My Great Outdoors: Tim & Nicole's Surprise Balcony

My Great Outdoors: Tim & Nicole's Surprise Balcony

Gregory Han
Jun 26, 2009


Name: Tim & Nicole
Location: Austin, Texas
Type of space: Balcony
Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: This is our "surprise balcony." We lived in this apartment complex for over a year when a larger place opened up. We jumped on the chance to move, and the balcony was really just a hidden treat to moving upstairs. Having this outdoor space became such an unexpected blessing, so we really tried to take full advantage of it. Being able to be outside but still in your home is something apartment dwellers don't take for granted!

How did you create it? Austin, and particularly South Austin has a wonderful eclectic feel. Scouring garage sales, thrift stores and warehouse sales, most of the pieces on the balcony are repurposed or refurbished. The larger planters and succulents are our at-home knock off from the well-known Austin nursery Big Red Sun. One planter is made from stacking two empty filing cabinets we bought at a garage sale for $15 each. The other is an aluminum table we flipped upside down and filled. The art on the wall was taken from a rusted, broken metal chair. The other crucial piece was stringing lighting around the balcony. In Austin, hanging out outside during the summer is limited to after the sun sets, so for us making the space usable at night is the key to us being able to take advantage of it.

Recommended store, site, product or resource? Waking up at 7 am to scour a garage sale is far from glamorous, but if you are living on a budget, this is the best way to find interesting and distinct pieces for any part of your house. Thrift stores and resale shops are great places too if you have an eye for potential. Of course, we also take tons inspiration from Apartment Therapy. And, if you are at all curious, we have our own blog for the rest of our apartment here.

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