Architect and interior designer Filipa Namora leaves here some suggestions to make the most of this very special space
For those who live in apartments, balconies are the closest environments to an exterior space that one can have. This area, in particular, allows not only the entrance of natural light but also access to the outside. It is a space that can be associated with common or private areas of the house, and that, regardless of its location, requires some care in the way its connection is thought out, without losing the character of an extension of the interior to the exterior. I am referring to the flooring and the importance of moving from one area to the other. One of the suggestions we propose is that it should be the same or as similar as possible, so that, visually, the layout is as continuous and coherent as possible.
Regarding the organization of the outdoor space, it can be more or less intuitive. If we are talking about ambitious areas, it is easy to understand that the dining area should be next to the barbecue area, and after that, a resting area. However, when we are talking about smaller spaces, the process may be more complex, yet it is not impossible.
Not overloading the space and being able to optimize it are essential strategies.
I remind you that this encounter with the outdoors is, from my point of view, a super inviting moment to relax and enjoy the outdoors, so it is essential to have an outdoor armchair or sofa space.
The introduction of greens and objects, such as lanterns and vases, will also add luxury and timelessness, as will outdoor rugs and cushions.
A very important point in this process when selecting pieces is to always opt for outdoor suitable furniture that can withstand weather changes without losing quality or requiring constant maintenance. It is true that this will be reflected in the budget, but better that than buying everything again the following year, isn’t it? The same goes for the fabrics and respective foams that are inside.
In the case of small balconies and when furniture is needed, the best suggestion is to have everything custom-made. L-shaped benches are great space savers, as are shelves and bookcases. Polyvalent pieces are also a key element because they unfold in multiple solutions, as is the case of stools, which can serve as footstools or quickly become a coffee table or even another seating place.