Today we're taking a look at a complete overhaul of a balcony in Hamburg. A large rooftop terrace, open to all sides and with a view over the rooftops of Hamburg, it was in a bit of a sorry state when the clients came to landscapers Die Balkongestalter. Although large, it was underused, with nowhere to sit an relax, and very few plants or ornaments. The clients were looking for a place to sit back and enjoy the sunshine, and also somewhere to do yoga. Beyond that, Die Balkongestalter were given a free reign; the client described the terrace as 'boring'and were open to any ideas as to how to spruce it up. Take a look at the transformation for yourself—you might pick up some ideas for your own balcony or terrace!
We can see here that to start out with the terrace space was indeed 'boring', and not terribly useful—there's nowhere to sit, and no sign of a table. Greenery is minimal, apart from a bamboo plant and two other small shrubs. The wood is looking a little tired and weathered without any plants or furniture to play off. It can often happen that our outside spaces aren't given the attention they deserve—we're so focused on designing everything inside our homes to a tee that when it comes to creating a liveable, beautiful outdoor space we've maxed out our energy, our budget, or both! But letting a terrace or garden go to seed is a real shame—these spaces should be extensions of our homes, and used to the fullest extent possible.
The bamboo plant already present on the terrace was a starting point for the redesign, with Die Balkongestalter coming up with the idea of creating a decorative bamboo 'sculpture' to take pride of place on the terrace.
Here we see the 'sculpture' in situ. Vivid pink contrasts with black, and the whole thing has a pleasing assymmetry. A nice touch: the pink and black bands have been replicated on the broom.
The first thing to think about when designing an outdoor space is plants. They'll bring colour and vibrancy to the space, and lift its mood. With careful planting, you can have colour all year round; just plant a mix of flowers, trees and shrubs that are in bloom at different times of the year.
The vivid pink bands on the bamboo 'sculpture' are picked up in the choice of marigolds here, and as we'll see in the next few photos, pinks and purples feature heavily in the entire colour scheme for this balcony. While not absolutely essential, choosing a colour scheme for your outdoor space, and matching plants, furniture and accessories is useful, as it will lend coherence to the space. Down the line, if you tire of a particular scheme, you could consider leaving the plants in situ and getting accessories in a contrasting colour.
Integrating light into planters or other garden furniture is a lovely idea. An alternative would be angled spotlights to highlight flowers or other accessories. Outdoor lighting should always be kept relatively low, to create a relaxed and romantic mood. A fire pit or brazier is one of the easiest ways to create that romantic atmosphere—and of course, having an outdoor heat source will extend your use of your outdoor space into even the chillier months.
An overview of the transformed terrace. Pink and purple are the dominant colours, and stand in pleasant contrast to the grey of the walls and floor. Where previously the wood looked tired and washed out, now it looks pleasantly weathered. There's a place to sit and socialise, and a space has been set aside to lounge or do yoga. Bamboo table accessories pick up the bamboo theme, and the splashes of pink on those accessories echo the sculpture further down. It's not an overly busy space—if you're planning on redecorating your own terrace or garden, remember you don't have to have greenery covering every inch, and that a couple of well-chosen plants or shrubs will work just as well as hundreds.
Another view of the fire plate, that also gives us a better look at the yoga area. Purple lavender fits in with the colour scheme, and will give off a pleasing and relaxing scent. Lavender will also attract honey bees, which are essential for pollinating your other plants.
The happy couple with their finished balcony. It didn't take an enormous amount of work to transform this space from drab to vibrant. Just four or five elements: seating, light, planting, accessories, a table, and you're set!