For us, the arrival of spring comes with a sense of renewal. It’s a time to push the reset button, clean up things in our lives that may be messy or disorganized and generally start the season with a sense of lightness and positivity. From doing a total house cleaning and getting rid of clothing and other items that may be cluttering your home to doing a little sprucing up of a space that might need a little love, spring is the perfect time to refresh many different aspects of your home—and your life.
This spring, Abby teamed up with her local Orchard Supply Hardware store to give her balcony some much-needed TLC. When it comes to home makeovers, there can be all sorts of restrictions and limitations, from size to timing to budget. Today, Abby is sharing her rental apartment balcony makeover (that cost her just under $550) and a few tips and tricks on refreshing an outdoor space on a budget. Here’s the before picture.
- Always start with inspiration: Even though most of the spaces you see on Pinterest and Instagram are impossible to exactly recreate, that doesn’t mean you can’t get inspired from them. You may find different ways to incorporate elements of those photos into your space. You can see my inspiration for my balcony makeover on Pinterest.
- Figure out your limitations: Whether you have a rental and you can’t paint or drill holes, or you can’t make a space any larger than it is or you have a small budget, figure out what restrictions you have. For me, my rental wouldn’t allow me to paint or drill holes. I also couldn’t make the balcony any bigger than it is and I obviously couldn’t change the view from my balcony (which is rather unsightly). I also had a budget of around $550.
- Have a plan—or two: Before you start buying things or throwing things out, create a plan on how you envision your space looking and how you plan to accomplish it. I always like to have a backup plan with certain aspects of a makeover, as well, in case something doesn’t go right. You can also map out what might be more costly or time consuming, and prioritize the part of the makeover that is most important to you. You can also have a strategy in terms of ways you can overcome some of your limitations. I knew that although I couldn’t paint or drill holes, I wanted to figure out how to cover a huge grate on the wall and distract from an old crooked storage door and bad paint job. I also wanted to find a way to block out some of the street view and make the balcony feel more cozy and private without blocking out the sunlight. In the end, I decided to use a mirror I had to cover the grate wall, I created a plant wall on the storage door, which still allows the door to be functional—just a lot prettier. In terms of the balcony “view,” I liked the idea of light and airy curtains, but wasn’t sure how to get them up. I managed to use a staple gun to get them up, which worked really well.
- Take a look at what you already have: When it comes to a budget makeover, you need to be extra careful about what you spend money on. The first thing I do whenever I make over or refresh a space is look at things I already own, that might work better elsewhere. I ended up using an extra full-length mirror that I had, as well as some throw pillows, a comforter and lanterns I had in my storage closet. I also used rocks and shells that I found on the beach and incorporated the small bistro set we already had into the design.
- Think outside the box: When it comes to home makeovers, sometimes you have to get a little creative to accomplish your overall goal! I ended up using an ottoman for my main seating on the balcony and made it a bit more cozy with an old comforter and pillows! It was way cheaper than getting a patio chair and it fit better on my balcony and created more room. To cover up the old door, I decided to design a plant wall with an over-the-door shoe organizer. The plant wall made the door look so much prettier, plus it kept the door functional.
- Set expectations: When doing a makeover or DIY of any kind (especially one with certain limitations), don’t expect everything to turn out perfectly! I always try to strive for a cohesive look (rather than focusing on it looking perfect). With so many variables I couldn’t change with my balcony makeover, I’m happy that it ended up looking like a put together space with the cozy vibe I was looking to create. Would I change a few things? Absolutely! Am I happy with how it turned out? Definitely!
Shoe Organizer: Target // Mirror: HomeGoods // Bistro Set: IKEA // Wood flooring: IKEA // Throw rugs: IKEA // Large rug: Orchard Supply Hardware // Ottoman: Orchard Supply Hardware // Straw Hat: Orchard Supply Hardware // Curtains: IKEA // Solar lights: Orchard Supply Hardware // Outdoor floor cushions: IKEA // Lanterns: Orchard Supply Hardware, HomeGoods, Michaels // Small Love & Laugh pillows: HomeGoods // Comforter on Ottoman: IKEA // Plants: Orchard Supply Hardware