Louise Blair is an interiors and lifestyle influencer who knows a thing or two about redesigning a space. With summer ramping up, now is the perfect time to give your outdoor space a stylish refresh – and Louise is on hand to walk us through her own balcony restyle and provide tips on revamping on a budget.
Private outdoor space is a dream for most city dwellers; having lived in flats for most of my adult life without one, having a balcony is a true luxury. Space is so valuable in apartment living – it is important to treat your balcony like an extra room. It is, after all, an extension of your home!
If a balcony, patio, or garden is at the top of your property wish list but outside of your budget, Shared Ownership might be able to help you afford your dream outdoor space through the part-buy, part-rent scheme. With Shared Ownership, you purchase a share of the property – as much as you can afford to start. You will pay a mortgage on the share you own and a subsidised rent to a housing association (like L&Q) on the part you don’t own yet. But you are an owner-occupier, so can decorate and really make the space yours! As and when you can afford to, you can buy additional shares (a process known as ‘staircasing’), until you own 100% of your home and don’t pay any rent to the housing association.
In my apartment, like in many other new builds, the balcony is directly off the open plan living room and is visible from the interior – so my goal was to create a seamless integration between inside and out.
No matter how small the space, there are endless possibilities with clever design; you can create an outdoor reading nook and private workspace, a cosy space for a morning coffee or evening drink, a full al fresco dining set up or even your own herb garden. Whether you have a balcony, patio or courtyard, these tips will help you create the perfect space!
Think about what you most use the space for, so you can decorate accordingly to get the most out of it. Because my balcony faces west, I wanted to create a comfortable seating area for doing some work on a sunny day, hangouts, and sunset drinks to get the most out of the amazing afternoon and evening sun.