This corner, usually open to the sun and wind, is in almost every city apartment, and even though its area is not so large, and the possibilities for use are limited due to natural reasons, these few square meters cannot be underestimated. Of course, we are talking about the balcony.
Meanwhile, a balcony or loggia can be easily and inexpensively turned into one of the most comfortable and functional places in the apartment, you just need to show a little imagination, creativity and make some effort. Hope the ideas suggested by this article will help you with this..
To begin with, it is necessary to approach the arrangement of the loggia and balcony in different ways. This is due to the very design differences:
- balcony – protruding part of the building, open on three sides and only on one side adjacent to the living space,
- the loggia, on the contrary, is surrounded by walls on both sides, rests on the load-bearing wall of the building, and on the third side has an entrance to the apartment.
In this regard, balconies are usually areas open to all winds, and if an apartment building is located on one of the central streets of the city, the authorities can strictly control the appearance of the building facades and require not to disturb the original state of the balcony. That is, it will not work to glaze such a balcony in an old building, and it will be necessary to equip an open version designed by the architect.
Of course, the possibilities of using such a balcony are very limited – you can relax here only in the warm season and subject to good weather. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to turn an open balcony into a charming garden, a place for gatherings with friends and just a relaxation area..
Traditional Italian outdoor balcony with wrought iron railings
The first thing to do when starting the arrangement of an open balcony is to choose a floor covering. Actually, nothing else will have to be changed, except, possibly, a dilapidated or broken fence.
Most often in such cases, ceramic tiles are used, which perfectly tolerate temperature drops and rains, are easy to clean and withstand external influences. Neither a piece of linoleum nor a plastic mat “under the grass” will be able to compare with the tiles either in terms of durability or visual appeal..
Then the matter of choosing flowers, without which this open corner will look too boring, now it will not be difficult to acquire already flowering plants in hanging pots or floor ceramic pots. The balcony grates are an excellent support for climbing plants, and you can complement such a simple interior by planting plastic birds on the walls, erecting light arches as a support for loaches and decorating pots and flowerpots with original details.
By the way, not so long ago, the technology of growing vertical gardens that appeared in our country will make it possible to turn an open balcony into a real vegetable garden, where, in addition to flowers, you can grow healthy vegetables and herbs.
The first idea is vertical gardens. The simple design and small size of the vertical garden will allow you to harvest greenery on your open balcony all summer long. The main condition is that you need to take care of plants and flowers! You can read more about this method of landscaping in this article – Vertical gardens.
Even such a very simple, completely open balcony looks just charming thanks to the abundance of flowers
If you plan to use the balcony as a recreation area in the summer, then you cannot do without furniture. It is better to use lightweight wicker sets that are not afraid of the sun and moisture, you can decorate them with soft pillows that will have to be removed during heavy rainfall. Another inexpensive and common option is furniture made of multi-colored plastic.
The second idea – wicker furniture looks great on an open balcony, allowing you to spend warm evenings here with comfort
If the balcony is too small, you can pick up folding furniture, which, if necessary, will be removed to a corner or brought into the apartment..
The third idea – an original set of folding furniture for the balcony – does not take up space, and you can sit comfortably
The main disadvantage of an open balcony is precisely the lack of protection from dust, wind and prying eyes. You can try to fix the last drawback by using a thick enough curtain, which will be lowered if necessary, hiding the owners from passers-by. Another good option is awning awnings, which are widespread in southern countries and serve as reliable protection from the sun..
The fourth idea – such awning awnings can cover not only the entrance to the store, but also the open balcony, they can be easily attached to the balcony of the upper floor, you can order a canopy according to individual sizes. Can be of any shape, representing a metal frame, covered with latex fabric, which is not afraid of the sun and rain
Thick white curtains for the balcony will hide the owners from prying eyes, but they will have to be washed quite often – street dust will freely settle on the fabric
In any case, we must not forget that an open balcony also needs a lighting system, which can be an excellent addition to the design and a real highlight of the interior..
The fifth idea – it is not necessary to install one large lamp, although a forged street lamp will perfectly decorate an open balcony, you can also choose this option – a whole garland of round lanterns
And yet, most homeowners strive to make their balcony or loggia a more functional space, which will serve not only as a green corner and a place from which to watch the sunset, but also as a real room..
This can be achieved in one and only way – to glaze and insulate the balcony. The principle of warming the balcony and loggia is the same – the installation of plastic bags and the decoration of walls, roof and floor with heat-insulating materials. In the case of a loggia, which is “recessed” into the facade of the building, the insulation process turns out to be less laborious, but to completely finish an open balcony is quite an expensive pleasure.
In this article, we will not consider all the stages and features of the warming process, just imagine that the balcony or loggia is already glazed, their walls have become warmer, and the issue of heating in winter is resolved by installing a warm floor or an electric fireplace. However, the balcony remained a separate room with a door leading to a large living room. What can be done in this very small area, how to use the resulting narrow, cramped space most effectively?
A spacious loggia in a new building after insulation can become a full-fledged living room
On a small balcony you can arrange:
- Workplace for a needlewoman and a real home craftsman. The table will have to be installed in a corner, ordered or made by yourself numerous shelves and drawers for storing all the necessary items, put a comfortable chair – the work area is ready.
A real corner for a craftswoman – a huge number of useful items and a small sewing machine fit in the corner of the loggia. Almost the same functional corner, only with a blowtorch and other tools can be equipped for a home craftsman
- An office is also a workplace, but not for manual, but mental labor, with a computer and other equipment. Can serve as a place where the landlord can retire and calmly work on an unfinished project.
Most likely, furniture in such a miniature office will have to be made to order, but as a result, a comfortable workplace on the loggia will be completely ready
- Sports section. Modern exercise equipment, for example, a treadmill, an elliptical trainer or an ordinary “bicycle” will fit perfectly even on the narrowest loggia, allowing you to train without disturbing the rest of the family, and in the warm season – also in the fresh air.
A small bike trainer turns a loggia or balcony into a real sports corner
- Children’s play corner. Yes, you can’t play hide and seek on the balcony or loggia and you don’t organize noisy games with friends, but here you can safely draw, arrange a house for a doll, a corner for tea parties and a real military base or a garage for many cars.
By laying a warm rug, installing an easel and arranging places for storing toys, you can turn a balcony or loggia into a children’s corner
To arrange a children’s corner on the balcony, you don’t need expensive furniture – enough plastic containers for storing toys and the same bright and light chairs and a table
- Place for a pet. It’s no secret that cats are very fond of watching the street, sitting on the windowsill, so it is the balcony that often becomes the favorite place for these furry family members. So why not set up a sleeping place for your four-legged friend here, which will be a great home for a dog or cat..
On the balcony, you can install everything you need for a cat or dog – a claw sharpener, a house, a soft rug, a pillow or such an original sleeping place
- Probably the most original option is a sauna on an insulated loggia. Yes, it will be small, but quite functional. Now on sale you can find a suitable option designed for installation in a regular bathroom, it is such a ready-made sauna that is easy to install on a loggia.
The interior of the rest of the loggia should be in harmony with the main object – the sauna, therefore it is better to decorate it with wood
- Kitchen. Often, the inhabitants of small apartments decide to take the whole kitchen to the insulated loggia in order to turn the vacant room into another bedroom or a full-fledged living room. You cannot equip a large dining area in such a mini-kitchen, but a place for breakfast or dinner with your family is quite. An important nuance – it will not work to bring a gas stove to the loggia, since the gas service will not give permission for such a reconstruction, but an electric one is easy.
The device of a kitchen on a loggia requires significant costs associated not only with the insulation of the room, but also with the transfer of communications – water, drains, ventilation for the hood, reliable wiring for the hob, and so on
Part of the living room
Finally, a balcony and a loggia can become an integral part of a living room – living room, bedroom or nursery. In this case, we are talking about arranging a general harmonious interior, but you can arrange something special on the balcony, which is still visually separated from the common room, for example, an original recreation area, a sleeping place for guests, and so on. The possibilities of using useful square meters, which have become part of the apartment, are limited only by the imagination of the owners and their financial capabilities:
- In the case of joining a balcony or loggia to the living room, you can beat the rest of the partition in different ways, for example, by arranging a desk here, installing an aquarium and hanging unusual lamps.
- The partition between the balcony and the room can be removed completely by highlighting this corner with another floor covering, arranging a nice arch or installing a screen.
- A balcony or loggia can become part of not only the living room or bedroom, but also the kitchen. In this case, the bar counter will look especially appropriate in this area, into which the remnants of the partition and the window sill can be turned.
In the conditions of a small urban apartment, one cannot neglect the opportunity to use several additional square meters, which, as a result of alteration, can turn into a wonderful winter garden or a functional office, so housing renovation must necessarily mean the improvement of the loggia.
And remember, whichever of the above options you choose, the main thing is that the interior of the balcony or loggia is pleasing to the eye and allows you to use this corner of the apartment not only as a place for storing things, but also for other, very diverse purposes.