Before and After: This Tiny Balcony Is A Precious Piece of Alfresco Heaven

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Abby Robinson)

One of our readers found herself in a familiar situation: she had an outdoor space (yay!), but it was basically unusable (boo). After just two weekends of work, this wannabe balcony has been transformed into a tiny, precious piece of alfresco heaven.

Reader Abby Robinson was kind enough to submit this project. Here she explains the issues with the “balcony,” and the inspiration behind this makeover:

Our apartment had this tiny balcony, however, it was really only an access for the air-conditioner and not a usable space. The base was a sticky black roofing which was on a major slant. I was determined to transform this balcony into a usable outdoor space.

I have always lived somewhere with an outdoor space. Whether it was a deck, porch, or a yard, I enjoyed having somewhere to get some fresh air and drink my morning coffee. I was determined to make this balcony a cozy space I could enjoy day and night.

(Image credit: Abby Robinson)

My jaw dropped when I saw this. This is totally dreamy and absolutely made for sunrise coffee and sunset cocktails. The palette of black, white, wood/wicker, turquoise, and gold is relaxed and sophisticated—as is the entire space. I especially love the way the newly painted windowsills work with the blue-green accessories. The added plant life is so lush and adds to the vacation feel.

Abby also broke down the time and money it took to transform this formerly unusable spot:

This project took two weekends to complete. The first weekend, we leveled the balcony out with decking and built a wooden wall to hide the air-conditioner. It is, however, easily removable for access. The second weekend we stained the wood and decorated. Just like that it came together in a majorly transformative way.

The renovation cost was around $500. The lumber cost approximately $250. I scored the outdoor furniture set from Target for $200. Target clearance patio section had amazing deals, and I spent roughly another $50 there on pillows, lights, and my hanging planters.

The wooden wall is one of the most elegant solutions I’ve ever seen. It’s so beautiful, serving as an accent wall, plant holder, and string light pole all at the same time. The chairs-and-table set is still available from Target, as are the hanging planter and the striped pots hanging on the wall. The string lights are sold out, but you never know—you might be able to find them at your local Target.

I’m so happy to hear that Abby is using the balcony regularly—it deserves to be appreciated!

This balcony is now my favorite place to relax. In the morning, it gets the morning sun which is perfect for waking up with my cup of coffee. At night, the lights illuminate the plants and is the perfect setting for a weekend cocktail.

Post-project, Abby has some excellent advice to share:

Don’t rush! I was patient in purchasing my decorations and furniture for this space. I was able to look around at multiple places, and wait for the best price deals so this makeover didn’t break the budget.

Thank you, Abby!