Ah, condo patios—that beautiful little slice of outdoors in the sky, the oasis built into your urban home. An oasis that can quickly become overrun with pots of neglected plants, mismatched garden furniture, and bikes waiting to be stored.
When you first move into a condo, the patio seems filled with limitless possibilities. But if you’re not careful, it’s easy to start using the space as a form of fresh air storage. Follow these steps to make sure you get the most of your condo’s balconies and outdoors spaces.
Pick Your Priorities
Curation is key when it comes to condos. While it can be tempting to try to pack furnishings for all seasons into your outside living space, focusing on your preferred balcony activities can ensure your patio remains airy and functional. Take this penthouse suite with its expansive terrace: the focus has been placed on enjoying the property’s outdoor hot tub, with barbecuing and lounging as complementary pastimes.
Before you invest in patio furniture, review your priorities: are you a morning balcony tea-drinker? An afternoon book-lounger? A master chef at the grill? Ensure your design choices suit your tastes by homing in on your personal take on patio living.
Once you’ve decided on your balcony’s primary purpose, you can begin the process of tailoring your existing layout—or start over from scratch. Bespoke patio solutions are just an update away.
Al Fresco Dining
Good-quality, weather-resistant table and chairs are the foundation of patio style for the outdoor diner. If your dining party is likely to shrink and expand depending on the day, aim for pieces that can be easily moved—shifting wrought iron deckchairs can become onerous over time. If your strata permits barbecues, this is the time to bring your hearth fires outdoors.
For a party-ready patio, forego a dining table and chairs in favour of outdoor sofas and armchairs where everyone can gather. Pair with a bar trolley and a trendy plant or two, and make sure there’s somewhere for people to safely put their drinks down—end tables can add some indoor flair to your exterior soirées.
Curling Up with a Good Book
Whether you like to start your day with a little quiet time or you tend to take a moment first thing after work, your patio can act as a perfect book nook. Source the most luxurious loungers you can find, add a few fragrant plants, and punctuate with an end table and you’re ready to relax with your book and a hot drink.
Add Finishing Touches
Once your larger pieces are in place, it’s easy to sprinkle in décor that will take your space from good to exceptional. When it comes to balconies, where a good stiff wind can rattle your annuals, less can be more—pick a handful of your favourite finishing touches to make your outdoor space a true haven.
Bring the Indoors Out
Whether your patio is covered with an overhang or open to the sky, soft furnishings are not beyond your reach. Weatherproof cushions can be left to fend for themselves; for more permeable items, invest in a chic outdoor storage bin to hide blankets and pillows from the elements. The opportunities for plush additions are endless: go elevated boho with a Persian rug and a leather pouf, or hone in on coziness with a selection of oversized pillows and wooly throws for cool evenings.
Light the Night
Nothing kills a great patio setup like bad lighting. Ditch any humming fluorescents and opt instead for string lighting, hanging paper lanterns, large candles, or even a small tabletop fireplace (if your patio is open air).
A well-designed condo patio is one that invites you out—whether that’s for a quiet moment with your coffee, a summer brunch, or a sparkling evening with friends. With comfortable furniture, a considered layout, and pitch-perfect lighting, you can ensure your patio soars.
Bonus: Our Top Tips for Small Spaces
- Sketch out your space to scale, and use it to map out your patio configuration before you make any new purchases.
- A small patio doesn’t mean you need small things—nobody really sits on those tiny metal folding chairs. One or two full-size furnishings can make any space feel grand.
- Invest in furniture that can do double duty. Many patio tables and benches come with built-in storage.
Feeling ready to decorate, but still on the hunt for that perfect condo? Check out the latest cosmopolitan listings and find your next city dream home.
Photo Credits: LesPalenik / Shutterstock Inc. This article was initially published on August 13, 2018 and updated May 26th, 2020