Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Summer is most people’s favorite season for many reasons. Whether you live in a house or a condo, having even a tiny small outdoor space can make a huge difference. Even in the smallest condo space, creating a seating area or a small garden can be the easiest way to extend your indoor space outdoor especially during summer and fall season. Many condo owners choose their space considering the size and orientation of their balcony as one of the main criteria.

For many, the balcony is a calming space to relax and reflect or a welcoming space to share and entertain. Before designing your balcony make sure to check your condo documents and ensure what are you allowed to do on your balcony which is a common element with an exclusive use by the resident of the suite. Also keep in mind all unique issues involved – high-rise logistics, security of anything you place on your balcony, make sure you accessorize it with easily managed plants; temperature and wind effects just to name a few.

Thank you everyone for sending questions about designing your condo balcony! There are so many condo dwellers that spend most of their summer evenings on their balcony. Whether you enjoy watching amazing sunsets (and having a garden in the sky gives you a huge advantage), reading a book, listening to music, or simply just enjoying your mini garden, your balcony can be prime real estate in the warm months. After reviewing all questions received, here are my most important 5 tips for designing your balcony:

1. Consider the time of day you would be spending most of your time on your balcony and think of the orientation (hopefully you thought about that before you purchased it!). Do you work during the day and only spend your evenings on the balcony? Make seating and lighting your main priority. Solar lights are very popular as they can be hidden in your planters!

2. In a small condo space, most likely your balcony is not that big, and as you know every inch counts. Opt for small scale items when it comes to seating, tables or planters or folding loungers. A two-seat bistro table works well for extremely small spaces. (photo courtesy of Emu).

3. Your balcony design style should be consistent with the interior space, mixing retro plastic flower containers with a traditional interior design will make your balcony design look like an afterthought. Continuity in design and flow are very important in small spaces.(photo courtesy of Crate and Barrel)

4. Use a portable water feature to block off the noise coming from traffic- depending on the location condo balconies can be quite noisy all year round but people love water for the calming, noise pollution cancelling benefits.

5. When choosing plants keep in mind not just the orientation but the patterns of wind: sun and wind could be damaging your plants if they are too high- but balcony gardens are the best in creating a level of privacy especially for downtown condos located in proximity of each other.

And a bonus tip…

6. Are you going to use the balcony for all four seasons? Think of where to store all seating furniture during winter and when buying planters think of your Christmas decoration- maybe mini ever greens will keep the balcony festive looking at all times? Long way to go until Christmas....for now I hope you fully enjoy your summer!

This blog post answered the most frequent questions regarding condos balcony you have a question?


  1. "balcony design style should be consistent with the interior space"

    This is so true, especially when your condo is loaded with windows (like mine). Plastic sure can look tacky in plain view of the granite countertops and hardwood floors :)

  2. Hi Jeff,

    Condo balconies are almost part of the interiors, I usually recommend designing both in the same time:)


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