Isabelle's New York City Balcony Oasis

My Great Outdoors

Name: Isabelle LaRue
Location: Upper East Side, New York City

I wanted my small balcony to become an extension of my living space in the summer — living in a small studio apartment, adding livable square footage is huge, even if it’s just for a few months out of the year. My challenge was to transform my standard issue 5 ft x 9 ft rental apartment balcony into a warm and inviting outdoor room, perfect for relaxing.

The first thing I did was put up some reed fencing at both ends of the balcony to give a sense of privacy, but I left the front open to enjoy the view of the city. I also added an inexpensive outdoor carpet — so much nicer to look at than the ugly concrete floor and it feels great under your feet. Next came the DIY lounging bench I made with very few materials and little construction – I just used plastic bins, plywood, corner molding and leftover reed fencing. After adding a few cushions, it became the perfect place to take naps, read a book or just enjoy the view. 

The other side of the balcony is my little garden area — the focal point of this area is a raised planter I made from yet another plastic bin (prettied up with reed fencing) where I planted vines. They give you lots of green for your buck and grow really fast — I love the way they’ve taken over the wall in just one year! I also added solar LED lights that I wove through the reed fence and some candles to enjoy the balcony during warm summer evenings. 

Thanks, Isabelle LaRue!

(Images: submitted by Isabelle LaRue)

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