Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Rosita: I was thinking later, you could kiss me on the veranda.
Dusty Bottoms: Lips would be fine.

I have a new balcony. There's something about a totally blank slate, some people fear it but I see so much possibility. But with a small budget *sigh* you can only do so much.

Stone or decking just wasn't in the cards, plus since it's an upper level balcony that would add a lot of weight and it wasn't something I was structurally comfortable with. No, my plan with this was to make it more warm by bringing the inside, outside.

I started by looking for indoor/outdoor rugs. They are generally durable and tough but also pretty. I needed a rather large size since the balcony is wide and long. A small size would look like a bathmat - i.e. ridiculous. I found a gorgeous rug at Crate and Barrel for $250 +10% cost delivery. Uh - excuse me? NO WAY. The rug was perfect but the price wasn't.

Then I found Martha Stewart indoor/outdoor rugs at HomeDepot.com. I have to say Martha Stewart has never steered me wrong and I found a rug almost identical to the expensive one. A beautiful beige weave with a black border, durable enough to be vaccumed or even hosed down. Unlike the expensive Crate and Barrel one, this one was just $79 PLUS a free doormat sized rug PLUS free shipping. I took a chance and ordered it. When it came it was more than perfect in size and color. Texturally it was soft and easy to roll up thank goodness, since my goal is to put it in storage when it rains.

Rain. Not conducive to lovely outdoor decor. Even tho it never rains in Southern California (Tony! Toni! Tone! shoutout) when it does it sure ain't fun. So while my balcony will most likely stay like this 10 months out of the year, I still need furnishings that I can carry in and out of storage by myself in the 'rainy' season.

I'd love to have a large table and chairs but budget-wise and heavy-lifting wise, forget it. So instead I looked for a 'conversation table'. A conversation table is basically a small height table approx 19" or so. Think of it as a coffee table but for the outdoors. It still allows you to entertain, and it is usually on the low end price wise.

I lucked out AGAIN at HomeDepot.com and found a great Eucalyptus conversation table marked down 50% to just $99. At 19" W x 39" L it was a great size. Once again free shipping was the offer and I took a chance - the legs were easy to assemble with no tools and it only weighed 21 pounds which meant I could carry it by myself.

Now when it came to chairs I happened to have these foldable teak chairs in storage that are over 10 years old. Here's where Phase 2 of this design will kick in so use your imagination. Since the canvas on the chairs doesn't match my new decor, I plan to recover them myself using a deep red canvas and also get a matching sun umbrella that will also be a red canvas. The red will be a perfect compliment to the black border on the natural indoor/outdoor rug. Stay tuned for Phase 2.

As far as accessories, again I like to bring the inside - out. White accessories like vases are a nice way to offset to dark wood outdoor furniture, and adding little color pulls the whole thing together. These artichokes look edible but are in fact candles and could also double-take as flowers. The white and the green bounce off the wood nicely.

There is still more to do on this balcony but for now it's comfortable enough that I use it a few times a day. I go out there to sketch, write recipes and even have snacks or a summer dinner in the evenings for the kids.

Of course I'm not the only one that uses my newly decorated balcony. I think this may be how it was intended to be used anyway...

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Blogger Robyn said...

Love! I moved into a place with a deck a month ago and I want your furniture! My 4-month-old loves to be outside and it would be awesome to have a place where I could hold her on my lap and reach some things on a nearby table (e.g. grading, coffee). I wonder if it's possible to have an outdoor rug clean enough for a baby to crawl around on even... probably not where we are right now... anyway, right now we have ugly vinyl/plastic poolside chairs leftover from previous tenants. ick.

Also love the recommendation of Home Depot. We got a great deal on (indoor) rugs at City Mill on O'ahu before we moved, but I was starting to wonder where to go now if we need replacements.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 1:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Annika said...

It looks great! The conversation table is such a good idea. I am going to start calling my coffee table a conversation table, at least until I get a proper one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 4:16:00 PM  
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Sunday, October 12, 2014 1:13:00 AM  

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