Around this time last year, I began fantasizing about turning my condo balcony into the perfect outdoor oasis. My vision was clear: a nice dining set so I could have dinners outside, a lounge chair where I could soak in the summer sun, floor cushions and lush plants to brighten the space. I didn’t think I was asking for much until I started browsing online — turns out, I’d have to fork out a pretty penny for my dream space, or settle for a plastic lawn chair.
It didn’t help that by the time I actually started shopping in June, everything had sold out online and IRL. Now, a year (and two lockdowns) later, I’m back at square one trying to figure out what to do with my outdoor space. Since I’m not about to spend another summer with a makeshift table, I spoke with Eugenia Triandos, interior designer and co-owner of Montreal-based firm, Hibou Design & Co. for expert tips on how to set up a small balcony or patio.
“A lot of outdoor furniture is designed for homes or larger spaces,” Triandos said. She suggests ditching the bulky wicker furniture and opting for pieces on legs with a low back to make the space feel lighter and bigger. Another tip is to consider what the view is like from the inside looking out. Basically, you don’t want your windows blocked, which prevents light from flowing inside.
Colourful outdoor spaces are trending for the season, and patios are a great starting point to be more playful. Wooden tiles or woven rugs can add warmth and interest to a space, and Triandos recommends decorating with hanging lights and planters to make your balcony feel homey, and like a room of its own. Her favourite store is Article, a Vancouver-based furniture brand and everyone’s fave, Ikea, for affordable buys. For those willing to spend a little more, she suggests sister brands Crate and Barrel and CB2.
Whether you’ve got a patio, a balcony, or just a patch of grass, I’ve rounded up 18 budget-friendly buys for your summer outdoor sanctuary. Take it from me, add to your cart and check out before it’s too late.
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