Before and After: Woven Materials Warm up a Once-Bleak Balcony in This Dreamy $264 Redo

published Sep 6, 2022
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Credit: Jessica Hill

If you’re looking to make a balcony’s concrete floor a little less cold and a little more home-y, here are six great solutions for covering the concrete: turf, wooden tiles, a colorful outdoor rug, foam tiles, or carpet squares. (All of these are renter-friendly, too!)

Credit: Jessica Hill

New Zealand renter Jessica Hill’s balcony spruce-up adds a seventh quick fix to the list: burlap, which she used to make her balcony’s grated flooring feel a bit more welcoming.

Before, “the holes in the balcony base made it feel exposed to the apartment balconies below,” Jessica says. She was looking for something that felt a little more substantial and offered a bit more privacy — plus she wanted it to look good.

Credit: Jessica Hill

“The balcony is very visible from inside — basically the entire living room wall is a sliding glass door looking out on to it,” she says. “[So] I wanted a balcony that was pleasant to look at from inside. I wanted it to complement the blues, greens and nods to chinoiserie that I have indoors.” Before, it “was bleak,” she says. “All gray colors, just not a happy place to be … I never went out on to it. I didn’t even like seeing it!”

Credit: Jessica Hill

To change that, Jessica cut her burlap to fit the size of the floor space, then added smaller bamboo rug overtop for layered woven texture. She then added her blue decor to match her inside decor — and her view on a nice day!

Her best DIY advice? “Think about what you want to feel and see in your new space, and go from there!”

One DIY in the space that you might miss on first glance is the netting added to the railing. Jessica said she wanted to try it out “to soften the look of the balcony railings.”

Credit: Jessica Hill

She created the look using a roll of jute and a knotting pattern that she learned watching a scouts’ tutorial online. “Knotting the net was the hardest,” she says. “It wasn’t difficult, but it was time-consuming — about four hours.”

Jessica says next summer she might opt for more durable materials than the jute and the burlap, but she’s proud of her budget-friendly experiment. Her total revamp cost $264.

She also says if she were to change one thing about the project, she’d buy blue planters instead of gray ones (pictured in the corner in the first “after” photo above), but she’s looking forward to her plants growing and making the space feel more lush.

Credit: Jessica Hill

“I love seeing green things growing and having a relatively private space to relax outdoors!” she says. For more ideas on how to up the relaxing vibes in a small outdoor space, check out these 24 ideas for adding personality and coziness.