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For that perfect balcony... - Deccan Herald
For that perfect balcony...
Bindu Gopal Rao
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For the balcony, try to pick colours that are not too flashy but are cool on the eyes as they blend well together. PHOTOS COURTESY: PS DESIGN, MUMBAI
If there is one space in a home that brings the outdoors inside, it is your balcony. Naturally, this is the one area that can be a retreat from the humdrum of urban life. Apart from plants, the balcony is a space that can be a space for so much more. If you are wondering how, read on as experts tell you how you can do up your balcony to create a space that is truly your own.

Size does not matter
Since the balcony is an outdoor space and is usually uncovered, ensure that the materials used can withstand seasonal vagaries. Some materials can withstand heat but not rain and vice versa. Choose materials that can adapt to all kinds of weather conditions.

"Since it is a very small area, planning becomes very important. Make sure the furniture or plants do not make the place too cluttered. Arrange the plants along the edge of the balcony. This will leave room for walking around. Do not place more than three pieces of furniture in the balcony. These could be a reclining chair, a coffee table, a swing, or a combination of any of these. Use hanging or suspended pots to save space on the floor. Make sure the hook or provision on the ceiling is strong enough to balance the weight of the plant,” states Sagar Datta, interior designer, Casa Interio.

Space should not hinder you from making your balcony comfortable. So, add a couch, throw pillows, bottled scented candles and voila, you have a magical space in your own home. Priyanka Mehra, principal architect, PS Design Mumbai, adds, "Plants have the power to transform any space into a cosier and welcoming one. Smaller spaces require smarter furniture, so double up a trunk as a seating space. Use furniture which can be stacked on top of each other or that can be folded. Even a large floor cushion in outdoor fabrics can be aesthetic and functional.”

Even if your balcony is small, you can add some character to it by adding couches, a small coffee table and a wooden-themed wall. "Try to pick colours that are not too flashy but are cool on the eyes as they blend well together. Make a statement out of your balcony by adding something antique or old. You can also try experimenting with spray paint that you can apply on the balcony walls. A balcony is a perfect place for book lovers to kick back and dive into the world of imagination. Decorate your balcony with tiny bookshelves and paint it i n light colours so that the natural daylight can easily enter and illuminate the place. If you feel like you want your balcony to look more natural, do not hesitate to pile up smooth pebbles that can also serve as your outdoor doormat on the balcony,” says Datta.

He further adds, "Plan a special lighting arrangement for evenings. Fairy lights can adorn the circumference of the balcony, or a single lamp can create a nice mood for relaxing. Plan your balcony very meticulously.”

Customisation is key
A balcony is a place which should be an extension of your personality. You can have bright colour tiles as a flooring option, or you can go for tiles that give a wooden effect.
Chandrakanth Shetty, general manager, south, Mirage Ceramics, avers, "You can have a simple setting where you can just have a swing with colourful cushions that make the area look colourful. You can also have lights around the area. To complement this setting, you can use mosaic pattern tiles or polished tiles that are different shades of white like cream and off-white.”

A balcony is a space that will immensely benefit from the use of mood and intelligent lighting. "Since a balcony is open at least on one side, use a false ceiling to add light fixtures that can be automated to create a mood lighting environment. Usually, this is a space that is used later in the evenings and hence light solutions are a great decor and design element in balconies,” says Harshavardhana, principal architect, Harshavardhana Architects & Engineers Pvt. Ltd.

In fact, wood-clad ceilings are becoming popular as well and the balcony is a great place to have this. You can also use blinds to control the quantity of natural light that enters the balcony.

Kashish Sajnani, founder and managing director, HomesScope, adds, "Transform your balcony with a quaint picket fence to give it a cosier look. You can even opt for a wall built in the furniture for a more proportional view. Sometimes, all you need is a swing chair to make the best use of a small balcony. Just imagine curling up with a book in it and nodding off into a blissful weekend afternoon siesta. Install a vertical garden at the balcony that can use self-irrigated system. One way to make a narrow balcony comfy is by decking it out with an L-shaped outdoor sofa that’s of the right proportion. You can place it to face inwards so that folks relaxing outdoors can still interact with those in the living room.”

So, if you thought your balcony was a space that was not being used, think again! Have fun making your balcony useful.

Some quick balcony design ideas

Forest: One can have a forest-themed look for this space. Some planters, artificial grass, a water feature and some elegant lights will provide your balcony with a unique look.

Lounge: If you want to just relax on the balcony, the best way would be having comfy lounge chairs and a coffee table. This way, you can enjoy the space lounging and reading your favourite book. One can also opt for having a good Sunday brunch out on the balcony while enjoying the view and the cool breeze.

Play area: If you enjoy some table tennis or any other recreational sport, then you can add a good table tennis table or a pool table in the balcony. This can be finished with some nice spot lights.

Bar: If you enjoy drinking, having a well-stocked bar in the balcony is a very good idea Place some leather bar stools to enjoy the drinks and the view of the night. This could serve as an amazing idea to chill and relax with your friends!

(Courtesy: Ayushi Kanodia and Parakh Jindal of Ayushi Kanodia Designs)