Before and After: A $375 Redo Full of Quick Additions Transforms a Sparse Balcony into a Family Play Space

published Aug 18, 2022
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Outdoor Spaces
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Empty balcony

As outdoor spaces go, balconies are often the smallest, but that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. Although their square footage might be small, these outdoor spots are great places to catch a bit of fresh air and sunshine, nurture a plant or two, or curl up with a good book (or a good drink).

When designer Roopa Rajgopal’s client Meghna asked her to spruce up her “unused and empty” balcony, Roopa knew she wanted “to transform the space to a family recreational zone” for Meghna’s kids to enjoy, too. The space she created has a plant wall, cozy bench seating, and open space to play with toys or play a board game to boot.

“The faux brick wallpaper was the first thought in my mind for what would instantly change the vibe of this space,” Roopa says, adding that it upped the coziness of the balcony. “The wallpaper was locally available from a nearby vendor who also sourced us artificial grass at an affordable price.”

The wallpaper was peel-and-stick (you can find similar here), and Roopa attached the turf to the ground with adhesive, using the leftovers from the floor on the side of the bench to create a “vertical garden” that doesn’t require any watering. For the wall, she had to use nails to get it to hang due to its weight.

“The vertical garden was a spontaneous decision,” Roopa says, but she says it’s one that definitely paid off.

As for the furniture, Roopa kept it minimal, with the biggest addition being a new bench. Roopa had khaki colored upholstery added onto a wooden frame cut to the specific dimensions of the balcony.

“The initial plan was to use cane furniture, but since this is a rented apartment, my client wanted something sturdy for long-term use and that can later be used elsewhere as well,” Roopa says. “Also using a bench on one end of the balcony gave us more space for kids to play.”

Roopa finished off the balcony with small-space-friendly hanging planters in addition to planters resting on the ledge for double the greenery. Her grand total for the redo was about $375 USD.

Roopa says her planning and DIYs were well worth the effort, “from a simple thought to pen and paper planning to installation and execution.”

“Work is always fun when you love what you do and this is the outcome,” she says. For another great artificial grass transformation, check out this small balcony redo, too.