balcony will probably be your most beloved oasis – especially with a bit of extra attention to its decor. So if you're ready, here are some useful tips to get your personal lanai all dolled up and make it work for you.

Add a touch of life

Decorating your balcony with plants can do wonders to improve its appearance and atmosphere. There are numerous ways how you can incorporate greens into your balcony decor. If space is at a premium, constructing a vertical garden out of pallet boards– the latest rage in gardening –  is a great way to showcase succulents on a wall. Or, you can free up the floor by planting flowers and herbs in ornate baskets and hang them from the railing or ceiling. If space is not an issue, however, feel free to make your own low flower boxes, arrange potted plants on the floor or even add small trees or shrubs.

stilt home with balcony

Provide unique seating

When adding seats to your balcony, think beyond the conventional metal patio chairs or cheap, squeaky plastic units. Instead, try unique padded stools or bistro seats, or add a touch of whimsy by hanging hammock chairs – the Florida Key lifestyle is all about color and the offbeat, so don't be afraid to get creative. If you're handy with tools, you can customize a cushioned bench so that it will fit snugly in your balcony. And don't forget to add a table or two, so that you have a place where you can park your coffee cup or book – or a camera to snap the sunset or a birdlife.

Put something splashy underfoot

Another technique you can try to improve the aesthetics of your balcony is to cover its flooring with something splashy. A patterned area rug will definitely add comfort underfoot and anchor the look of a rather small balcony. Just make sure to pick a piece that is designed for outdoor use.

If your balcony is spacious, however, you can use the floor wisely and break up the space by dividing it into two zones. You can construct a boxed-edging (like a raised bed) on one side and fill it with pebbles. Or, for a lighter option you can use mulch. Place a seat or two and use this nook as the main lounge area of the balcony. You can reserve the remaining zone for a compact garden or even an alfresco dining area.

Cover up with a make-shift shade

If your balcony doesn't have its own roof and is lacking in architectural interest, you can address these two problems by adding a makeshift awning, canopy or tent. Simply set high wooden stakes on the four corners of your balcony and attach a colorful blanket or outdoor fabric. This clever addition will not only improve the appearance of your balcony, the fabric can also double as a source of shade. When the look of the fabric bores you, you can easily take it down and attach a new one.

This content was contributed by one of the writers of McIntyre Masonry, a family-run business offering a full range of stonemasonry services. If you are looking for a stonemasonry company in Edinburgh to address your stonework needs, McIntyre Masonry is one of the best companies to contact.