I’ve never actually lived anywhere with a balcony. It might seem strange that I have a fantasy of one day owning one, because I’ve always had a garden. It’s a bit like confessing to an unfulfilled wish to have less space. Or a smaller house. Or less clothes in the wardrobe. Who the hell does that? But for me, a balcony is a small oasis in an urban landscape. I’ve even got a Pinterest board dedicated to them! It’s somewhere you can sit outside and look down on the world. Unobserved. A tiny green paradise where dreams can hatch, books can be read, and where plants can flourish. And all just a few feet away.
A Balcony Feels Like Part of the Inside Living Space
And I think that’s the crux of the matter. There always seems to be a barrier between the house and a garden. You have to be in the mood to venture outside, especially when the weather is less than ideal. But a balcony garden feels like a part of the house. Yes, there’s a physical barrier (called a door obvs) but it’s right there, and it’s a constant reminder to tend the plants or nip outside for a little fresh air.
A Balcony is Often Protected from the Elements
Not always, but often. It’s possible to be sheltered from wind and rain and still enjoy the outside. With the added benefits that your plants will also be protected from the damaging effects of frost too. And there’s something nice about sitting outside when it’s raining – without getting wet. Think how lovely it would be to watch a thunderstorm from up high *sigh*
A Balcony is a Private Space
And the added benefits of being protected from the elements is the privacy it brings. Yes, you can look out and down, but no one can see you when you’re sitting and relaxing. There’s something very calming about being unobserved. And in an urban environment where space is at a premium, private outside space is often like gold dust. Even gardens are surrounded by windows and all-seeing eyes. A balcony can be your own private space.
A Space of One’s Own
This is the best benefit of all. A balcony is a small, private space, easily accessible, and full of all sorts of possibilities. Maybe you just need a comfortable spot to sit with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine? It might be al-fresco dining that really excites you. Or you might want to create a lush garden full of scent and herbs handy for the kitchen.
Maybe one day I’ll have a balcony.
All images are from IKEA.