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Independent Living | 11/15/21
Retiring where you can enjoy leisure time on a screened porch or balcony may be your idea of pure bliss. Creating the perfect screened-in sanctuary requires more than an accommodating floor plan, but with a little attention to the design and decor, you can create a wonderfully customized space that becomes your own personal oasis.
A screened outdoor living space is the ideal setting for any number of soothing pursuits, from an alfresco brunch to an afternoon of patio gardening to an evening under the stars. These balcony design ideas will show you how to create a relaxing balcony retreat at your independent living apartment or cottage, no matter how you plan to use your space.
Even the most inviting balcony design ideas fall flat if they don’t reflect your lifestyle and how you plan to use the space. Before you begin planning how your balcony will look, plan how you’d like to use it. Will it be a soothing retreat? A place to explore your hobbies? An extension of your interior living space? There is no right or wrong answer—only what brings you the greatest joy.
If you love your balcony but you’re not quite sure how you’d like to use it, consider one of these popular outdoor space ideas:
Maintenance-free senior living may mean you get to forgo lawn care, but with a balcony or patio, you can keep gardening to your heart’s content. With the right lighting and proper care, you can grow virtually anything you wish in a patio garden, including produce, herbs, and beautiful blooming flowers.
Window boxes and elevated planters add dimension while breathing natural life into a balcony’s design. If you don’t have a windowsill or vertical surface available, consider creating a planter wall made from horizontal wooden slats, or do some junk shopping for weathered old shutters—both make attractive backdrops for affixing window boxes. If you’re an avid gardener, you might also appreciate clever decorative touches like a wheelbarrow repurposed into a beverage cart or service station.
When the weather allows, a patio or balcony can serve as an addition to your cottage’s or apartment’s livable space, which can be especially handy when you’re entertaining and need extra room for guests to mingle.
This balcony design idea typically involves furnishings similar to what you’d find indoors, such as a loveseat, chairs, accent tables for a living space or sideboard, dining table, and chairs if you’re expanding your dining area. Ensure your furniture will hold up against harsh winter elements by choosing outdoor-grade fabrics and woods that are weather-resistant like teak, cedar, or redwood. If you like the look of wicker for your patio but worry it won’t stand the test of time, look for faux wicker pieces that are actually made of plastic and are much more durable than natural wicker.
For balcony design ideas that go beyond the function of the space, you’ll want to consider both aesthetic and practical design. You can even mimic some of the home decor inside to create an equally inviting area that feels connected to the rest of your home.
Texture: Incorporating various textures will add character and dimension to your balcony. Think in terms of traditional home decor textiles like pillows and throw blankets, along with privacy curtains and flooring, such as deck tiles or a weather-resistant rug (just be careful to avoid exposed edges or rough surfaces that could create a tripping hazard).
Clever Storage: A patio or balcony is a smart place to use furniture that does double duty, such as an ottoman that allows you to prop your feet while you get lost in a good book but easily converts to a coffee table with the addition of a serving tray. Benches that provide both seating and storage are also a great addition to a balcony, along with furnishings that let you hide and stash pieces when they’re not in use, like a table that folds down or has room for stools that stash below.
Lighting: Just like indoors, you can set a mood for your balcony space with the right kind of lighting. Stylish fixtures can serve as standout design elements, while also providing the light you need to see your dinner plate or tackle a new craft project. If your goal is to brighten the balcony overall, string lights come in numerous shapes and sizes to fit your decor.
Privacy: A balcony may put you closer to Mother Nature, but it doesn’t have to put you closer to your neighbors unless you want it to. Curtains or shades are a good choice if you’d like to adjust your privacy to your mood or time of day. For more permanent solutions, consider a canvas screen, reed fencing, or even a DIY screen using visually interesting materials like bamboo poles tied with weathered rope.
Pet-Friendly Patio: If you have a four-legged companion, your patio can be a terrific spot to spend time together. With the addition of some synthetic grass and a small doghouse, you can create a private place for your pooch to relax after a visit to the community dog park.
At The Moorings at Lewes, our independent living floor plans come with a screened balcony or patio just waiting for residents like you to add a personal touch. Make plans to visit our community near the Delaware coast and discover the retirement lifestyle of your dreams.