BLACK & WHITE CITY BALCONY REFRESH

Image source: Timothy Whealon

Image source: Timothy Whealon

Our condo is small, so when warmer weather arrives I always set up our balcony as soon as possible to create some extra livable space for the summer months. It seems that every year I make a few changes and end up switching out some items or trying new flower options. The space gets very little sun, so most years what I plant ends up dying (I also cannot keep plants alive), but I really do think it has something to do with the lack of natural light........

Last year I sold our table and chairs and replaced them with a small 'sofa' for lounging, as we never used the table for actual dining. This year I decided I wanted to add a table again and all of a sudden I found myself making some changes...........

I LOVE Timothy Whealon's NYC balcony! Black & white, tons of boxwoods, white flowers, lanterns, black bistro set, stripes - and I basically have all these elements already. I chose the black & white scheme when we first moved in and overall I am still happy with it! I do wish we had more room for larger greenery options and could block out views of the neighbours, but we don't so we will work with what we got!

Image source: Timothy Whealon

Image source: Timothy Whealon

I also love the look of terra cotta pots with simple boxwood paired with black & white, but I think for our small space I should stick with black and white planters and not introduce a new tone of brown.....

Image source: Mark D Sikes

Image source: Mark D Sikes

Then there is Mark D Sikes's Hollywood Hills outdoor patio with all this amazing blue. Love. Enough said.....

Image source: Mark D Sikes

Image source: Mark D Sikes

Here are the existing elements we have that I still like. Chairs, stool, striped pillows are all from Ikea. The pillow covers are 4 years old and were under $5 - perfect for outdoor use on a covered balcony. I found the gold lantern and similar planters from Homesense years ago and while the planters aren't in the best condition anymore (I have left them out all winter every year......), they are fine for now. I have string globe lights from Target that I found on liquidation for like $5 and are still in the boxes! I am thinking I should hang them this year...... The outdoor rug is from Crate & Barrel, but is no longer available. The acrylic wine glasses are from Pottery Barn. I picked them up last year and love them. They don't turn cloudy like some of the cheaper acrylic glasses I have had in the past. The gold tray is from West Elm and is perfect for outdoor use.

We still have a decent amount of space on the balcony, so I wanted to add a small table for dining outside. I also wanted to spend as little as possible but still get a nice look. Enter Ikea (obviously), where I found some EXTREMELY cheap pieces and mixed them up to create my own bistro set. I think they are great and am really happy with the find! Stay tuned for the 'before' and 'after' #ikeahack!

I also wanted to add a little colour with new outdoor cushions and break up the distinctive Ikea look of the 'sofa'. I was immediately drawn to blue - I think a light blue will look great with the black, white, and green. Below are the three options of the outdoor fabric I am considering.......

Finally, we need more greenery/plants as we have a total of five planters and currently only have two filled. I don't think any of these will work because they require full sun, so it looks like i'll have to do some more research before heading to the nursery again!

It has been raining here for what feels like forever, so I haven't rushed the custom outdoor pillows, but stay tuned for the full reveal next week after I am able to plant and take some pictures!