Before and After: A $260 Update Turns a Blah Balcony into a Welcoming Hangout

published Sep 7, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: empty balcony space with white walls, dark gray floors
Credit: Jo

For many people, 2020 was the year they realized that they were seriously under-using their outdoor space. That was the case for Jo, who found with the COVID-19 quarantine that her Australian home’s balcony space wasn’t exactly a blissful outdoor retreat. “My balcony was this unused concrete and cold space,” she says. The bare white walls and dark gray floors were perfectly serviceable, but not particularly welcoming—especially considering that Jo didn’t really have any furniture in the space.

Credit: Jo

Jo started by laying out faux grass—”I never thought AstroTurf could look this good!” she says. The solution is perfect for the shaded concrete balcony, giving the feel of greenery in a space where the real thing wouldn’t be possible. Jo also also added some potted plants at various heights for interest, including two on the floor of the balcony and a ladder for hanging a few in tiers.

“It was pretty easy and was very cost-effective, as I got most things from the budget store or DIYed them,” Jo says. Her sources included K-Mart, Target, and IKEA. She was able to redo the whole space for just $260 AUD—proof that small, low-budget upgrades can go a long way.

Jo also added a small bistro table and cushioned seat, which are perfect for days when she wants to work from home while also getting some fresh air. “I love enjoying the sunshine here,” she says.

Jo’s plans go even farther for the space: “I’ll also build a new sectional to add as a reading nook at some point,” she says. “It makes working from home absolutely infinitely better having some green outdoor space. I definitely use the balcony more now!”

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