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A colourful Canadian balcony

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A colourful Canadian balcony

Photography By Valeria Wilcox

Private outdoor space is a dream come true for any urban city dweller. No matter how restricted your outdoor area is, there are plenty of design opportunities to personalize and enhance this space. We took a peek at a downtown Toronto balcony styled by LUX Design to get some small-space patio inspiration. This colourful balcony truly maximizes square footage while boasting big personality.

Your style doesn’t have to stop at the patio door. Whatever your design esthetic is, let your balcony be an extension of your home. This area is a great opportunity to show off your personality. Here, the homeowners’ style plays throughout the space – from the modern furniture to the joyful patterns and bright accessories.

“The use of vivid colours not only makes this balcony inviting and attractive, but helps brighten the most dreaery of days.”

Sunny skies ahead

The use of vivid colours not only makes this balcony inviting and attractive, but helps brighten the most dreary of days. Saturated hues of blue and yellow in the throw cushions and area rug emulate a sunny sky, popping perfectly against the white wall backdrop of this patio space.

The green advantage

Along with a selection of bright outdoor accessories, LUX surrounds this balcony with ample greenery. This addition of plants allows the space to feel like an oasis away from the bustle of the city. Layering lush foliage also helps to soften views of concrete buildings while supporting a sense of tranquility, allowing its users to feel relaxed.

Retreat & recharge

A balcony should be a place you crave spending time in. On this one, we provided ample opportunities for the homeowners to put their feet up; from the small sofa that doubles as a daybed to the two end tables. The patterned rug underfoot helps create a cosy and comfortable environment, while various pillows work to add another layer of relaxation.

Designer TIPS

Grey skies shouldn’t restrict your patio time – add bright colours here and there to liven everything up and make it feel like summer again

Incorporating tall planters and types of greenery – like ornamental grass – not only adds flair to your outdoor space, but provides privacy from neighbours

“While this balcony might appear small, it certainly doesn’t lack in functionality. It is a space to kick back and relax while offering a spot to sit down and eat breakfast or have a glass of wine after work.”

Small space essentials

While this balcony might appear small, it certainly doesn’t lack in functionality. It is a space to kick back and relax while offering a spot to sit down and eat breakfast or have a glass of wine after work. To achieve this practical and eye-catching space, LUX utilizes flexible outdoor furniture that can be easily moved around or moved out of the way. Opting for folding or stackable chairs, like the white metal ones shown is a great use of space. The choice of two mobile end tables instead of a single coffee table also allows for a more adaptable environment that can readily go from dining to seating. The furniture and accessories we selected are also versatile in that they work outdoors as well as inside during winter months.

Opportunities for storage are also a must-have for any outdoor patio. Try a water-resistant bamboo basket to hold your comfy blankets. Here, a shallow white console is added to hold dishes and decorative items. Its small footprint makes it the perfect addition to this vibrant balcony.

Designer TIPS Choose versatile accessories that can work both outside and indoors, as well as flexible furniture that can be easily moved around


SOFA/OTTOMAN: Cabana Coast RUG: Wayfair CHAIRS: Nuevo Living BISTRO TABLE: Mod Loft ACCESSORIES: Ikea, West Elm

Paige Johnston is a Canadian designer and strategist based in New York City. She collaborates and works often with Isabelle Boba, Interior Designer and Founder of LUX Design, the design studio that executed this colourful Canadian balcony. paigeajohnston.com & luxdesign.ca


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The National Home Show 2019

4 tips to make the most of your small balcony – from National Home Show experts

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4 tips to make the most of your small balcony – from National Home Show experts

Having a backyard or even a balcony (no matter how big or small) is a luxury these days for most people, especially the closer you live to the city. And, with square footage getting smaller and more expensive, maximizing the potential of every inch of your space, including your balcony, is crucial. It’s time to start thinking of your exterior as an extension of your home. You can create a slice of paradise even in the smallest of spaces with just the right touches, and National Home Show experts are here to prove it.

Here are four ways to make the most of your small outdoor space:

1. Look for space saving furniture

Just because your balcony may be compact, doesn’t mean it needs to feel cramped, or that you have to sacrifice luxury for space. Look for furniture that is comfortable, without be bulky. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t fit a table and chairs. Folding furniture for a small space can be just as pretty as stationary counterparts these days, and retailers such as Andrew Richard Designs are offering double-duty options in sleek designs that don’t add bulk to your space. Think chairs with armrests that double as a side table and space dividers that are also storage bins.

Also, don’t forget to organize and optimize your available space and consider exterior walls and railings as part of your canvas – perhaps lights along your railings to illuminate your balcony and help keep the floor area free of clutter, freeing up more space for essential furniture.

2. Decor makes all the difference

Cold, bare concrete walls and floors wouldn’t make your condo feel homey, so why would they your balcony? Inexpensive wood deck tiles or simply stencil painting a pattern onto the concrete can add instant warmth to your balcony. Incorporate small outdoor area rugs or throw cushions instead of heavy furniture to add texture, comfort and personality, as well as make your area appear bigger. And don’t be afraid to add bright colours to your petite space. Your outdoor area should represent your style, just as much as your interior choices.

3. Take your garden to vertical heights

Starting from the ground up, AstroTurf is an easy way to replicate that suburban yard feel on your city balcony that won’t frustrate condo management. Don’t be afraid to get your green thumb on, even in a small way, by scattering tiny potted herbs around your outdoor space, but remember to hang them vertically to avoid taking up valued floor space. Placing plants at various heights will also help add major interest and height to your space, and don’t hesitate to be creative, says Peter Bonanno of Curb Appeal. Think about perching some planters on balcony railings or investing in a sleek and possible portable privacy screen for added seclusion. But, be sure to fill platers with outdoor, seasonal flowers that can withstand the elements and ever-changing weather conditions.

4. Lighten the mood

Whether it’s with lights or a little fire, light it up and set the mood in the process. Even if you can’t swing railing lights, outdoor lanterns and even simple mason jars filled with sand and a candle are perfect to light up a summer night on your balcony. If heat and ambiance is what you’re after, mini portable tabletop heaters come in a variety of finishes and colours. Not only will these help you extend your outdoor time on cooler, shorter days, but they’ll also keep away pesky mosquitos. Just be sure not to light things up too much, as you wouldn’t want to ruin the view of a perfect starlit night sky.

If you’re looking for even more inspiring home, condo and garden ideas, and want to see these tips come to life, visit the Outdoor Living Feature at the National Home Show presented by ReMax and co-located with Canada Blooms from March 8 to 17 at The Enercare Centre in the Exhibition Place in Toronto.

For further information on the National Home Show or Canada Blooms, at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place, visit the website.



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