Unique Patio and Balcony Tips from past to present
In Australia we all love our outdoor living areas. Patios and balconies are those smaller spaces found outside our terrace houses, apartments and workers cottages. In comparison to the old Queenslander’s expanses of cool verandah, with their traditional awnings and bull nosed rooves that provide ample protection, our patios and balconies can be more exposed and, often left undecorated as a result. Balcony decorating and patio decor should be considered as part of your home’s exterior decor!
For any good sized traditional or modern garden, a fountain or sculpture grounds the space and defines the style, whereas a patio or balcony may only have a few pots, a little seating and 2 or 3 walls and, due to the conditions, no focal point. How can we improve our patios and balconies so that the interior décor flows outwards, embracing the outside space for the betterment of the overall space? How can we balance the space and give it style?
After 18 Brisbane Home Shows where folks asked me these very questions, I decided to tackle it! I joined Australia’s Housing Industry Association to make sure I got it right so that the solution would last in heat, humidity, winds and, in being moved.
I looked at all different sorts of patios and balconies, large and small. The space for heavy sculpture, a fountain or large feature planter wasn’t always available and for balconies, would be impractical and so most spaces lacked focal point. The patios and balconies with some style, even with a lovely garden, lacked story.
The primary purpose of an outdoor area is to enjoy a view, relax, lounge, entertain friends and read a book while sipping wine or some such! How can we create a beautiful outdoor décor for our patios and balconies that takes the inside out and is styled and balanced with a relevant, lasting focal point?
Here are my décor tips for a great balcony or patio:
- Use the colours from your interior décor
- Know that plants have colour! Yellow-green, blue-green and green are different colours. If you don’t have these colours inside, either add one or choose just the one colour green for your plants to keep the look crisp and uncluttered
- For a restful space, use your neutrals: black, white and grey with green. Olive green is a terrific ‘neutral’ green that blends with all colours
- The rule for interior space planning prevails on a balcony, 2/3rds space, 1/3rd furniture. Don’t over clutter your space – spaciousness always looks expensive and feels more relaxed.
Multiples of the same object, i.e. pots with the same plants, will look more expensive and less busy and works for past and present styles
- Add items relevant to outdoor leisure, i.e. telescope, coffee/side table, BBQ.
- Depending on your space and its weather fastness buy furniture made for its conditions!
i.e. Modern Aluminium is ideal for wet conditions and is lightweight for moving, but invest in a storage box for your cushions. Past time cane wicker won’t last outdoors as long as aluminium
- The most durable outdoor fabrics are called marine grade. Sites like ⦁ www.faboutdoorfabrics.com.au have an excellent range, and their cushion inserts are fast draining and drying!
Outdoor rugs can be a great feature to zone an outdoor space, add comfort from the heat and provide a pattern, texture and colour. Faux grass, being synthetic, can be very hot underfoot but is long-lasting and, if you choose faux grass, it can be selected to unite with the colour and texture of any real grass nearby or to match your interior décor. This product was never an option in the past but adds a funky touch to classic decors
- Flooring for areas that will receive rain needs to be carefully considered and treated accordingly with non-slip sealants. Timber products while warm and inviting, require yearly maintenance and can be hot underfoot, whereas tiles and concrete are low maintenance, durable and come in all manners of design
- A hammock like a Mexican family sized one, is ideal for outdoor spaces if you have the room for the frame. For protected patios, a table and chairs under an umbrella is always a lovely classic feature that never dates
Add artwork! Why? Because art is the Soul of the space and your focal point and everything else is design. Art is your opportunity to add humanity, mood, style, theme and a unified colour palette and, to show your taste and personality.
- Sealed timber or, a product like Art into Mosaic can upcycle an old table top to protect it outdoors. As an art feature, Art into Mosaic, creates a focal point for floors, walls and surfaces that can state your style and value-add to the property
- Make sure your artwork fits the proportions of your space and is made to last.
So, what did I come up with in response to my investigation of focal points for outdoors? I invented two versions; one heavy, Art into Mosaic, mentioned above, and the other lightweight- Moveable Outdoor Murals!
I found that most outdoor artworks were too small and if printed, it faded, peeled and cracked. That’s the problem with mass produced both old and new! Moveable Outdoor Murals, are custom made depending on your needs and budget and are hand painted by yours truly. HIA Legislations Certified, this is outdoor art that can stay when you sell your property, adding style and value to it. For those on a budget, artwork from my library of originals can be uniquely 3d Printed at 1200DPI and is durable for about 10 years before you’ll notice some fade. In fact, we can print on anything less than2.5m x 1.5m x 100mm thick, like a table top! Moveable Outdoor Murals are created onto large sheets up to 3m x 1.5m of galvo which doesn’t rust, is lightweight and comes ready to hang for secure fastening to walls! Your art in any style, can be digitally superimposed into your space during our Unique Creative Process and is guaranteed to match your space and be loved.
So, there you go, the final piece in the puzzle of how to decorate your patio or balcony. You can use these ideas to add a touch of nostalgic past or go modern but, either way, compete your space and make a statement that only modern paints products and technology and could allow.
Story by Tailored Artworks, Brisbane Australia. $100AU Art and Décor Planning Sessions
Artist and Decorator, Sharron Tancred personalises homes from build to finish with artwork products including Original Canvases, Real Art Kitchen Splashbacks, Moveable Outdoor Murals, Art 3D Printed onto Tiles, Art into Mosaic and Hand Painted Wall Murals.