Long-time Apartment Therapy readers might remember a little renovation diary series about The World’s Ugliest Condo — the affectionate title for my in-laws' second home in Florida before I redid it for them several years ago. At the time, I shared the entire renovation process, but the one area we didn’t touch was the outdoor space. Until now.
The outdoor space was originally just so blah. And tan. And then more tan. Followed up by some tan. At some point we half-heartedly stuck a rug out there (can someone explain to me why we bought a tan rug?), found some rattan chairs on Craigslist, bought some side tables, threw some pillows on the chairs, and then called it a day. It’s pretty functional — if not the most comfortable place to hang out — but it needed some style. Here's the background on the space:
- The balcony itself is a little over 7’ x 9’ with a metal railing. It has sliding glass doors on two sides, and a storage closet at the far end.
- Since it’s a condo, there’s not a lot we can do to change the actual structure or built-in features — those are governed by the condo board with strict standards. So any changes have to be temporary and reversible — a familiar problem for renters as well. So no painting, or new tile, etc...
- It’s a great view from inside the condo as well, so anything that’s out there shouldn’t have a huge visual footprint and block inside enjoyment.
- Doors open onto the balcony from the two walls on the near end, so that area needed to remain open and passable.
- The good part is that the patio is covered and has a hurricane shutter (basically a garage door for your windows), which means the space doesn’t get wet from rain, and any decor doesn’t need to be brought in when the condo isn’t being used.
- Between the in-laws and other family, the place gets used pretty regularly. But since it is a second home, and goes without an occupant for stretches of time, no plants could survive the neglect. This means I couldn’t make use of nature’s best decorative filler.
Click to see each makeover then vote for which version you think is best!