Balcony Beautifying

blaconydwrDownsized? Thinking of downsizing? Never upsized? Or perhaps you just have an errant balcony begging for beautification. Either way, we’ve got some expert advice and inspiration to get you started, or finished.

Landscape architect Scott Torrance (scotttorrance.ca) says materials that drain and dry quickly are a good pick for furnishings, like the mesh metal chair and metal café table shown. “Woods and cushions can be a lot of work, daily and seasonally,” says Torrance, who’s currently working on a patio concept for the 109OZ condo development. (www.109oz.com) And more than maintenance, the heft of furnishings and plant containers are key. “Always check your condo docs, condo board or have a structural engineer review your space. Weight and wind loads need to be considered.”

As for flora, Torrance suggests drought-resistant types such as sedum; flowering shrubs and annual creepers that have water-storing leaves – the less lugging of watering cans, the better. He also recommends wild grasses “that are easy to maintain and keep well during winter.”

Liriope-muscari-‘Monroe-White’
Liriope muscari ‘Monroe-White’
Luau-Portable-LED-Lamp,-Design-Within-Reach,-www.dwr.com
Luau Portable LED Lamp, Design Within Reach, www.dwr.com

Award-winning landscape architect David Leinster is also contributing concepts for 109OZ’s outdoor spaces and says even in the city, you can evoke a cottage retreat. Comfortable lounge chairs are a must, bringing to mind the classic Muskoka, which these days come in a rainbow of colours and made of durable, lightweight plastic. Leinster uses planters with a granite finish reminiscent of the Canadian Shield for seasonal plantings and flowering grasses like Liriope muscari ‘Monroe White.’ Portable LED lights like the Luau Lamp add a soft glow and what would the cottage be without grilling? The Element by Fuego is perfect for small spaces; even the propane tank is hidden away in the base to reduce its footprint.

“The eclectic blend of finishes and furnishings is what makes cottage life so welcoming,” says Leinster, who suggests accessorizing with things you have around the house or condo, like mason jars, to complete the look. Simple enough.