Do you deck out your balcony or do you use it to store your old winter tires? Spring has sprung and it is time to clean out your balcony Montrealers. There was a time when I did live in the beautiful suburbs of the west island and had access to a yard and all of its benefits. The vegetation, the space and the privacy. Lucky for me though, I happen to live in a downtown building that has an incredible rooftop access complete with lounging areas, BBQs, a fire pit and a heated swimming pool with a killer view of downtown Montreal. I have to admit that without this unbeatable amenity, I perhaps would not have survived the urban life as long as I have. This space allows us urban folks to have the city life while enjoying a few perks of the suburban one. Still, there are moments where you want your privacy and retreat to your own little balcony.
To me, no matter the size, it can truly be a magical spot. Living in the city though, I have seen it all: the traditional two-chairs-and-a-table kind of balcony, the "I have no shame and put everything I don't care for there " kind, the kind with a random old office chair on it that gathers dust, the kind that has what seems like 50 potted plants along with a green thumb master who can handle them all and many many more. A balcony can say a lot about a person. For example, the one who stores his or her mop and bucket on it? I'm sorry but I question their sanitary habits.
Being a seasonal enthusiast, I like to transform my home accordingly and the balcony is a very important piece. When you live in the city, every single inch of space counts. Considering also that our hot summer days are limited, balconies are gems that ought to be treasured. Regardless of its size, you can turn your balcony into a real slice of paradise. Less can definitely be more: a few potted flowers, pillows and a chair and you're in business. Even with a tight budget, places like Dollarama offer great prices for outdoorsy decor and gardening tools.
You first begin by identifying the feel you are going for. If you just Google Tiny balcony ideas you will find lots of simple concepts that will ignite your brainstorm. Was there a city you visited that you'd like to recreate with this space? Do you like the soothing and cool or the warm and energetic color tones? Stores like Stokes, Pier Import, Canadian Tire and Bouclair are fully equipped with everything you need but can be overwhelming if you don't have a clear idea as to what you want to create. Flipping through magazines and gathering photos of places you've traveled to are sure to get you to identify what you like best.
There is something romantic about a city's tiny yet precious balconies. Think about it, balconies and miniature terraces in Europe aren't ALL surrounded by breath taking views. Some homes are located in tiny and busy streets, facing other buildings and are very close to their neighbors. There's often smog from all the cars passing by. Yet, these small spaces remain charming because of their simplicity and timeless style. From what I have seen, even the smallest of window balconies are adorned with beautiful vines and flowers. I could be wrong, but a clean and practical balcony makes me belive that the person living there gives a damn about their home; they take care of it.
I don't have a very large balcony myself, yet, when I step out on it, I feel transported somewhere between Italy and the Caribbeans. Given my Italian background and an epic trip to Florence back in my days of youth, I recreated a Florentine bistro feel with warm yellow pillows, potted flowers and red and white checkered table cloths. The beautiful and travel size palm tree and yellow hibiscus swaying in the wind gives it a tropical twist. To finish the look, I hung party lights in a purposely neglected manner to give it that relax feel and placed a nice Buddha statue to zen the Montreal chaos a little. I just love hanging out there and taking care of my flora friends. If I close my eyes, I could be anywhere...Now if you'll excuse me, I simply must step out and enjoy my sunny balcony bliss.
What about you? Care to share your balcony ideas with the bee?
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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