This spring’s balcony trends include decorating with plants and mixing and matching indoor and outdoor furniture, says Interior Designer Niina Ahonen.
In the past few years, the balcony has become an increasingly important part of the home. The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted this trend even further, says Interior Designer Niina Ahonen from Stailia.
“These days, people see their balconies as an extra room, decorating them to match the rest of the apartment. They are no longer used simply as a storage or ventilation space. This development has been supported and boosted by the popularity of glazing; nearly everyone wants to install glazing on their balconies.”
Ahonen believes that the balcony offers residents of apartment buildings a place to relax and get in touch with nature and a change of scenery.
“A balcony is like a mini holiday resort. People go to the balcony to take a break from work, relax or make their coffee break or meal extra special.”
Ahonen’s statements are supported by the Sustainable Urban Environments Barometer, commissioned by YIT and conducted by Prior Konsultointi in the autumn 2020. The barometer revealed that a large majority of Finnish city dwellers (67%) would prefer an apartment with a glazed balcony even if it made the apartment more expensive. Meanwhile, 21% of city dwellers would prefer a shared yard for the housing company and a cheaper apartment over having their own balcony (learn more).
“I think the popularity of the glazed balcony is based on the fact that you can have furniture on it. At our sites, we’ve seen some really nicely decorated glazed balconies, which really add space to the home and extend its atmosphere to the weather-protected outdoor space,” says Marko Oinas, interim EVP, YIT.
Follow the trend with plants and indoor furniture
According to Ahonen, this spring’s balcony trends include decorating with plants and mixing and matching indoor and outdoor furniture.
“If you want to decorate with plants, you need to think about the direction of the balcony. When and for how long does the balcony get sunshine? Take this information to a garden centre and they will help you choose the best plants. Personally, I’m all about artificial plants; they endure any conditions and you don’t need to find someone to water them during your holiday.”
Ahonen also enjoys the trend of bringing indoor furniture and rugs to the balcony, as long as people consider the conditions. Will the furniture need to withstand moisture, humidity and direct sunlight? Textiles may fade and some materials may absorb moisture. Luckily, there are many options. If your balcony is not ideal for cane furniture, consider poly wicker.
Ahonen advises balcony decorators to start with the floor.
“First, think about the size of the balcony and the material you want to feel under your feet. Next, decide whether to put a rug on the balcony floor or install wooden flooring, for example. The size of the area dictates the size of the furniture. If the balcony is large, you can even place the furniture in different groups according to their use. Sofas in one corner, planters in the other, and so on. Choose the furniture based on the desired activities. You might even want to sleep or pitch a tent on the balcony!”
Ahonen believes that the importance and diversity of balconies will increase in the future.
“I believe in a new sense of community. In the future, we may even see large balconies designed for shared use,” says Ahonen.
For further information, please contact:
Marko Oinas, Interim Executive Vice President, Housing Finland and CEE segment, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 40 506 7430, firstname.lastname@example.org
Niina Ahonen, Interior Designer, Stailia, tel. +358 (0)40 703 2940, email@example.com
Johanna Savolainen, Communications Manager, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 (0)44 305 4594, firstname.lastname@example.org
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