Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Work in Progress: Our Balcony Patio


In California, Spring is my favorite season. I've grown up loving Spring for the sunshine and pretty flowers; getting to wear dresses and swim in the [heated] pool as early as March. Spring in Georgia can be a little bit of a nightmare in comparison, with the pollen and allergies that come with it. Even still, I find myself making excuses to get us outside to enjoy the nice weather before Summer sets in and I want to hibernate. (Heat and I do not get along.) 

One of my priorities for our apartment is to create an outside nook for my family to enjoy. Ours is one of three buildings whose balconies face into a courtyard. I go out there often to work on various projects and to point things out to the baby. I think it's beautiful and I can tell by looking around that not too many people have anything set up on their balconies to actually enjoy it. Which is really a bummer, if you ask me! I've come up with a plan to spruce ours up a bit without spending very much money.
Safety first! Now that Benjamin is mobile and will only be getting more so, I need to really start babyproofing his environment. For the balcony I intend on purchasing a deck guard to put up all along the railing. They're not very expensive but really important if I'm going to let the baby play out there. I found this tan and white striped deck guard but I'm not sure it really matches the look I'm going for. I also found this white mesh safety guard. I don't love it but I don't necessarily hate it either. Still looking for the perfect one that it going to be safe and look decent. Any suggestions? 
After finding the safety guard, my first project is going to be seating. I want to make something simple and low to the ground so that Benjamin can easily crawl over to me/up onto the seat. You can often find people giving away wood pallets on Craigslist for free for those willing to pick it up. I want to make a custom sofa similar to this one but only one pallet high. Generally, I love the plain wood in pallet furniture but I do like this painted pallet sofa base so we'll see! I want to make a thick cushion to sit on top of it. I was just thinking that a full size crib mattress would fit perfectly but I think it will be cheaper just to make my own. I'll have to price it out when the time comes. Today I found a gem of a Goodwill and scored some goodies. I am over the moon for this blue blanket I found! I'm not sure where it's from but it's pretty large and I'm thinking it might make the perfect sofa cushion cover!! Otherwise I may go with a solid outdoor fabric and then make a bunch of throw pillows out of it. I think it's going to be a cozy space and I can already see myself sitting and reading or watching Benjamin play. 

The main thing I want for him up there is a little wading pool. This 3 foot wading pool will suit our space just fine. 
I'd like to create a small garden nook on the opposite side of the balcony. I love this idea to make a hanging planter which I plan to do. I recently purchased this red planter at the flea market and am going to paint it. It's not definite but I'm leaning toward this yellow. I also love the idea of mirroring the pallet from the sofa in a planter and may do something like that up against the railing. Whatever I do, I need to find plants that will withstand the heat and humidity. I'm loving all the succulent gardens I'm seeing and will probably do something like that. I love that you can still have a garden with so many colors when using them! These particular ones are actually spray painted and I won't be doing that. I'd love to hear or see your small space garden ideas. You can find all of these ideas and more on my balcony patio board on Pinterest.