Before and After: A Blank Balcony Wall Goes Bananas

updated May 3, 2019
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When I opened this reader-submitted project, I thought, “Aha! Our dear reader has obviously uploaded their “after” photo to the “before” box, happens to the best of us, not a bit of trouble,” because it never occurred to me that the lovely space you see here could possibly be a “before” photo. Oh, but it is!

Now this balcony is a tropical retreat—in Switzerland, no less. Kristina Roder of A Cocktail A Day is responsible for this ultra-fun makeover, and I salute the vision behind it:

I always dreamed of a tropical balcony, which unfortunately is not possible with the climate in Zurich. Painting this wall was a step in that direction.

The stenciling really turned the balcony into a total retreat from the rest of the decidedly non-tropical city. The scale of the leaves is perfect, and the coloring was masterfully done. And if Kristina ever wants to switch out the accessories, the blue-grey-green pieces shown in the balcony before would still look wonderful.

Once again, while this balcony was hashtag goals before its makeover, it’s easy to understand Kristina’s motivation for tackling this outdoor space:

The white, boring wall made my balcony look like any other apartment in this big block on the edge of Zurich, Switzerland. Located behind the dining table, no plants could cover the wall. And since it was only painted metal, nothing could be attached on it with nails or similar.

I love the idea of getting a glimpse of such a joyful balcony from the street—especially if it’s one’s own balcony—and seeing it pop against the monochromatic sameness of the rest of the block.

Here we get a glimpse of some masterful color coordination: while I would be tempted to decorate with greens and blues, Kristina is playing with the salmon hue of the wall, dividing it into pink and orange components and adding the expected green in unexpected ways.

Here is how this tropical wall was created, as well as Kristina’s feelings about it now that it’s complete:

The painting of the wall took two afternoons. First, I primed the wall with a salmon-tinted white color, then recorded the banana leaves with a pencil and stencil, and painted them with acrylic paint.

I just love the tropical look of the wall and I’m proud of the result – it even looks better, than I imagined!

Just do what you want and don’t follow trends. Try new techniques and give your home an individual twist!